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Countryman Type 85 as an effect.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Hertz, Aug 9, 2016.


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  1. Hertz

    Hertz

    May 17, 2014
    Aurora, Colorado
    I purchased a used Countryman Type 85 because I don't have a DI and I wondered how it would sound. Using phantom power into my Mackie 1202VLZ it sounds good, clearer and fuller with a defined low end. I then plugged it into the input of my power amp. The sound is similar. I then used a balance unbalanced cable into the front end of my GK 400rb and found that to sound great, fuller, tighter and maybe similar to a 12AU7. I have been playing with the 10db cut on the amp and the gain knob to get some interesting tones.

    Does any one here use the Type 85 like this? Signal chain, Fender Jazz bass ( Japanese ), Countryman Type 85, GK 400rb, bag end d12 or Schroeder 15L.

    There is something about the Type 85 that I cannot put my finger on. Its seems to be missing something in the high end or perhaps there is an added mid frequency. Then again maybe i am using something for the first time that is truly flat and amplifying the actual tone of my bass. I typically use the GK or an Alembic F1x. Perhaps they have specific voicing that I am used to.

    What has been your experience with this DI?
     
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I've always liked the sound of the Countryman, but never really thought about it as an effect. In my experience using it with guitars, keys and bass I've never found it lacking. It does tend to provide a touch of warmth, but just enough to make me smile, not enough to make me think of it as an effect.

    Given a choice of the working musician's DIs, the Radial JDI and Countryman are my first choices...and IME are top tier for quality, reliability and value for the dollar.
     
    Hertz likes this.
  3. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    does anyone mod them?
     
    Hertz likes this.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You hit the nail on the head there! The Type 85 is actually flat, and the GK and Alembic have strong built in EQ voicing (meaning even when their EQ knobs are set "flat").
     
    Hertz likes this.
  5. I do love my Type 85, my basses always sound better when using it. My favorite simple recording signal path is Bass into Submarine into Type 85 to the board and add a touch of room reverb, sits perfectly under most tracks.

    Sound folks and engineers are always trying to keep my Type 85, luckily it is engraved.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hate to correct my old friend Bongo because he's very knowledgeable, but according to this plot of the Type 85 as done by Radial in this comparison paper they did, the Type 85 is flat up to 10k, at which point it starts rolling off highs.

    http://www.radialeng.com/pdfs/Radial-BlueReport-on-DIs.pdf
     
  7. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Those measurements that Radial made for freq response are different from the specs that Countryman published for their type 85. Type 85 specs are 20-20KHz +/- 1dB.

    Radial is using language like "disappointing" and "does not fare well" to describe their competitors measurements. I don't think you will see that type of language in an unbiased comparison.

    -Frank
     
    bassbrad likes this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well yeah, obviously it was a hit piece on their competitors, but it doesn't look a whole lot different than the chart in this comparison:

    PAR Session Trial Trusty DI Boxes featuring BSS Countryman Radial Samson and Switchcraft
     
  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    I saw that report after I read some of the Radial Blue report. But, if you look at the green plot for the Type-85, it is really flat from 20Hz to approx 17KHz and then it rolls off to approx -0.5dB at 20KHz. That is a 1.5dB difference from the Radial plot of -2dB at 20KHz.

    benchTest2_0510.

    So to use Radials language, the Type-85 is "significantly" better than the "severe" and "disappointing" freq results that they show in the BlueReport of a -2dB roll off at 20KHz. ;)

    IMO, the above measurements show the Type-85 as having a flat response from 20Hz to 20KHz -0.5dB.

    -Frank
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I see what happened...I misinterpreted the data on this graph. For some reason, I thought the whole graph only went up to 20k, but I guess it shows up to 40k, huh? Well thanks for the clarification, Frank. For all intents and purposes, I'd call that flat response.

    Apologies, Bongo...that'll learn me to believe Radial :D
     
    boomertech likes this.
  11. Hertz

    Hertz

    May 17, 2014
    Aurora, Colorado
    If anyone wants to try the Type 85 into a bass amp front end be sure to turn the pre gain down. I really like using it this way. It's like adding active electronics without modifying your bass. I also spoke with Countryman in regards of using this DI with a passive preamp and found out the output voltage is 12-48 volts so an active pre would need to be used before the passive pre. I had a moment of curiosity regarding passive preamps. In particular the little lady "the One" passive pre. I
     
  12. James Simonson

    James Simonson

    Feb 2, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Endorsing Artist : Ernie Ball and Ampeg
    I've owned a handful of really high end DI's and I've spent a lot of time putting them through several AB testing. I get baffled, even frustrated at times because when it's all done and the final mix and mastering is handed over, the Countryman wins every time. It has this tight, clear thing happening. It has the right amount of bottom. Engineers push the bass guitar up for more bottom but that brings out the mids and highs too.

    I have the newer Type 10 version now and it's always great. It's hotter too. I like it's phase alignment best (compared to others) when combined with an amp. It has really high headroom. More than the leading brand!

    IMO, and I am guilty. Don't buy the hype. The Countryman is a great way to go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
    Hertz likes this.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No sweat Jimmy! And anyway I was speaking in a "for all intents and purposes" sense at the beginning, that is the Type 85 is flat compared to the significant baked-in EQ of the other preamps, rather than claiming it had zero measurable effect on the signal.
     
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