Question: When using an instrument like a bass with a built-in preamp, should the active or passive output be used to drive the Axe Integrator?
It's always a reasonable option to try both and see what works best, however, in theory you only need one preamp and driving one preamp into another preamp may not provide the most effective gain staging or optimal results. We believe that using the passive instrument output to feed the Axe Integrator is the most technically correct method, but by all means be free to experiment.
Question: Do I need to use special cables to drive balanced or unbalanced loads with the Axe Integrator?
Answer: No. Because the Axe Integrator uses an output transformer to balance the signal, a TRS cable will provide a + signal on the Tip, the - signal on the Ring, and the Sleve is always grounded. Conversely, a TS cable will provide a + signal on the Tip and the Sleve will connect the Ring to ground, with no loss of signal level.
Question: Can the Axe Integrator be battery operated?
Answer: Technically yes, but the Axe Integrator needs 36VDC to operate properly which would require 4 nine volt batteries wired in series or a special battery pack with a 5.5mm plug (2.5mm pin) with +V on the center. Because it consumes 40mA the battery life may also be an issue.
Question: Can the Axe Integrator be used for live stage applications?
Answer: The Axe Integrator was designed primarily for studio use and should not be mistaken for a stage direct box. The functions and levels are quite different. However, it could be used as a preamp for acoustic guitar or other instruments on stage.
Question: Can the Axe Integrator be used as a clean signal boost feeding a guitar amp?
Answer: Yes, and it sounds incredible, but because the Axe Integrator has no bypass switch, it would have to be placed in a switched loop to be used in live applications. If we get enough requests, we may design a special model for this application.