Fractal Audio X-Load LB-2

It’s an old problem: Speaker cabs make for great tone, but are also responsible for the sleepless nights of entire neighborhoods. Fortunately, there’s Fractal Audio’s X-Load LB-2 Reactive Load Box. The passive load box converts the output signal of an amp into a line-level DI signal—whether you want to hook it up to an interface or a mixer—while simulating a speaker cab.

The unit deploys Fractal Audio’s Dynamic Impedance technology, which emulates the effect that speakers have on the sound of an amp. So like an actual speaker, the LB-2 changes the impedance of the load depending on the connected amplifier’s power, resulting in a more realistic tone you wouldn’t get with regular DI or passive load boxes.

Only two controls grace the device’s front panel. A “DI Level” knob lets you adjust the LB-2’s output level, while the “Voicing” switch changes the resonance of the load to simulate classic US and UK guitar speakers. On the back, the LB-2 has two line-level outputs (unbalanced 1/4-inch and balanced XLR), a speaker-through jack, and the all-important “Amp In” jack.

The LB-2 can also be used as an attenuator to reduce the volume of your 100-watter when connected to a cab.

The X-Load LB-2 Reactive Load Box lists for $399.99. For more information, check out fractalaudio.com.