FE2 Direct Input Box Kit
- Full Kit
- Step-by-Step Guide
Build your own boutique passive direct box.
Our popular DI box kit is back with expanded features and three transformer options. The FE2's studio-quality electronics are housed in an architectural aluminum enclosure that's rugged enough for the road.
The new FE2 features a through jack for patching to an amp or speaker and a switch for selecting between instrument or amp sources. The amp, or "SPKR," mode is great for recording old guitar and bass amps without line outputs.
The FE2's output section features a Neutrik XLR jack and ground lift switch for eliminating hum.
We're proud to offer three USA-made transformer options: two are new models wound for us and the third is the legendary Cinemag CM-DBX.
The main difference between the transformers is their noise immunity. The sonic differences between them are very subtle, but when radio signals or other interference are present, the higher-priced transformers will exhibit less noise. Click on the "Audio" tab above to hear samples of each transformer.
|Sound||Clear, modern||Balanced, extended||Vintage, rounded|
|Made in the USA|
|Mic output shield|
|Instrument input shield|
- Switch between instrument or amp input mode
- Thru jack for patching to amp or speaker
- Rugged, architectural aluminum enclosure
- Three transformer options, from budget to boutique
- Ground lift switch to eliminate hum
|Input Impedance||~200k/800k Ohms (depending on mic preamp)|
|Transformer Turns Ratio||12:1|
|Attenuation||22dB/38dB (instrument/speaker input)|
All three transformer options for the FE2 are exceptionally transparent when compared with the original ("dry") signal, with subtle tonal differences.
Samples were taken by sending pre-recorded tracks from an Echo Layla 3G interface to the FE2 and then back into the Layla's mic inputs. The mic input gain was set the same for every transformer. The recorded files were then normalized to eliminate differences in volume.
The newest kit revision is nearly foolproof with excellent instructions. As far as sound quality, I got the Cinemag transformer option and on electric guitar it’s almost indistinguishable from my radial JDI, possibly a bit more growl in the low mids, but at $50 less, less bulky and lighter in a gig bag, this is a no brainer. The amp DI option is super fun if you have a great tube amp but want to use cab IRs without paying for a fancy Ox Box or Captor X or something. I built the Bo Hansen 1975 active DI as well, that has a little more brightness, but it’s active vs passive and the difference is not as big as you would think. Overall thrilled with this project.
Works as advertised, parts and enclosure quality is great, packaging is top-drawer. The end result is a great DI plus a healthy dose of skepticism towards devices many times as expensive.
I had a lot of fun building this, and it sounds good too! I went for the version with the cinemag transformer. I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to soldering etc, and I found the video instructions to be clear and easy to follow. Really impressed with this box overall, and I'm looking forward to ordering another DIYRE kit before long.
A couple very minor issues: I agree with another user's comment that it was a bit difficult to get the the longer screw into the unthreaded Nuetrik jack. I had to apply a lot of pressure to get it to move, and wound up messing up the the head of the screw in the process. I was also a little surprised by the lightness of the case compared to other DI boxes. Seems like a sturdier case probably wouldn't have changed the price point very much, and might've been worthwhile considering DI boxes tend to spend a lot of time on the floor. Tiny nitpicky comments aside, this was a great first project. Thanks!!
First time build. With the X1 transformer, I find the sound to be clean and clear, perhaps with a touch of tranny mojo. Unlike the findings of other people, the engineering appears to be very good. The only problem encountered was personally created: a poorly aligned switch, which was easily corrected without any lifted solder pads. Even with spending much time reading the assembly guide and watching the video (both of which are excellent), the assembly took a leisurely two hours. Peterson provides superb customer service and was most patient with a customer who was impatient with the USPS. The FE2 was worth the wait.
I teach an introductory audio electronics course to university undergraduates. The majority of my students are music majors with no previous electronics experience. I wanted to find a simple project to serve as an introduction to building audio gear, and the FE2 DI Box seems to be the perfect option for my class.
I've been really impressed with how well this kit is put together. The video instructions are clear to follow and all the components are easy to assemble. It's the perfect balance for beginners because they can learn basic building principals like soldering and working with a PCB board, but it's simple enough that they won't get frustrated or wreck the components by accident.
The finished build seems very sturdy and rugged and my students have been reporting that they love the sound of the DI boxes as well (they've been building with the FE-X2, and CM-DBX transformers).
I'm also really happy with the customer service. I reached out to Peterson to ask him some questions about the build and he was kind enough to go over a few things with me in person over the phone. All in all I've been really impressed and would highly recommend this product!