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The real diff between cheap and pricey preamps? Condenser Microphones
Old 24th March 2010
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Exacly..Sounds from a distance have a very distinct sound, reducing level is NOT even close...
What are you a mind reader??? I was just thinking "this is a perfect thread for Nosebleedaudio to jump into".
Old 24th March 2010
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
The frequency response of an op-amp when simply given in MHz is almost meaningless. Often the bandwidth is the unity gain bandwidth - i.e. the gain - which should be a good approximation to infinite - has dropped all the way to one. This is really trying to define the metric that is useful - the gain bandwidth product. The issue is this. In order to operate usefully, an op-amp approximates an infinite gain amplifier. The presense of feedback around the op-amp defines the actual gain of the system. This gain is only correct when the gain of the op-amp at the frequency in question is vastly greater than the designed gain of the system. All op-amp's gain drops off with increasing frequency. You need to ensure that at the highest possible frequency that the op-amp is expected to operate that the gain is still that margin greater than the design gain. This operating frequency isn't just the audio that is fed into it. In order to be sure that the op-amp (and the rest of the preamp if that is what is being designed) operates correctly you need to ensure that the op-amp never runs out of gain when you also factor in any interference that may be present in the operating environment. A critical metric of the op-amp's quality is the common mode rejection ratio. (CMMR) This is the measure of goodness that amongst other things defines how well it operates rejecting common mode interference on the balanced inputs. If you have any sources present nearby that emit radio frequency interference (a computer, light dimmer, what ever) you are depending upon the op-amp to reject that interference - which requires it to still operate properly (with lots of gain) at the frequency of the interference. A good pre design will include proper RF filtering - but this only attenuates the interference - it can never remove it totally.

This is all a synergystic design issue. Older op-amps had much lower gain bandwidth products. Some old ones that were tried and quickly rejected as sounding terrible (like the uA741) have such a poor gain bandwidth (only 1MHz) that they have serious problems even in the audio band, let alone coping with any interference. Later ones solved these problems enough to be useful with audio, but needed care and feeding to work well. More modern ones can have astounding bandwidths. Many hundreds of MHz. The thing to remember is that this bandwidth can be needed even in audio frequency circuits.

It is issues like this that beget unfortunate comments like "such and such a device is as good as can ever possibly be needed for audio". The reality is much harsher, and harsher for well defined engineering reasons. A well designed pre will apply all possible efforts to manage these sorts of issues. Have a look at the quality of RF filtering on the input of a cheap pre versus a high end one. (Just depending blindly on a tranformer on the input may not be enough either. Wierd stuff happens at high frequencies)
I learn a bunch every time I read one of your posts. Thanks!
Old 24th March 2010
  #93
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Those Digimax pres are discrete components wired in China
Old 24th March 2010
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Exacly..Sounds from a distance have a very distinct sound, reducing level is NOT even close...
Unless you are recording in an anechoic chamber or something, the further away you get from a sound source, the greater proportion of early and later reflections. The greater the distance between the direct sound and some of the reflections.

even in mono, this adds a tremendous amount of 'extra' information to what might have been a simple waveform - albeit at increasingly lower levels for each iteration. Our brain uses this information to extrapolate the dimensions of the space and distance to the source.


like the devil, the dimensionality is in the details. Better gear gives us more 3-D because it does a better job at getting these details.
Old 24th March 2010
  #95
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Originally Posted by joeq View Post
whichever preamp you use, whichever audio storage format you use, you are only capturing amplitude against time. Two dimensions.
Great point. I'm always harping on how early reflections and comb filtering confuses what we hear. Believing that gear (other than echo and reverb FX) can have a third dimension is a perfect example of being confused by an imperfect monitoring environment.

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #96
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Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
but when you mic an instrument from 10 feet away, even as a mono point source, the listener PERCEIVES DEPTH
Of course, but that depth happens outside the gear. The amount of depth is not changed by a preamp unless the preamp has, for example, a severely compromised frequency response.

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #97
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Originally Posted by ImmortalGropher View Post
hand wired will always be more expensive and sound better IMO.
On what do you base this? I know you said "IMO" but there are opinions based on knowledge, and then there are opinions based on fantasy. Do you have any hard proof that a hand-wired circuit sounds any different than a PCB? In what way does it differ? Frequency response? Distortion? Background hiss? What exactly? Please be as specific as possible.

