Ibanez DM 1000
The smart and compact DM 1000 measures one unit high and is 19" rack mountable as well as free standing. It has a pleasant metallic grey finished front panel containing nine control knobs which have a smooth positive action to them.
An Input jack socket with Input level control are standard front panel features. Simply pulling this control switches the signal level from Line to Mic, and input gain can then be monitored via the peak reading, horizontal LED display labelled 'Headroom', to achieve a clean, undistorted input. A cut or boost type Tone control to the right modifies the delay signal, and appears to operate on upper mid frequencies. A useful centre indent is provided when no equalisation is required.
This section has two controls which permit the selection of delay time. The first one being an 8-position rotary switch, which offers preset delay times in milliseconds ranging from 3.5mS to 450mS, each value basically double that of the previous one. The presets that Ibanez have chosen do give a good choice of delay effects that can be obtained quickly with the minimum of knob-twiddling, which is especially good when using the unit in a concert situation.
Variable delay times, however, can be obtained by turning the Delay Time control, which halves the preset delay time when turned fully anticlockwise (x0.5) and doubles it when fully clockwise (x2). Since this control is uncalibrated, it does make it difficult to set a specific time delay accurately, if need be. Thus by use of both preset and variable Delay Time controls, the Ibanez will give the user a maximum delay of 900mS, with a full frequency response up to 8kHz at ail delay settings, enabling reverberation, slapback (bathroom) echo and a myriad of repeat echo effects to be performed.
A low frequency oscillator is built in to the unit giving time modulation effects such as flanging and chorus, which are easy to obtain by referring to the sample settings indicated on the top of the case, and adjusting the Width and Speed controls. Delays greater than 100mS give crazy pitch changes which are not too useful for strictly musical applications but good fun anyway!
A Feedback control varies the amount of signal being recycled into the memory, gradually increasing the number of echo repeats when long delays are chosen, and enhancing reverberation depth on shorter delays over 30mS. With very long delays and full feedback, the delayed signal will happily repeat for many seconds without noticeable degradation of the sound quality. When not playing, oscillator sweep noise can be heard, but only when modulation Width and Feedback are advanced past their number 7 settings. A bonus facility is the phase Invert of the feedback signal, which is selected by pulling the Feedback knob. The change in sound is very subtle making things sound 'thinner', and seems best employed on very short delay settings. On the right of the front panel is a latching pushbutton labelled 'Hold' and status indicator light. If a long delay is selected, pushing the switch immediately after a phrase is played causes the sound to be 'frozen' in the memory and repeated continually — just like an old-fashioned tape loop but without the build up in noise. What is more, by adjusting the Delay Time control, the frozen sound may be changed, either up or down in pitch by a maximum of two octaves depending on the original setting of the Delay Time control, giving some exciting effects.
The DM 1000 offers separate level controls for Dry and Delay outputs, instead of the more common balance type mix control, so that an exact mix can be made between the two. Two jacks for Mix and Invert — Mix outputs, a Bypass/Effect pushbutton with LED and a power switch with LED complete the comprehensive front panel features.
On the rear panel, footswitch control is offered for Hold and Bypass/Effect functions, meaning the gigging musician can amaze his audience by switching to Hold and leaving the stage with the music repeating by itself! The duplication of front panel input and output connections on the rear and the inclusion of a third Dry only output, increase the versatility of this unit. The musician, of course, has the option of connecting the DM 1000 to further effects units, whilst still having a combined mix feed available for an amplifier or mixing desk.
The inclusion of a compressor/expander in the delay signal chain and the use of pre-and de-emphasis circuitry makes for quiet operation. The DM 1000, with its 1.75mS to 900mS delay range and 8kHz bandwidth, is a versatile device capable of handling PA and recording work and certainly worth checking out for yourselves.
The DM 1000 is distributed by Summerfields, (Contact Details), at a recommended retail price of £365 including VAT.
Echo Unit Supplement