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Serious question about the EV RE20
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
You are the one who keeps saying it isn’t.
I'm just saying it has more proximity effect than the RE20...

Which, depending also on other aspects, could be a problem... or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
So why do you keep asking the question?
The question was not regarding the SM58; it was about the RE20...

I just used the SM58 as an "example", to compare the gain needed by the two (when achieving the same amount of proximity effect)...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky ➡️
For your application, you may want to test the Shure KSM8 Dualdyne dynamic vocal microphone that was released a few years ago. Like the RE20, it is designed to minimize proximity effect, but in a handheld format designed more for performers. I heard one at NAMM but haven't looked further - it's on my shortlist as a possible SM58 replacement.

Sky
Thanks...

I already knew about the KSM8...

And I find it interesting; for the same reason I find the RE20 interesting...

But I'm not trying to find a "replacement" to the SM58 (for a "live" application)...

I'm just trying to figure out how much gain the RE20 needs, and for this I used the SM58 as a comparison...

Like I just said: on paper the RE20 needs more gain (than the SM58) but, considering that you can get closer to the mic (while achieving the same amount of proximity effect), in the end it seems to me it could need less gain...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
The voice mic in my "tool belt" would be the Shure Beta 87. IMO it blows the cables off either the SM7 or RE20 for having both guts and a clear open top end.
Are you talking about speech and broadcast applications? Is there a sock that you put over this that you recommend?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #34
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipelineaudio ➡️
Are you talking about speech and broadcast applications?
Yes. And V/O. Thought the industry "standards" here are pretty strong toward the RE20, I personally have used the 87 in several broadcast studios and replaced RE20s with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipelineaudio ➡️
Is there a sock that you put over this that you recommend?
I just use the WS81 and kind of force-fit it, might have to open it up a bit to fit that head. It's not a great fit, but that windscreen is the best. But any large foam windscreen is fine, even the after-market ones for the RE20 are good.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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@ Bushman ...

I've read around this board that when used with a "clean" and "fast" preamp the RE20 has "condenser-ish qualities"...

But what about a Neve type/clone preamp?...

Could this kind of pre be "somewhat not recommended", being too much "colored" for a mic which has already "character" like the RE20, or is it just going to give a different (simply more colored) sound?...

I know that the answer to these kind of questions is usually: "it depends..."

But I think it would be interesting to read a "general opinion"...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
[MENTION=320216]I think it would be interesting to read a "general opinion"...
My general opinion is that you have fished too long in the same pond. You keep shifting your questions a bit, apparently just to keep this going. More of the same is either trolling or tail-chasing.
Move on.
I have almost ceased believing that you are buying an RE 20, and I have certainly stopped caring about it.

[This has been filtered through a True Precision preamp to maximize clarity and lack of warmth]
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Move on.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #38
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️

I've read around this board that when used with a "clean" and "fast" preamp the RE20 has "condenser-ish qualities"...
Every modern (and by that I mean in the last 30 years) preamp is both clean and fast enough for any audio signal generated by any microphone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
But what about a Neve type/clone preamp?...
Another instance of clean enough and fast enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
Could this kind of pre be "somewhat not recommended", being too much "colored" for a mic which has already "character" like the RE20, or is it just going to give a different (simply more colored) sound?...

I know that the answer to these kind of questions is usually: "it depends..."

But I think it would be interesting to read a "general opinion"...
OK...

The "color" you get from a mic is 10,000X as much as any preamp does. If you want to change the "color" of a mic, use compression or EQ and stop fussing about things that don't matter.

What you're doing with the preamp discussion is hanging a piece of art on the wall, and instead of worrying about the type and quality (spectrum) of light pointing at it, you're worried about the kind of air in the room.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
Every modern (and by that I mean in the last 30 years) preamp is both clean and fast enough for any audio signal generated by any microphone.
Another instance of clean enough and fast enough.

OK...

The "color" you get from a mic is 10,000X as much as any preamp does. If you want to change the "color" of a mic, use compression or EQ and stop fussing about things that don't matter.

What you're doing with the preamp discussion is hanging a piece of art on the wall, and instead of worrying about the type and quality (spectrum) of light pointing at it, you're worried about the kind of air in the room.
Maybe I'm simply "worried" by the fact that I own a budget pre (Fredenstein VAS Mic Pre), having often read that with "hungry gain dynamics" the preamp quality (and clean gain availability) has a big "impact" on the sound (and having also somewhat tested this with my brother's SM7B)...

