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P&R Wall Box

Paul White gets a look at a versatile modular wall box with up to 32 inputs. By Paul White
Published December 1994

Every studio is a mixture of those exciting bits that make noise, and myriad boring bits that either connect things together or prevent your interesting bits from falling on the floor. P&R have made a virtue out of building all the boring bits to a high standard and at a sensible price.

P&R are probably best known for their patchbays, but they also produce other items of hardware, one of which is the modular wall‑box system reviewed here. If you have a studio with a separate control room and playing area, you need a wall box to provide mic inputs in the studio, and recognising that some studios are bigger than others, P&R have come up with a modular system which can use either low‑cost plastic XLR connectors or the more expensive Neutrik metal versions.

The system comprises a kit of panels, which bolt together to make up the basic box, plus panels punched to take eight XLR sockets each. By using a different length of end panel, you can house one, two, three or four connector panels to make up a box with anything from eight to 32 inputs. These boxes are also suitable as stage boxes for use with PA systems; the prices vary from a single panel fitted with eight plastic sockets for £9.95, to approaching £150 for a 32‑way box complete with Neutrik XLRs. The review sample fitted together easily, providing a robust, neat system that could be screwed to a studio wall or used free‑standing in a live situation.

Since the various parts of the wall box system are individually priced, costs will vary according to what configuration you want, so sending off for P&R's new catalogue is probably of most help in deciding what you want and pricing it. The catalogue also includes details of P&R's patchbays, ready‑made leads, headphone splitters, modular rack systems, multicores, and lots of other useful stuff. Paul White