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Dangerous D-Box
4.55 4.55 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

A high end monitoring system that includes 8 channels for summing and a great D/A.


25th February 2013

Dangerous Music D-Box by Glenn Bucci

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Dangerous D-Box

Dangerous D-Box

The Dangerous D-Box offers a monitor speaker controller, 2 headphone amplifiers, a talk back system, 8 channels of summing, two sets of speaker outputs, and a high quality D/A converter that rivals Lynx and Apogee. This unit has very good specifications and is up there with other higher end monitor units. All the knobs and buttons are of high quality. Besides two headphone inputs, there is a talkback, mono button and alternate speaker selection. The unit has 4 inputs in the front; Sum, Analog, DAW, and CD. The best way to route your main 2 bus from your DAW is to connect into the digital DAW connector. With my RME 96/52 card, there is a S/PDIF connector that can go directly into the DAW connector. The Analog inputs are +4 but through the setup mode you can change them to -10dB. The Sum button is for you to hear how your mix sounds from your 8 outputs from your DAW into the unit with a D sub cable. To keep the price down, they eliminated some things like a dim button.

I was able to compare the D-Box against my Presonus Central Station. Instead of using the D/A converter inside the Dangerous, I used my Apogee Rosetta 800 D/A with the D-Box and Central Station so I would have a more accurate comparison.

In listening to a mix I did in Cubase, the D-Box offered a clearer low end while the Central Station was almost a little clouded in comparison. In the past many of my mixes had a little too much bass when I tested them on different sources with my Focal Twin monitors and decent amount of acoustic treatment in my studio. I was a little confused as why I was having this problem. As soon as I heard the music through the D-Box, it revealed the low-end rumble on some instruments that I did not hear with the Central Station. I knew now why I had issues with my mixes. It seems the Central Station remote had something to with the quality of the signal losing some definition by the way.

The mid and highs on the D-Box also gave a crystal clear sound. With the color and less clarity of the CS, it reminded me of when I had lower end monitors the then upgraded to better ones. There are details in the music that I heard for the first time with the D-Box. When I switched back quickly to my Central Station, I found I could no longer could keep the Central Station in my rack. Out it went and the Dangerous took its place.

The headphone amps are crystal clean and offer wonderful clarity as well. There are two connectors on the unit. I found it interesting that the top insert for the headphone jack was connected to the 2nd volume knob and not the first. If you need more than two headphone jacks, you could connect one of the headphone outputs into a headphone amp as the volume in the headphone amps are plenty loud.

If the D-Box had no summing capabilities, the unit would still be well worth it’s current price. Though they cut some corners like no dim button or mute button, by pushing the DAW button in and out, it acts like a mute. This is helpful as you may want to talk to a client in your studio and you don’t want to change the volume on anything.

Summing out of the Box: Many feel the benefit of summing out of the box is due to the pleasant harmonic distortion that the box gives from the internal transformers. If this is the case, you could just run your 2 bus through some mic pre’s, EQ, or compressor and add a character from it’s transformers and internal parts. I have done the later many times with my Manley and Portico gear as I prefer the added character they offered to my mixes.

I then tried summing out of the box with the D-Box. First I just summed a 2 bus through the summing and back into Cubase. To be honest, there was almost no difference between a 2 channel ITB mix and the 2 bus that went into the Dangerous D-Box. I then took an entire mix, routed them through the 8 channels of the Dangerous and created a new 2-bus mix in Cubase. There are green lights that show which channels are receiving signal, and channels 7 and 8 have a separate pan control. The result when I A/B the two mixes was something I never heard with routing a 2 bus through analog gear. The mixes sounded more spread out, a little deeper and a little more 3D. My mixes through the D-Box have a more professional sound with its spacial and enhanced sound. I heard all the instruments better as they are more defined. The D-Box gave the instruments and vocals more space in the mix. The ITB mix sounded tighter and more cluttered. Out of curiosity, I took my ITB mix and added a spacial enhancer that came with Cubase. Though it spread out the mix and subjectively it sounded better when done with care, it did not sound the same as the Dangerous Summing. The placement of the instruments seemed to be done at the source with the D-Box, while the plug seem to add something on top of the mix.

