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Repair Countryman Input?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by matt11, Dec 4, 2016.


  1. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Montreal
    Hi folks, the 1/4 input on my venerable Countryman type 85 has gone scratchy and intermittent on me. Is this something easily fixed? Can the input be replaced? If not, any suggestions for a good mid-priced DI box for BOTH active and passive basses?
     
  2. It should be a Very straight forward repair.
     
    brbadg and matt11 like this.
  3. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Minnesota
    If you have repair knowledge.
     
    matt11 likes this.
  4. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    The jack is scratchy? if indeed it is the jack then it should be quite easy. open her up and take photos.
     
    matt11 likes this.
  5. I thought that was implied.
     
  6. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Anything from a shot of DeOxit to re-soldering the wires connected to the 1/4".
     
    matt11 likes this.
  7. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Minnesota
    I've assumed if the OP was here asking how to or if it could be repaired he doesn't have the repair knowledge. If he did why would he be here asking when he would have just repaired it.
     
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  8. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Montreal
    Hi guys, thanks for your replies. I'm not super handy, but I am glad to hear from several of you that for someone who is, it should be an easy fix. I'll take it down to one of the local amp repair guys. Just a really nice, clean, neutral di the Countryman.
     
    eadg98005 likes this.
  9. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Great DI box. Worth the repair. Like the guys have said, most likely a pretty simple - clean, fix a solder joint, or replace the input jack. No big deal either way.

    Love my countryman DI.
     
    Bob_Ross, matt11 and Planespotter like this.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    This is a product that I would recommend seeking out a pro audio service shop for. There are a few unique things to check on this DI, including possible damage to the connections within the battery compartment. An old battery can cause some unexpected problems. If it turns out the jack is intermittent, IIRC it uses a real Switchcraft open frame TRS jack and should be replaced by exactly the same jack. There is phantom power or switched battery power and going from memory the two jack may be different.

    The most common cause of the noise is heavy oxidation on the jack's contact surface BUT there can be problems caused by the switching also.

    Do not change the jack configuration or pin-out as it's somewhat unique. The tech should take careful notes of wire color codes before starting work.

    There can also be noise unrelated to the jack caused by the FET impedance translator inside the molded bock. If this is the problem, call Countryman (even though Carl passed the company is still being run by his son IIRC) and see what they say. In this instance, it may be less expensive (or more cost effective) to replace. Carl was a clever dude, that was one of his home run products. He also designed some great mic products.
     
    Geri O, SirMjac28, alembicguy and 2 others like this.
  11. Planespotter

    Planespotter

    Oct 11, 2015
    Seattle
    Betcha a buck cleaning the jack fixes it. Those things are pretty much indestructible.
     
    matt11 likes this.
  12. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Montreal
    Thanks for the detailed info, agedhorse. I'll keep it in mind. Recently picked up a Shuttle 12.0 as a light weight alternative to my db750, but I find the Subway D800 is still giving me come hither looks.....

     
    agedhorse likes this.
  13. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I wouldn't say indestructible. There are several common failure issues, but overall the reliability is pretty darn good. At one time I had maybe a dozen or so, had one fail in about 10 years... a failed potted module that cost as much to replace as the DI was worth.
     
    matt11 likes this.
  14. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    It so happens there's a real nice DI built into that little beastie. With pre/post, mic/line, and grounded/lifted switches even. Just sayin'...
     
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  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd try cleaning the jack first. I use a .22 caliber bore brush and Craig DeOxit for that.
     
    matt11 and BadExample like this.
  16. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    And best not to spray directly into the hole. Spray it on something first so it doesn't get all over the innards! Whatever goes in the hole should be an easy fit.
     
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  17. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    YMMV
     
    matt11 likes this.
  18. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Nope, nope, and nope.

    Cleaning is a very temporary solution.

    The plating wears off of the jack and it oxidizes over very quickly.

    We have 30-someodd Countrymans (Countrymen?) in inventory. Several years ago, I called Countryman and buying jacks. They would sell me a replacement jack for $9. But they would repair it for free if we returned it and pay the return shipping.

    That's the route we went.

    I wanted to get the jacks from MCM, Mouser, DigiKey, whatever, and for probably half the price that Countryman quoted to sell them to us. But the boss said send 'em on in, 3-4 at a time. As they say, he's the....

    All this to say, jack replacement is the best and only long-term solution.
     
    matt11 likes this.
  19. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Any time we had that happen, we sent to Countryman and they repaired it for free and paid for the return shipping. Never asked for any paperwork, never questioned it. And we have some units that are over 20 years old.
     
    matt11 and agedhorse like this.
  20. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    This is, of course, sage advice on any electronic gear.

    But just for general knowledge, the insides of a Countryman DI are encased in a block of some kind, no parts exposed, only thing that can get wet are the switching contacts on the jacks.
     
    matt11 likes this.

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