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#31
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyjellybean View Post
I believe the MA5 has a CarnHill input xformer and a Jensen output xformer
It uses a custom output transformer designed by Avedis and manufactured by Jensen...

But, a preamp is not just a couple of transformers with some other parts thrown in the middle... it's all about how the other parts work together, and how they interact. If you look at the MA5, it's very different than many other 500 series preamps. Most use the typical transformer > op amp > transformer circuit (which are essentially different twists on the 312). The MA5 uses a 1073 style amplifier circuit, not just the transformers. This is why people are blown away by it when they compare it to a lot of other 500 series units... It's very different.
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#32
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
It uses a custom output transformer designed by Avedis and manufactured by Jensen...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
But, a preamp is not just a couple of transformers with some other parts thrown in the middle...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
If you look at the MA5, it's very different than many other 500 series preamps. Most use the typical transformer > op amp > transformer circuit (which are essentially different twists on the 312).
thats awesome , but, I'm not sure most would be correct.
not to take away from Avedis, as we all know he rocks!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The MA5 uses a 1073 style amplifier circuit, not just the transformers. This is why people are blown away by it when they compare it to a lot of other 500 series units... It's very different.
the Great River, or LaChapell 583s, the MINT JULEP, the germ 500, these are just a few of many ( off the top my head ), that are not just copying the the typical 312.
and hey the 312 is great so i have no issues with those that do have a twist on it: )~
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#33
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
It uses a custom output transformer designed by Avedis and manufactured by Jensen...

But, a preamp is not just a couple of transformers with some other parts thrown in the middle... it's all about how the other parts work together, and how they interact. If you look at the MA5, it's very different than many other 500 series preamps. Most use the typical transformer > op amp > transformer circuit (which are essentially different twists on the 312). The MA5 uses a 1073 style amplifier circuit, not just the transformers. This is why people are blown away by it when they compare it to a lot of other 500 series units... It's very different.
I spoke to Avedis at length about the transformer he designed being supplied byJensen and he REALLY went the full mile when it came to designing that xformer. We are talking about metal percentages in the core material, thickness and type of insulation on the windings. All kinds of details that help contribute to the sound of the MA5.
#34
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
I'm not sure most would be correct.
not to take away from Avedis, as we all know he rocks!!!!!
The greater majority would probably be the correct term... I can think of 12 manufacturer's off the top of my head that uses this style circuits. This is not a knock on any of them, just trying to help people understand how the MA5 is very different, more-so than just the transformers.

Look folks..... When you see 50 million manufacturers coming out with 500 series preamps, you need to understand that a lot of people aren't re-inventing the wheel here. The 312 style circuit is a tried and true design. I think if there was a better understanding of how gear worked internally, people would be less likely to buy 20 different preamps for slightly different flavors. That's not to say that they all don't all sound different from each other. But, a lot of these preamps are not radically new designs.

I would say 80% are the typical transformer > op amp > transformer style circuits. Here's an easy test for everyone... Open up your 500 series preamps. Look inside. You will most likely see two transformers (1 x input and 1 x output) and a little black plastic square (which is an op amp or in some cases an IC encased in epoxy). Open up an MA5.... then plug it in and listen. After you have experienced your epiphany, drop me a line.
#35
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Seems like people are going along the lines of what they prefer. The Neve people are really liking the M5. I have to get one of these. I have used a bunch of Brett Averill's, Calrecs, a few other Neve knock offs... I must say that my OSA L and P1 rock on vocals when compared to those aforementioned units. They really do.
#36
10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I would say 80% are the typical transformer > op amp > transformer style circuits. Here's an easy test for everyone... Open up your 500 series preamps. Look inside. You will most likely see two transformers (1 x input and 1 x output) and a little black plastic square (which is an op amp or in some cases an IC encased in epoxy).
that dose not mean it is a clone or copy of the 312 circuit.
that like saying my guitar amp has a tube in it so it must be a fender : (~
i do agree they are a lot of 500 format cards base loosely around the 312 but many very loosely many not at all.
#37
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
that dose not mean it is a clone or copy of the 312 circuit.
No, I agree... I guess heavily borrowing is probably the best way to put it. thumbsup
#38
10th March 2008
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we know if Avedis makes it, it will be awesome! : )~
he is sick!!!
#39
10th March 2008
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i think the avedis and lachapell stuff is some of the most innovative recent 500 designs. man would i love to have a full pull of these guys.
#40
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
...

