Quote Hugh Robjohns:
I have arranged for some of Orchid's products to be sent to me for review...
Have now received various boxes from Orchid. Initial impressions are extremely favourable and the bench tests confirm the impressive specs.
It is worth noting, though, that the DI boxes rely on an active balanced output stage, rather than the more conventional transformer. I think this accounts, in part, for the extremely attractive pricing relative to the performance. A transformer of a similar quality would be very expensive! In the majority of situations the balanced active line driver is perfectly acceptable and allows Orchid to achieve very impressive bandwidth, noise and distortion figures.
However, it does also mean that it is not possible to achieve the same kind of galvanic isolation as can be obtained with a transformer, and so in some cases ground loop noise might not be eradicated when using an Orchid active DI -- particularly when trying to connect a laptop or computer interface to a console, for example. In such situations, a passive line transformer box would be a better solution.
But my initial findings certainly confirm the claims of others here. These Orchid units are impressive and extremely cost-effective DI Boxes.
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound