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Neve 33115 on the inside Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 15th December 2017
  #1
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xlon's Avatar
 

Neve 33115 on the inside

For the first time in decades I have sprayed the pre/lines on this Neve 33115 sitting in a Neve 5315. On opening them up I was surprised to see what I count to three ic´s, thought there was only one in the 33115.
The other surprise was that every unit had the st Ives input transformer but about half the units had st Ives also on the output, the other half is unmarked as the picture shows.

I think I´ve read somewhere that Neve only fitted the 33115 with st Ives on the input, but I might be mistaken. Any one knows what the unlabeled output transformers might be?
My best guess is the same but for some reason unlabeled?

Feel free to lecture me on this and best of fridays to all!
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 33115 on the inside-neve-33115.jpg   Neve 33115 on the inside-neve-st-ives-trafon.jpg  
Old 15th December 2017
  #2
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Yep these are class AB output amps.. (B638) draw less current and generate less heat..afaik.
and I believe they mount a different xformer than the class A units.. but don't quote me on that..
Imho they still sound good, a bit "cleaner" than their class A predecessors..

I'd ask Geoff Tanner, he will provide complete and correct information



Cheu
Old 13th February 2018
  #3
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Im a bit curious too about what this outpu transformer is, you got an answer about it yet?
Old 13th February 2018
  #4
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Some slight confusion here also....

The correct observation is that two of the Neve integrated circuit amplifier boards are BA638 boards

They are not discrete

They are indiscrete

One is for the line input the other for the mic input

The output amplifier board is a BA640

The discrete version of these amplifier boards would be the earlier BA438 and BA440 amplifiers

Both are class AB

Neither the discrete or indiscrete versions of this amplifier are class A

The discrete and indiscrete versions are directly interchangeable

The output transformer is a standard St Ives unit

Nothing special about that

The Neve class A output circuit topography was completely different and used totally different amplifiers and transformers

Virtually none of the 3 series modules were class A

One of the main points, in fact THE main point of the 33 series was to reduce the module width and build complexity for broadcast applications as opposed to the wider 45 series

Hence the flatter pcb mounting output transformer which was also used in modules such as the 31105 mic amp/eq module for the Neve 8078 console

If you want to hear the difference you can swop the BA638 for BA438 and BA640 for BA440

I have already described how to be able to accurately hear and document the difference between these discrete and indiscrete amplifiers elsewhere on this forum

Have fun

BTW....Nice clean modules!

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 14th February 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
Im a bit curious too about what this outpu transformer is, you got an answer about it yet?
Hiya

Good to hear from you regarding your Neve 2264x which seems to have the same transformers

Well, actually not really is the answer

They are the same but different

Life is not always so simple!

Looking at your photograph your module has two Marinair input transformers and a St Ives output transformer

On the side of the output transformer in white lettering will be the St Ives part number

Let me know this number and I will tell you more about this transformer

I cannot see the output amplifier so that could either be a BA440 or a BA640

Does this board have an integrated circuit ?

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 33115 on the inside-2264x.jpg  
Old 15th February 2018
  #6
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I think the output could be a Marinair TO129

I dont have the x version, just curious
Old 3rd November 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
If you want to hear the difference you can swop the BA638 for BA438 and BA640 for BA440

I have already described how to be able to accurately hear and document the difference between these discrete and indiscrete amplifiers elsewhere on this forum

Have fun

BTW....Nice clean modules!

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Where abouts on the forum? I would love to know the differences as I have a couple indiscreet modules I’d like to convert. I have heard it really only matters on the mic input side of things. How you hit it coming in. Not so much the line side...
Old 3rd November 2018
  #8
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The output transformer is LO1173. There are different numbers for the versions made by other manufacturers:

Neve Transformer Windings from EDO 71/73 8-11-73 / Tech Mecca, Inc. / John Klett

Cheers

Ian
Old 3rd November 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasroc View Post
Where abouts on the forum? I would love to know the differences as I have a couple indiscreet modules I’d like to convert. I have heard it really only matters on the mic input side of things. How you hit it coming in. Not so much the line side...
Hiya

It is buried deep in the following thread which you might find interesting in its entirety?

The new Neve 1073 DPX! Two rack mounted 1073s for $4999
Post 158/166

Here is a copy:

Post 166

START COPY

So here is MY sales pitch:

So now you can finally, for once and for all REALLY, totally and utterly, definitively, clearly hear the DIFFERENCE between all of your various Neve modules in the privacy of your own home

Just get out all of your genuine vintage Neve modules, your clones and your re-issues and follow the simple procedure above

Just remember to put out the cat!

