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Issues with Dtar Solstice

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bopeuph, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I really dig the Dtar solstice for doubling, but I do have one issue with it:

    It's great for live shows, but the second a sound guy plugs XLR cables into the balanced outputs, the bass amp will have a ground buzz issue. Ground lift works, but not completely.

    Since I don't have my own PA, it's hard to test this out. Has anyone experienced this issue, and know what needs to be done?
  2. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Is it at one venue that this occurs are all venues?
  3. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    It happens all the time.

    This weekend, for instance, the rig was an Ampeg SVT rig on Friday, and a Markbass LMT 800 with Eden 4x10 on Saturday. Same issue on both rigs. I know the PA for both venues was different, too.
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    You might try switching out the 9 volt power supply sometimes they can hum.

  5. wilsonn


    Sep 26, 2005
    New York
    I don't believe it is a 9V power supply. I believe it's an odd power supply like 16V or something. I remember having a hard time replacing mine when I misplaced it. I found it again, and have since sold that preamp, but still have that odd power supply someplace in my string drawer. I agree it could be that power supply.
  6. Indeed, it's 16v, not 9V.
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Call up Rick Turner direct; he's the T in DTAR. He's a friend of mine and a great all around guy with many lifetimes of experience and street cred as both a luthier and a musician. He'll take care of you.
  8. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Perfect! Is that Rick Turner Guitar Company?

    I called a local amp repair guy, and he said this would definitely be something for the creator of the piece.

    I see that there's no number on the website, and no direct contact for him. What's the best way to contact him (PM me if you need)?

    Yeah, I knew this wall wart might have been the issue because when I researched it, I knew it was some strange voltage.

    Thanks for the help, guys!
  9. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I don't know how I missed the phone number! I decided to just go ahead and email since the shop is closed right now, anyway. Thanks for the help!
  10. You probably need an audio isolation transformer between the Solstice and the PA. Many devices on the market today have electronically balanced XLR output that do not use transformers. You need a quality audio transformer to have true isolation and eliminate buzzes. Another option is to use a quality direct box that uses a transformer, if one is available. Please feel free to contact me off list if you need help picking out an isolation transformer. In another lifetime, I worked in professional audio for many years and dealt with issues like this quite a bit.
  11. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    There's two issues with this:

    1.) This shouldn't really be needed if the gear is working properly.
    2.) I'm guessing this eliminates hum between the Solstice and the PA, but the hum actually comes out of the bass amp if the DI outputs are used.
  12. The ground loop seems to be between the amp and PA, so eliminating it should probably clear the hum issue.
    Well, that's my point of view, but I may be wrong of course.
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  13. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    So, I sent the Solstice to Seymour Duncan last March. I just got a call today.

    The company went through so much testing: they sent it to be cleaned and get a tune up, but the repair shop said there was nothing really wrong with it.

    So Arwin at Seymour Duncan set up a full rig, complete with bass amp, PA, and two instruments plugged in, and it did nothing. Figures, right?

    Best guess is that the rigs that I was using ended up having some ground issues. Since the hum comes from the amp and not the PA, there's something there. Best suggestion is to try to fix any grounding issues on the amp, and if I can't, to remove the amp and run a dedicated bass monitor instead.

    Arwin also said they took into consideration that the Solstice is discontinued and there's no replacement in production, so they made sure to send it back in like new condition. I guess I'll be seeing it sometime next week...in time to get back into the gigging season coming up in a couple months.

    I'm really grateful the company did so much work trying to get my Solstice to do something! At least I know I'm getting it back in perfect shape.
  14. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Nice to hear a good story, but I hope you can figure out a way it can work in your rig. Arwin is the man!
  15. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I'm guessing it has something to do with the power delivery...maybe a decent power conditioner would be a good investment.
  16. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    I've been using a Dtar Solstice heavily for years without ever experiencing this problem, glad you got it sorted. Mine is starting to show its age now - the mute switch doesn't always work and the master volume is getting a bit crackly - but I've been using it really regularly for about 10 years so its fair enough!
  17. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Some contact cleaner may clear those problems up!