Palmer PDI 03 JB – "Joe Bonamassa" – Meet Music Magazine
Long before digital modelling and digital reamping of audio tracks, there was a company who was already well-known for its “straight to mixing” products. This company manufactured products that made it possible to record live sound without microphones.
I’m referring to the company Palmer, who is best known for its famous speaker simulator. Virtually every studio in the 80s and 90s had one in their arsenal. They developed this technology further at the start of the millennium and introduced more digital products with integrated (programmable) speaker simulators onto the market. But the success of the famous speaker simulator quickly waned at this time.
However, some 15 years later, the analogue speaker simulator is starting to become popular again. Not everyone has been convinced by the advantages of digital products and many guitarists remain loyal to analogue technology. And this is where the new Palmer speaker simulator comes into play: Someone like Joe Bonamassa playing an advisory role in the design is certainly something that musicians notice.
The first adjustment that catches the eye is the altered format of the speaker simulator: it is no longer a rack, but rather a small “DI box” that is as practical as it is robust. The simulator can fit into any cable pocket or even be stored on the pedal board. We were looking for a solution to the problems relating to microphones and their positioning: imprecise bass frequencies, phase problems, etc. Turns out it’s as easy as connecting the pedal board output, or the amplifier output, directly to the Palmer PDI 03 JB. Several adjustments to alter the sound can be made to the DI box itself, which distinguishes itself with its particularly robust construction.
In addition, it’s possible to adjust the general equalisation (deep, normal and flat), as well as correcting the sound (bright, normal and mellow). Everyone who’s played guitar live already knows that the latter is the decisive factor: Whenever a musician doesn’t “feel” the sound leaving the speaker, they feel like something is “missing”. Thanks to the various settings on the Palmer, these factors can be largely controlled. The signal can be corrected using the muffler from 0 dB to -12 dB, or even -24 dB. However, the big news is the “JB” switch: This enables a gain output which improves the playback of guitar sounds. We can choose here between “medium” and “heavy,” or turn this feature off completely.
Palmer PDI 03 JB is primarily a high-quality “pro audio” device: It is especially useful for sound technicians, but it can also be used to better control the sound of your guitar. Moreover, speakers can also be connected to the PDI 03 JB. There are four ways to connect the device: as an input (for signals up to 200 watts!), as two outputs (one symmetrical and one asymmetrical) to transfer your mixer or sound card settings, or as a “thru” output, which retrieves the input signal and reproduces it unchanged via the connected speakers.
This output is also an extremely important component: When it is connected to the Palmer PDI 03 JB as an amplifier output, it is important to dispel its electric charge. So if you don’t connect a “dummy load”, i.e. the PDI 06 by Palmer, then you run the risk of your amplifier blowing its top (or however you wish to describe it!).
You might have already guessed: The Palmer PDI 03 JB is not a device that will be used by all guitarists. However, in the small world of “pro audio”, this device is as useful as a Swiss army knife, and is sure to quickly find its way into DI boxes: It is capable of “rescuing” concert after concert when a guitarist experiences equipment issues. In light of such, it might be a good idea to keep one of these devices in your cable pocket, especially as it only costs 199 euros (this is the recommended retail price excluding VAT)… What’s more, the PDI 03 JB is small, practical, well-made and ensures high sound quality. Sounds great, right?
Source: Meet Music Magazine 03/2015; http://www.meetmusic.com/
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