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DI Countryman DT85 Distorts ?
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vhollund
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#1
23rd January 2013
Old 23rd January 2013
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DI Countryman DT85 Distorts ?

So I recieved the Countryman 85 but I'm still hearing distortion at low levels
Here are 2 recordings of the phenomenon ,
Les Paul into very clean Alessandro Rottweiler Volume at 9 o'clock , Master set at 100% - Speaker out -> Type 85 -> 8 ohm load box (Tonehound)

Pure DI - no Speaker sim

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...im%2001%20.mp3

DI - with Redwirez (R 121, 3 inch, G12M)

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...21%2001%20.mp3

Tell me what you think
Am I right to say the Countryman distorts ?
Is it a faulty unit or can I just pay more and get something better ? and what ?
#2
23rd January 2013
Old 23rd January 2013
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do you have any batteries in it ? if so, are they completely dead ? try some fresh batts and use 48v

sorry if you have already tried these things ... i own 2 of them and have not heard distortions ...

cheers

john
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vhollund
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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Thank you

I will try to change the battery. It runs on 48V Phantom from ff800 in the same time though
but sometimes things are wierd irl

cheers
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhollund View Post
Thank you

I will try to change the battery. It runs on 48V Phantom from ff800 in the same time though
but sometimes things are wierd irl

cheers
Is the FF800 really 48v? Phantom can be anywhere between 12v and 48v, and if 48v it might be sagging under a heavier draw. I bet the phantom on the FF is meant for mics and pretty low power. Might just not be getting enough power.
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vhollund
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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No no
Standart 48v phantom
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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like i said, the batts should have a good amount of voltage. and do not leave cables plugged into the input jack as it will kill your batts fast .. a cool idea would be to have a 9v battery eliminator for the batt inside these boxes for folks that use 48v from a mixer or other source ... these are active DI's after all ...

cheers

john
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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I think there already is one ?
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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I can't listen to the clips where I am right now but-

Have you tried it as a DI from the pickup instead of from the head? That might be revealing of something.

Have you tried it with a different "very clean" head?
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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The 85 is not a particularly clean DI.
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24th January 2013
Old 24th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
The 85 is not a particularly clean DI.
Quote
1
vhollund
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26th January 2013
Old 26th January 2013
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Ok that's refreshingly new information
Wich one should I get for this purpose then ?
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26th January 2013
Old 26th January 2013
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Ive had a few guitars come through lately with higher output pickups that distort my countryman DI. The two fixes I have found are lowering the pickup a bit or switching to my radial J48 which does tend to be cleaner, or atleast seems to have more headroom.
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26th January 2013
Old 26th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packupthekids View Post
Ive had a few guitars come through lately with higher output pickups that distort my countryman DI. The two fixes I have found are lowering the pickup a bit or switching to my radial J48 which does tend to be cleaner, or atleast seems to have more headroom.
I've never used a DI in speaker simulator configuration, etc., but for "traditional" DI usage, i.e. to split a signal from an instrument to an amp and to FOH, 99% of the time I prefer a high quality passive, transformer DI, like a Radial JDI. They do have more headroom, don't distort, and are very quiet and clean, IMHO.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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#15
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhollund View Post
This is the latest test I did
This time I went no amp, just Guitar -> Lin6 M9, Just a comp to boost volume -> fireface 800
DT85 Set to "Speaker"

AS you can hear the DT85 clips alot
Is it a faulty Unit or ?

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...0%2Bvolume.mp3
Not sure what your issue is, but I've used these for many, many years, and never had a faulty one. I have had them distort when hit with too much signal, like from a keyboard rig or backing track playback device, and compared to other DI's they are a little bit noisier, but never had a faulty one.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
I have had them distort when hit with too much signal, like from a keyboard rig or backing track playback device
Right, or from a stompbox with the signal boosted really high.