Though many have different opinions on summing out of the box and what takes place to change the sound, each type of box will offer something a little different. My advise to try it out for yourself in your studio to hear if it works with your gear and setup. For me, I will always sum my mixes through the D-Box to hear the instruments have their own space in a mix and to hear the wider sensation of the music. It just sounds more polished and closer to the music you hear on the radio. This unit is really a great option for those who want a great monitor and summing unit all wrapped up in one at a decent price.
Dangerous also provides great customer service.

Pro: Clear sound, amazing definition in your mixes. Summing through 8 channels allows you to hear each instrument more defined and spread out.

Con: Lack of a dim button, no separate cue and main monitoring controls. Some DAWS like Cubase/Nuendo with a Control Room features though can help a little in this area.

23rd August 2013

Dangerous Music D-Box by maxiemixer

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Dangerous D-Box

It took about two years to decide to buy an analog summing box for my Pro Tools system Hd3 Accel - 192 I / O. For years I alternated over SSL 4K mixes and mixes ITB without encountering major problems and I have never felt particularly the need for an analog summing box. Then one day I began to think that they need that bit of extra magic to be more competitive ITB.
So I started looking at the various options available, their value for the money. I have heard all the comparisons that I could find on GS and on the net. I read everything I could find on the subject and at the end I took the money and I bought the Dangerous Music D-box. I was mixing a CD of pop-punk and in the first 5 minutes of using the D-box I had already decided that I was super happy of the new addition to my studio. Without even still use the analog summing I was struck by the DA converter that compared to my Mytek DA studio96 sounded equally detailed, but just a little warmer. But the most impressive thing was the frankly amazing difference in the quality of monitoring compared to that of my old Mackie 32-8. The highs are extraordinarily soft and defined, I would say extended. And the low frequencies are at least an octave deeper, soft yet punchy and powerful. Not to mention the middle frequencies, which are defined, detailed and clear. Certainly, it has become easier to achieve the result I was aiming for. Now we come to the part of the analog summing: The same mix that before listening to two-channel time now is divided as follows:
Channels 1-2 Drums
Channels 3-4 Guitars
Channels 5-6 Keyboards, BVS, Fx
Channel 7 Lead vocal (pan mono center)
Channel 8 Electric Bass (pan mono center)
Just enough time to reassign the channels and by magic a space subtle but definitely audible formed between instruments. Even before I could feel the impact of a 0.2 eq of tenths of a dB at the end of a mix, but now the difference is huge! Everything is more clear, and it takes me half the time to achieve what I was aiming for.
Now it is good to say that, working ITB, I soon learned that the gain staging is all about it and in PTHD is ultra important to work at an optimum level, close to the calibration -18 dBFS (some plugins tend to sound awful when the level is too hot). But, thanks to analog summing now I have the opportunity, if they want, to push each stem up to a saturation level that I could not reach before ITB and definitely comparable to the sound of SSL I was used to. But much more transparent, with a color closer to a Neve desk. Definitely nice, very interesting. Surely there are more colorful summing boxes of the D-box but on my way to work this hardware is definitely ideal.
If we add to this the ability to select two different monitors (although it lacks a trim between the two), a talkback of excellent quality and with the option of remote control via the rear panel, and two headphone outputs, powerful enough for pro headsets and very precise this machine value compared to its cost is extraordinary. The technical specifications are very impressive and the operating manual is cristal clear. I particularly liked the warning to turn off the machine before wiring to prevent the configuration without decoupling capacitors create problems for systems connected to the D-box. A sensible practice in every case, but in the specific, required. Both in GS and on line is easy to find lots of information about D.box included an interesting video of Fab Dupont explains almost everything that is useful to know about the D-box and his older brothers 2Bus and 2Bus Lt. At a cost of about $ 1500 is impossible to find so much quality and so many options. I would say that it is easy to think of paying this amount only for the DA converter or to the analog summing. So either we can consider any of the two as a gift, along with a good headphone amplifier and a talkback of world class quality. I worked on SSL, Neve, API, Cadac and I must say that in an instant I felt more at ease from the point of view of the sound and safer to be able to hear all the most minute details of my work.
I think I will buy a second for my remote rig-studio and to use as a backup since I'm not sure I can live without one, now.
© 2013 Max Carola - All rights reserved