Look folks..... When you see 50 million manufacturers coming out with 500 series preamps, you need to understand that a lot of people aren't re-inventing the wheel here. ...

... I would say 80% are the typical transformer > op amp > transformer style circuits. Here's an easy test for everyone... Open up your 500 series preamps. Look inside. You will most likely see two transformers (1 x input and 1 x output) and a little black plastic square (which is an op amp or in some cases an IC encased in epoxy). Open up an MA5.... then plug it in and listen. After you have experienced your epiphany, drop me a line.
I'm not sure that discovering two transformers along with a black plastic IC would prove too much other than people are using transformers and, in some cases IC's, to generate gain...? Honestly, I think that's a rather easy prediction to make. But, what type of transformer is used... what's the core material... ratio... how are you configuring and managing inverse feedback within the amplifier (that's huge)... what type of caps; where in the circuit are those caps place and at what values... Carbon resistors? Metal film resistors... cathode bias configuration (for the tube pre's)...? it goes on and on. All of these elements contribute greatly to what the end user calls "character". If one were to open up the 583s they would indeed find an input transformer, an output transformer and a black plastic epoxy filled square. Only, my black square has 300 volt going to the tube . The circuitry that lies between those two transformers is very unique.

Please don't take this reply wrong, I'm always looking for a good debate .

Perhaps manufacturers could be more detailed or descriptive in what makes their preamp different from someone else's. But, the reality is that most end-users (and I'm one myself) usually don't care to hear about the “nitty-gritties” at the circuit level of detail. In then end, for a lot of people, it's about getting a fun new preamp that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and setting out to discover where its' strengths and weaknesses are.

... Just some thoughts ...
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#41
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
I'm not sure that discovering two transformers along with a black plastic IC would prove too much other than people are using transformers and, in some cases IC's, to generate gain...? Honestly, I think that's a rather easy prediction to make. But, what type of transformer is used... what's the core material... ratio... how are you configuring and managing inverse feedback within the amplifier (that's huge)... what type of caps; where in the circuit are those caps place and at what values... Carbon resistors? Metal film resistors... cathode bias configuration (for the tube pre's)...? it goes on and on. All of these elements contribute greatly to what the end user calls "character". If one were to open up the 583s they would indeed find an input transformer, an output transformer and a black plastic epoxy filled square. Only, my black square has 300 volt going to the tube . The circuitry that lies between those two transformers is very unique.

Please don't take this reply wrong, I'm always looking for a good debate .

Perhaps manufacturers could be more detailed or descriptive in what makes their preamp different from someone else's. But, the reality is that most end-users (and I'm one myself) usually don't care to hear about the “nitty-gritties” at the circuit level of detail. In then end, for a lot of people, it's about getting a fun new preamp that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and setting out to discover where its' strengths and weaknesses are.

... Just some thoughts ...
Thanks for the great info!! I agree with this greatly!! [/QUOTE]In then end, for a lot of people, it's about getting a fun new preamp that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and setting out to discover where its' strengths and weaknesses are.[/QUOTE]

Fun is good!
#42
10th March 2008
Old 10th March 2008
  #42
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fun is always good: )~
#43
10th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
the Great River, or LaChapell 583s, the MINT JULEP, the germ 500, these are just a few of many ( off the top my head ), that are not just copying the the typical 312
Also the Buzz Audio Elixir & Atlas Juggernaut are both fully discrete Class A designs that are completely original and don't have the slightest to do with the 312 op amp based Class AB type design.
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#44
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
I'm not sure that discovering two transformers along with a black plastic IC would prove too much other than people are using transformers and, in some cases IC's, to generate gain...? Honestly, I think that's a rather easy prediction to make. But, what type of transformer is used... what's the core material... ratio... how are you configuring and managing inverse feedback within the amplifier (that's huge)... what type of caps; where in the circuit are those caps place and at what values... Carbon resistors? Metal film resistors... cathode bias configuration (for the tube pre's)...? it goes on and on. All of these elements contribute greatly to what the end user calls "character". If one were to open up the 583s they would indeed find an input transformer, an output transformer and a black plastic epoxy filled square. Only, my black square has 300 volt going to the tube . The circuitry that lies between those two transformers is very unique.
Maybe you missed my first post on this page, where I said:

a preamp is not just a couple of transformers with some other parts thrown in the middle... it's all about how the other parts work together, and how they interact.

