Active DI/preamp with advanced tone shaping

Chances are, you don’t think much about ¼” inputs. As long as they work, right? But here at IK, we’ve spent decades studying the entire guitar/bass signal chain and we think the inputs on most mixers and audio interfaces leave a lot to be desired.

That’s why we created Z-TONE™ DI, a premium active direct box packed with unique new features. Whether you want more flexible routing on-stage or superior tone shaping in the studio, Z-TONE DI borrows the input circuits from our award-winning AXE I/O interface to let you do a whole lot more, and sound better doing it.


Key Features

  • Active/Passive pickup selector
  • PURE channel for transparent sound
  • JFET channel adds warmth & harmonics 
  • Z-TONE variable impedance control creates
    a wide range of tones
  • 20 dB pad for extended operating range
  • Balanced & unbalanced outputs
  • Link out splits signal to amps & pedals
  • Ground lift switch eliminates buzz & hum
  • Rugged, stage-ready metal housing
  • Designed and made in Italy

Premium sound & build

First and foremost, Z-TONE DI is designed to preserve the natural tone of your instrument. With exceptional 114 dB(A) dynamic range and extended 3 Hz - 30 kHz (+/- 1 dB) frequency response, whether it’s for long cable runs on stage, or to capture DI tracks in the studio, Z-TONE DI ensures every nuance and detail is carefully maintained.

And Z-TONE DI is made in IK’s Modena factory and packed in a rugged metal housing for years of reliable performance.

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The ideal front-end

Z-TONE DI offers a high-quality instrument preamp with exceptionally low noise and wide frequency response, and multiple circuit topologies to adapt to any type of guitar, pick-up and style.

Passive

Pick your pickup:

PASSIVE: designed to accommodate everything from low-output vintage pickups to hotter modern humbuckers with ultra-low noise and extended frequency response.

ACTIVE: bypasses unnecessary gain stages when using active pick-ups, to keep your signal path as direct, transparent and clean as possible.

Pure

Choose your channel:

PURE: a completely transparent and ultra-accurate preamp
circuit that won’t color  your sound in any way.

JFET: a Class A JFET input buffer for subtle harmonic
enhancement, midrange focus and warmth.

Tone and feel like you’ve never heard

Guitar pickups can dramatically change their character depending on the impedance of your preamp. That’s why the tone and responsiveness of your guitar can change when plugging into different gear.

Z-TONE DI puts you in control, with the same variable impedance control as our award-winning AXE I/O audio interface. Dial in impedance from 1 MOhm to 2.2 kOhms to shape your sound In unique ways. At the maximum impedance, you’ll find your sound tighter, sharper and more precise. Increase the load and the sound becomes thicker and more bold. 

You’ll quickly find yourself using this to give your guitars even more sonic character, dialing in sound that fits beautifully into the mix without the need for EQ.

Z-Tone

Comprehensive routing options

Z-TONE DI offers a range of useful output options. First, the balanced XLR output offers a switchable ground lift, to eliminate noise and hum caused by ground loops. An unbalanced ¼” output offers additional flexibility.

Z-TONE DI also offers a Hi-Z Link out, which mirrors the input signal to connect to pedals and amps. This lets you easily record DI tracks alongside your real amp’s tone in the studio, or blend direct & amp sounds live on stage for even more sonic flexibility.

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Instrument input

Link output

Gain control

Pick-up selection

Patent pending Z-TONE impedance tonal control

Discrete JFET/PURE preamp selection

And an optional 20 dB pad extends the useful range of the unit, letting you use instruments and sources aside from guitar & bass. Many keyboards, synths and more still benefit from Z-TONE’s unique PURE / JFET circuits and ground lift feature, for flexible routing and tone shaping.

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9V battery compartment

Unbalanced output

Balanced output

Ground lift

PAD -20dB

Z-TONE DI runs off a 9V battery for easy portability, but can also be powered by +48v phantom power from your mixer or interface to run longer sessions without worries.

Full AmpliTube version included

Z-TONE DI comes with full download versions of AmpliTube 4, the hyper-realistic guitar and bass tone studio for Mac/PC.

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You can easily expand your sonic collection with IK’s range of additional amp and effect models – there are over 280 pieces to choose from, including officially licensed re-creations of gear from Fender®, Orange®, Mesa-Boogie® and other iconic gear manufacturers, as well as guitar legends like Slash, Jimi Hendrix and Dimebag Darrell, all available a la carte.


Bring Z-TONE to your pedalboard and more

Looking to level up your live rig? Check out Z-TONE Buffer Boost offering the same killer features in a convenient pedal format to upgrade your stomp & amp rig.

Or check out AXE I/O and AXE I/O SOLO, IK’s range of premium audio interfaces offering the same great tone-shaping features, and find out just how easy creating
best-in-class guitar recordings can be.

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