Poking around and found this possibly relevant thread on muffs which keeps me returning to the JDI duplex as an option. Any experiences?
Incidentally, one voice on that thread argues:
The effect of a DI's transformer will be pretty subtle. I'd say if I recorded some modular stuff through a Neve 1073 and without it, a lot of people would be hard pressed to hear the difference.
FWIW this doesn't match my experience at all and really gets at what I'm looking for (snake oil or not), which is to say transformer harmonic distortion (err, mojo). No stage sound or long cable run issues here. Just a desire to put some iron between the modular and audio interface. Ideally I'd like a box that can be clean but also really saturates when pushed.
Maybe DIY is actually the way to go? I recall reading this article about transformer coloring in Tape-op years ago and it's nagged at me since; maybe it's time to commission a transformer color box?
Anyone gone this route? @Galapagoose: curious if you did any exploration before landing on the Cinemags in the RIP?