My point about the 2 x transformers and the op amp is simple... Look at what you are buying and see the similarities and differences. If end users took a more active role in examining what they buy, we would be able to have more educated end users who can easily see how close a lot of the 500 series products are... There is a good majority of products out there who borrow heavily from the 312, with the main differences being different transformers and op amps. With that said, the 312 is a great circuit that continues to knock out hits 40 years later, so "new" and "original" designs may not exactly translate into "good" or "better".

Quote:
Please don't take this reply wrong, I'm always looking for a good debate .
Not at all... I'm not a manufacturer, so I don't have anything to fear when it comes to debating audio circuits (or have anything to be offended by). As I've said before in other similar threads where the talk gets more on the tech side, I like talking about circuits... I know a lot about Neve and API circuits, but much less about tube based circuits... I don't generally like to play around with audio circuits which could potentially kill me.

Quote:
Perhaps manufacturers could be more detailed or descriptive in what makes their preamp different from someone else's. But, the reality is that most end-users (and I'm one myself) usually don't care to hear about the “nitty-gritties” at the circuit level of detail. In then end, for a lot of people, it's about getting a fun new preamp that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and setting out to discover where its' strengths and weaknesses are.

... Just some thoughts ...
It's a shame that most end users aren't really concerned about the "nitty-gritties". I guess it's good for some manufacturers..
#45
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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... I guess I was referring more to this quote:

"Look folks..... When you see 50 million manufacturers coming out with 500 series preamps, you need to understand that a lot of people aren't re-inventing the wheel here. The 312 style circuit is a tried and true design."

This sounds like to me you have the opinion that if someone comes out with a new 500 series preamp, more than likely they've barrowed from the 312 design; that the genesis of the critical circuitry between the transformers is rooted in the 312. Perhaps I miss interpret. Designers should be creators, not copiers.

I don't think I've ever even seen a 312 schematic. The 583's roots are directly related to our very original 992EG. My point is that sure, would a marketing guy say "make me a basic preamp that I can dress up and sell"? Perhaps. But the designer would want to make something special, original.

Granted, the 500 series format is on fire right now and manufacturers better be prepared to articulate well what makes their preamp special, but this doesn't mean designers are taking the easy-way out by simply looking up a "tried and true design" and shamelessly re-applying it with some token tweaks for the marketers. Unfortunately, I think a lot of gear sellers assume this (especially with the 500 platform) when in fact it is they who may be experiencing a more difficult time trying to move gear for more and more new companies making 500 modules (and I wouldn't want that challenge ). But it would be wrong for a frustrated seller to say "... the vast majority of these 500 series pre's are pretty much designed the same way .... except this one!" Again, another hunch... feel free to hit back if I'm off on that

Again, these are just opinions based on what I know of the makers I've been fortunate enough to get to know. I've not heard or inspected every 500 series module out there; I could be wrong indeed.

Sorry guys, I may have taken this a little off-topic!
#46
11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
... I guess I was referring more to this quote:

"Look folks..... When you see 50 million manufacturers coming out with 500 series preamps, you need to understand that a lot of people aren't re-inventing the wheel here. The 312 style circuit is a tried and true design."

This sounds like to me you have the opinion that if someone comes out with a new 500 series preamp, more than likely they've barrowed from the 312 design; that the genesis of the critical circuitry between the transformers is rooted in the 312. Perhaps I miss interpret. Designers should be creators, not copiers.

I don't think I've ever even seen a 312 schematic. The 583's roots are directly related to our very original 992EG. My point is that sure, would a marketing guy say "make me a basic preamp that I can dress up and sell"? Perhaps. But the designer would want to make something special, original.