BTW, I hope you don't take this as an attack because that's not my intent. My hope is that you'll question how you came to the conclusion that hand wired circuits sound better than PCBs

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #98
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Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post


you are the king of the unfounded, unsupported claims.

"if I had to record on xxx i wouldnt record"

that says it all right there.

some people on this forum have a lot to learn.

and to the newer guys that lean on gear, put all the responsibility on metal boxes...see how far you get.

ive said this a lot, but ill say it again..if you cant get a fantastic result out of anything out there (barring the cheapest of the cheap chicomm mess)

you need to work harder and learn more about your craft.

i could list one of the hundreds of albums done on equipment that you guys scoff at, albums that were very successful and lauded...... but it has all been done before.

so let me ask... once you get this "high end" stuff and you still havent made anything that sounds up to par.. it is still the equipments fault, right?

no. it never was.

Bang on there!!! thumbsupthumbsup

It's only when your skills are sharp, that you can properly take advantage of the better gear.
Old 24th March 2010
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Unless you are recording in an anechoic chamber or something, the further away you get from a sound source, the greater proportion of early and later reflections. The greater the distance between the direct sound and some of the reflections.

even in mono, this adds a tremendous amount of 'extra' information to what might have been a simple waveform - albeit at increasingly lower levels for each iteration. Our brain uses this information to extrapolate the dimensions of the space and distance to the source.


like the devil, the dimensionality is in the details. Better gear gives us more 3-D because it does a better job at getting these details.
My point was this: have you never noticed how someones voice has a very distinct sound from across the street..
NOT just lower in level..This was my point..
Old 24th March 2010
  #100
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^^^ Uh Mike, I think that was Joe's point.
Old 24th March 2010
  #101
nkf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
An analyzer is used to look at spectrum. For time behaviour you use a scope.


/Peter
Sure. It was meant against Mr. Ethan Winers method to look at spectra to compare things.
Many years ago I privately meet Dr. Boré (the developer of the U67) at his home and he told me a lot about the measurement methods of the past at Neumann. To test transient behavior they tried starter pistols but soon encountered loud electric sparks as an ideal way to test transient response. He generally brought me to the thought to watch for transient response as the most important thing for using microphones. I was in a deep learning phase at that time and had the pleasure to learn something directly from this great technician.
Old 24th March 2010
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
^^^ Uh Mike, I think that was Joe's point.
No..It is a frequency thing..he did not mention that..
Old 24th March 2010
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
maybe strictly speaking correct

but when you mic an instrument from 10 feet away, even as a mono point source, the listener PERCEIVES DEPTH

in any mono recording there is a feeling of depth. in fact, some would say more than in stereo, despite the lack of 'phase' cues.

watching TV or film is inherently 2-d as well. but many people feel film looks more 3-d and video more 'flat'.

can't always be a language purist (though god knows I try <g>)

and in any event, more relevant to the discussion at hand, some mic pres certainly give a FEELING of solidity or "3-D-ness" rather than FEELING transparent or 'thin' or 'flimsy'

any adjectives used to describe sound as an experience are inherently flawed and limited by our associations with the words.
But try we must, when TALKING about it.
I would say that this actually jives with what he said about it being only in two dimensions. From where I'm reading, you're both agreeing. the third dimension we hear from a distant miking etc is because of reflections, subtle room sounds etc entering the mic at a level that is the same as it is for close miking, however the original sound is further from the mic making the original less dominant over the room sound. so you are effectively "turning up the volume" of what you are (I think) describing as that third dimension.

I'm quite certain we all agree on this, it's likely a matter of semantics. I was reminded of it when listening to and discussing the beatles remasters about a year ago. Of course those aren't really great examples of 3D depth no matter how you look at them, amazing performances and good engineering not withstanding. But still, the mono mixes actually do have some form of 3D depth... which is of course impossible literally speaking. but it is perceived as 3D depth by the brain.

A trick of the light - but a darn good one. Like the math behind creating artificially perceived surround sound from 2 speakers or even from headphones simply by playing with time signals and planting a seed of imagination in the human brain for it to make an association about distance front-to-back.

Fascinating stuff...

but back on point, knowing Ethan I would say that he's fully aware of the transient response of the circuits in preamps and how they can affect things, transient response is easily the most elusive and yet completely testable, measurable and tweakable speck (and possibly the most important one too) when creating something like a compressor (I've come across it and adjusted it when building 1176 clones and also when building/testing custom studio loudspeakers).

