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What is the difference between the Radial Pro48 and J48™?
The Pro48 is a pared down version of the J48 that features the same audio signal path but with less features. Gone are the low-cut filter, 180º polarity reverse and the stereo to mono merge functions. We have however kept the -15dB pad and the ground lift. It is also packaged in a smaller case and it has less colors and printing screens on it. All of these help to reduce costs to make the Pro48 more affordable.
So why would someone buy the J48 if the Pro48 costs less?
The J48 feature set provides added benefits for concert performance that may not be needed for the average stage. For instance, the stereo to mono merge function can save valuable channels on a snake and mixer in pro touring. This function also allows you to set-up redundant systems for a computer, digital playback system or keyboard to allow backups should a catastrophic crash occur during a show. Furthermore, engaging the high-pass filter adds even more headroom by eliminating unwanted low frequencies. Finally, being able to rack-mount the J48 for larger keyboard setups is a God-send as it provides for better inventory management.
Can I use the Pro48 on keyboards?
Yes. Absolutely! The Pro48’s higher level handling coupled with the -15dB pad make it very well suited for today’s high output keyboards. Without the pad engaged, the Pro48 is also perfectly suited for older low-output keyboards like a Rhodes piano or a vintage synthesizer.
How does the active Pro48 compare to the passive ProDI?
This is like comparing a dynamic microphone to a condenser. Just like condenser mics, active DIs like the Pro48 have more reach and are more sensitive than dynamic mics or passive direct boxes. This makes the Pro48 active DI a better choice for lower output devices while the passive ProDI is better suited for very high output devices. In the end, it is really a matter of personal preference.
If 48 phantom requires the ground wire to be connected, how do you lift the ground?
The Pro48 employs a digital switching supply that converts phantom power to produce more headroom. As phantom is required to power the J48, we do not lift the ground at the XLR as we would with a passive DI. Instead, we lift the ground inside the power supply. Tricky!
If I only have a master 48V phantom power switch on my mixer, will turning on phantom power affect the other microphones?
No. Phantom power is designed to supply condenser microphones and active direct boxes. It has no effect on dynamic mics or passive direct boxes. The only possible concern is with vintage ribbon microphones which are rarely if ever used with PA systems.
What is the difference between the SB1 and the Pro48?
Both are active direct boxes that employ phantom power. The Pro48 manages the grounding in such a manner that it allows the audio ground to be completely lifted while the SB1 only provides a partial lift. This means that the Pro48 will solve ground loop problems in almost all cases, while the SB1 may only do so in most cases. Sonically, they are similar, however the Pro48 will handle a bit more gain before distortion.