Sent from my Droid
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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I have been using my countryman since 1980. The only time it distorts is when I don't have phantom hooked to it and the 9v batt is dying. I really like with my bass. It takes a lot to distort. GT.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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I'm sure it works well as a conventional DI taking a hi z changing it to a balanced Lo z
But it is also supposed to handle an amps speaker out ,
specs say "17000 watts at 8ohm before clipping"
Maybe that is an exaggeration then.
Because my Bassman amp is only 45 watts

I am considering the pdi009 from palmer because I can't seem to find a device that can handle the signal and make me a useable signal, without having a build in speaker sim

Edit :
I think actually the pdi 03 would do the trick
It has both load , speaker through, and unfiltered output.
Just relatively expensive though
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhollund View Post
I'm sure it works well as a conventional DI taking a hi z changing it to a balanced Lo z
Why are you sure that YOUR unit works as a conventional DI? You should try it that way, to make sure its not something else going wrong. You shouldn't bash a high quality piece of gear without troubleshooting properly.



Are you sure that your 9v battery is new/good? Is your guitar active/are you sure that the battery is fresh? Because the distortion in your clips sounded like a dying 9v to me.

I know that there must be guys on this site who have done live sound for Metallica and such, and could tell you EXACTLY how well the Type 85 works in this application.

Seriously man, I have been gigging and doing sessions for years, and the Type 85 has practically been synonymous with "DI" for as long as I can remember. I can't vouch for it in this context, but I bet that someone here can.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
You shouldn't bash a high quality piece of gear without troubleshooting properly
First no bashing here, just trying to troubleshoot better with assistance.
It does seem that the unit distorts way before the promised "1700 watts at 8 ohm" doesn't it ?

Quote:
Q. How many watts can the TYPE 85 handle?
A. The TYPE 85 is so well protected it can handle the full output of any amp without damage. In “SPEAKER” mode the TYPE 85 will distort at the equivalent of 1,700 watts into 8 ohms.

http://www.countryman.com/download/T...%20booklet.pdf
Quote:
Is your guitar active
No

Quote:
Are you sure that your 9v battery is new/good? Is your guitar active/are you sure that the battery is fresh? Because the distortion in your clips sounded like a dying 9v to me.
I does sound like that doesn't it
But the DT85 doesn't even use the battery when it's used on 48v phantom
The battery is fine though. It gives 9.33 V

Quote:
I can't vouch for it in this context, but I bet that someone here can
Maybe, maybe not. I'd like to hear it first hand.
And I would be happy with more technical critique to troubleshoot better

Using a pedal to boost volume
and having à 8ohm speaker out is not the same thing maybe
I'm sure that someone more knowledgable in the technical/mathematical aspects , will be able to explain why.

believe me i'd like for this unit to work for this, and get on with other things

It is only because of it's reputation I haven't already skipped trying to understand and gone with a Palmer PDI 03.
It should work shouldn't it ?

Quote:
Why are you sure that YOUR unit works as a conventional DI?
As requested i testet the DI in a conventional way with a jazz bass
Bass -> DT85 -> RME Fireface
It does clip a little on strong notes. Nothing chocking though.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...20jazzbass.mp3


It is interesting to note that some here say it takes alot to distort a DT85
This might indicate :
A) Older units work better than newer.
Components change with time and there could be a difference in terms of clean headroom.
B) This one unit is faulty and all others sound differently
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Some more testing :

Comparing my two cleanest amps and trying to determine wether the distortion might come from a signal coming into the preamp circuit of the amp , too hot.

I use a speaker sim after to make the test more confordable to your ears.
Offcourse the distortion is more pronounced without, but that's not the point here.

First I put the amp around 9 o'clock with the neck humbugger, guitarv olume at full

I then split to singlecoil for at lower output and turn down the GT a little till the distortion is almost gone

Then keeping the GT set this way, I turn the amp up to around noon where the same type distortion sets in again.

It is that same reappearing rattling sound that I think is the type 85 clipping
What do you say ?