5th October 2013

Dangerous Music D-Box by Category 5

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Dangerous D-Box

Several weeks ago I made a trip down to a friend’s studio to do some comparative listening with Black Lion Audio’s recently announced UA Apollo mod. The Apollo is already a nice sounding interface stock, but I was expecting a noticeable improvement to both the AD and DA. My hopes were that the upgrade would put the DA conversion of the Apollo on par with dedicated monitoring converters and higher-end boxes like those from Apogee, Prism and Metric Halo. It was while we were connecting cables and routing wires that my friend asked me if I expected the modified unit to sound better than his Dangerous D-Box, a product I’d heard of many times but had no real experience with. I’ll admit I was a little puzzled. My impression of the D-Box was that it was primarily a monitor controller and summing box, and even though I knew it included DA as well, I never expected the quality to be anything to write home about. After all, the D-Box is a summing mixer, not a dedicated master DA converter and you can only do so much at its price point. My ignorance was about to get the best of me.

Intent on showing me that I had been missing out on one of the most remarkable products of its kind, my friend (Ken) pulled up some of his favorite mixes and let me get accustomed to his superb listening setup. We listened for a while on the newly modified Apollo box and I must admit things were sounding fantastic. The music was clean, detailed, punchy and tonally balanced just like you’d expect from good quality conversion and a great monitoring setup. Quite frankly, it came as no surprise. I had been expecting to hear just that. What did come as a surprise, however, was the experience I had when Ken switched from the output of the Apollo to the D-Box’s built-in DA. The difference was anything but subtle! Not only was the imaging more pronounced, but the D-Box DA increased the depth and punch of the sound in a way that made the music feel “bigger”. What I was hearing sounded as good as some of the best DA converters I had ever heard, and for a box marketed as a summing mixer and monitor controller this almost seemed illogical. Obviously, I knew I was going to need to take a closer and much more personal look at the Dangerous D-Box the first chance I got.

Fast forward three weeks and a big bright Fedex truck arrived with an ordinary brown box wielding a Dangerous Music label proudly declaring its contents were made right here in the USA. I’ve never been a fan of elaborate packaging and Dangerous Music apparently doesn’t see the need for it either. Put the money into the product where it counts I say. The carefully packed rack unit and stapled laser printed manual inside are clear signs that Dangerous Music shares this philosophy.

The Dangerous D-Box

My first impression of the D-Box upon “deboxing” (awful pun intended) was that the people who made it really went to great lengths to make a professional looking device whose aesthetic did not go overboard in trying to be flashy or overly cool. At the same time, it really does look awesome. The lightly polished rack face has a precision beveled edge that’s not quite sharp enough to cut you, and the Dangerous logo is printed in orange, making it mostly visible when viewing the unit from an angle. From left to right, there are two headphone jacks and their accompanying volume pots, a talkback mic and level control, several illuminated function switches, a make-up gain control for the summing section, a pair of pan pots (more on this later), 8 signal present LEDs and the main volume control. The custom knobs each have a machined indicator line on the face and a pair of rubber “tires” to aid in gripping them (I have seen at least one other manufacturer copying them now). A quick turn of any of the knobs reveals the pots are of exceptional quality. They are ultra-smooth, without feeling artificially weighted with heavy fader grease (a common trick used to make low-grade pots feel expensive). These feel like quality conductive plastic pots and you can tell these are not cheap parts just by turning the knobs. The D-box’s functions and input sources are controlled by a series of tactile switches that thoughtfully report their function with glowing led lights, illuminating from within the switches themselves. The familiar audible click you get when pressing any of these switches reveals that they control sealed relays within the D-Box that will remain free of corrosion for the duty life of the product. Again, this is a no-compromise way to go.