You can also record the DIFFERENCE signals and post them on GS so that we can all hear?

Should I start a Neve DIFFERENCE SIGNAL thread?

Seriously, I have used this method for years

It is what you hear IN the null and it takes a bit of getting used to hearing what you normally would only perceive as a difference

When comparing like with like Neve channels the difference signal can be very small and you literally have to dig it out of the noise floor

It is a very sensitive process and as with all listening tests must be done very accurately with scientific precision

As I mentioned, it must be done with a variety of sources including percussive

Also, as briefly mentioned, this is best used to identify and train your senses to the type of differences that can then be more readily discerned in straight A/B listening tests

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology

Post 158

OK Dudes

This is what I do

Ultimately, you can only figure it out by using a piece of gear for some while on different sources in the comfort of your own gaff and then you will know what suits you best for your type of source and your own kinda sound

Even then, what might work for one instrument will not be the best for another

There is a vast difference between what will sound good with a simple waveform, like for instance a flute or a whistle and an instrument generating loads of harmonics like a vamped guitar

Sometimes I even use a digital synth and try to warm it up nicely to give it some life without any eq

If you can do that then you are onto a winner

With vintage Neve modules I CAN do just that

As for the subtle differences between these Neve modules their transformers and whatever, only experience and constant use can really be your own personal proof of the pudding

I see where all this is coming from though and will help you as much as possible because once you commit to buying then you have effectively had your pudding eaten before you have any proof

You are a salesman's dream come true

Watch out for fat pudding eating, guzzling salesmen

They get to eat AND get your hard earned cash for unknown things to us, like holidays

What this is about is giving good advice after all

Sometimes I can instantly hear the differences

Sometimes not

In the latter case here is what I do:

Baring trade top secret, secret stuff here

You need to do it with different settings of the units under question as well as with different sources from pure instruments through other instruments, drums and cymbals right to final mixes

I always use a single source fed to two identical chains which are then mixed

First, without the units under test I set close levels, phase reverse one chain and then adjust the level of one to cancel out the other in the mix

Turn up the monitors and null out the signal to max by fine tuning the level

At this point be careful that the studio cat doesn't touch anything or you will end up with broken ears, not to mention the monitors and a broken bank balance

Watch that cat!

If both chains are identical then you will achieve a massive null and even with the monitors right up you will hear virtually nothing right into the noise floor

If not, fix it (you shouldn't​ be using dat ting for serious recording)

CUT the monitors and turn down the monitor gain to normal

Patch your modules under comparison into their respective chains and carefully set identical levels on each unit

Turn up the monitors gradually whilst adjusting the gain of one unit to again null out the signal

Constantly keep one eye on that studio cat

When you have nulled and maxed the monitors what you will be hearing is purely the DIFFERENCE between your two units

Usually, once I have heard the difference this way I find that I can then easily hear that difference under normal listening conditions

It is really a matter of tuning into say a gritty upper mid, a nasty top end or a bum bass

Hope you guys have some fun with this

Let me know what you hear?

Or what you don't hear?

Is it possible to tell someone what you don't hear?

Ehhhh??

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology

END COPY

For sure this is one that is better perceived rather than measured, although both are quite easily possible

You will not find this easy to compare because with the discrete vs indiscrete amps it really does depend on rather individual conditions of settings, source and material...

However, by using this method you can achieve an empirical result under those exact conditions of usage with the actual source material in which you are interested, rather than some test signal

Like any measurement if this is not done scientifically it will produce false results

Having said that this is essentially the way that expensive audio test equipment measures total harmonic distortion right down to 0.001% and so it can be very accurate

Again, I stress that this result is not going to be what you are going to hear in the mix because audio waveforms are as highly complex as creation itself, but rather this should give you a clue as what differences you should be listening for in your blind AB listening tests

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 3rd November 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
Hiya

It is buried deep in the following thread which you might find interesting in its entirety?

The new Neve 1073 DPX! Two rack mounted 1073s for $4999
Post 158/166

Here is a copy:

Post 166

START COPY

So here is MY sales pitch:

So now you can finally, for once and for all REALLY, totally and utterly, definitively, clearly hear the DIFFERENCE between all of your various Neve modules in the privacy of your own home
I am not convinced the null technique you describe shows what you think it shows. Put two 1073 modules from the same production run in there and you will hear differences. Each will have subtle differences in distortion spectra, frequency response etc etc which the null will show up. The vast majority of these vastly amplified tiny differences will be totally inaudible in normal use. The same is true of different types of Neve channel modules. The differences will be tiny even when vastly amplified and it will be impossible to tell if the difference you hear in the null is a real difference or simply normal production tolerances.