Granted, the 500 series format is on fire right now and manufacturers better be prepared to articulate well what makes their preamp special, but this doesn't mean designers are taking the easy-way out by simply looking up a "tried and true design" and shamelessly re-applying it with some token tweaks for the marketers. Unfortunately, I think a lot of gear sellers assume this (especially with the 500 platform) when in fact it is they who may be experiencing a more difficult time trying to move gear for more and more new companies making 500 modules (and I wouldn't want that challenge ). But it would be wrong for a frustrated seller to say "... the vast majority of these 500 series pre's are pretty much designed the same way .... except this one!" Again, another hunch... feel free to hit back if I'm off on that

Again, these are just opinions based on what I know of the makers I've been fortunate enough to get to know. I've not heard or inspected every 500 series module out there; I could be wrong indeed.

Sorry guys, I may have taken this a little off-topic!
i have to say Scott nailed it, this is my issue and feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
But it would be wrong for a frustrated seller to say "... the vast majority of these 500 series pre's are pretty much designed the same way .... except this one!" Again, another hunch... feel free to hit back if I'm off on that
although not all, i have seen the insides, have examined, Photographed, and used a very, very, large number of what is on the market, as well i have choose to get into many of them.
i can name off a crap load that are in no way related to the 312, at least no more so them a tube is to any given tube design.
with that i do not see the majority being modeled after the 312.
but i do plan on getting a BRENT AVERILL 312 soon: )~
and for the record i think AVEDIS is a genius and i will have one of his pres in my rack!
#47
11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
As I've said before in other similar threads where the talk gets more on the tech side, I like talking about circuits... I know a lot about Neve and API circuits,
then i dont get how you can lump
all these guys into one pile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
but much less about tube based circuits... I don't generally like to play around with audio circuits which could potentially kill me.
that is the most insane comment!!!!
#48
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
... I guess I was referring more to this quote:

"Look folks..... When you see 50 million manufacturers coming out with 500 series preamps, you need to understand that a lot of people aren't re-inventing the wheel here. The 312 style circuit is a tried and true design."

[COLOR=black]This sounds like to me you have the opinion that if someone comes out with a new 500 series preamp, more than likely they've barrowed from the 312 design; that the genesis of the critical circuitry between the transformers is rooted in the 312. Perhaps I miss interpret. Designers should be creators, not copiers.

I don't think I've ever even seen a 312 schematic. The 583's roots are directly related to our very original 992EG. My point is that sure, would a marketing guy say "make me a basic preamp that I can dress up and sell"? Perhaps. But the designer would want to make something special, original.
Just to be clear... I wasn't talking about your product in any of my posts. And, I am not generalizing about "if someone comes out with a new 500 series preamp". I am speaking about products that are actually on the market right now. It seems like you are either threatened by comments, or are upset by them.

Quote:
Granted, the 500 series format is on fire right now and manufacturers better be prepared to articulate well what makes their preamp special, but this doesn't mean designers are taking the easy-way out by simply looking up a "tried and true design" and shamelessly re-applying it with some token tweaks for the marketers. Unfortunately, I think a lot of gear sellers assume this (especially with the 500 platform) when in fact it is they who may be experiencing a more difficult time trying to move gear for more and more new companies making 500 modules (and I wouldn't want that challenge ). But it would be wrong for a frustrated seller to say "... the vast majority of these 500 series pre's are pretty much designed the same way .... except this one!" Again, another hunch... feel free to hit back if I'm off on that
You couldn't be more wrong..... Even though I am not a gear designer, I have a confident understanding about what I am talking about. Since you've never seen a 312 schematic, you may not be qualified to talk on the subject.

The vast majority of 500 series preamps are 312 style preamps... They are op amp driven circuits... the API 312 was the original op amp driven circuit that the earliest 500 series preamps descended from. So, as the grand daddy, it gets the title. As I've said, 80% of the 500 series preamps on the market today are in this family.