The rear panel contains all of the jacks you need pipe audio in and out of the D-Box. Starting from the left there is a TS jack for a vanilla footswitch enabling remote control of the talkback mic (a thoughtful inclusion). Next is a pair of XLR female jacks for connecting the analog output of an interface (assuming it features a pair of dedicated main outs), or any other analog device you may want to reference. A 25-pin D-sub connector allows 8 analog inputs from your interface’s DA to be connected to the D-Box’s summing section, followed by a 5-pin din connector labeled DC IN (don’t worry, the PSU is a line-lump style, not a wall wart). After the PSU connector is a pair of AES 110-ohm digital inputs. One is for the digital output of your interface, while the other allows connection of a second device such as a CD player, DAT, or mp3 player. A simple XLR-RCA digital cable allows connection of any coaxial spdif source to these inputs as well. Finally, there are three separate stereo XLR output pairs. One is a dedicated summing section output while the other two are intended to feed your monitors. That’s right, you can easily switch between two listening setups, or even feed the output of the D-Box’s DA back into the DAW for printing.

Popping the top reveals two very high quality circuit boards connected by several ribbon cables. The smaller board is for the front panel controls and indicators while the larger one contains the analog audio goodness. My first observation is that the traces on the PCB are huge. I don’t know what real world benefit is to be gained from that, but in theory it guarantees ultra low resistance on the PCB. At the very least, it made an impression on me. The analog inputs (both stereo and summing) are unbalanced by 10 THAT Corp. 1246 input buffers while the analog outputs are driven by the awesome 1646 line driver, also from THAT. These chips are some of the best performing ICs on the market today. In fact, their performance approaches that of discrete components. Seeing them put my first fear to rest - the potential for the D-Box to degrade my analog input signal. It won’t. Gain is provided throughout by another familiar part I was quite happy to see - the Burr Brown OPA134. These excellent sounding chips are used quite often in higher quality devices and in fact the dual version (OPA2134) is used practically everywhere in the BLA-modded Apollo I reviewed recently. Not only did the designer of the D-Box know what he was doing, he apparently did not have much interest in saving pennies here and there to increase margins. Audio quality was the motivation here. You can look over the spec sheets linked at the bottom of this review and see just how far we’ve come with regard to high quality audio specific ICs. Of course, spec sheets don’t always tell you everything and sometimes a careful design and a keen ear can lead to better results. The D-Box’s DA section is a lesson in this very philosophy. After hearing the DA section at my friend’s studio, I was honestly expecting to find the latest and most expensive AKM, Cirrus or Burr Brown chip inside. Instead I discovered an Analog Devices AD1854 chip mated with a Cirrus Logic CS8416 receiver chip and an Epson branded oscillator. Since there’s no word clock input the receiver chip has to be good at cleaning up the input clock from the digital inputs. Since I am not a designer I can’t really explain how Dangerous decided on these parts for the DA section. They are certainly not the common choices, nor does the AD1854 spec sheet suggest it is a top tier DA chip. I have to imagine this is one of those rare cases where the designer was familiar with a “gem” of a part, and had a little something up his sleeve because the sound produced by the DA circuit is as good as dedicated DA boxes. It was, after all, what first interested me in the D-Box. Headphone amplification is provided courtesy of a pair of LM4765T amplifiers with some pretty hefty heat sinks attached. This borderlines on mind-blowing. These amplifiers are capable of pushing 30 watts into an 8-ohm speaker! You’re likely to find these amps in powered speakers and iPod docks. Using them as headphone amps is both frightening and genius. Frightening because you can probably melt your eardrums if you aren’t careful. Genius because there is enough output to drive even very low impedance phones, and even drive multiple sets of phones from a single output cleanly. Dangerous Music is running these at 2/3 their rated maximum power to gain a headroom and bandwidth advantage and the sound is fantastic. Since there is plenty of raw power to spare, you’ll reach the threshold of pain long before you start accruing large amounts of distortion. Every component inside the D-Box is of the utmost quality. This product is clearly not designed to sell tens of thousands to bedroom recordists, but rather a serious tool aimed at professionals.

