Lightning Boy Audio drops its TI Box Direct Input box, aiming to give you a “thicker” sound with rich harmonics and high output. Is the TI Box worth getting excited about? Let’s take a look and see what’s what…
Lightning Boy TI Box
So, who the heck is lightning Boy Audio then, and what’s with this TI Box stuff they’re talking about? If you haven’t heard of Lightning Boy Audio before it’s perhaps not surprising. LBA is a boutique company making niche applications for professionals and dedicated enthusiasts. LBA’s lead designer, Mike Congilosi, specialises in the design of audio transformers and the company’s products utilise them extensively.
It’s no surprise then that LBA would turn their hand to making a premium DI Box. Yes, we know, DI Boxes are one of the last things you get excited about but they play a very important role. In both studio and live applications, it’s often necessary to interface unbalanced sources with balanced inputs. In these situations, the quality of DI Box can be crucial to the tone and quality of the instrument.
The Lightning Boy says TI Box is so-called because its about something called “Thicker Injection”. Utilising an in-house designed LBA-MC15 transformer, LBA claims the TI Box will add pleasing harmonic colouration to your instrument and a thicker tone overall. However, isn’t a DI Box meant to be completely transparent in operation? That, however, rather depends on your application and viewpoint.
A Creative Tool?
If you’d like to get your hands on the LBA TI Box, then you’ll need to hand over $169 for the little silver bundle of joy. Undoubtedly there will be people who’ll question the logic of spending a significant sum on such a basic, utilitarian unit. There’s nothing features-wise to separate this from a regular DI box: pad and phase switches along with a link socket are your only options.
Much like microphone pre-amplifiers, however, DI Boxes are an important link in the chain. Much like the Radial HDI and the Warm Audio DI, the Lightning Boy TI Box will be seen as a creative tool in the chain. Yes, you can buy much cheaper DI boxes, but they won’t sound like the TI Box, and we suspect that’s largely the point!