Since you seem to disagree, maybe you would care to elaborate on how specifically all of these op amp driven preamp circuits that make up the majority of products are so different? It seems like you haven't made a valid case for how they are different...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
i can name off a crap load that are in no way related to the 312, at least no more so them a tube is to any given tube design.
How many would a crap load be? Be my guest... I think you would have a hard time naming off more than 10 that aren't 312 style op amp driven circuits. You only named 3 so far that are on the market (the Mint Julep wouldn't qualify, since it isn't out yet)....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
that is the most insane comment!!!!
I've built my own API preamps from scratch, and have rebuilt my 1073's switching out different parts to try things... I actually mess around with these circuits. I have API op amps sitting on my desk right in front of me. I've swapped caps, transistors, transformers in 1073 circuits, just to see how they affect the sound....

A tube circuit has a lot more voltage running through it and I have always been under the impression that they are more dangerous for the average DIY'er... Maybe my assumption is wrong? Have you worked a lot with tube circuits? I haven't, so as I said before... I'm not as familiar with them as I am with these things that I actually take apart and mess around with.

Also, I wasn't lumping Neve and API in the same category of audio circuits at all. I was speaking about the designs I am most familiar with... which are API and Neve.
#49
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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I agree with Scott. Most people care more about the sound than anything else.

I also have no problems with the 312 format. That's why I got into the 500 series to begin with.
#50
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Just to be clear... I wasn't talking about your product in any of my posts. And, I am not generalizing about "if someone comes out with a new 500 series preamp". I am speaking about products that are actually on the market right now. It seem like you are either threatened by comments, or are upset by them.


Neither, I assure you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The vast majority of 500 series preamps are 312 style preamps... They are op amp driven circuits... the API 312 was the original op amp driven circuit that the earliest 500 series preamps descended from. So, as the grand daddy, it gets the title. As I've said, 80% of the 500 series preamps on the market today are in this family.


Well, this is curious logic. The 583s is the first vacuum tube preamp in the 500 series. I would never assume future tube based 500 series preamps would be seen as 583s descendants. I see where you're coming from; I just think it's REALLY inaccurate to say if it's in 500 series preamp and it uses an op amp then it's pretty much a 312. NOTHING AGAINST THE 312.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Since you seem to disagree, maybe you would you care to elaborate on how specifically all of these op amp driven preamp circuits that make up the majority of products are so different? It seems like you haven't made a valid case for how they are different...


Well, that would be changing the subject; proving the differences of each 500 series preamp is hardly the point or topic. I simply took issue with you (hopefully in a diplomatic way) marginalizing op amp based 500 series preamps as 312 variants. This is way too general and TOTALLY misleading. That's all.

Look, let's not let this get all argumentative about this. My apologies if I've pushed back a little too hard. This is what sucks about emails and posts; If we were having this same discussion over a cold one together with a few other folks we'd be having a good time... . Let's pick this up at the next AES show, my treat!
#51
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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i would not call
buzz, which i have seen and have inside shots.
great river i own
you can say the MINT JULEP is not available, but i have one and plan on ordering another when my wallet will allow.
although i have not had Nathan's juggernaut in my hands, i have the inside photos, and have discussed the design a bit with him.
LaChapell i have
the Germ 500 i have photos and hope to have one in my rack soon as well.
Avedis which i have spoken with extensively and love what he has done.

all i am getting at is the statement you make can easily be applied to the old RCA hand book the yes i have on my desk.
it is like Scot said their is why why more to it then just a transformer and a black box and another transformer.
so if you take the op-amp it replaced the transistor and the tube, so how far back do these designs go?
their are so many ways to treat the signal between two transformers.

not trying to be a prick i just think that is to broad of a statement and demeans many great designers.
#52
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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Tony,

I hate to say it but I think your terminology is a little skewed, misinformed and in some cases just plain wrong.

API was certainly NOT the first commercial mic pre that was opamp driven... transformer coupled mic pres generally have an input transformer --> opamp --> output transformer... Neve designs are no different in this it is just that their opamps are just running on a single ended voltage and not using the 990 footprint and running on bi-bolar rails.

I think what you see as 'opamp' is the 990 footprint. The JE-990 was an opamp and footprint that was invented by Deanne Jensen of Jensen transformers fame and given freely to be used and adopted by audio manufactures as a standard 'discrete' opamp footprint and came around BEFORE even API started using it with their 2520 opamps. If you are interested you can contact Jesen Transformers and request the white paper that he delivered at AES years ago.