Monitoring

Many professional interfaces feature some form of analog monitoring but it is unfortunately often a compromise. Digital volume chips are better and more consistent than the cheap pots usually found in interfaces but even they can reduce the integrity of the output signal. Anyone who has compared the monitor outputs to the individual line outs on the UA Apollo can tell there is at the very least a difference. A high quality monitoring controller is an essential tool for the modern studio because it allows a clean, uncolored pathway to your monitors. Any alteration of the sound before it gets to the speakers will be compensated for in your mix decisions and the consequence is a mix that doesn’t translate well. Passive monitor controllers can have problems like high self-noise and high frequency crosstalk while active devices can add distortion, limit headroom and color the sound if not designed carefully. As I pointed out above, the D-Box makes use of THAT Corp’s dedicated audio ICs to pass analog audio with negligible coloration. In my exhaustive listening comparison here I was unable to discern any difference between audio passed through the D-Box vs. straight to my monitors from the interface. This is testament to just how good these ICs can be when integrated with care. The controls on the front of the unit allow instant, noise-free switching between the summing inputs, the stereo analog input, and the two digital inputs for quick comparisons, and Dangerous Music has thoughtfully included a second set of switchable stereo outs for comparing your mix on two different sets of monitors. You’ll have to match gains on the amps or monitors themselves since there is no output trim, but that’s honestly how I’d prefer it to keep the output of the D-Box as clean and consistent as possible. As is essential with any monitoring controller there is a mono switch for checking your mix for phase coherence and the all-important mono compatibility (something that is way too often overlooked!). There is an omnidirectional electret talkback mic mounted right in the front panel for addressing folks lost in their own little headphone world, and as mentioned above, there is a ¼” jack on the back of the unit allowing remote control of this feature. I would have liked to see at least one more stereo input on the analog side, but the lack of real estate on the back panel, and the quality of the DA quickly reminded me that the second AES input would ultimately better serve me in real-world use. Very few interfaces come to mind that have as good or better quality DA than the D-Box after all.

Digital to Analog Conversion

Since receiving the D-Box I have invested hours upon hours in listening and comparing the integrated DA with some other favorite options including the BLA Apollo and a personal favorite, the UA 2192. All of them are excellent sounding converters that put converters of a few years ago to shame. That said, the DA in the D-Box has to be one of the most balanced, neutral and musical converters I have heard. There are things I like about the other two for sure, but while both excelled in certain areas they always felt like they were missing too much in others. The D-box consistently provided remarkable separation and width, well defined low end punch, and mid to high frequency detail without a hint of graininess or harshness. The modded Apollo did a fantastic job of reproducing delicate high end detail, but seemed to lack oomph when pushed and felt lacking in the solidity of the low end. The 2192 provided its characteristic smoothness and warmth with good high frequency detail but the lower midrange felt overly forward and the stereo image felt slightly claustrophobic. I could pick certain samples of music that sounded better on each of the converters, but the D-Box produced the most consistent results across the board. It dawned on me that in a dedicated monitoring converter this is probably the number one goal - to perform consistently across all styles of music and a wide range of sources. I already mentioned that the specs of the converter chip used wouldn’t normally inspire such high expectations, but this is one of those rare situations you come across where design and familiarity with the components outweigh the spec sheet. The D-Box’s DA could easily be worth the price of admission alone. It is worth noting that the D-Box DA is only compatible with sample rates up to 96KHz but in real world use this shouldn’t affect most people. I maintain that sample rates above 96KHz should be reserved for forensics, not music meant to be listened to by human ears (and destined for CD and MP3 distribution after all!).

