Klark Teknik DN200 Stereo Direct Box
I discovered the Klark Teknik DN200 stereo direct box over three years ago when I was looking for a lower priced option to the stereo RNDI. The KT does not disappoint in any area. It uses proprietary transformer technology and features excellent electronics to deliver your sound. The build quality is excellent and I’ve gone on to acquire six of these for my studio. They’ve been wonderful tools for connecting my stereo instruments to the mixer inputs in the studio.
FEATURE SET - Street price $149.00
This direct box is loaded with every input you will ever realistically run into. It utilizes combo input jacks which can accomodate XLR output from a hardware-modeler or 1/4” from guitar stompbox gadgets.
RCA-phono style input jacks are provided which allow unbalanced consumer audio devices to be direct connected. I’ve used these to convert the audio outputs from a DVD player to mic-level balanced stereo audio for connecting to a front-of-house mixer.
A ground-lift pushbutton is provided. There is a -20dB pad on a pushbutton to add additional input headroom. The DN200 requires 48-volt phantom power on both of it’s output connections to function correctly in stereo or dual mono applications. A pair of XLR male output jacks deliver the two low-impedance, balanced, microphone-level, audio outputs.
The DN200 has a button labeled SUM. When this is used the two inputs are summed to mono. The mono signal is presented to both output jacks.
Another button on the DN200 is labeled SPLIT. When this is pressed you feed signal into the LEFT input and it will be output on the two transformer isolated outputs. This would be very handy if you were trying to feed a front of house mixing system and a monitor mixer simultaneously without ground-loop hum.
|REMOVEABLE RUBBER JACKET SURROUNDS THE METALWORK
The DN200 comes wrapped in a flexible blue rubber jacket. Underneath is a heavy duty steel and aluminum chassis that feels like you could drive the band truck over it without damaging the fragile electronic contents. The rubber jacket electrically isolates the box from any surface it comes in contact with further preventing ground loops. The rubber jacket is soft and protects furniture surfaces from being damaged.
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
When I bought my first DN200 it was not available in stores. I had to special order it and wait a long time for it to arrive. The wait turned out to be worth it. In A-B listening tests in our studio the DN200 performed equally to our favorite direct box, the RNDI by Rupert Neve Designs.
I’ve used the DN200 on a wide variety of instruments including keyboard outputs, passive and active bass guitars, Stratocasters, Les Pauls and Line 6 modeling guitars, the DN200 provided excellent performance in every one of these applications. No noise, no buzz, no distortion, just pure high quality sound. I’ve used it with my Soundcraft console, my Neve 1073 and API 3214+ preamps, the DN200 delivers the goods regardless of what preamp you have it plugged into.
This is a great direct box which can be used mono, dual mono or stereo.
Can be used as an active splitter or a two-channel mixer.
Sound quality is excellent and system noise is non-existant.
It’s a bargain.
Nothing to speak of.
If this was just a stereo direct box it would be an excellent choice, the unique SUM and SPLIT features add useful options that would have required external adaptors and more cables. I regularly use a DN200 to convert my UA OX Amp Top Box to balanced mic-level outputs, this provides fantastic tone and eliminates ground-loop hum when using a high gain amp like a Mesa Dual Rectifier or EVH 5150 III EL34.
This is one of the best direct boxes I’ve ever used. When I go to the mic locker to grab a direct box I’m always happy to grab a DN200. It’s got a great heavy duty feel in your hand and it produces wonderful results.
Good Music to You!
KLARK TEKNIK DN200 SPECIFICATIONS
Inputs, Connectors: 2 x combo XLR, 2 x 1/4" TRS link jacks, 2 x RCA/phono connectors
Impedance: 1 MΩ (combo & link jacks balanced), 20 kΩ (combo XLR only), 500 kΩ (RCA/phono jacks unbalanced)
Max input level
28 dBu combo XLR and TRS link jacks (pad enabled),
Attenuator: 20 dB pad
Outputs, Connectors, 2 x 3-pin XLR
Output Impedance 50 Ω
Max output level: 13 dBu with 10 kΩ load, 10 dBu with 600 Ω load
Min load 600 Ω
System Noise: -103 dBu, 22 Hz to 22 kHz unweighted, with input terminated by 10 kΩ resistor
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±1 dB, 10 kΩ load
Distortion (THD + N): Typically <0.005% @ 1 kHz, +10 dBu
Crosstalk: <100 dB @ 1 kHz, inputs terminated
Power Requirement Voltage +48 V phantom
Current consumption <10 mA per channel
This article is ©August 2021 by Mark King. It’s not ok to copy or quote without written permission. Thanks for reading High on Technology.
PS: This direct box is being replaced by the DN200 MkII. The changes mainly mean the RCA-Phono input jacks have been replaced with 1/8” TRS inputs. The outer rubber jacket also appears to have been eliminated on the V2 model.