Current manufactures off the top of my head that are using the footprint include Purple Audio, John Hardy, Fred Forsell, Millennia Media, API, JLM Audio et al... and just because ANY of those manufactures use those formats doesn't make them an API styled design... (well accept API of course, LOL!) As Scott has shared it is all about the design and implementation, even the transformers will have HUGE impact on the sound as different core metals will hystress and saturate differently for better or worse altering the sound of the design.

IF Avedis's MA-5 follows the lineage of the older 1073 (in which case the mic pre would be based on the 1290 design) it too would have an input transformer and output transformer and an opamp in the similar way the 1290 had the BA283AV and additional gain stage... so in a block diagram would be no different to the 312 if your building blocs were transformers and opamps.... but they are SOOOOO much more.

And if it is any consolation and you STILL believe that 80% of pres today are a 312 variant, know that ours has about as much in common with the 312 than an elephant and a lion might have... being a transformless non 990 footpinted design.

Cheers

Matt
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#53
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott LaChapell View Post
Well, this is curious logic. The 583s is the first vacuum tube preamp in the 500 series. I would never assume future tube based 500 series preamps would be seen as 583s descendants. I see where you're coming from; I just think it's REALLY inaccurate to say if it's in 500 series preamp and it uses an op amp then it's pretty much a 312. NOTHING AGAINST THE 312.
I never said that anything is pretty much a 312. But, the statements I did make are the truth and I stand by them. I'm open to being proven wrong, but I'm basing my comments on first hand experience of looking at various units.

Quote:
Look, let's not let this get all argumentative about this. My apologies if I've pushed back a little too hard. This is what sucks about emails and posts; If we were having this same discussion over a cold one together with a few other folks we'd be having a good time... . Let's pick this up at the next AES show, my treat!
Very true... sounds like a good plan. This thread has veered far off course. To be continued at AES...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
i would not call
buzz, which i have seen and have inside shots.
great river i own
you can say the MINT JULEP is not available, but i have one and plan on ordering another when my wallet will allow.
although i have not had Nathan's juggernaut in my hands, i have the inside photos, and have discussed the design a bit with him.
LaChapell i have
the Germ 500 i have photos and hope to have one in my rack soon as well.
Avedis which i have spoken with extensively and love what he has done.
That's 7, and if you add the future Roll Music tube pre... that's 8. I couldn't get to 10 either.
#54
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #54
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I have to say I completely agree with Tony here. He's not saying that a 500-series preamp module HAS to be a 312 clone. He's saying that most of them, historically and at this point in time, in fact are. And he's absolutely right. I don't think it's a big deal to say that, because up until very recently the only 500-series preamps on the market were APIs and direct clones of them. It's only recently that people started branching out into new directions with the format. These new modules haven't had a chance yet to sell in the quantities that the 312-esque stuff has. So yes, most of the stuff out there has a very direct link to the API stuff. There are degrees, of course. The OSA stuff is a lot closer to a 312 than the A-Designs stuff, but even the P-1 and the EM modules from A-Designs take the basic concept and mostly just use different op amps and different transformers. I don't see what the big deal is, there's not a whole lot else you can do with a transformers-and-op-amp based preamp. Like Scott said, you can change the transformers, you can change the amp, you can change the passive components, you mess with the feedback a little bit.
Now there are some new modules out, or about to come out, that are not very similar at all. Scott's tube-based module is a fantastic example. And my tube-based module will be out soon (I guess eventually we'll be comparing and constrasting those two). Although my circuit is all tube, I would venture to guess it has more in common with the 312 than Scott's does (though I haven't seen his schematic). You'd have to know a bit about the circuits to understand how mine is similar. But then there's the new Shinybox stuff about to hit the streets - Avenson designed one, and it's pretty different from a 312 for a number of reasons, the most obvious is that it has two gain stages. That sounds like a minor difference, but it has major implications. The other Shinybox preamp (the one I did) is transformerless, all silicon, and not at all similar. So maybe we can come back to this thread in 5 years and see which of these new products has been successful, and then debate what fraction of the 500-series preamp market is 312-based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
that's like saying my guitar amp has a tube in it so it must be a fender
That's a fantastic point, because guitar amps are even more overwhelmingly related than 500-series preamps. Yes, 90% of the tube guitar amps ever built are based directly on the Bassman or are very similar. If you understand tube circuits, you can compare schematics of everything Fender did pre-CBS and most of what they've done since, everything Marshall did before they went down the toilet, hell even VOX. You can see that they're all remarkably similar. The same preamp tubes, biased the same way, with minor variations in tone stacks, phase splitters, tremolo circuits, and of course the number of preamp stages. The same basic power amp topology from the old WE circuit. Sure, the power gets scaled up and down by means of the quantity and selection of power tubes. Rectifiers flipped between tube and silicon to meet each day's fashion. But you can pretty much repair a '68 Bassman by looking at a schematic for a plexi Marshall. The only substantial presence in the tube guitar amp world that is substantially different from the Fender lineage is Ampeg. Everything else is very heavily based on the same Western Electric circuit that Leo Fender borrowed. So yeah, it IS like saying your tube amp is Fender-esque, and it's just as true.

