#1
So our next show we are playing at a new venue that doesnt have a PA system so we need to haul all our stuff there for the gig. We are doing an acoustic show but the rhythm guitarist and I both run our acoustic guitars through our amps for 2 reasons.... we tilt our amps back and use each amp as an individual monitor for us and depending on the song, I put a little grunt on my acoustic guitar or have my amp's reverb on.

I have a Mesa Nomad 55 1x12 which isnt ideal for acoustic shows but I dont have room in my place anymore to store multiple amps and we play 90% electric shows and every other acoustic show we have just plugged right in and never had to carry our gear with us so its gonna haveto work for at least this show. My amp has a direct out, but its a speaker level out and apparently its a little too hot for our PA. I connected my amp directly into the PA at practice and it clips and distorts like crazy so I believe I need a direct box with an input attenuator to cut down my signal. The amps line out will connect to the direct box which should lower the input signal and turn it to a balanced signal which I would then route into the PA.

Im familiar with the concepts of a direct box as for all our past acoustic shows I have plugged straight into the houses box but I havent purchased one before. I am looking at the Rolls boxes, both active and passive. Some direct boxes dont seem to have the input attenuation, which I believe I need. Some of the boxes you plug your guitar into and then the box has 2 outputs, one unbalanced to your amp and the balanced to the PA. I CANNOT use those type of boxes because the sound coming out of the PA needs to have my amps grunt and reverb in it. Also, just incase the future requires a live show with our PA, I want to have the ability to have my Mesa with its distortion channels and reverb available to go through the PA. Therefore, I have narrowed down my search to 2 Rolls boxes:

Rolls Direct Boxes:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/home/navigation?q=rolls+direct+box

To me, they both do the same thing. Is there a benefit of running an active box over a passive box? If they do the same exact thing, why would you ever want one that required phantom power? Any help would be appreciated.