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Sonic Farm Je-DI Pentode Tube direct box....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassflute, Jun 25, 2012.


  1. Bassflute

    Bassflute

    Jun 24, 2006
    Vancouver
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    A reposting of my user comments on the Sonic Farm website:

    " I just took delivery of the Je-DI and am completely enthralled with it. I own a smattering of high end tube gear by some other famous boutique companies, and these new products by Sonic Farm are absolutely world class, right up there with the finest stuff currently being made. As an electric bassist for over 42 years, I've owned dozens of amps of all descriptions, tube gear, rack mount, solid state, everything, and have played through hundreds of others. I have recorded in many major and a lot of minor studios in Vancouver, direct-in through boards and channel strips from little Mackies and the like to vintage Neves, SSL's, and API's. Over the years, I've auditioned dozens of preamps and channel strips for my own boutique bass rig, bass preamps from bass companies like Aguilar, Alembic, Trace-Elliot, Eden, Ampeg, and SWR, to high end recording strips from API, Millennia, Rupert Neve, Universal Audio, Summit Audio, and many others. I've even auditioned a slate of high and medium priced DI's from Millennia, A Designs (Reddi), Summit Audio, Ampeg, and others.

    The Je-DI has unique sounds and features that distinguish it from all the rest - the preset EQ switches give you a variety of customizable sounds, the triode/pentode mode switch goes from a nice warm tube sound to a very hot and saturated one, still very hi-fi, without a hint of distortion (it just sounds so HOT in Pentode mode), or you can dial up distortion from mild to crazy with it. The headroom on this unit is unsurpassed, as good or better than the finest preamps on earth. My six-string Michael Tobias Design basses, with their on-board 18 volt preamp, can tax and exceed the outer limits of pretty much ANY system out there. The Je-DI handles the HUGE dynamics and transients of these hand-made basses in stride, and the pentode tube that Sonic Farm uses yields a distinctive top end and red-hot tubey deliciousness that NO other preamp or DI can produce.

    There are LOTS of great preamps and DI's out there, but none of them sound as rich and unique as this one from Sonic Farm. I'll be posting some sound clips up here as soon as I get something worthwhile, and hope to help these guys spread the word about the audio magic that they are creating. I'll also be using it at all my festival gigs this summer, so if you hear me at one, you'll be hearing the Je-DI as well.

    Thanks so much, Boris and Zoran! This thing sounds amazing!

    More to come...

    Sincerely,
    Cameron Hood"

    ...and I A/B'd it directly with the A Designs REDDI and my Summit Audio 2B!-221 preamp, and the differences were mostly in the stunning top end that the Je-DI has, and that hot, HOT pentode mode. On triode, they all sound pretty close, the REDDI being a little thicker in the mids, with a softer top end, the Summit being sweet and warm and slightly vintage, and the Je-DI being more customizable because of the EQ switching, as well as having BETTER (yes, I said BETTER) headroom than either of them. Boris asked me to pat with the palm of my hand on all 6 strings simultaneously, a test which will send pretty much ANYTHING into clipping, and the Je-DI wad the only thing did NOT clip.

    And once you switch that pentode switch, this thing sounds SO hot - it sounds like it SHOULD be distorting, but it's not, it just has this over the top tubbiness that nothing else has. Smooth, sweet, deep, tons of headroom, and a profound crispy top end that NOTHING else has, this thing's a winner in my book. So much so that I bought one (I don't usually like DI's, prefer to mike the cabs, but the sound men around here FLIP if you won't go DI; I've actually had some refuse to put me through the board!).

    Anyway, the Sonic Farm Je-DI is right up there with the best, but has some unique features that no on else has. If you're looking for a unique DI sound, this it IT!

    http://sonicfarm.com/

    And again, sound clips soon, and I'll try to borrow my buddy's REDDI and another former student has a Summit Audio TD 100 I'll try to get my hands on to compare.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

    Cheers,
    Cameron
     
  2. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    Hmm... I've been thinking of getting a REDDI. Maybe I should consider the Sonic Farm. Tell me more. Any sound clips?
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Looks like they changed the name of it to the 2DI4. I saw no big iron output transformer in the gutshot so I'm sticking with the REDDI, but looks like a good one.
     
    svtb15 likes this.
  4. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Thats a nice review... I love trying new products especially all the great high end pro audio stuff...
    I was on a session yesterday . Had an Eclair Engineering - Evil Twin there and my REDDI... Engineer loved the hugeness and immediacy of the REDDI.. The Evil Twin is very syrupy and NEVE like.... The REDDI just always wins hands down with a P bass for some reason.. You cant beat what all that Iron in the xformer does..

    But we did two more songs later in the day and the asst engineer said to try the Evil Twin with the Jazz Bass and the Music man.. The ET worked out GREAT!!
    Its like being lucky enough to bringa Les Paul and a Strat to a gig and picking a different tool to do the job. Very blessed to be able to try that


    I do like the 2D14 format though.... And being able to gain it up if you want....
     
    PocketGroove82 likes this.
  5. You guys shouldn't be listening with your eyes... ;)

    :bag:
     
  6. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    :eek::D
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wasn't ;)
     
  8. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    You REDDI guys would prefer to plug into a cheeseburger if it had wires coming out of it connected to an iron transformer. :D
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd actually prefer to plug an iron transformer cheeseburger into me, but I'm working my way toward being vegan so my heart doesn't explode and I don't get as poisoned by GMO's and steroids.

    ;)

    Hey, what can I tell you? Real iron OT's separate the tubey from the hybrid-y. Not to say that other DI's can't sound good...and this one probably sounds good too, but I'm all about real tube sound.
     
