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Is the Focusrite 330 built with inputs and outpus transformers?
Old 8th May 2006
  #1
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alexstringer's Avatar
 

Is the Focusrite 330 built with inputs and outpus transformers?

I was reading the old thread below comparing the Red3 and Blue 230:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...srite+blue+330

Could anyone tell me if the Blue 330 was factory built with those inputs & outputs transformers and how different it sounds with or without it?
Old 8th May 2006
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
I was reading the old thread below comparing the Red3 and Blue 230:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...srite+blue+330

Could anyone tell me if the Blue 330 was factory built with those inputs & outputs transformers and how different it sounds with or without it?

You can only tell by looking inside.


Most of the Blue 330s i've seen and used had none(I used 3 of them).


It was basically a customized unit.


This was because most mastering guys thought they wanted a cleaner sound.


And yeah they all sound different depending on the combi's of transformers with and without.
Old 8th May 2006
  #3
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Thanks for getting in, Thrill, i know you're the guy to ask about those...
Since you've used both the 230 and 330, how different you'd say they sound from each other?
Old 8th May 2006
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Thanks for getting in, Thrill, i know you're the guy to ask about those...
Since you've used both the 230 and 330, how different you'd say they sound from each other?

Without the trannies i thought the thing sounds like...dfegad



With the trannies on the outputs(like a lot of the newer Red 3's) i thought it was useful but not special.


With the trannies on both it sounds fuller and much more pleasant.


The thing about the Red 3 in general is that it has a hi mid push.


It tends to push the mids around 2K-4K to the front.


This works great on a mix if you want to make the vocals stand out without having them on top of everything.


The drawback is if your mix has a lot of mids and hi's already it can make it a little edgy and ear fatiguing.


The 230 i have is modified and it lessens the mid push a bit so it won't make your ears bleed.
Old 8th May 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
The 230 i have is modified and it lessens the mid push a bit so it won't make your ears bleed.
Do you mean your 230 have trannies on both inputs and outputs?

Do a regular Mastering 330 have trannies on the inputs only?
Would i understand right to think that it would warm up the signal on the input and give you more transparency on the output?

Do a blue with trannies on the inputs and outputs means glueing everything in your mix?
Old 8th May 2006
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Do you mean your 230 have trannies on both inputs and outputs?
They all do.

Its basically the original Red 3 with some recallble switches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Do a regular Mastering 330 have trannies on the inputs only?
Would i understand right to think that it would warm up the signal on the input and give you more transparency on the output?

Most 330 came with none.


It was an option.


The reason being that transformers will color the signal somewhat and they thought most mastering guys would want it clean.


You can actually add the transformers yourself if you have one without.


I know of a couple of people that have done it.


Just contact Focusrite and they will tell you how to do it.





Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Do with trannies on the inputs and outputs means glueing everything in your mix?

The trannies give it a "sound".


To me its slightly rounder and deeper.


But maybe that's just me.


I am getting older these days you know and maybe i imagine things that aren't really there.
Old 8th May 2006
  #7
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dave-G's Avatar
The 230 has transformers on input and output, period.

The 330 did have them, and then it didn't, and then it was an option.

I believe that a "T" at the end of the serial number is a clue

If you're religious about having them, it's likely they could be added on a transformerless 330 -- Focusrite is/was big on using the same PCB for varied options on the same basic gear. Not to volunteer his time for him, but you could probably ask Mr. Tony Marra at Thermal Relief (vegas)

-dave
Old 8th May 2006
  #8
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Just a thought but if iwant to benefit the fullness and the warmth brought by the installation of those transformers on one of those baby, may be it's not worth i invest so much money on a 330 therefore a 230 could be enough if i want stepped knobs for recall...
Basically, i'm just wondering what would be the + of getting a 330 instead ...Would you know?
Old 8th May 2006
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Basically, i'm just wondering what would be the + of getting a 330 instead ...Would you know?

If the stepped recall is important(for mastering) than get a 330 and add the trannies.


If its not really crucial, than a 230 is fine but finding one will be tough.


In terms of sound they both sound the same.


And Dave-G is right in one respect, when you open them up the PCB boards say Red 3 on them.
Old 8th May 2006
  #10
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You guys rock!!! thumbsup thumbsup
Thanks for the lesson....Couldn't be clearer.
Old 8th May 2006
  #11
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tmarra's Avatar
You can also add the rotary switches to a Red 3, not cheap but it is do-able.

Also just for the info, the 330 is true stereo, ONLY has one set of controls. While the 230 is dual mono like a Red 3.

-Tony
Old 8th May 2006
  #12
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Where you been Tony? You were the other missing voice in this thread...heh
If at some point you come back, can you tell me if the set of transformers (Inputs & Outputs) for the 330 is still available and what usually cost the upgrade?
Old 8th May 2006
  #13
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tmarra's Avatar
The old style 330 with the Focusrite proprietary VCA came with transformers in and out, while the new style 330 with the THAT VCA comes without output and input transformers.

The last time we added transformers to a new style 330 it cost the customer about $1k. And before you ask the reason it was so expensive is that you must add all the output drive circuitry to the pcb.

As per my last conversation with Focusrite, they did not have any more of the input transformers and were not planning on making more of them. The output transformers are still available as they are used in the Red Series products.

-Tony

PS: I think the customer with the new style 330 that we installed transformers in is looking to sell it now. PM me with your phone # and I'll pass it on to him if your interested.
Old 8th May 2006
  #14
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Would you recall the serial numbers differentiating the "Old style "330 and "New style" 330?
Dave stated above than it was a "T" attached to the numbers...
Is there any more precise infos that could speak?
Old 9th May 2006
  #15
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tmarra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer
Would you recall the serial numbers differentiating the "Old style "330 and "New style" 330?
Dave stated above than it was a "T" attached to the numbers...
Is there any more precise infos that could speak?
I don't think the "T" is it, as the "T" was on all of their serial numbers until just recently.

The way to tell is from the front panel. The old style has 8 of the 6mm Hex bolts with 2 seperate front panels, while the new one only has 4 bolts and 1 front panel.

-Tony
Old 9th May 2006
  #16
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alexstringer's Avatar
 

I heard that only i thought it was to differenciate the version of the 315 Mastering Eq with the latest broadcast version MkII which i own.
Old 16th September 2017
  #17
I had to hear them for myself so I acquired an old Red 3 and newer Red 3 HW... also shot them out with the VBC-Red and FF Red 3 plug.
In EVERY mix I tested... the old HW Red was my favorite, blind or looking. I could always pick out depth and weight that was unique to that model w/ input transformer. The newer HW Red is really nice too, a tad brighter and slightly leaner in the low end.
I had been trying to mix all ITB and was mostly using VBC-Red, then more recently the FF Red 3 plug (which is closer to the HW)... but alas... I had to drop the coin on the HW bc I could easily hear the difference and vast improvement of the HW...particularly the old RED w/ input-T.

Take-Away:
1. The Old Red 3 DOES sound different to the New Red 3
2. The HW still beats the plugins.
Old 16th September 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesicily View Post
The HW still beats the plugins.
All of us GS highenders know that

R.
Old 16th September 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
All of us GS highenders know that

R.
Yup. It's funny all the press and propaganda about plugs that model analog gear. Many are very good and super useful, but as far as being spot on the a/b tests usually reveal otherwise.
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