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Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 DI and Speaker Simulator Reviews

5.0 stars based on 17 customer reviews
Questions about the Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 DI and Speaker Simulator?

Questions about the Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 DI and Speaker Simulator?

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  • from Colorado Springs July 13, 2016

    Good sounding DI

    I use this between a Marshall JMP preamp and an ISP Stealth power amp, and it sounds great - better than other cab emulating DI boxes I've tried previously. We run in ears for most of our stage volume, and using this allows me to run without any volume when it's not needed. I originally put it between the ISP and the speaker, but was getting some weird feedback/noise. I also had added some other new gear at the same time, and decided I wanted to be able to turn the power amp volume off without affecting the direct signal, and after I moved it (and reset some of the other new gear), the issue went away. I do not know if it had something to do with the ISP Stealth and this box, or if it was something else entirely. Bottom line is it works in the chain where I want it, and it sounds great through the PA into my in ears!

  • from March 4, 2016Music Background:
    10 years playing guitar.


    I spoke with john and explained what i needed and he helped. I built a beginner studio and my amp didn't have an emulated out. John answered all my questions and set me up with the H & K Red box. solved all my problems. I would definitely refer Sweetwater and plan to use them in the future.

  • from Cambridge MA January 14, 2016Music Background:

    No brainer winner

    Sounds great, very warm, airy, clean and expressive tone .Easy to use, phantom powered, straight into the Scarlet i818. Do not amp in. Line or instrument in only, straight up, or with pedals in front of it.

  • from West Chester, Ohio September 15, 2015Music Background:
    Vocal Major, Worship Pastor, Recording Musician

    Best Guitar DI For Houses of Worship

    I am a worship pastor for a local church and have many people use the multi-effects processors that sound absolutely terrible through front of house. The Redbox is a game changer. When you place it after the pedal it makes the distortion break up just like an amp. Our church is very open and tall with hard materials that make the sound bounce, so without a room to put amps we have to go directly into the board. I used to lug my AC30 or my Orange Tiny Terror around and mic it, but now the Redbox adds all the same sounds that my pedal board has without that hassle. The amazing thing is that the tone sounds perfect.

  • from Va March 18, 2015Music Background:
    Classic rock, oldies, progressive, and contemporary Christien

    Pedal board direct to mixer

    A standard direct box just doesn't cut it. I've been on a long quest to find a way to carry just my pedal board to church and plug in to the system without having to lug my amp as well. If you don't already know, most modulation pedals sound ok direct into the mix board through a standard di box but overdrive and distortion effects for some reason don't. When I explained my dilemma to the Sweetwater tech rep, he suggested the H&K Red Box. Best advice I've received in a long time! This little cab simulator works like a charm! Coupled with a Blackstar HT Boost for warmth and signal strength, it sounds like I have my tube amp with a mic placed in front.

  • from Ohio December 5, 2014Music Background:
    Music Maniac!

    Very impressed

    I have 3 small children running around so it's not often that I can mic a guitar amp to record. I was amazed how well this box works! My tracks sound like I put a good mic in front of my amp. Perfect!

  • from El Segundo, CA August 27, 2014Music Background:
    Band-leader, songwriter, engineer

    Great and colorful direct box

    A great direct box, with a ton of color options. Thanks Tony Dayton at Sweetwater for a superb recommendation. There is no better value out there for tone and color on a direct box.

  • from Kansas January 16, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-Professional Guitarist

    Easy to use; Great tones

    I had read several internet reviews about this product producing bad tone. I don't know what the heck those people were doing (probably using it off a pre-amp line out rather than the speaker out), but in my first few uses this unit has been great. I use it live, and it produces much more consistent tones gig to gig than micing ever did. With some basic eq-ing it sounds every bit as good as my cabinet did mic'd. I originally planned to mix it with the mic'd signal, but it does so well on it's own I just use it by itself. At first I thought it might be a bit fizzy, but then I realized I simply had too much gain through the amp. A quick adjustment and it was all good.