    Bassflute likes this.
  10. I was being facetious (and still am) as I'm sure you know though your last statement here indicates that you've relegated the Sonic Farm thing to the realm of non-tubey without ever hearing it. :D

    I used to believe this too, but after a few revealing discoveries and experiences in tube amp design I can same with some certainty that a big EI type OT doesn't guarantee tubey-ness and that the lack of one doesn't guarantee the opposite. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat and in my experience, the implementation of the tube gain stage(s) is by far the most important factor in determining an amp's tubey-ness or lack thereof. :)

    FWIW, the absolute best output transformers I've ever encountered were toroids designed by a guy named Menno van der Veen and manufactured by Plitron and some of the tubey-est amps I've encountered are OTL types.
     
  11. I'd like to give some of these tube DIs a listen. No one has any around here. Then again, I could just design and build my own (if there were about 6 more hours in each day). :D
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wish I could say the same. Transformers ain't light, and even tube snobs like me can appreciate an easy load in and out.

    However, you are right about one thing...I have not heard the Sonic Farm DI. I'm sure it's very good and will find an audience. But judging from my experiences with hybrid amps and preamps with tubes but no big iron OT, well what can I tell you?
     
  13. I do own an old SVT and nothing else compares so I'm definitely in the tube snob camp with you. :)

    I'm really just taking the piss, and in terms of MI gear there are lots of products that would indeed leave one with the impression you have. All I'm saying is that it's not always or necessarily the case. :p
     
  14. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Sonic Farm is a nice looking box..
    I was on a session the other day and brought the Evil Twin along with me. I usually run into one of the mic pre's but with Eclair the Evil Twin i could go straight to tape since it is a preamp too. Suuuuupper thick and fat sounding DI.. almost NEVE like....but without the darkness and some muddiness that one often equates with a NEVE pre..
    I have heard people saying incorrect info that Eclair is not making them anymore. I think that is simply because they don't want anyone else to have them.... I spoke with Bruce a few weeks ago and they are making them to this day.... Something that folks might want to look at if you are DI hunting besides it being on a huge number of the records that we have copped bass riffs from. Lots of Bruce Fairbain tracks for one
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The dude who makes the Evil Twin sure likes to keep a low profile. A one page website that has an email link with no other information. Not even an ordering page.
     
  16. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    That is true...
     
  17. Bassflute

    Bassflute

    Jun 24, 2006
    Vancouver
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    Maybe no 'big iron', but this thing has MASSIVE and deadly voltage inside, to the point where they have sealed it. And I A/B'd it directly with the Reddi...I liked the Reddi when I first heard it, but upon ABing it with this Sonic Farm piece, it sounded old and kind of 'tired'...this thing sounded so hot it was ready to explode...and it has many sounds, from hi-fi bright and snappy to saturated distortion, where the Reddi has one...

    I like things that sound good, tubes or not...ever plugged into an API console or preamp? You'd SWEAR the thing was full of tubes...nary a one in sight. Ever plug into a Demeter preamp? Harsh, clinical, NASTY, you'd swear it was all solid state...nope.

    This thing is SERIOUSLY good...and they had to change the name because a local audio company, who shall remain nameless, threatened them with lawsuits over their own kind of similarly named thing, which I found totally dubious and have subsequently lost all respect for that company. Won't buy anything of theirs, EVER, or use their stuff. Totally petty and just kind of school-kid BS jealously. But Sonic Farm is such a small company (two guys making stuff one off by hand) they had to bow to the pressure, as this other company is BIG, relatively speaking. If you heard the name of the other device, you would groan as well.

    Anyway, I LIKE the Reddi, I LOVE the Je-DI!

    Cheers,
    Cameron
     
  18. I'm actually 100% in agreement with you here. Like I was saying to Jimmy, good sounding gear is all about the design as a whole, not necessarily about the type of devices used.

    I can guess who the other guys are. Not too many companies like that on the lower mainland. :D

    I hope the Sonic Farm guys persevere in their venture, they definitely have some interesting products and I like to see the "little guys" do well in general.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, why would Radial do something like that? That's pretty pathetic. JDI and Je-DI are differently named enough to where there's no copyright infringement. If anything, Lucasfilms has the lawsuit, not Radial.

    Um...oopsie ;)
     
  20. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    Is there any place to download high quality uncompressed sound files of the A-Designs REDDI and the Sonic Farm 2di4 (Je-DI)? I guess I would listen to the Radial Firefly tube DI as well but am certainly biased against them now after hearing about their petty tactics to stomp on a small local company. Lets add clips of a B15 as well.

    Honestly I am still leaning toward the REDDI with out hearing either of them. The REDDI is suppose to be a very close match to an old Ampeg B15 which, next to going direct, is one of the most popular ways of recording bass tracks. A B15 is not necessarily a great amp. It doesn't have enough power for even a small live gig and no good for lead bass or slap but it does have a rich tone and warmth, warmth, warmth. It really has that perfect tone to make a bass sit "just right" in the mix. That's what I'm searching for.

    Does a REDDI really sound like a 60s Ampeg B15 fliptop? Does the 2di4?

    All these DI boxes are expensive (700 plus) but if can get that perfect B15 sound with a portable device going into the board then it's worth it to me.

    That said, I still want to be fair to the Sonic Farm 2di4. If it can get the same tone as the REDDI plus even more then I'll certainly go for it instead. Can high voltage get the same tone as heavy iron? Those flip-tops have a lot of iron sitting on top!

    Anyway, wish there was a way of getting some sound clips to compare them.
     

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