With the introduction of active direct injection (DI) boxes, guitarists were able to capture the exquisiteness of electric basses perfectly. That was something pretty hard to do considering bass guitars had poor passive coil pickups. As technology evolved, and with the launch of different DI technologies, we were able to see a much easier way to record those sounds because the active DI boxes are built-in with extra headroom and many other features.
One in question really got my attention – the Whirlwind IMP 2. Affordable and reliable, I would say it is that the DI box is highly versatile, which is one of the primary reasons why the product is popularly used amongst professional and avid guitarists.
Sure, you can say that there are products that offer more added features, but you have to understand they are a lot more expensive (that tends to bother a lot of people). And honestly, most of those features aren’t even worth the incredibly hefty price tag. I mean, ask yourself, why throw money when you have something that offers the same quality in terms of performance but with a comfortable number of features?
The Whirlwind IMP 2 – An Overview
The IMP2 is a passive DI box, and a very easy to use one. Installing the product is simpler – all you have to do is plug the box and play your tunes. In addition, the box is also designed to be durable in nature. So, that was really good news for me. The portability factor of the product is another plus; you can virtually take it with you anywhere you want to without worrying about the weight. It really is a surprise considering the price – you should definitely go for this product if you are running low on budget.
It will also suit you if you are in search of a DI product that is more in-line with these attributes. That is not to say that you do not have plenty of other choices – of course, there are several outstanding alternatives available, but strictly speaking from a cost perspective, I guaranteed you would not get anything better than what this model offers- the caliber and performance of this little box will most certainly surprise you!
Perfectly Balances Sound
The thing that really struck me as outstanding is the fact I was able to use the product with a variety of different instruments other than bass and acoustic guitars. The primary function of the Whirlwind IMP 2 is to balance and synchronize the input sound signals perfectly. Whirlwind introduced its DI box line back in 1981 – and the company was the first to successfully commercialize the use of DI boxes in the music and audio industry.
Moreover, it is definitive given that this product is heavily used by some of the very best of the best in the music industry. You will never see professional guitarists without the IMP 2. And the reason for this is pretty simple; the product is just so portable. It is lightweight, and you can just about carry it anywhere you want.
The IMP 2 – A Brief Look at the Features
Some of the most interesting features of the IMP 2 are as follows:
Durable Metal Casing
The active direct injection box has a durable metal casing. The body is designed to last no matter what the environment is like. The interior of the product is also sturdy and well fitted with components to make handling easier.
The box is also built-in with dual 1/4-inch output jacks. The core functionality of both the jacks is to allow for a perfect and synchronized balance for input signals – churning out excellent output signals to your amp – (this feature comes in significantly handy when performing live shows).
The device is also built-in with an XLR-output – this essentially helps connect the box with a good recording device and software. But the IMP 2 is just compatible with software that supports mic inputs.
It also incorporates a switch for Ground Lift – this primarily helps completely mitigate the buzzing noise and that annoying humming effect, both of which are a natural consequence of electromagnetic (EM) interference. The switch is fitted inside the transformer, which plays an instrumental role in negating the buzz and humming effect.
Converts Impedance Signals
The DI box also has a “Whirlwind TRHL Transformer” – specifically designed to effectively convert high-level impedance signals, transitioning them into low impedance signals. The metal casing of the box also acts a good shield for this occurrence. You can use the Whirlwind IMP DI as a line level audio signal splitter.
You can easily use it without requiring any outlet for power – plus, it doesn’t need any extra juice to operate. All you have to do is plug the device right to the input jack or the output jack and voila, you are set!
Ease of Use
Moreover, I also love the fact that it functions transparently and you will not have to worry about tweaking the parameters. You can very easily incorporate it with a variety of different instruments – or better yet – you can also use it for your amplifier to boost the PA. In all here are my two cents on the active direct injection box – and if I do say so myself, I have tested plenty of DI boxes to come to this conclusion, especially considering the price.
Plus it is portable and durable – it’s great for all kinds of environments without a care in the world. Carry it with you where you go.
Who Can Use This Product Anyway?
There is a whole bunch of different perspectives you will find on this matter – while there are many folks who claim that you don’t necessarily require a DI box, a majority will say the DI box has become a necessity for all types of situations. Let me impart some common sense here.
It is very critical you ask yourself whether you’re only making music as a hobby or if you have a bigger aim in mind. If you aren’t into the whole idea of going commercial and promoting your music, then sure, you will do just fine without a DI box. On the flip side, if you are into producing music professionally, and you do have some solid plans to sell your music on a grander scale – then you will definitely require the Whirlwind IMP 2.
Although, in my opinion, the two factors I have stated aren’t just the only things you should base your decision on. There are plenty of other factors to consider. For example, a DI box such as the IMP 2 is ideal for individuals who want to record crisper and high-quality sounds from instruments such as the acoustic and electric guitar – the same goes for keyboards. As long as the instruments you use have high sound levels, you should opt for a good DI box.
Moving on, direct injection boxes are also excellent when it comes to input signal balancing, getting rid of humming and buzzing sounds, etc. both problems are caused due to different factors. Moreover, if you plan to do a live performance, a DI box such as the IMP 2 is a must!
Pros & Cons
Before we call it a day, let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of the product.
Some of the best things I loved about this product is the fact that professional musicians and sounds engineers have been using the device to eliminate performance issues such as ground loops, buzzing, and humming effects, especially during a live performance. Professional from across the globe use the IMP 2 for this purpose.
Think of this model as duct tape, anything you use duct tape on will always remain taped into place. Secondly, the device is incredibly affordable, durable and reliable in the sense that you can virtually use any input source with it. All you have to do is plug in the device right into your console, adjust the level of voltage and volume, and you’re set for good.
Taking into account the price of the product, which is considerably less than a variety of other topnotch DI boxes, you will have to make peace with the fact that when there is something that you don’t like, you can’t really be disappointed about it.
Plus, it’s not very pricy so you shouldn’t feel bad about making the investment either.
This is a fairly decent DI box, I haven’t experienced any problems yet, so I’m sure you’ll be fine with it. So there you go – a comprehensive look into how and why you should choose the Whirlwind IMP 2. However, if you’re only just starting your musical career, you might want to skip it for now. Again, if you know someone experienced then it might be a perfect gift for guitarists.
Is there something you’d like to add?
Let me know in the comments section below! Also, feel free to recommend me some products, I’d love to try them out.