I have no doubt that it matters in preamps too. However is it expensive to build a preamp that has very good transient response? Not at all.

And does it require a huge power supply? nope. It DOES require a well built and designed power supply and overall circuit and of course the right components in the right design and blah blah. But you can have excellent transient response (in other words, a lack of overshoot, undershoot, delay, and so on to use sort of understandable words) from some pretty nondescript circuits.

It doesn't define high end to me. High end really is defined by price, cost of components, purity or exoticness of design (somewhere in the middle doesn't seem to be high end ever LoL, it's always one extreme or the other)... and all of that has to be combined with the device excelling at SOMETHING.

The high end preamp could be uber clean, super low noise, really accurate, really great at being multitracked dozens of times without annoying side effects (focusrite's totl products for an obvious example).

The high end preamp could have a special color that works great with lead vocals or with drums or with whatever even if it doesn't multitrack that well or even have uber great distortion specs etc (lots of examples).

The high end preamp could add some particular type of signature that does multitrack great but overall defines it as great for punchy rock or some other type of style (api for example, although classifying it as high end is questionable, at least in lunch box format).

The high end preamp could be entirely tube based yet still super clean and accurate and flat, but just because it's purely tube based and yet manages to perform at least as well as a focusrite at being forgettable in a GOOD way it's considered a feat of engineering and worth every penny (I can't recall the example I'm thinking of but it exists -- I know that much).

low end? typically tries to give as much bang for the cheap person's buck. If it does so with really good specs, with a nice tone, or with "exotic" components (a $2.99 preamp tube in an otherwise SS circuit, or more shockingly an actual transformer which must be inexpensive since good ones are typically prohibitively expensive for prosumer products)... it's a gamble for the purchaser and as with expensive gear only the stuff that has something it does particularly well will survive.

Sometimes, as with behringer SS mic pres, or those 8 preamps in one rack unit models from a few companies (talking about relatively cheap models here), they are successful because they give you lots of useful circuits for cheap. They really don't sound bad at all, but definitely don't sound great either if you have something much better to compare against. But they're plenty good enough to make great music with.

I always find that with ANYTHING, absolutely anything in music, you can make great music. Even if it's with a water glass. You just have to put way more effort into doing it well with crap gear than you do with great gear.

I'm quite happy hitting my hands on my chest to do percussion work. But it's much harder to record that satisfactorily than when I play my sonor kit. So if I want a good drum type of track I'll get there faster with the sonor kit than miking up my chest and using signal processing and/or drum replacements LoL (yes I'm using an extreme example here, I rarely mike up my chest... stranger things have happened though...)

cheers,
Don

Last edited by dkelley; 24th March 2010 at 08:44 PM.. Reason: learned how to spell elusive
Old 24th March 2010
  #104
It depends:

Do you want to hear the preamp or do you want to hear just the mic?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 24th March 2010
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It depends:

Do you want to hear the preamp or do you want to hear just the mic?
I built a Hamptone jfet unit four years ago, and still love using it. However, when I bought my ATI 8mx2, I instantly fell in love with the speed and clarity of the amps. I would not describe them as "clean", but, rather "clear".

Now, I find myself focusing more on clarity than smoothness and transformery coloration. Perhaps, one day I'll get to do a few rounds with your High-Speed MicPre.
Old 24th March 2010
  #106
Well - they're all colors right? Various combination's components and designs... more/less distortion, eq curves, whatever...

but here goes... I've got a modest writing room, some decent outboard gear eventide, lexicon, thermionic culture... my pre's are modest too, I've got an UA 2610, a Vintech Dual 72, and a Vintech 273 (i love the vintech's, I know there are haters, but for me they're awesome). My pre's run into a Rosetta 800... decent gear.

Anyway - those give me three different flavors.

For kicks a few months ago I bought a Behringer ADA8000, 8 channels of bi-directional lightpipe, AD/DA and 8 pres. I figured - hell, for $200 I can add 8 channels of hardware inserts to Sonar for my Culture Vulture, Electrix Filters, other effects, etc... I'm mangling the sound anyway, so who cares...

Then my studio got leaks in the rains, so I had to do a lot of waterproof, covering - generally a major pain in my ass. My pres are wired to a snake that goes across the room and most of my mics are "live wired" for quick setups when inspiration hits.

LONG STORY SHORT - just for kicks I threw an e906 in front of my Valve Jr and ran the mic into the Behringer just so I could do some scratch recording without having to uncover/recover waterproof the whole freakin' studio.

