Shape your guitar tone with IK Multimedia's new DI pedal and box

Some of the most useful features from IK Multimedia's acclaimed AXE I/O guitar audio interface are included on its two new active DI units; the Z-Tone Buffer Boost pedal and Z-Tone DI. 

These include an active/passive pickup selector switch to tailor the ideal gain staging for your guitar; switchable Pure and JFET input circuits to adjust from transparent tone to adding warmth and harmonics.

In addition IK's patented Z-Tone variable impedance control gives you another means to shape your guitar tone live or for recording. 

The Z-Tone Buffer Boost preamp pedal is designed for electric, acoustic and bass players as part of a pedalboard or general stage rig, allowing you to adjust your tone going into the signal chain.

Adjust the input impedance of their preamp pedal before hitting the rest of your pedalboard and use its "best-in-class dynamic range and extended frequency response".

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)

The Z-Tone pedal includes a boost control for added volume and drive when needed. Both the Z-Tone circuit and Boost circuit can be independently bypassed for more flexible control.

While the pedal & amp output offers true bypass, both the balanced & unbalanced outputs let bass or acoustic players connect directly to mixers and PAs too. A ground lift switch is included to eliminate buzz and hum too.

The pedal is powered by a 9V battery or standard 9V pedal power supply.

The Z-Tone DI active box is ideal for a home recording setup but can also be used live with mixers as well as audio interfaces.

Alongside its wide, extended frequency response, the Z-Tone DI features adjustable input and output gain, a balanced main output with ground lift to eliminate buzz or hum, plus an unbalanced out for flexibility and a -20dB pad for an extended operating range.

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)

It's "Link out" also mirrors the input signal directly for capturing a DI signal while still feeding an amplifier or pedalboard. This enables players to record or mix both clean and amplified signals for reamping without the need for additional splitters.

The Z-Tone DI can be powered by either a 9V battery or +48V phantom power. 

Both Z-Tone pedals feature a metal chassis  and are made in Modena, Italy in IK Multimedia's facilities. They also comes with a full download version of AmpliTube 4 – IK's standalone app for Mac/PC that can also be used as a plug-in with most DAWs.

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)


Both Z-Tone units are available now from the IK Multimedia store and select dealers. The Z-Tone Buffer Boost retails for $/€ 207.39 and the Z-Tone DI $/€182.99

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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.