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Sonic Nuance Electronics Announces Launch of the TDI Mk2

Discussion in 'News & PR' started by TalkBass, May 12, 2016.


  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    Sonic Nuance Electronics is pleased to introduce the patent pending TDI (short for "Tuner+DI") - the world's first direct box with a 48V, phantom-powered integrated chromatic instrument tuner that functions even with the ground lifted utilizing a true dc disconnect between pin1 of the XLR and ground.

    According to designer and owner Ted Burmas: "For the longest time I wanted to have a DI box that gave me the ability to mute the signal going to the mixing console. This is useful for changing instruments mid set, unplugging an active instrument to save its battery power or to prevent feedback from sympathetic vibrations of an acoustic instrument's top. As a performer I like to keep my hands free so making the mute foot controllable was important. Also, having indicator LED's showing mute status powered from P48V was very helpful. This became the first product, the MDI ("mutable DI")."

    Both the MDI & TDI provide the ability to passively mute the XLR and 1/4" output via a heavy duty latching foot switch.

    Again from Ted Burmas: "After I worked out the issues with powering LED indicator lights via 48V phantom while still able to mute the channel without huge pops in the signal chain, I decided to see how far I could take the concept. For most bassists and guitarists, at a minimum they need to get a signal to the mixing console and be in tune. These performers often utilize a battery (or "wall wart") powered instrument tuner connected to a patch cord connected to a direct box. I wanted to combine all of those functions in one unit without the headache of battery power, the stage clutter of wall warts, the hassle of getting a (working) patch cord or the signal degradation of some active mute circuits."

    Ted Burmas continues: "Being at a portable church doing multiple set ups and tear downs per week with volunteers, it became abundantly clear that this product had to be durable as well as simple to use. Being a stickler for sound quality and hating ground loops, the product had to sound as good as my favorite DI boxes and be ground liftable. What followed was over two years of beta testing (by myself, other musicians and soundmen), tweaking, coding, redesigning and settling in on the final design of the TDI."

    TDI Main Features:

    • Passive Jensen JT-DBE transformer based direct box with phantom powered chromatic instrument tuner. Fully operational even with a true (not pseudo) lift between XLR's pin1 and ground.

    • 100% analog signal path - Signal path physically disconnected from the tuner during play mode (true bypass).

    • Foot controllable ability to mute channel and unplug at the instrument to save power or switch instruments without loud "POP" in audio channel.

    • Bright LED display

    • Tuning accuracy +/-1cent minimum

    • XLR and 1/4 inch outputs are muted during tuning operation.

    • Modular military-style construction for field serviceability. Chassis mounting for all I/O. All components selected for ruggedness and sound quality. Durable Lexan graphic overlay protects display. Switches bumper guarded. All metal powder coated, CNC drilled enclosure.

    • Hand assembled, designed and tested in the USA with the highest quality components and construction techniques.

    • Dimensions approximately 4.5"x3.5"x1.5"
    Review by Church Tech Arts' Mike Sessler: "The manufacturer says they spent a year and a half on the design, working through many components and details to make this the best it can be. It does indeed feel well made. It's in a steel case, with heavy rubber feet and bumpers protecting the switches. All the jacks are panel not PCB mounted, which means they will last far longer. I opened it up, and the inside components are very clean and well thought out. This is a quality product."

    MSRP $350, available directly from sonicnuance.com for an introductory price of $330.

    For more information, please see TDI - Tuner + DI

    TDI-MK2-GlamourShotBlackBig.jpg
     
    ExaltBass and sonicnuance like this.
  2. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Mk2 has the same signal path as Mk1 but has a more accurate and stable tuning section. I'm happy to answer any questions that may come up.
     
    steelbed45 likes this.
  3. SeanOnBass

    SeanOnBass

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Bartolini, Genzler Amplification, GHS, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance
    I've been using this new model for a while now, and I have to say - it's pretty impressive. Which feels funny to say, because it's a very functionally basic piece of gear, but it sounds amazing and can be used passively, and when powered via phantom power it has the most accurate tuner I've ever used for extended range bass. Period.
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  4. Very cool product. Does the transformer limit very low frequencies at all? How does the tuner handle a 5-string bass's low B?
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  5. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    wighat,
    Thanks for the note and great questions. The transformer is -0.25dB at 20Hz (which is approximately E0 (20.6Hz). the theoretical lower limit of human hearing, low B is approximately 30.9Hz) so it effectively does not limit the low frequencies. The datasheet for the transformer is here https://sonicnuance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/dbepc.pdf In addition, the distortion is very low at 20Hz at max signal input where most audio transformers struggle.

    The tuner is +/-1cent down to E0 and I went to a lot of trouble making sure the tuning algorithm could handle a low F# string on extended range basses, so yes it tracks a low B very well in my humble opinion. You can see a video demo of it on the homepage Sonic Nuance Electronics - Simply Sound or here on youtube Sonic Nuance Electronics - TDI tuner function - YouTube

    After reviewing the webpage for the TDI I see that this information is not clear leading to your questions. I've added it to the product pages, FAQ as well as the manuals. I really appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I'm so familiar with the products sometimes I don't see these things :)

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

  6. Thank you for the clear, detailed and well-considered response. Great job.
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  7. One more question: is there way to power this thing other than phantom?
     
  8. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Sorry for the delay, I didn't notice your new question (I was a casualty of the "you may have more post replies").

    Currently I do not have another way to power the unit. In the future I may add a circuit to do this if there is enough demand.

    Thanks for the questions
     
  9. SeanOnBass

    SeanOnBass

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Bartolini, Genzler Amplification, GHS, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance
    I think this would be a welcome addition, personally :) I realized recently when looking to demonstrate the exceptional tuning algorithm in a location without a person running sound (and away from my audio interface), I didn't have a way of powering. Of course, to reiterate and clarify, the actual DI function is passive and does NOT require power!
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  10. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Great points Spfairchild. Thanks for the feedback!
     