And one of my HOPES, when it comes to the RE20, is that less gain is needed when literally "kissing it"...

I've got also a KT2A (an LA2A budget clone), which can come in handy when more gain is needed...

But this is all budget and colored gear; which, when paired with a somewhat "dark" and "transformer-coupled" mic (not necessarily talking about the RE20), could very quickly become too much, if one does not pay enough attention when gain staging,...

That's all...

Thanks BTW!...
Old 6 days ago
  #40
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
One thing I recently experience with the Bosch folks, had to do with getting some replacement foam...not for the RE20, but for some older EV mics.
In the past...maybe 10 years or so back...I noticed the internal foam inside the baskets on my older EV mics, going to mush, which was not a surprise, since those mics were already over 20 years old...but still sounded quite good (mostly for live use) and worth keeping serviceable.
At the time, EV said no problem, and I was able to get replacement foam.
Mind you, these baskets are pretty much the typical SM57 size/style...nothing special about them...very generic looking.

A few weeks ago, I noticed the foam was again going to mush...but When I called Bosch, I got the "those are old mics, we don't have replacements for them".
Again...I know they are old...but considering that the foam is probably some generic size for these baskets, and it's nothing special...I got the feeling that Bosch simply wasn't interested in providing that support.
The other thing...their guy said that even for their current mics, they would not stock just the foam inserts. IOW...for their current mics, if the internal foam goes bad, he said you would need to buy the whole metal basket with the foam inside.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
Maybe I'm simply "worried" by the fact that I own a budget pre (Fredenstein VAS Mic Pre), having often read that with "hungry gain dynamics" the preamp quality (and clean gain availability) has a big "impact" on the sound (and having also somewhat tested this with my brother's SM7B)...
"Hungry gain dynamics"? It never ceases to amaze me the rubbish terminology people come up with.

Don't overcomplicate it. Lower output mics need more gain. If you don't have gain, you won't get enough level out of it. You can calculate the required gain based on the specifications.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
And one of my HOPES, when it comes to the RE20, is that less gain is needed when literally "kissing it"...
Well, you can hope, but it's not going to work out that way.

Here's how it works:

A mic sensitivity spec is rated as a level (in millivolts, dBV or dBU) at an absolute sound pressure of 1 Pascal, which translates to 94dB SPL. So, when a 94dB SPL sound hits the front grill of an RE20, the mic produces 1.5mV. That voltage converts to -54.2dBU. For that sound to produce a studio reference level of +4dBU, the preamp needs to amplify it 54.2dB to get to 0dBU, then another 4dB to get it to +4dBU for a total 58.2dB of gain for standard balanced line level. If the device your preamp feeds needs less than that, you just apply less gain.

Your preamp can provide up to 65dB of gain. All looks good so far, right? More than enough gain? Not quite. Remember that 1 Pascal/94dB SPL sound? What produces that? I think you were recording speech, right? "Normal" human speech at a distance of 1 foot comes in at about 70dB SPL. So, to get that sound up to +4dBU, you need 82.2dB of gain! Yikes, that's a lot! Does any preamp do that? Sure, but not many. But hang on, we're not done yet.

The basic way SPL works is, if you cut the distance from the source to the mic (or ear) in half, you increase SPL by 6dB. Cut the distance in half again, you get another 6dB. So, if you start talking at 1 foot away from the mic, then move to 6", you increase the level 6dB. Move to 3", up you go another 6dB. That's 12dB more level just by moving in. That puts your need for gain back to 70dB, which is reasonable, but not quite what your preamp does. See what "kissing it" does? It should be obvious that moving away does the same thing in reverse; double the distance, loose 6dB, etc. Works with speakers and ears too.

How is the SM58 different? To start with it's output at 1 Pascal/94dB SPL is -54dBV, so we already have a problem in that the two mics are specified using a different reference, dBV vs mV. But it's not a problem to convert. -54dBV is easily converted to -52.3dBU. And looking at that in comparison to the RE20, it starts out at 2dB higher output at the same distance. So, again moving in closer, the SM58 will aways have a 2dB higher output advantage over the RE20, and technically, you'd need 2dB less gain to hit studio reference level.

So unfortunately, the RE20 is not going to help you stay farther back from the mic. However, since it has much less proximity effect, it will sound more natural at 3" than the SM58, which will boost lows at that distance.