Cheers

Ian
Old 3rd November 2018
  #11
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Hi Ian

That is why I state that this must be done scientifically

For instance....in this case changing only ONE amplifier and comparing before and after results under otherwise identical conditions

With this sort of comparison each case must be carefully thought out and planned before jumping to wild conclusions

I also repeatedly qualify this method of comparison....as restated:

"Again, I stress that this result is not going to be what you are going to hear in the mix because audio waveforms are as highly complex as creation itself, but rather this should give you a clue as what differences you should be listening for in your blind AB listening tests"

"When you have nulled and maxed the monitors what you will be hearing is purely the DIFFERENCE between your two units"

"Usually, once I have heard the difference this way I find that I can then easily hear that difference under normal listening conditions"

"When comparing like with like Neve channels the difference signal can be very small and you literally have to dig it out of the noise floor"

"It is a very sensitive process and as with all listening tests must be done very accurately with scientific precision"

"Also, as briefly mentioned, this is best used to identify and train your senses to the type of differences that can then be more readily discerned in straight A/B listening tests"

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 3rd November 2018
  #12
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PAST's Avatar
 

Ooop....and PS

Don't forget to nail down the studio cat really securely between comparison tests
Old 4th November 2018
  #13
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
Hi Ian

"When you have nulled and maxed the monitors what you will be hearing is purely the DIFFERENCE between your two units"

"Usually, once I have heard the difference this way I find that I can then easily hear that difference under normal listening conditions"

"When comparing like with like Neve channels the difference signal can be very small and you literally have to dig it out of the noise floor"
This is the part I have a problem with. I just does not make sense to me. If you are "digging something out of the noise floor" then under normal listening conditions you simply will not hear it (masking). If you think you do hear it then it is probably psycho acoustic expectation.

Cheers

Ian
Old 4th November 2018
  #14
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Hi Ian

This 'masking' is what they thought that noone would notice when they stripped low level audio out for mp3 digital

I am not a great believer in psycho acoustic engineering....

Personally, I cannot bear to listen to these facsimile audio formats!

I also stated:

"Again, I stress that this result is not going to be what you are going to hear in the mix because audio waveforms are as highly complex as creation itself..."

To qualify this further, the final waveform or 'sound' is an interaction of ALL artefacts, and how they combine producing sum, difference, beat, phase....and more complex parameters, all again interacting with their own products

Here, we ARE talking about very small differences

Two identical Neve modules that measure with identical parameters of frequency response, noise and distortion are going to sound very much the same... but NOT necessarily identical

This is where you are going to be "digging something out of the noise floor" that perhaps you have not found with conventional measurement techniques

Remember that this is merely a means of comparison

However, changing just one component in one of those modules can make a significant difference

I am a strong believer in accurate measurement as a TOOL for researching, specifying, developing, investigating, controling quality and maintaining audio equipment but at the end of the day it is what we perceive that is of much more interest and importance in the field of recorded sound and music

It would indeed seem that we humans can't even agree on what we CAN hear, let alone on what we CANNOT hear, let alone measure?

Maybe we should ask that studio cat that we nailed down?...poor thing!

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 4th November 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
Hi Ian

This 'masking' is what they thought that noone would notice when they stripped low level audio out for mp3 digital

I am not a great believer in psycho acoustic engineering....

Personally, I cannot bear to listen to these facsimile audio formats!
I agree about mp3 but just because there is one very poor implementation of psycho acoustics does not invalidate the whole. Masking is very a well established phenomena. The point is that, at the tiny levels we are talking about, masking certainly takes place. and means you will not hear these artefacts in the presence of the material itself.

Cheers

Ian
Old 5th November 2018
  #16
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Hi Ian

My interpretation of the point in question was that these folks ARE looking for those tiny differences

I was trying to be helpful in suggesting a way in which they could scientifically find, isolate and hear those differences using the equipment that they already have to hand

Seems we have gone a bit off topic, however, if there is further interest in this other subject here, I will gladly continue if requested.....?

