S-Direct Plus review by Samson

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  • Ease of Use: 1
  • Sound: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reviewer's score: 1 Junky
  • Users' score: 8.5 (2 votes)
Samson: S-Direct Plus

Price paid: $ 39

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Ease of Use — 1
You can't get a good sound from something that never worked to begin with. Coupled with the fact that other reviewers report inconsistent experiences with regard to this unit introducing noise into the signal chain, those same reviewers report inconsistencies in the sound. Some reviews report an overall drop in levels [which should not happen with an active DI], others report a loss of high end, but no loss of mid or low band signal. This is suggestive that the units are not really transforming the high impedence signal from the guitar or instrument to a low impedance mic signal at all - but is simply converting from an unbalanced 1/4 inch input to an XLR output with no real change in impedance. Visually the connections and controls seem to be self-explanatory, so if it did work it would be a good thing, because the "owner's manual" provided by the manufacturer is as worthless as the unit itself.

Sound — 1
This is a 2-channel active DI box. So the question of suitability to a musical genre is irrelevant. As it was, neither the original I purchased or its replacement ever worked at all, so it doesn't rate very highly in the category of sound. Reviewers in other forums have been divided. Some reviews report the unit is noisy, others report the opposite. This suggests that the units are made using odd lots of parts rather than consistently using identical parts designed for consistent performance. This also suggests a need for Samson to maintain better QC over the plant in China where these are produced [or they are contracting with the same manufacturer who builds stuff for Behringer].

Reliability & Durability — 1
In my experience, this is not a reliable unit. I purchased this originally a year ago and it never worked. Initially, I wasn't going to do anything because it wasn't a necessity for gigs and it wasn't that expensive. But lately I've had the need for a DI box and since this was still under warranty, I obtained a return authorization from the dealer and they replaced it. Unfortunately, the replacement unit exhibited the same defects. While one defective unit could be written off as a fluke. Two defective units showing the same flaws tells me there is something dreadfully wrong with either the design or the manufacturing of the unit.

Overall Impression — 1
My overall impression is that, having had two defective units of this model, the only way I would ever consider using one now would be if Samson paid me to own and use one. It is puzzling because I have used many Samson products over the past six years, including a Go Mic for podcasting and an airline micro wireless mic for live use, and never had a problem - until now. I will not only never again purchase one of these - but the whole experience makes me very leery of purchasing any product manufactured or distributed by Samson in the future.

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