Radial Stagebug SB-1 User Guide
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Using The StageBug SB-1 ™

The Radial StageBug SB-1 has been designed to be plug & play easy to use. The following describes how to connect and get the most out of the SB-1. Feel free to download the manual by clicking on the icon at left.


The SB-1 direct box has been specifically designed for instruments with active pickups and on-board battery powered preamps such as acoustic guitars and active basses. The SB-1 offers active instruments more high-end detail and sparkle over passive direct boxes allowing the full acoustic quality to be heard through the PA or recording system.

Making Connections


Before making connections, always turn audio levels down or the PA off. This will help eliminate turn-on transients that can damage more sensitive components like tweeters. The SB-1 is powered by +48V phantom generated by your mixing console. A red LED located next to the XLR jack indicates when the SB-1 is receiving power. After connecting the SB-1 check the phantom LED. If it is illuminated you are ready to go. If the red LED is not illuminated switch on the phantom power at the mixing console.

Connect your guitar to the SB-1 input using a standard ¼” instrument cable. Connect the XLR output from the SB-1 to the PA or recording system using a standard XLR cable. You can now start testing at a low volume as this provides a margin of safety should something not be connected properly.


Adding a Tuner or Guitar Amp

The SB-1 is equipped with a TUNER output jack that lets you connect an electronic tuner for quick adjustments on stage. You can also use this output to feed a stage amp if you like. This way, you can set up your own sound on stage and use the XLR out to feed the PA.


Using the Ground Lift

Sometimes connecting an on-stage amplifier to the StageBug DI creates hum and buzz because of ground loops. The SB-1 features a ground lift switch to solve this common problem. If you encounter noise, try using the side access GND LIFT switch. The switch is recessed to prevent hitting it accidentally. Use a small screwdriver or pencil to access the switch. If the noise persists, connect your stage amp’s AC power to the same AC outlet that the PA is powered with using a power bar. This brings all of the electrical grounds together and helps eliminate ground loops.


Using the PAD for Louder Instruments

High output instruments with battery powered preamps like acoustic guitars and active basses can overload the mixers microphone preamp and cause distortion in the PA. The SB-1 features a -15dB PAD switch that enables high output instruments with active pickups to be used without distortion. Play your guitar as usual. If you hear distortion, simply engage the PAD and increase the level on the PA or recording system to compensate.


Using the Polarity Reverse

The 180° phase reverse switch is used to help reduce feedback hot spots on stage. Sometimes the PA system and the room acoustics will combine to create hot-spots on stage. This can also occur when combining a PA with a stage amp. These hot spots are known as room modes and form when two like frequencies combine at a certain location. A huge boost is created at these locations which can cause acoustic instruments to feedback if you happen to be standing there.


Using the StageBug SB-1 live

The most common use for the StageBug SB-1 is using it to perform in a live venue. This set up shows how the SB-1 is used on a stage where you do not have your own amp. The output from the SB-1 signal merely feeds the PA system. Often, the signal will be split to send your sound back to the stage via wedge monitors.

Using the SB-1 in the studio

The StageBug SB-1 also works great in the studio for bass and electric guitar! It converts the hi-z output of your guitar to a balanced lo-Z output to feed the recording console. By applying a proper load on the pickup, you will enjoy a smoother more natural tone. This is particularly important if you plan to do some Reamping at a future date. To record acoustic guitar, use the SB-1 to plug into your favourite tube mic preamp, analog effect or simply go right into your digital workstation. The StageBug SB-1 sounds great, has plenty of headroom and delivers the most essential features to get the job done.