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Logic behind tube vs regular mic sound difference?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #121
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jaddie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS ➡️
I listened to the clip shortly after you posted it and my thought was - this guys has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to tube mics. I see no way to get from that test to any conclusion about tube mics and they're distortion.
I'll connect the dots.

The distortion demo was to show how a small amount of distortion is clearly audible using a pure sine wave. The opposite was stated, this was proof of the concept.

The tie-in to tube mics is the discussion about tube-specific distortion and it's audibility with music as the signal, and the supposition that music as the signal would reveal that distortion. The reality is that distortion is far more audible using a pure tone than music. The Clark paper I cited showed this experimentally under controlled tests.

The test file has nothing to do with what I may or many not know about tube mics. It was about distortion audibility.
Old 1 week ago
  #122
Gear Guru
 
In other words, the "Clark-Barr" effect.
For the select few, ear candy.

For those who heard Roseanne "sing" the US National Anthem...
"Audible Distortion" is clearly British Understatement.
Chris
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #123
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➡️
Gotta stay current.
Chris
Ironically pretty much all EEs care about is 'current'
Old 1 week ago
  #124
Gear Guru
 
Yet still meet resistance.
Chris
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #125
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeraz ➡️
judging music by an oscilloscope vs your heart
Only if the music effects your blood pressure. Otherwise it’s your brain. Your heart has nothing to do with your emotions unless it’s because a doctor just informed you that you have heart disease.

I don’t see anything wrong with the OPs question but the hostility towards trying to understand the tools of the trade is astounding.

If you have nothing to add to the conversation other than your personal experience you don’t need to attack the guy that asked the question. Besides, the hostile comments seem to prove the question is valid though to what extent is probably beyond non-engineer engineers.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #126
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➡️
Leaving the ultra polarized/tribal mindset of 2021 for a moment and getting back on topic (0:



Can a tube circuit be designed that has low nonlinear amplitude response (aka doesn't make transients sound softer) that will match a solid state circuit ?
Terminology: Amplitude Response = the magnitude of the frequency response

Transient response: the response to a change from one stable state to another.

Softening of transients relates directly to frequency response and secondarily from the resulting phase response resulting from frequency response and other factors. To get a system to not "soften transients" fundamentally means improve its frequency response, and smooth out its phase response.

So the short answer: yes.

Every circuit is a set of compromises that are driven by parts, cost, physical size, power, etc. Designs are optimized to a set of design goals dictated by marketing and product development. All active devices include internal and stray reactive elements that limit their practical bandwidth. Pick the right active device, and you can make a wide band circuit. Or perhaps you want high gain and don't care as much about bandwidth, you can optimize that too. Or low noise (which usually goes against high gain and wide bandwidth with any device). You pick what parameters you want and see what it costs to get there.

So long answer, yes but at a cost.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #127
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IanBSC's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku ➡️
My experience is that quite a few product designers choose/try to design products which would be sought after enough so they can actually make a living out of it.

This doesn't usually take into account which design is technically/artistically superior. It's more about which design points have enough hype behind them so marketing/finding the demographics will be easy. Tubes are considered sexy in various audio gear circles, thus gear with tubes inside are easier to market, especially if they're not remakes of some old classics.

In other words: Most of the time it's all about "What would sell?"
Whether or not tube mics are designed to look or sound sexy, mics like the C800g, Brauner VMI KHE, or Bock 507 are not fuzz boxes and have extremely detailed audio quality that does not sound vintage.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #128
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC ➡️
Whether or not tube mics are designed to look or sound sexy, mics like the C800g, Brauner VMI KHE, or Bock 507 are not fuzz boxes and have extremely detailed audio quality that does not sound vintage.
Nor do they sound solid-state.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #129
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroko ➡️
Only if the music effects your blood pressure. Otherwise it’s your brain. Your heart has nothing to do with your emotions unless it’s because a doctor just informed you that you have heart disease.

I don’t see anything wrong with the OPs question but the hostility towards trying to understand the tools of the trade is astounding.

If you have nothing to add to the conversation other than your personal experience you don’t need to attack the guy that asked the question. Besides, the hostile comments seem to prove the question is valid though to what extent is probably beyond non-engineer engineers.

early high quality FET mics rivaled tube mics, it was just over time that the field transistor manufacturing process produced lower quality components and the sound suffered. This is true with everything in music, from consoles to guitar fx foot pedals. Tube mic in general are voiced differently, they are not necessarily better than 'regular' mics. Consider the tube screamer and ross compressor
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #130
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
A good scientist is painfully aware of B and C.
It never ends. The more you know, the more you find out you don't know.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroko ➡️
Only if the music effects your blood pressure. Otherwise it’s your brain. Your heart has nothing to do with your emotions unless it’s because a doctor just informed you that you have heart disease.