Ya know what - it pretty darn good. I know that mic pre's are like religion around here, but if I had to work with only the ADA8000 I could.

I think one of the things that's gotten lost in all of this trickle down technology is the difference between how good you can get something at home or a small studio Versus the WHOLE experience of being a larger, dedicated real commercial studio space.

I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from using what they can afford to do what they can do, at the same time I wish I owned The Village or Paramount in LA and could only be using the best all of the time.

There's an interesting curve w/ gear - at some point, if your recordings still suck - it's probably not the gear...
Old 24th March 2010
  #107
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Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
I didn't say anything about price. What I did say was that a lot of things are bashed here by the elitist/profisnobfidelistas unfairly... the reality is MUCH different than their "theories".. and like I said, I could post a ton of examples that run counter to their claims..

it is plain old misinformation/propaganda...and no less damaging than any other propaganda.

Old 24th March 2010
  #108
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Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
No it's not irrelevant. If the circuit (discrete or integrated) is to slow it will result in in band roll off and distortion which is audible.
/Peter
I was being sarcastic...........
I know all about opamps
Old 24th March 2010
  #109
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Originally Posted by nkf View Post
It was meant against Mr. Ethan Winers method to look at spectra to compare things.
Do you really think that I'm not aware of time-based factors?

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #110
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I think there is a lot of bias against low / mid level gear. Certain pieces get labeled as "unusable". I have to wonder if, and maybe I'm way off base here, some of the dislike of our low end gear recordings isn't partly a result of experience or lack thereof while using it. Most people I know start on lower end gear and slowly upgrade piece by piece. But it's not only the gear that gets upgraded, it's also the skill level of the operator / engineer. That happens over time.

I think that this increased skill level or experience, is of far greater importance than any one piece of gear and sometimes contributes to bias against less expensive equipment.

It would be interesting to be able to go back to all of the gear we used, say ten years ago, and make a new recording. My guess is that it would turn out far better than expected.
Old 24th March 2010
  #111
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I hate to shamelessly self promote...

But I own less than $2000 worth of gear and I got a pretty darn good sound out of it....


Click here to hear ...


But with that said...I think that its not just the preamp (or the room or anything), its the musician and how the musician portrays his emotional response through the medium of music.

"cheap" and "expensive" are vague terms...One mans trash is another mans treasure.
Not only that, but its situational.


The killers recorded their drum tracks on a MOTU 896HD...that CD came out last year...

It was in an untreated room next to an airport so on the solo tracks you can hear PLANES flying by.


I think this subject is over discussed as well (And I have only been on here for a year!)

The difference in these 2 monetary terms of preamps are the quality of the preamps...

Technically, you can find expensive gear on this site+ebay+craigslist that many people would consider cheap! (I found a brand new pair of Pulsar IIs + an M-Audio Sputnik for $450 shipped...)

Eh...reading over this I sound like an asshole..but.. there is my 2 cents

-Ev
Old 24th March 2010
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
I built a Hamptone jfet unit four years ago

you shoulda built the hvtp2 anyway. amazing amp, that. heh
Old 24th March 2010
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapeworm View Post
I think there is a lot of bias against low / mid level gear. Certain pieces get labeled as "unusable". I have to wonder if, and maybe I'm way off base here, some of the dislike of our low end gear recordings isn't partly a result of experience or lack thereof while using it. Most people I know start on lower end gear and slowly upgrade piece by piece. But it's not only the gear that gets upgraded, it's also the skill level of the operator / engineer. That happens over time.
It's a fair point that it's not just the gear that gets improved over time. However, that doesn't mean that low-end gear is inherently better than we might think. I work with lots of starving artists who have cheap gear, and I can tell you there are all kinds of reasons that they're not as good as "high-end" gear.

For one, before you even think about sound, there's reliability. Build quality matters and I've seen so much cheap gear broken either in the studio or on tour. Or it just stops working all on its own at a terrible moment. You should always have backups for your high-end stuff as well, but I've seen a lot more cheapo gear die than nice pieces.

Outside that, cheap gear is made from cheap parts. Cheap capacitors, bad soldering, poorly shielded wire. It all adds up to make it sound worse. You get hum and buzz and interference. An hour or two spent opening up any cheap piece of gear and replacing any cheap components and cleaning up the poor craftsmanship will notably improve the sound of most of it.

