Radial Stagebug User Guide
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Using The StageBug SB-5 ™

The following page describes how to use the SB-5 with a typical laptop computer, cell phone, tablet, desktop computer or portable CD player. For more information, we invite you to download the full manual by clicking on the icon at left.


The StageBug SB-5 is a passive stereo direct box that has been specifically designed to interface your laptop, tablet, smart phone or music player with professional audio systems. Using the SB-5 reduces noise, enables long cable runs and improves the sound quality by properly matching the impedance and level of your mobile device with the PA or recording system. The Stagebug SB-5 is 100% passive and does not need batteries or power adapters to work, just plug and play.


Making connections

Before making connections, always turn audio levels down or the PA off. This will help eliminate turn-on transients that can damage more sensitive components like tweeters.

Stereo line input for mobile devices:

The SB-5 features a permantely attached 3.5mm mini cable that works with the stereo line or headphone output on your mobile device. Unwrap the input cable from the Sidewinder cable storage bracket and connect to the output of your mobile device. The 3.5mm (1/8") connector is wired tip-left, ring-right and sleeve-ground.


The StageBug SB-5 gives you a choise of output formats:

  • Stereo connection
    As the source audio track is likely stereo, the SB-5 follows suit with two ¼" TRS connectors. These are wired following the AES convention with Tip (+), Ring (-) and Sleeve (ground). Connecting to the mic preamp input of the mixing console is done using a standard TRS cable or a TRS-to-XLR cable depending on the type of connector that is available. You then pan the two channels hard left and hard right to maintain stereo imaging.

  • Mono Connection
    There are many instances when a mono output is actually preferable over stereo. For instance, when in an assembly hall, the audience may be spread across a wide room where they will only hear the audio coming out of one speaker. Therefore, any stereo effects will only be audible by those who are in the middle of the room. The SB-5 is equipped with a mono XLR output that automatically sums the left-right signals together. This also benefits when limited channels are available.


Using the ground lift

Sometimes when connecting your device to the PA via the SB-5 direct box you can encounter noise like hum and buzz caused by ground loops. If you encounter noise after connecting try using the ground LIFT switch. The SB-5 outputs are transformer isolated and pushing in the LIFT switch disconnects the signal ground between the SB-5 and the PA system breaking the ground loop and eliminating the noise.


Using the PAD to prevent distortion

High output devices like laptop and MP3 players can overload the mixers microphone preamp and cause distortion in the PA. The SB-2 features a -15dB PAD switch that enables high output devices to be used without distortion. Often, the best sound can be achieved by engaging the PAD and setting the device volume at full. Adjust the gain at the mic-preamp to suit. To get the best audio from your mobile devices ensure the batteries are fully charged or powered with an AC adapter. Low battery power can have a severe effect on the sound quality of mobile devices and be a cause of distortion.

You are now set to turn it up and blast away!