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Countryman Type 85 DI Direct Box

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bgavin, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. I've been researching this box, and it seems to be the ideal for a no-frills DI box. A bonus is the Countryman is sturdy enough to use as a jack block when you change a tire.


    I noticed this DI has the very high 10 Megohm input impedance that is critical to keeping passive pickups from loading down and losing tone.

    Does anybody have a good reason to get something other than the Countryman for a no-frills DI?

    The best new price I've seen on this box is $149. Anybody know a better price?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Sure. Avalon U5. Three reasons. Tone, tone and tone.
  3. You missed the part about "no-frills". I know the Avalon is the undisputed king of the DIs...

    Expensive, Expensive and Expensive.
  4. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yup. My bass, straight into the board sounds nice. If that doesn't work, my Ampeg preamp will. Plus, I like the sound of a mic, in addition, but I digress there.

    I have a Whirlwind DI in my studio, that has all the same i/o options and switches as the Countryman, but I only paid $65 for the thing.

    But if it works for you, it is the correct answer.

    Oh, and you've got me beat on the jack block situation. I could use one of those.
  5. I'm not interested in DI to a PA system, but into my Rane mixer for recording purposes. My passive, high impedance bass sounds like crap when plugged into a low impedance, balanced input.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    in my experience, the countryman di is a bit too chirpy and shrill sounding for active bass - i own one and i don't like the way it sounds at all for my basses. i have no experience with the unit with a passive bass.
  7. That's good to know, as I have a J-Retro, passive P, and active G&L on order for Christmas time.

    What about the Aguilar DB900 box?

    [ edit ]

    The current DB900 picture show an XLR on the front.
  8. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    The Aggie box that I've used does not have an XLR DI, it is only 1/4" in/out. I agree w/ JT, I also don't think the Countryman does for the active bass what it does for the passive. I used it on two recordings with my passive Jazz; great clean tone. I have no active basses, but have heard the same thing JT mentioned; YMMV. Of course, it was the studio standard back before the active bass became such a force, and they may not have changed anything. SansAmp is also a good one, colors the tone (plus miked-amp simulation) more than the Countryman, but if that's what you're after, it nails the SVT sound without the month in traction you get from hauling it around!
  9. I'll echo some of the other responses that the Type-85 doesn't seem to work so well on active basses, it's not bad mind you..... but not They work exceptionally well on passive instruments and will take speaker level input. They are also pretty much indestructible. The other DIs to look at in that price range are the Radial Engineering JDI (passive) and JDV(active). The JDI sounds amazing with active basses! Both are very well made and sound very good. I've also had good results with SCV as well. I don't remember the model though...
  10. One of my buds is selling an Aguilar DB900 for $275... dunno if that is a good price or not, but it is certainly a chunk of dough.

    My needs are only amateur level multi-track recording. Yes, I would like them to sound good, but $275 is a lot of cash. I don't need a preamp or anything like the Avalon.
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have a raven labs mixer/di also and i think it sounds better than the countryman as a di. it's also cheaper, or should be, than the aguilar.
  12. JT,

    Which Raven product?
  13. Bruce: I have a Sansamp bass DI, it works great and I use it a bit for FOH signals. It is a little more than the countryman. There was a DI shootout in BP awhile ago, maybe you should try to find it on their site.

    I also have a Art Tube EQ (4 channel parametric with two sweepable mid eq's) that I got for 20 bucks. It is great too. I need to try to use the second output as a DI, but mostly I use the thing at home into my Tascam 788.


    Bruce (one of the other Bruce's from the pit)
  14. I'm also looking at the Demeter VTDB-2B which is rack mount, and requires winning the lottery for fundage... also looking at the Raven APD-1.

    I don't have any interest in the amp-emulator boxes at all, but thanks for the heads-up.

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