Headphones

As mentioned, the D-Box uses a very powerful amplifier - the Texas Instruments LM4765 Overture series chip. The amps are powerful enough to drive an 8-ohm speaker (in fact they are designed to) and therefore laugh in the face of even the lowest impedance headphones. In fact, I had no trouble splitting a single output into multiple feeds with plenty of power to spare. The headphone outputs are extremely dynamic, have exceptional frequency response, and offer distortion-free power far in excess of my capacity to hear without pain. Allow me to offer a little bit of a warning here though. In live tracking sessions where a full band is playing at full volume it is easy to get carried away, especially in phones that don’t block external sound well. It is very easy to be fooled into feeding your phones dangerous and damaging volumes without realizing it, and the headphone outputs of the Dangerous D-Box will deliver that kind of power in excess. My advice is always to set your phone volume to the lowest acceptable level and try to avoid level creep. I find that when I give my ears time to adjust, volume levels that seem just a hair too low often end up feeling perfect in just a short time. Even though it is cliché, the saying “with great power comes great responsibility” certainly comes to mind here. Your ears are your most important music making tool, so treat them like it!

Summing

Analog summing is something that I have always been interested in but never gotten around to trying. I know some engineers who say it has changed the way they work in the DAW completely while others say the benefits don’t outweigh the extra hassle. Some guys advocate completely passive summing solutions while others say active is the way to go. If you do a quick search on the web, however, you’ll notice a lot of references to Dangerous Music. For me, the point of taking stems from the DAW and summing externally is to create a hybrid workflow, and invoke some of the euphonic benefit you get when mixing on an analog console. Since analog consoles are active devices it makes the most sense to me that my summing box should be too. Passive summing boxes are prone to high frequency crosstalk due to the high impedance of the resistor network, and since there is no buffer for each input, the impedance of every input will have an effect on every other input. This can get really sticky if your inputs are derived from multiple sources with different output impedances. Finally, passive summing boxes require a separate solution for make up gain, usually in the form of a pair of mic pres. Using mic preamps for make-up gain can be a great way to get some analog color, but doing it without color can be a little trickier. You’ll need very clean pres for that, and that can drive up the cost of your system. Since you really need to mix through your summing device those pres won’t be available for overdubs or adding tracks once mixdown starts. Also, passive solutions don’t allow for features like panning since a pan pot itself would affect the load on the inputs, changing the overall sound as a result. For me, an active solution using high quality input buffers, op-amps and line drivers, like the D-Box does, is clearly the only way to go. That’s similar to mixing through a real analog mixer, just without the faders.

Getting the summing out of the box is only part of the fun with a box like the D-Box. Things get really exciting when you route your stems through your analog outboard gear on the way in to the summing network. I’ll admit that since having the D-Box I am starting to become attracted to outboard gear again. After all, we’re emulating an old school analog workflow so why not take it to the next level? I’m not talking about the cliché gearslutz “analog or die” mentality - just a little analog compression and EQ on the stems to give that finished sheen. The designers at Dangerous Music have been sensitive to this kind of hybrid workflow. The THAT 1246 input buffers on the summing inputs reduce each input by 6dB while the 1646 output drivers compensate for this reduction by adding 6dB back at the output. This increases the usable headroom of the summing inputs so that they can better handle the output of your analog gear. You won’t be driving the D-Box into distortion with the outputs of your DAW. It’ll take some real analog gear in between for that.

Dangerous has also been kind enough to provide a pan control on the last two summing inputs, an advantage that is limited to active summing boxes as stated above. This is actually quite handy since you can route mono stems like the lead vocal or bass guitar to them instead of wasting a pair of inputs on a mono source. Of course, you’ll need to tame your levels before you feed the summed stems back into your DAW for mixdown, and the D-Box includes an output attenuator for just that.