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology

Last edited by PAST; 5th November 2018 at 10:52 AM.. Reason: Gramma
Old 5th November 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
Hi Ian

My interpretation of the point in question was that these folks ARE looking for those tiny differences

I was trying to be helpful in suggesting a way in which they could scientifically find, isolate and hear those differences using the equipment that they already have to hand
I have no problem with that as a means of possibly isolating those differences. What I have difficulty with is your contention that you can then hear those same tiny nuances without the technique simply by listening to ordinary material.

Cheers

Ian
Old 5th November 2018
  #18
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Hi Ian

Well...exactly!

You can train your senses to know what to listen for and of course watch for facial expression changes and other more violent reactions in the well nailed down studio cat

But....there doesn't seem to be that much interest in this?

I hope that this isn't trick or treat?

It is Halloween week after all!

At least I can say that I visited a graveyard this Halloween....I logged back in to Gearslutz to discuss vintage Neve stuff

I can't really say whether I can hear something or not, unless I can hear it...so to speak

But there is certainly no 'arm in looking for it or trying to 'ear it

Excuse me for the 'alloween chopped off bits....but they bring us nicely to the next 'nasty point'

'Can you hear those tiny nuances and 'why' seems to be one of the most contentious and long-winded things discussed on Gearslutz regarding Neve modules...amongst other fangs

I really don't want to drag a skeleton out of the closet and I was trying to avoid it....as much as the claws and sharp teeth of a freshly 'un-nailed' studio cat

At risk of creating a bloody Halloween mess and as it is dark, damp, cold and raining, as is usual these days...and as it IS Halloween, I will tackle it via the 'MASKING' issue...

Masking is horrible and scary!

Like....deliberately adding purposefully, artificially generated pink noise to hide even more nasty digital 'leftovers' and 'lost number' crap at VERY LOW levels indeed, in a digital audio signal

This in itself shows that these very low level tiny digital gremlins are audible....or otherwise, why bother to mask them?

Plus, back in the studio....

Ohhh look...TODAY the cobwebs in my vintage console look like decorations!

Don't forget that say in a 40 channel + 32 mixdown channel Vintage Neve we have 72 input amplifiers alone, plus hundreds more in both parallel and series paths all contributing perhaps identical, or at least similar, tiny delicious analogue nuances

During mixing, using all 72 inputs, eq plus aux sends and returns et al, those artefacts, including the characteristics of the amplifiers creating those tiny nice nuances, could just as easily be coherent as incoherent and add substantial sonic contributions whilst not being masked by incoherent natural noise which should indeed not be audible until fade out....which is what I myself will now do, before I turn into a pumpkin

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology

Last edited by PAST; 5th November 2018 at 08:59 PM.. Reason: Spellin, ,
Old 5th November 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post

'Can you hear those tiny nuances and 'why' seems to be one of the most contentious and long-winded things discussed on Gearslutz regarding Neve modules...amongst other fangsy
I was at Neve in the mid 70 when the now 'classic' Neve gear was made. I worked in Sales Engineering and talked to lots of prospective customers. Not one of them bought a Neve for the sound. They bought them because they were built like a tank, had all the facilities they needed and would last for donkeys years.

The 'Neve Sound' is a modern invention sought after by people who see it s a substitute for lack of talent.

Cheers

Ian
Old 9th November 2018
  #20
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Ha, you guys. I was simply interested in your opinions on discrete vs indiscrete amp cards in the modules. I have no time to actually measure the difference and don’t care really. As with most folks discrete interests me and most of my gear is built this way. I have spoken with many 33115 and 4 users and discrete wins hands down every time sonically. These are guys that have spent countless hours at the console with these things and would beg to differ with the likes of Geoff Tanner even.

So what’s your opinion? Worth the extra money to convert over to discrete if one can find original amp cards? I think so...many thanks.
Old 9th November 2018
  #21
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Man...IMOO there are huge advantages in discrete amplifiers over indiscrete ones

Like the difference between taylor made clothes and those hangy, plasticy things that you buy in the shops that are made goodness knows where, probably by hot stamping machines in hot sweaty work shops?

Even when working in my muddy garden I would go for taylor made every time, simply because the knees and crutch doesn't rip out nearly so fast

But, if you don’t really care about the difference then why bother?