    Spfairchild likes this.
  11. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Added some circuitry to a prototype allowing for dc powering. May add this as an option but I'm open to suggestions TDIMk2.JPG
     
    Spfairchild likes this.
  12. SeanOnBass

    SeanOnBass

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Bartolini, Genzler Amplification, GHS, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance
    Love it.
     
  13. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    And the $500 question is....... how much are these landed in Australia? I can't find anyone in Oz that carries them. Considering on your website the TDI is $130 more than the MDI it would want to be a pretty decent tuner.....and DI.

    Would I be correct in assuming they work just as well for acoustic guitars into PA?
     
  14. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    BAG,
    Thanks for taking the time to post your questions. Currently I only sell direct to customers (I like to have a connection to my customers and not treat them like "accounts") and only in the USA (has more to do with cost of shipping, regulations, tariffs, etc). I appreciate you checking if people are carrying my products.

    Regarding the $130 difference between the MDI and TDI, I would point out that part of the value of running off of 48V via the XLR is that you no longer need to buy batteries nor connect to a power supply for your tuner. On top of that you don't have to worry about patch cables between a tuner and a DI or bringing multiple items, etc.

    I can assure you both DIs are sonically pristine as this was the number one design criteria. This DI is not meant to color what goes into it and is determined almost entirely on the Jensen JTDB transformer. This is the same transformer used in the highly regarded (by me as well) Radial JDI.

    Yes these work excellently for acoustic guitars. We use them all the time at my church for both acoustic guitar and bass. I've had electric guitarists use and love them in their effect loops as well.

    Thanks again for your questions and sorry for not being available in Australia. Maybe someday that will happen.

    sonicnuance
     
  15. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the prompt reply and detailed answers. Please don't think i was being critical about the price difference as i know a semi decent tuner pedal is as expensive without taking into account the cost of batteries or power supply.

    It's a pity you don't ship to Australia. When i told my daughter's about a quality DI that could be gotten for their guitars which has a mute switch built in they both asked "really.... when can we get one? "
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
    sonicnuance likes this.
  16. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    I wanted to let everyone know that the MK2 now comes standard with 9V dc powering capability and has gotten a facelift with the helpful suggestions of @wighat and others. You can see it on the website: TDI - Tuner + DI I've included a pic
    [​IMG]
     
  17. SeanOnBass

    SeanOnBass

    Oct 23, 2005
    Seattle
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, Bartolini, Genzler Amplification, GHS, Tsunami Cables, Sonic Nuance
    This is a huge improvement and will really open up the value to those without a ready source of phantom power - even though the DI function itself can still be used without power! Pedalboard ready.
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  18. My review:

    currentTDI.jpg

    Sonic Nuance TDI Mk2

    $330 + $6.45 shipping

    The Sonic Nuance TDI Mk2 is a tuner and direct input device in one unit. This has essential appeal because it takes the place of two must-have utility items on my pedal board.

    Basics:

    The TDI arrived quickly and was packed well. Everything about this item is quality. The enclosure is stout metal. All inputs, outputs, and the foot switch are high-grade and chassis-mounted (rather than the more fragile PCB-mount). The labeling is all business and suggests studio-level gear. In fact, there is a Jensen JT-DB transformer under the hood doing the impedance-matching magic. There are little touches too like gold-plated XLR pins and substantial rubber feet. There is no battery compartment. The TDI runs on phantom power whenever the DI is being used. When you’re not using the DI function (or not supplying phantom power through it) the TDI also takes standard center-negative 9-24 VDC pedal power.

    The DI:

    I took the TDI to a gig for a test-drive. I put it on my pedal board at the beginning of the chain. At sound check I immediately noticed the improvement over my old cheapo, passive direct box. The TDI had incredible dynamic range. The sound was lively, full and clear. The tone possessed more bass, more treble- more everything. My bass guitar sounded like a bass guitar through the mains, not the sterile, lifeless, generic sound I had always loathed before. There was a delightful and subtle overdriven sound through the TDI. I don't know if this was from my passive bass's hot pick-ups overloading the TDI's transformer or if I was simply hearing my instrument’s true tone for the first time. Either way, it was delightful. My sound guy LOVED it.

    The tuner:

    The average pedal tuner does not play nicely with the low B string on a five-string bass. The TDI doesn’t have any trouble at all. Response on the B string was just as swift and accurate as on all the other strings. This tuner is both more quick to respond and more accurate than the industry-standard pedal tuner I have been using. The TDI has an LED display for the note and single LED's that light for flat and sharp notes. Two LED's on either side of a center target LED indicate pitch; flat to the left, sharp to the right. As you approach the target pitch, only the center LED lights-up. When you’re dead-on, the two LED's on either side flash quickly in affirmation. I found this feature helpful and quite satisfying.

    Pro’s:

    The Sonic Nuance TDI Mk2 does tuning and DI better than anything I have ever owned or been provided and it’s super well-built.

    Con’s:

    Not overpriced for the quality and convenience, but this piece of gear comes with a substantial price tag. The TDI is slightly larger than a pedal tuner (but no larger than a traditional DI). If you’re into saving the cardboard box your pedals come in, you’re out of luck – the TDI does not come in a box.

    -Christopher Todd Jordan, July 2016
     
    sonicnuance and BAG like this.
  19. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the write-up.....

    I WANT ONE IN AUSTRALIA!!! :rage::mad: :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  20. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    wighat, thank you for the excellent review!

    I'm working on improving the packaging at the moment (the box you noted as missing).
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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