Is all cheap gear bad? Not at all. Some of it can create some very cool sounds. But are we discarding it blindly? I'd say no.
Old 24th March 2010
  #114
nkf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Do you really think that I'm not aware of time-based factors?

--Ethan
OK, then I would like to know what you think about transient responses in mic preamps. Is it important for you or not? Do you think there is a significant difference between (most) cheap and expensive (non-coloring) preamps?
I mentioned a simple test with a bunch of keys as quite revealing for this. Have you done similar things ore using aforementioned scope to measure transient responses?
Old 24th March 2010
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabehr View Post
cheap gear is made from cheap parts. Cheap capacitors, bad soldering, poorly shielded wire. It all adds up to make it sound worse. You get hum and buzz and interference. An hour or two spent opening up any cheap piece of gear and replacing any cheap components and cleaning up the poor craftsmanship will notably improve the sound of most of it.
Is all cheap gear bad? Not at all. Some of it can create some very cool sounds. But are we discarding it blindly? I'd say no.
...maybe we need to differentiate between "cheap" and "inexpensive"...the Rane MSB-1 preamp retails for about $150, but has been called the "John Hardy Jr.", been compared in design to Grace preamps and they perform well enough for respected engineer Roger Nichols to enlist them regularly for use on Steely Dan recordings (regarded as sonically high quality tracks)...

...so maybe there is a differentiation between "cheaply built" and "inexpensive, but well designed/built"...the Black Lion Auteur also comes to mind (originally sold for about $130 per channel)...

Footnote: Nichols responded in a thread about a preamp shootout in which he pitted the Rane against much more expensive high-end preamps...his response:
"I have a big box full of Rane mic preamps. I use them all the time, but I have to disguise them so nobody knows.
Eric Schilling, Tom Morris and I did a mic pre shootout last month, and just for fun, I included the Rane MS-1 against all of the Avalons, GML, and other preamps up to $5000. The Rane held its own and was never rated lower than second place in all categories; Snare, Sax, Guitar, and Vocal. Pretty impressive for under $200."

original thread here:
Roger, Tell us about Rane MS Ib - MusicPlayer Forums
Old 24th March 2010
  #116
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Cool

as noted in my earlier post (sorry it was so long)...


... you can get great transient response and in fact most important specs can be great in even some pretty cheaply built components.

But of course it should be a given in expensive gear, where as with inexpensive gear you can buy anything and it will claim to be the best; only testing (on bench and/or with your ears, either works pretty well :-) and word of mouth can tell us which inexpensive gear actually IS really good.

and I have to say, I've heard some gear with poor transient response which sounds really really good for certain things (such as vocals).

And also very unfortunately, I've seen some boutique gear that had pretty miserable test results for things as transient response, damping, hell even dc offset which is basic high school electronics class stuff.

All in all you don't always get what you pay for.

BUT there sure are a lot of great and relatively pricey preamps (>$500) compared to how many great and really inexpensive preamps there are (<$500). And by great in this case I mean let's compare the two (pricey and inexpensive) and see which one sounds better in use and tests better on the bench.
Old 24th March 2010
  #117
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Originally Posted by nkf View Post
OK, then I would like to know what you think about transient responses in mic preamps. Is it important for you or not?
Of course it's important, but it's not special. Let's define transient response. I won't even go to Wikipedia, I'll just wing it here: heh
Transient Response is simply the ability of a device to pass high frequencies
at the same high volume levels it can pass lower frequencies.
That's it, end of discussion. If a preamp or whatever can pass 20 KHz at full level without running into slew rate limiting or other distortions that do not occur at lower frequencies, then its transient response is perfectly fine.

Quote:
Do you think there is a significant difference between (most) cheap and expensive (non-coloring) preamps?
I can't speak for "most" because I haven't used even 1/10th of "most," but my gut feeling is that most gear these days is perfectly competent. And when there's a question about a particular piece of gear, it's trivial to measure. So there's no mystery, no new terms are needed, and certainly no magic is needed.

If someone - anyone! - could post a fair comparison of audio clips showing the same signal through two competent (non-coloring) preamps sounding different, then we'd have the basis for a discussion. But so far all I see is folks with no visible tech skills making bold pronouncements very loudly, but with zero evidence to back up their claims.