Just buy two or more for the price of one good one

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 9th November 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
I think the output could be a Marinair TO129

I dont have the x version, just curious
That's correct. The output transformer in the 33115 is a Marinair TO129 and not a LO1173 (which even obviously looks different to the TO129 in the 33115).
The TO129's were also used in my Neve 33117 modules which I got from ITV when I was a kid

"With the introduction of the 3415 line amplifier the new TO129 transformer was introduced. This was identical to the LO1173, but had a 1:1 (relative to the input) tertiary feedback winding added to include the negative feedback from the driver amplifier."
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 33115 on the inside-33117w.to129.jpg  
Old 10th November 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
The 'Neve Sound' is a modern invention sought after by people who see it s a substitute for lack of talent.
I used to work on staff in a place with MCI rooms. Making things sound good was a lot of work sometimes. I'd also freelance in Neve rooms around town and it would always seem effortless. A pleasure. My talent didn't change as I went from place to place. So for me, personally, the 'Neve Sound' was invented in about 1981.
Old 10th November 2018
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasroc View Post
Ha, you guys. I was simply interested in your opinions on discrete vs indiscrete amp cards in the modules. I have no time to actually measure the difference and don’t care really. As with most folks discrete interests me and most of my gear is built this way. I have spoken with many 33115 and 4 users and discrete wins hands down every time sonically. These are guys that have spent countless hours at the console with these things and would beg to differ with the likes of Geoff Tanner even.

So what’s your opinion? Worth the extra money to convert over to discrete if one can find original amp cards? I think so...many thanks.
There is a sonic difference in my experience, although I have not personally heard the difference in a 33115, I have heard it in other Neve stuff.

I was able to A/B discrete(BA440??) vs IC(BA640??) amp cards in a 33609J one time and slightly preferred the discrete. It was a small, but noticeable difference and to my ears the discrete amps sounded a little thicker and more alive. Not nearly as big as the difference between an original 33609 and the later versions though........

What I will also say is that Steve Butterworth(PAST) is a very smart guy with quite a history at Neve and his opinion carries a lot of weight with me. I used to own a pair of BAE racked 33122a(very similar to 33115). Steve built me a pair of his PAST PRE/EQ modules about a year ago and they absolutely blew my old 33122a's away.

The PAST PRE/EQ is aesthetically similar to a 31105, but electronically it is most like a 1095 (please correct me if I am wrong here Steve!).
It is built with original NOS Neve parts and sounds beautiful.
The pre amp is smoother and bigger sounding than a 33115/33122a and the EQ is one of the most powerful and musical EQs I have ever used.

Swapping discrete for IC will get you a small change in sound you may or may not prefer, but it wont be a significant upgrade in my experience. If you want the Neve sonics that a lot of people really like I would consider a 1066, 1073, 1081, 1084, 1095, 31105, etc...... Having owned 33122a's, I can say that the other modules I mentioned, while all a little different, are on another level in my opinion.

Steve, good to see you back on the forums!

Cheers.

Last edited by skybluerental; 10th November 2018 at 07:00 PM..
Old 10th November 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
I was at Neve in the mid 70 when the now 'classic' Neve gear was made. I worked in Sales Engineering and talked to lots of prospective customers. Not one of them bought a Neve for the sound. They bought them because they were built like a tank, had all the facilities they needed and would last for donkeys years.

The 'Neve Sound' is a modern invention sought after by people who see it s a substitute for lack of talent.

Cheers

Ian
Well?.....I could not see it that way from where I was at that time at all !

Even the Neve marketing slogan was : "The Sound of Neve is Worldwide"

The 1970's music recording industry was led by a vast number of innovative and caring engineers, producers, designers and technicians on both sides of the Atlantic...all of whom cared about sound !

Neve was one of the console manufacturers that was closely connected to clients through mostly custom built and often modified standard, large frame recording consoles, in which it specialised...

Air, EMI, BBC, ITV, Thames TV, HassaTon, Motown Muscle Shoals, RCA, Sony, A&M, Aurora Studios, The Grateful Dead, Capital Records, Filmways, Sound City, Wally Heider, Bearsville, A&R, Electric Lady Studios, Boogie Hotel, Mediasound Studios, Power Station, Unique, Clinton Recording Studio, Hit Factory, RPM, Intergalactic Studios, Jim Sabella, Music City Music Hall, Woodland Sound Studios, Sounds of Hawaii...and countless other consoles that I worked with were ALL owned by clients that cared a lot about sound !