I don’t see anything wrong with the OPs question but the hostility towards trying to understand the tools of the trade is astounding.

If you have nothing to add to the conversation other than your personal experience you don’t need to attack the guy that asked the question. Besides, the hostile comments seem to prove the question is valid though to what extent is probably beyond non-engineer engineers.
Not only that, but the Dunning-Krueger effect the people have hinted couple of times comes to mind when reading most of the posts here: are those people sure what side of the glass they are?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #132
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum ➡️
It never ends. The more you know, the more you find out you don't know.
Very true. When I was beginner in any of the skills/knowledge I have today, I thought that things are super simple and it's easy to master all the fundamentas. Turns out that almost regardless of the topic, there's always a new layer hidden underneath when you dig a bit deeper. Then you're left with many more questions than you started with. In a way I like this a lot: it keeps life interesting since there are always new things to discover. The nice thing is that the deeper you dig into the facts, the more interesting it usually gets. Regardless of the topic.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #133
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeraz ➡️
over time the field transistor manufacturing process produced lower quality components and the sound suffered.
IMO this is an interesting statement. Can anyone second this ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #134
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➡️
IMO this is an interesting statement. Can anyone second this ?
I have my doubts about the statement. Transistor technology has moved forward in quantum leaps over the past decades. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have the current CPU technology to help us with every day life etc.

Component tolerances (how well they're made to specifications) are in a whole another league compared to what they used to be in the 80s, not speaking of the 60s etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #135
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Yes, I find it an interesting statement because I have little practical knowledge of electronics, but the story I grew up on was that we started with tinny sounding 1 transistor radios in the 60s and the technology improved to an extent that, as jaddie has mentioned, we got to a stage where a $100 solid state amplifier was able to match a $1000 tube amp (thanks to improved topology design). And that story includes a massive improvement in transistors. And on top of that, we had the development of the Field Effect Transistor of which the "field effect" component is essentially doing the same quantum "mojo"
of a tube.

My crystal ball thinks that statement may stem from when manufacturing of the FET used in the U87 was discontinued (though Motorola recommenced manufacturing in 2013). It's a long shot, but all I can think of at the moment.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #136
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64gtoboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➡️
IMO this is an interesting statement. Can anyone second this ?
Can't really say for sure but I will point out that manufacturing of both discrete components and LSI's tends to move to lower labor cost countries which may for a short period of time, affect the quality of the average component sold. Not because of the lower cost but rather moving and setting up a plant may often create glitches in the processes that need to be worked through during the initial year or so.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #137
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jaddie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➡️
IMO this is an interesting statement. Can anyone second this ?
No. Such a general statement is nonsense.

Over time we now have better parts and we have cheaper parts. He must be referring to a specific favorite that was discontinued.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #138
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
“Discrete” is the latest word/term being abused and pummeled to death by audio marketing teams - it no longer has any meaning. If it ever did with regards to modern audio equipment.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #139
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ponzi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
“Discrete” is the latest word/term being abused and pummeled to death by audio marketing teams - it no longer has any meaning. If it ever did with regards to modern audio equipment.
Discrete means a single semiconductor junction in a device package--like a single transistor or diode. Integrated circuit means multiple junctions in a single device package. This has always been so.
Old 1 week ago
  #140
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🎧 5 years
Interesting you mention that. Isn’t it just the absence of an IC - aka the 990 is a discrete opamp (a number of individual components making up a module) where as the 5532 is an IC opamp ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #141
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jaddie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➡️
Interesting you mention that. Isn’t it just the absence of an IC - aka the 990 is a discrete opamp where as the 5354 is an IC opamp ?
Even that example is fuzzy because the original 990 used a transistor array, an LM394, which had multiple junctions in one package...an IC. That part was discontinued and current versions are made with an Analog Devices SSM2212, another IC. It's not at all a direct physical sub, being an SMD, but John Hardy went to SMD anyway, so that's what he's using. Matches the original part in performance, meets the need for an SMD. I don't know what other 990-clone makers are doing, his are the only 990s I've ever used.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #142
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jaddie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
“Discrete” is the latest word/term being abused and pummeled to death by audio marketing teams - it no longer has any meaning. If it ever did with regards to modern audio equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi ➡️
Discrete means a single semiconductor junction in a device package--like a single transistor or diode. Integrated circuit means multiple junctions in a single device package. This has always been so.
Both are correct. Discrete means a single junction in a package, AND the term is abused to death in marketing.