I won’t say I have a complete workflow with regard to analog summing just yet, but I’m getting there. It absolutely sounds different, and in a good way. I can see myself really adapting my workflow to a hybrid ITB/OTB mentality. I certainly like the results I’m getting, and I have never been a fan of internal mixdowns (often opting to print the output of my DA rather than bounce internally). Simply route the dedicated summing output into the AD of your choice, and set the D-Box to monitor the digital AES input from your interface to hear exactly what you are printing. For obvious reasons you shouldn’t expect to take mixes that are already done, route them to stems to sum through the D-Box, and expect to hear instant improvement. You really need to monitor through the summing section and make your decisions based on that. It’s definitely a different way to work and for some it may not be worth the hassle. I am someone who has always loved the sweet velvety sound of analog but the convenience, integrity and flexibility of the all-digital environment. Not only is analog summing making me take a different approach to how I mix, it’s making it fun again, and any device that can inspire that is worth it no matter what it does. While I’m not prepared to end the debate as to whether summing externally is better than ITB, I am prepared to declare that I enjoy the workflow and the results I’m getting, and I think that eventually it will help me take my work to the next level.

Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

What started out as curiosity and intrigue at a friend’s studio has led me to a device that has already become one of my newest favorites. The Dangerous D-Box attempts to be many things, and unlike most products that do the same, this one excels at all of them. Honestly, any single function could warrant the cost of the D-Box based on its performance, build, and design quality. You get them all in one great looking package. In one beautiful rack space you get a no-holds-barred monitoring station, dedicated master DA converter, a high quality active summing bus, and two workhorse headphone amps with a talkback mic to top it all off. If the D-Box was $3000 I think they’d still sell plenty. With a street price of well under $1500, I’d say it’s a no-brainer if you need ANY of the functions it has to offer. It’s clear the design philosophy at Dangerous Music is to employ a no-compromise approach without charging customers for flashy packaging and full-color manuals. The Dangerous D-Box is one of the finest pieces of audio gear I have had the pleasure of working with recently and I am really looking forward to exploring some of Dangerous Music’s other interesting products.

22nd November 2013

Dangerous Music D-Box by Doc Goodin

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Dangerous D-Box

I've owned the D-box for a little under a year. The monitoring is top notch. The DA conversion blew me away coming from my Fireface UC. Everything just sounded more clear and open. The stereo field gain so much width. I've sold the fireface UC and added an Antelop Orion 32 and they make a great team. I love and use the 8-channels of summing on every mix and plan on adding a 2-buss as well.

It has two monitor outputs which I flip between with one push of a button! The two headphone outs sound great and are crystal clean. The Mono switch is also helpful during EQing

My only beef with the unit is that it doesn't have a power switch and acts a little funny if you turn off the power supply, I just leave it on all the time.

The D-box was and is a game changer for me. I love it! it's made mixing in my home studio less of a guessing game.

If it broke or got stolen I would buy another one.

23rd January 2014

Dangerous Music D-Box by Resonance5

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Dangerous D-Box

Hi, i have been very happy with the dbox so i decided to write this review, i hope it will be helpful.
First of all my speakers are dyna. bm6a and adam a7x my interface is a rme ff 400 on cubase 7)
room apparently good sounding with foam panels i placed. so i can't say it's a professionaly treated room.

The unit is solid and i got a used one from 2008 in very good condition for 900 E.
Monitoring the analog out of my fireface through the dbox i noticed it added some character but in a very subtle way. In the spl monitor controller i had before it was very noticebale.
The switch between the monitors is very efficient as the mono function, that i used to simulate in the software. A botton for mono function revealed to be very useful.
The real benefit from this unit though is the DAC (Aes in).
Compared to the rme it is kind of similar as for transients and bass freq. but mid and highs are much more natural. It seems like the rme was had an eq with high shelf with few dbs gain.
Even the stereo image is more natural sounding and open.
And it makes it very pleasureful to work with.

The 8 ch summing i haven't tried but i owned a 2 buss few years ago actually coupled with 2 prism orpheus, that i actually didn't like at all (to aseptic and transients way to much excited)
If the summing is on the same level it is absolutely transparent. With good converters (not the ones on my ff 400) and good AD it will give the mix a nice boost.

Would be nice to have more of the dangerous Dacs actually...

Excellent product that should be bought right away after the monitors thanks to the dac it can be used with any soundcard with spdif giving extremely good results.

5\5

 

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