If you were not actually THERE then, you only have to read back copies of Studio Sound or Mix Magazine from this era to see how important audio quality, equipment specification, maintenance and studio technique was to those really involved in the actual recording industry

The only thing that I noticed at Neve was that there was a vast riff between the recording studio industry, from which I had come and the Neve management and employees, who were brilliant engineers and technicians, but for the most part, their main interest lied in electronic and mechanical engineering and they had very little if any actual recording studio experience

As for talent, there was bucket loads of awful, atrocious, diabolical 'talent' being aired in those days, at least as much if not more than today

But these days, perhaps equal talent lies in the persuasive bull**** and lies perpetrated by vast seas of desperately competing manufacturers, cloners and, rip-off merchants?

Steve Butterworth

PAST
Professional Audio System Technology
Old 10th November 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I used to work on staff in a place with MCI rooms. Making things sound good was a lot of work sometimes. I'd also freelance in Neve rooms around town and it would always seem effortless. A pleasure. My talent didn't change as I went from place to place. So for me, personally, the 'Neve Sound' was invented in about 1981.
Very interesting. I wonder if what people are hearing is not so much a Neve sound thing as the sound of different topologies. The classic Neve stuff being made when I was there mid 70s was all class A. The narrower modules and class AB output stages were only just being introduced and what was later to be called the NE5534 (with its class B output stage) was being evaluated by Neve R&D.

Things changed rapidly in the 70s at Neve. It started with 100% discrete class A and ended with most consoles being class B IC based. The distortion spectra of class A is very different to that of AB and B. I think it is reasonably clear that other console manufacturers made the move to class B much earlier than Neve did. For example, David Rees, who worked with Rupert in the early days, was with Audix in 1971. I have a copy of his paper, published that year, entitled "From Low Level to Line Out". One the last page he describes a class B discrete output amplifier so clearly some pro manufacturers were using class B from fairly early in the 70s.

So maybe it is the difference between class A and class B that people are hearing.

Cheers

Ian
Old 10th November 2018
  #27
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I just meant "invented in 1981" in the sense that that was when I, personally, became aware of the huge difference.

These consoles I was working on were at places like Mediasound, A&R, Unique, Automated. I was 26 or so and had no idea that Class A versus Class B was even a thing.
Old 10th November 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I just meant "invented in 1981" in the sense that that was when I, personally, became aware of the huge difference.

These consoles I was working on were at places like Mediasound, A&R, Unique, Automated. I was 26 or so and had no idea that Class A versus Class B was even a thing.
Yes, I did understand what you meant. The class A vs class B thing rarely gets mentioned but it is the obvious difference between the Neves and probably many other consoles. Another interesting point is that all tube consoles were class A and their sound seems to be as revered as the early Neves. Perhaps there is a connection.


Cheers

Ian
Old 10th November 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAST View Post
Well?.....I could not see it that way from where I was at that time at all !

Even the Neve marketing slogan was : "The Sound of Neve is Worldwide"
Well I was at Neve at the time that came out. It's a play on words
Quote:
Neve was one of the console manufacturers that was closely connected to clients through mostly custom built and often modified standard, large frame recording consoles, in which it specialised...
I know. That was my job.
Quote:
If you were not actually THERE then...
You have probably gathered by now that I was there.
Quote:
The only thing that I noticed at Neve was that there was a vast riff between the recording studio industry, from which I had come and the Neve management and employees, who were brilliant engineers and technicians, but for the most part, their main interest lied in electronic and mechanical engineering and they had very little if any actual recording studio experience
Of course, you need brilliant engineers to design great consoles. You would not want to employ a bunch of tape ops and producers to design them. But you are right, you do need people with recording experience which is where Sales Engineering came in. That's where I worked. I made my first professional recording in 1965. While I was at university I helped produce the weekly university radio programme aired on radio Nottingham. For three years I recorded numerous interviews, organ recitals, pop and folk bands (thanks to the Open University lending us their recording studio)

Although I had an honours degree in electronics, when I applied to Neve I did not think I was good enough to design circuits so Instead I ended up designing custom consoles. I knew my way around a mixer, I knew my way around a studio and I knew how to deal with artists, producers and studio owners. My job was to make sure the customer got what they wanted. The Kinks were happy, Abba was happy. I did some mods to Pete Townsend's console at Eel Pie studios and he came back and asked us to design a replacement for Ramport Studios which I did.

And there were lots of people like me at Neve, some very experienced in broadcast, others in live events. Somehow you managed to miss them all.

Cheers

Ian
Old 11th November 2018
  #30
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
... all tube consoles were class A and their sound seems to be as revered as the early Neves.
By whom? There are still lots of people around including me who got their start on old tube consoles with big Bakelite knobs and you won't find any reverence or nostalgia there.
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