EDIT: I think it's important to point out that while the bulk of preamps are similar to the 312 and the bulk of tube guitar amps are similar to the Bassman, neither of these represent the genesis of the species. API didn't invent this format, and Leo Fender didn't invent the tube guitar amplifier. Both are simply the best-known and most-influential variants on their respective themes.
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#55
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post

That's 7, and if you add the future Roll Music tube pre... that's 8. I couldn't get to 10 either.
well i am tried and thought i had mentioned the Rolls :(~
i choose not to mention the shiny box as it is not yet available.
so thats 9, and a couple others that are not yet out.

hey i like the 312 anyway
i do feel this as been a great discussion, and hope someone got something from it
#56
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #56
500 series nutjob
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
EDIT: I think it's important to point out that while the bulk of preamps are similar to the 312 and the bulk of tube guitar amps are similar to the Bassman, neither of these represent the genesis of the species. API didn't invent this format, and Leo Fender didn't invent the tube guitar amplifier. Both are simply the best-known and most-influential variants on their respective themes.
#57
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #57
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All mic preamps need an amplifier. If the amplifier you use struggles with 70dB gain, you can use 2 or more amplifiers in series and spread the gain (like a 1073).

All pro mic preamps need to at have a balanced input. You can use 2 amplifiers for this task as well (like our Elixir) or you can use a transformer, like a MA5, 312, etc etc....

Mic preamps do not necessarily need a balanced output to work OK, but most of us would prefer they did, so you can use an balanced electronic amplifier (I think the LaChapell has this) or you can use a transformer.

It's that simple really. It's called a topology, and because of these requirements, many mic preamps (not just 500 series) look remarkably similar on paper - but that is where it ends.

This debate is pointless.
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#58
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
So maybe we can come back to this thread in 5 years and see which of these new products has been successful, and then debate what fraction of the 500-series preamp market is 312-based.
When you come back in 5 years, can you do it in a new thread please??
Well actually, by then the vocals will be long done and this album long finished, so be my guest.

Man we've got all the big players in on this one!
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#59
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #59
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I'd also like to run mixes through these pre's, either summed from a Folcrom or just stereo in and out. Has anybody done this with any of these pre's? Suggestions?

Gama's, MA5's, P1's, 583's
#60
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
  #60
500 series nutjob
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
When you come back in 5 years, can you do it in a new thread please??
Well actually, by then the vocals will be long done and this album long finished, so be my guest.

Man we've got all the big players in on this one!

sorry for the hijack undermind

Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
I'd also like to run mixes through these pre's, either summed from a Folcrom or just stereo in and out. Has anybody done this with any of these pre's? Suggestions?

Gama's, MA5's, P1's, 583's
i use a A-Designs MP-2A on two buss, if i were to choose something in the 500 format ( base on what i have ), i would be looking at the Great river or the LaChapell Audio 583s.
i love the A-designs P-1 and it is my work horse it just works on anything, but i am not sure how well it would be for two buss as it is pretty mid forward.
the EM BLUE would probably be a better choice in the A-Design line.

guys for the record here, i have not made any comments about the Avedis MA5 as i have not got mine yet
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