Are you still making the Squeeze box?
The short answer is no. Due to obsoleted parts and the need for a circuit modification we’ve decided to suspend production for the time being. Every so often we have a refurbished model for sale, and we have a few things in the works that may lead to a “Squeeze Box 2.0.” In the meantime, please sign up for our mailing list for the most up to date news, and feel free to reach out to be put on a list should any squeeze boxes become available.
More than any other electronic component, transformers must abide by the natural laws of physics as they pertain to magnetism. Hysteresis (magnet inertia and momentum) is the main hurtle an audio transformer designer has to clear gracefully. Any audio design engineer will tell you how difficult it is to make a transformer that will faithfully follow the edge of a musical transient and not want to keep going. That’s called “overshoot”. Transformers also tend to want to resonate at a particular frequency. This is called “ringing”. Designers try to keep this resonance out of the audio spectrum. The truth is that when this resonance combines with upper harmonics in the original program audio, a third “tone” can be produced well within the audio spectrum that is subtle, but definitely perceptible. Both overshoot and ringing are forms of distortion in that they are artifacts that were not present in the original signal. By employing a transformerless design we sidestep those artifacts and can deliver a signal that is true to source while still feeling larger than life.
Are replacement tubes special or difficult to find?
They are readily available on the open market. The Juice Box was designed around the 12AX7 for the input and the 12BH7 tube for output, and its best performance is with that compliment of tubes (higher output; lower distortion and noise). The Squeeze box uses 2 12AU7’s for input and output. The tubes in use in the current production versions, are of the Electro-Harmonix brand and are available directly from Electro-Harmonix or other tube resellers.
The Juice Box
What does the gain switch on the Juice Box do?
The “-20” position is for a traditional direct box situation, intended to feed a low level signal (typically the signal from an electric musical instrument) to a microphone input of a low level line input. The “0” position turns the unit into a unity gain buffer; the musical instrument signal can be driven into a mic input or a low level line input. The “+20” position raises the signal to professional line level, negating the need for a preamp. The “VARI” knob allows continuously variable adjustment between 0dB and +20dB in the “+20” position.
Where in my signal chain should I place the Juice Box?
The Juice Box has a very high input impedance . This feature is most beneficial when the instrument is plugged directly into the Juice Box input. Then, the instrument “sees” no significant load and will deliver a signal as full and uncolored as it is capable. The “to amp” jack is a buffered signal. Connections between this jack and the inputs of other devices (amps, effects boxes) will not effect the primary sound of the instrument. Also, the fact that the signal is buffered means that you can use a longer than normal (100 feet!) instrument cord to connect to other devices.
I heard you can use the Juice Box as a mic pre, is that true?
Yes! By connecting a microphone to the input of the Juice Box via an impedance matching transformer ( like the Audio-Technica CP8201 or the Shure A85F) you can use the Juice box as one of the best sounding tube mic pre’s available. Our personal favorite is to do this with a dynamic microphone on snare drum.
Can I use the Juice Box as a “re-amp” interface?
No. There are active electronics present between the input and output. A re-amp box is inherently passive.
Is the Juice Box XLR pin2 or pin 3 “hot”?
With the gain selector set to either “0” or “-20” the Juice Box produces a positive-going wave at pin 2 of the XLR in response to a positive-going input signal. With the gain selector set to “+20”, the signal inverts (an inherent result of adding a stage of tube gain) and the positive-going wave will be present at pin 3.
My Juice Box/Squeeze Box needs to be repaired, what should I do?
Get in touch via the contact form and let us know what the problem is. Often times we can help resolve a problem without having to ship the unit. If an actual repair is needed you’ll receive an RA number and shipping address to send it to us. If still under warranty repairs are free of charge, baring shipping, replacement tubes, and improper use. If outside of the warranty, repairs are a flat $100 fee plus shipping. If shipping is cost prohibitive we’re always happy to work with your local repair technician to get the problem solved.