Bassman EL43
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...%20bassman.mp3

Alessandro 6L6
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...ndro%206L6.mp3

Playing through the speaker cabinet I don't hear this distortion
And both amps though smoothening out don't have the same distortion through the cab

Please tell me what you make of this ?
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhollund View Post
As requested i testet the DI in a conventional way with a jazz bass
Bass -> DT85 -> RME Fireface
It does clip a little on strong notes. Nothing chocking though.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1243874/MP3...20jazzbass.mp3

A bass track shouldn't distort like that.

Are you sure you are using phantom correctly? Try taking out the battery, and just using phantom. Or, try just using a new battery, and no phantom.

Also, how do you have the Fireface set? It should be set to mic, and there should be some sort of input level/trim in the DAW or on the unit, right? Make sure that the Fireface and DAW aren't clipping.

Don't move on until you can get a clean track going direct! There are just too many variables, and you are blaming the Type 85, when there are probably other factors.

BTW: I don't have to be a scientist to tell you that the output of a stompbox is nothing like the speaker out on an amp.
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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another variable that has not been eliminated as far as I can see is the load box. A pass should be run with the real speaker, just to see.

I used to drive my ex (a computer expert) crazy when I suggested eliminating variables that, in her professional opinion: "could not possibly be IT"

sometimes that would be IT, and that would really make her mad!
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Well I'll try to test it but the Phantom power reads 48.6 V which is quite correct
and the battery reads 9.3 V
Same result battery or phantom

Nothing is clipping with the Fireface 800 , first thing i make sure.
Actually I recorded the bass at a fairly low volume



Quote:
There are just too many variables, and you are blaming the Type 85, when there are probably other factors.
I'm running out of variables
So I'm glad to hear more

The Load box doesn't give a feed back but I'll still check it tomorrow

No load box was used when recording the bass DI ofcourse

But when listening to the two amp comparative clips I posted, wouldn't you say that the rattle/ distortion should not be there ?

I might order a PDI 03 ,
It can serve same purpose and has 4 line outs without filtering
Not balanced outs I think though, unless those jack are TRS
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28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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Well that bass track had a huge clip in the middle of it, that sounded like digital clipping to me. What makes you think that the distortion is coming from the Countryman?

Sent from my Droid
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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I'll test again tomorrow to make sure
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Ok , now I've ordered a Palmer pdi 03
When it arrives i'll test it up against the Countryman 85

Then hopefully we will know more about what's going on

Thanks so far
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#28
25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
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Ok my friends
I'm back , with conclusions

Which is that the distortion/fuzziness is NOT coming from the Countryman 85
I had the same result with the Palmer

What I've experienced is probably the distortion that a real speaker will mask differently.
However I decided not to buy the Suhr because I kindof like the warmth of the Countryman (did'nt like the PDI-03 at all)

It is less expensive than the Suhr and does hi z DI too (135$ against 180$)
I have hence no experience/opinion on the suhr iso box, which might be more transparent (beeing passive)

but I think I'll be able to do what I want with this setup
I hope this also reassures that I was never trying to bash any product , My interest here is purely musical.
Thanks All

See you later
#29
25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnypete View Post
Well that bass track had a huge clip in the middle of it, that sounded like digital clipping to me. What makes you think that the distortion is coming from the Countryman?
This^^ Sounds like the signal is just too hot at some point and you are clipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vhollund View Post
What I've experienced is probably the distortion that a real speaker will mask differently.
Huh? No. See above.
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vhollund
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26th February 2013
Old 26th February 2013
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That that one minute bass clip out of many many tests was clipping 1 time in the middle from coming in too hot, Yes , but not the rest of 14 days of testing. So don't conclude much from that,

I was not really interested either in testing the normal DI capabilities with a hi z signal, wich was not the purpose of me buying the t85.

The conclusion is certain and it is that a speaker "absorb" more distortion than a SIM
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