Perfect your stage snake system with the compact and durable SoundTools CAT Box. Minimize the number of cables required by running up to four channels of audio and data from XLR, DMX, or AES3 lines through a single shielded CAT line. Designed by sound humans to look great and function for a lifetime. The disconnectable CAT Box stage boxes can be daisy-chained and used in multiple configurations to build the perfect snake.
The SoundTools CAT Box isn’t your average stage drop box. We’ve designed it to be one of the most versatile audio-over-Cat units on the market. When combined with our SuperCAT or SuperCAT Sound cables, a snake built with CAT Boxes will cost approximately 15% what you’ll pay for an average audio snake using 4 XLR cables. Now you can run four isolated channels of clear audio or com down a single shielded Cat5e or better cable, and even increase the distance of your lines. We’ve successfully run balanced analog over 600 feet with our SuperCAT cable in our workshop.
Each CAT Box Unit has 4 XLR ins or outs (available in both male and female configurations) as well as an etherCON input and parallel etherCON output. This is an all-analog, fully passive drop box that can be input directly into analog or digital consoles. Using shielded Cat5e or better cable allows phantom power use through the system.
Not all disconnects are created equally. Because of its design, the SoundTools CAT Box can be used in a multitude of applications.
Not only is the SoundTools CAT Box designed to work flawlessly, but we created it to look great, too. SoundTools CAT Boxes are manufactured from machined anodized aluminum and finished with stainless steel screws, so they are rust-resistant and rugged enough to handle life on stage. Stylish black and red coloring is finished with a laser-etched SoundTools logo. When set on its side, the CAT Box allows cables to lay flat for a cleaner set up. Our clearly-labeled ins and outs simplify set up and tear down, making this the stage drop box you’ll be reaching for again and again. SoundTools is founded and run by other audio professionals just like you. We know how much your happiness depends on high-quality tools that work every time. The SoundTools CAT Box is part of our Happy Human Warranty. If you’re not happy with it within the first year, you can return it for a refund. At any time after that, if it fails, contact us and we’ll send you a replacement.
Attach your shielded CAT5e/6/7 cable to the input or thru etherCON connection on the end of the CAT Box. Attach either a second CAT Box or another SoundTools Audio over CAT 5 product to the other end of the cable. Insert your XLR cable ends to channels 1, 2, 3, or 4. Now you can run up to four lines of audio down a shielded CAT5 cable.
Pair with an additional CAT Rack, CAT Box, CAT Rack, or WallCAT to send and receive four lines of balanced audio.
Do I need to use shielded CAT5 cable?
Yes. Each of the channels share a common ground. This is especially important with digital signals.
How far can I send a my mic lines?
For balanced analog we've achieved distances of over 600ft using our SuperCAT cable. The results will vary with other CAT5 brands. For digital signals we reccommend distances up to 330 ft as per AES/EBU standards.
What is the tiny switch for?
The CAT Box comes with a chassis ground lift switch which will disconnect the ground from the box. Helpful if you run into issues with the metal body grounding to something else.
Can I use the CAT Box with the SoundTools CAT Tails?
Absolutely! All of the RATCAT family will work together, bringing audio over CAT to the places you need it most. Connect CAT Box to CAT Tails or CAT Racks, split signals using the parallell/thru jacks, and route your audio where you want.
Can I send audio in both directions or do I need another gender CAT Box?
The CAT Box is capable of sending or receiving signals, just like an analog snake. You can use gender turnarounds OR use the "parallel" option and a second CAT Box. When sending mixed signals a high quality CAT cable is encouraged.
Is shielded cable really required?
The short answer is no. But in order to use phantom power and to minimize noise, we strongly suggest you use properly shielded cable. You can check if your cable is shielded by checking for continuity on the RJ45 jack using a multi-meter. Still not sure? Just purchase SuperCAT and you know you'll be covered.
Can I use it with my (digital console)?
While the CAT Box will work with any console on the market, it is important to note that it does not do any D/A conversion. The beauty of the CAT Box is that it sends analog audio over lightweight CAT cable, no conversion required. Hook directly up to your XLR connections and let CAT Box do the rest.
All SoundTools products are covered by a one year no questions asked “Happy Human” warranty, wherein if a customer is unhappy for any reason they shall be able to return the item in the original packaging for a full refund from the place of purchase. Additionally, SoundTools strives for total customer satisfaction forever. If a customer wishes a replacement after the initial one-year warranty for any reason, we will replace it with one of equal or better condition.