But then, what term isn't abused in marketing?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #143
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jaddie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy ➡️
Can't really say for sure but I will point out that manufacturing of both discrete components and LSI's tends to move to lower labor cost countries which may for a short period of time, affect the quality of the average component sold. Not because of the lower cost but rather moving and setting up a plant may often create glitches in the processes that need to be worked through during the initial year or so.
New parts suffering from QC problems is a different issue, though.

An example might be the TI version of the 5532, which has had some variability, IIR input bias, but not sure at the moment. But no matter, there are other manufacturers of the same part.

The idea that we don't have parts like FETs that are "as good as the original" is not true, but to use the latest and greatest might take a modification of the circuit for optimal performance. Or not. It depends.

Old application-specific parts, of course, may just not be available because there wasn't enough market to sustain mass production. That doesn't mean the same thing as new parts aren't as good as old ones.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #144
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
But then, what term isn't abused in marketing?
To be fair to marketing in general, audio and music-gear marketing is so ridiculously underregulated that anyone can make just about any claim about anything.
Old 1 week ago
  #145
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standup's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I kinda wish we had a gear designer like Doug Fearn on this thread to talk about the design approaches for tube and solid state gear.

When FET mics came along, people bought them and ditched the tube mics.

Then, later, they thought something was missing and started seeking out tube mics again (speaking in really broad terms).

If there’s no difference, why did that happen? It happened long before boutique manufacturers started hyping their boutique tube designs. They responded to the need by making tube mics again.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #146
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by standup ➡️
If there’s no difference, why did that happen?
Because there was a trend toward ditching tubes in everything. Size, weight, heat, portability, durability... all that. A radio used to be this big piece of furniture in my grandad's living room, but with transistors he could put a radio in his pocket and listen to the ballgame while he was fishing.

The first two times I noticed a qualitative difference that mattered to me were when I heard my first solid state guitar amp, and when I first heard Abbey Road.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 1 week ago at 05:34 PM..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #147
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy ➡️
Can't really say for sure but I will point out that manufacturing of both discrete components and LSI's tends to move to lower labor cost countries which may for a short period of time, affect the quality of the average component sold. Not because of the lower cost but rather moving and setting up a plant may often create glitches in the processes that need to be worked through during the initial year or so.
there are different types of transistors used in different industries. Tolerances are just one part of it, materials are another, the manufacturing process differs. If new transistors were so great there would be no need for a NOS industry. You can't confuse LSI style with what is an old Nuemman Fet. Also a transistor in a memory chip or a cpu is not what is in a microphone or stomp box, hence my original comment. you can't lump them all in one category. Not to mention "tolerances" are one metric, and tighter/higher tolerance is not necessarily better in all audio applications. It all depends. In general the transistors mass produced today do not sound as good as what was made in the 60s. Same with caps, and other components often used in audio. I wonder if kraku would swap out the vintage motorola 2n3055 in his 1073 with a new high tolerance SMT version made in China?? think not
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #148
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeraz ➡️
It all depends. In general the transistors mass produced today do not sound as good as what was made in the 60s. Same with caps, and other components often used in audio.
Unless you have some research or point to some kind of 'paper', this is only your opinion. I have been around studios since the late 70's and to my ears, this is just not the case, in my opinion :-)
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #149
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shobud ➡️
Unless you have some research or point to some kind of 'paper', this is only your opinion. I have been around studios since the late 70's and to my ears, this is just not the case, in my opinion :-)
Not my experience, either - mass produced, transistorized stuff sounded pretty bad back then. Can you say Fender SS amps? Lol
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #150
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeraz ➡️
In general the transistors mass produced today do not sound as good as what was made in the 60s. Same with caps, and other components often used in audio. I wonder if kraku would swap out the vintage motorola 2n3055 in his 1073 with a new high tolerance SMT version made in China?? think not
60's?
Ever looked closely to the Line output of a Scully 280?
Has a boat load of noise & grunge from the Transistors..Transformers are huge and sound nice, but not the amp circuit..
Also reliability was an issue even much later, remember having the 723 regulator IC's Burned in because many kept going out...This was in the early 80's..
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