    I have noticed that the adjustments (tight/loose; modern/vintage, etc) seem to have very little effect on the tone; whatever effect it does have is very subtle. I made recording of each setting on my DAW and could hear little difference at all. That's OK though, because it sounds great to my ears.

  • from Birmingham, AL October 11, 2013Music Background:
    Musician and home recording geek.

    Great DI box, especially for the price

    DI box with cabinet simulation? Very intriguing. That is what I thought anyway. For the price I ordered it and have been blown away. It performs on phantom power from the mixer board or external DC adapter. The small switches on the top allow you to drop the ground, tweak the cabinet sound or allow the natural direct amp out sound of your head or combo amp go straight to the mixer. I use this as a second channel mixed with a mic'ed channel. I will not allow you to use your tube head without the speaker load for late night home recording since it doesn't have rectifying capabilities, but for the price...

  • from West Coast September 7, 2013Music Background:
    Full time songwriter/guitarist/Singer

    My first DI

    I have always had a bad opinion of amp DI. My marshall DI sounds bad. I recently started miking it to get good clean sound with more volume ( I play my Marshall clean). This box sounds like my Marshall miked. Now I am trying it even without an amp just a compressor and a Zendrive.

  • from Colorado September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    This is a Winner

    This is hands down the best cabinet sim DI I have owned. The Redbox 5 picks up where all the others leave off. It gives you the ability to tone-shape the cabinet tone you desire. There is a lot of flexibility with this unit. I take my signal right off my pedal board to the Redbox 5 and then right into the PA with no amp in my signal chain. Ya, I still like my Sennheiser mic'd Tweed Deluxe but this Redbox will work great for those situations when you don't want to hall the amp. I did add a 7-band EQ to my pedal board to fine-tune the tone going into the PA. The tone is 10x better than any of those multi-effects attempt to simulate a amp/cabinet. One word... Winner!

  • from Rochester, New York July 30, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-Pro musician, over 36 years of guitar playing

    Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5

    I play in a hard working Band. We play out almost every weekend and have used everything out there at one time or another. The new Hughes and Kettner red box 5 DI allows me the freedom to use my Amps with out the need to hook up mikes to my cabs, saving space on stage. The sound is excellent as I have come to expect from H&K. The input selection and EQ features allows me to sculpt my sound , getting the best out of my amps!

  • from Ohio April 10, 2017Music Background:

    The standard

    I just got this and tested it out recording my JCM900 Hi Gain Dual Reverb head with matching 4x12 cab. I had been struggling getting the tone that I was looking for but this little guy helped me tremendously. This little gem was relatively inexpensive and sounds fantastic. Next I plan to try it during a live show. I would definitely recommend. It would be 5 stars but there is no warrant available if you are in North America? What is that about...?

  • from Michigan August 4, 2016

    NICE Solution

    This DI BOX was everything you could ask for. REDBOX 5 is basically what is on the newer Tube Master series of amps and it was a good solution for running my Marshall DSL 40 into the PA without having to mic the speaker itself. There may be less expensive DI boxes but this is certainly a quality product and a great solution if you don't need silent recording. (still requires the load of your cab) It is a powered solution that requires a 9v adapter, not a issue for me, although I was not aware before hand.

  • from June 15, 2016

    Does what it says

    Does the job as a speaker sim DI. I use this as a backup for a KPA. I run it with a tuner, cheap OD pedal (TC Mojo) into a different input going to the mixer. What surprised me is how natural it sounded. Not cheaply filtered or something. Very balanced and I found the onboard switches adequate. I didn't find myself wishing I had EQ. A guitarist that likes gets their tone mostly from pedals and runs their amp clean will likely get good sounds using this as a DI in place of their amp. Making it a good tool for traditional stomp box guitarists that sometimes need to play direct. Although I prefer the versatility of a Tech 21 Sansamp blonde for direct guitar playing, but then you still need a direct box. The Redox is also surprisingly small and light, making it pedalboard friendly.

  • from November 23, 2015


    great little device, easy hookup & settings

  • from April 24, 2017

    Good sim

    Great cab sim on a budget.

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