Quote:
I mentioned a simple test with a bunch of keys as quite revealing for this. Have you done similar things ore using aforementioned scope to measure transient responses?
Hell, I invented the "jingling keys" test back in the 1970s. At least I had never heard of anyone else doing that. I recall it very clearly. My friend Leo Taylor was an engineer at Hewlett-Packard at the time (now retired), and he had access to all sorts of cool stuff. You can search his name on my personal web site if you care. That day he brought over a spectrum analyzer that could go out to 50 KHz. So we ran my U47 through the analyzer while I jingled my car keys a few inches away from the capsule. We were both surprised that the mic had substantial output all the way to the 50 KHz cut-off. But I digress. heh

Jingling keys is okay if you crank the preamp gain loud enough so it's full scale. But most tambourines have sufficient HF content, as do most cymbals. In either case, what you need to listen for are IM products at lower frequencies. If the keys/tambourine sounds clear and jangly, the "transient response" is probably okay. If you hear midrange and bass grunge, those are IM products that reveal the distortion. Of course, it's much better to simply measure distortion directly because it gives more accurate results that you can attach hard numbers to.

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #118
I'll go back and read this thread now, havent started yet. Just wanted to give Ethan Winer (in particular, along with several other people on this forum) a MASSIVE thank you for helping me and others to bring the practicality back into music.

I am working as a producer/songwriter as well as mixing engineer, and need to devote as much time as possible into MAKING music, not obsessing over extremely subtle details which, if they even exists, certainly have nothing to do with a record being good or bad.

If I was working solely as a mixing engineer or sound designer or something more specialized like that, maybe my priorities would be different, and I think the people who are getting into the very finest details of audio are doing something very interesting. But too many people mix this with a general consumerism, and I believe the result is less good music being made.

Ethan and other have helped me to spend my money more wisely. On gear you can get creative with (meaning tweak it to really hear difference), akoustic treatment, or simply not spending it on gear at all, but on something completely different, that might spur your creativity even more than a piece of kit, like a vacation!

Thank you!

/Rasmus

(PS, Ethan, you were right about the power cables, couldnt hear a damn difference in a blind test)
Old 24th March 2010
  #119
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If a preamp or whatever can pass 20 KHz at full level without running into slew rate limiting or other distortions that do not occur at lower frequencies, then its transient response is perfectly fine.
I just want to clarify this before someone else does. heh

Sounds like jingling keys and tambourines and glockenspiels etc can contain substantial content past 20 KHz. So if a device runs into slew rate limiting at, say, 30 KHz, that can cause audible IM distortion and grunge in the audible range. This is why competent circuits have a response well past 20 KHz. Either that or, in the case of sound cards, a sharp filter to prevent such ultrasonic content from getting into the device in the first place.

--Ethan
Old 24th March 2010
  #120
nkf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Transient Response is simply the ability of a device to pass high frequencies
at the same high volume levels it can pass lower frequencies.
That's it, end of discussion. If a preamp or whatever can pass 20 KHz at full level without running into slew rate limiting or other distortions that do not occur at lower frequencies, then its transient response is perfectly fine.
Your funny apodictic note aside ... I will leave technical definitions to technicians ... but even if your definition is correct and I'm willing to assume this - I haven't asked for it btw. - I'm not arguing scientific facts as I'm generally science oriented and educated as such. I'm talking about implementations. I can hear different transient responses between preamps and I'm either a man with too much fantasy or it's something that makes a difference in my recordings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
So there's no mystery, no new terms are needed, and certainly no magic is needed.
Don't try to insinuate I had meant anything like that. People that don't necessarily agree with you on everything every time are not irrational per se.
In fact it's the core of sciences to dispute and disagree in a rational manner. And what rationality is, is disputed in Philosophy - so please, don't be so bold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If someone - anyone! - could post a fair comparison of audio clips showing the same signal through two competent (non-coloring) preamps sounding different, then we'd have the basis for a discussion.
I too wish somebody with the skills would do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Hell, I invented the "jingling keys" test back in the 1970s. At least I had never heard of anyone else doing that.
Many people do this ... calm down. I recently heard from a friend that this is an ancient fast check done by Neumann employees decades ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If the keys/tambourine sounds clear and jangly, the "transient response" is probably okay.
An 'okay' is not what I want ... Is it better with a certain preamp than with another? From the start you have to use a microphone that has an excellent transient response like a Schoeps (or DPA). You can hook up a SM7b or even a U89 (has a transformer) and would probably miss different transient behaviour, with e.g. a Schoeps you can hear a difference.
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