Radial Engineering Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, announces the USB-Pro ($220 MSRP), a high-resolution stereo direct box designed to convert sound files from a laptop computer and seamlessly transfer them to a pair of balanced audio outputs to feed a P.A. system or recording or broadcast mixing console.
The USB-Pro automatically configures itself for use with all popular operating systems, including Mac OS X, Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, eliminating the need to load special drivers. The USB-Pro offers true 24-bit/96kHz stereo converters to deliver more headroom and greater detail. This eliminates the need for additional sound cards or separate converters when transferring files.
Connection from the laptop is done via the USB type-B port. D/A conversion is monitored with the built-in headphone amplifier to ensure the signal is being properly downloaded and converted. A mono-sum switch may be engaged to check for phasing or facilitate signal distribution to two outputs if needed; users set the output volume control to suit. If hum or buzz caused by ground loops are encountered, two side-access switches let userss insert isolation transformers into the signal path to block stray DC voltage offsets. To further reduce susceptibility to noise, this is augmented with a ground lift switch that lifts pin-1 on the two XLRs.
The USB-Pro is designed to handle the rigors of professional touring. Radial's book-end design creates protective zones around the switches, connectors and controls to keep them out of harm's way. Inside, the I beam construction ensures that the sensitive internal PC board will not torque, which could otherwise cause premature part failure. Finally, a full bottom no-slip pad provides mechanical isolation and electrical insulation.