Back to your preamp, though. It might seem like it's at least 5dB short of having enough gain, but perhaps not. It depends on what comes next. If you go into a mixer, there's always an input gain control where you can pick up a few dB, no problem. If you go into an audio interface, same thing, there's usually an input gain control you can lift a bit. And finally, going back to your original post, you're singing! The singing voice is almost always louder than the speaking voice, sometimes a whole lot louder. You could easily end up turning down your preamp gain, but your reference here is your SM58. The RE20 will not be louder, it will be 2dB lower, at the same distance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
I've got also a KT2A (an LA2A budget clone), which can come in handy when more gain is needed...
Sure. And you might try a little more here, a little less there...play with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
But this is all budget and colored gear; which, when paired with a somewhat "dark" and "transformer-coupled" mic (not necessarily talking about the RE20), could very quickly become too much, if one does not pay enough attention when gain staging,...
Oh wait now. Transformer coupled mics are not "dark" by definition. Do you think a U87 is dark? Nope. Transformer. Budget gear is not "dark" either, just because it costs less. You know, the fact is, it's darn hard to build a mic preamp that isn't pretty spectacular and transparent. And as I've said a whole lot lately, preamps don't add color, mics and acoustics do. If you want deliberate electronic color, grab and EQ and compressor.

Gain Staging....this hangs on the ragged edge of mythology. It's like people think changing gain alters the color or something. Wow. I sure hope not! If it does, you have true junk in your hands. What gain staging is supposed to do is optimize your total dynamic range by ideally getting each stage to clip at the same point. So if you wang the gain on your preamp all the way up, kiss the mic and sing your heart out, the preamp is likely to clip. If the next device it feeds is many dB away from clipping under those conditions, you haven't "gain staged" (I'm starting to really hate the term now) because the preamp is your limiting factor. For most pro level gear, "gain staging" (yup, officially hating it) has already mostly been done for you by virtue of level standards. Your preamp clips at +26, and it has an input gain and a meter. If you were going next into a Motu M2, you'd adjust the input gain on the M2 according to its meter, and not drive it into clipping. Gain. Staged. If your next device was a Mackie 1202VLZ4 (I'm just pulling stuff out of thin air here), the maximum line input is +22, so you bump the pre down 4dB, and you're done.

But the key point here is, gain changes gain, not color. More gain brings up input noise, less brings it down. Match the points of overload of each device in the chain, and you have both maximized total system peak level, and minimized system noise.

One last word on "color". Hating that one too. But anyway, "color" is made of primarily of two different things. First is frequency response. This is the brighter/darker/warmer/cooler thing. All are easily achieved with EQ, learning exactly how takes a bit of effort. The second part of "color" is distortion (caused by level moving into transformer saturation), and that comes in many flavors. People assume transformers add distortion, and that is partially correct under certain conditions, but transformers at mic levels are very clean. Transformers operated at or below design parameters are nearly distortionless. But if you stress them, like push too much level into a low-level transformer, you get two kinds of distortion. First, harmonic distortion, a mix but mostly odd-order harmonics dropping in level as their order goes up, with much more distortion happening at very low frequencies. That's a little bit of color, but the big one is intermodulation distortion, literally one sound modulating another. Typically strong bass frequencies amplitude-modulating high frequencies giving the sound a gritty, growly, gravely color. This happens strongly with abused transformers, and is quite audible. I'm not sure why anyone would think it's good, though. And it is something transformer designers have beating out of their designs pretty well. But that, and frequency response changes, is "color". And nothing you can't do with a plugin. But please understand it's not easy to abuse a line-level transformer, and nearly impossible at mic levels. The classic one everybody pays hundreds for, the WE 111C, doesn't begin to "color" anything until you slam audio that averages over +22dBu, and not many devices will even do that.

I'd put transformers on the growing list of devices that don't do enough to improve or damage audio to warrant the trouble and cost, at least, not without a whole lot of fuss.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #42
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Stewix's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
"Hungry gain dynamics"? It never ceases to amaze me the rubbish terminology people come up with.

Don't overcomplicate it. Lower output mics need more gain. If you don't have gain, you won't get enough level out of it. You can calculate the required gain based on the specifications.
Well, you can hope, but it's not going to work out that way.

Here's how it works:

A mic sensitivity spec is rated as a level (in millivolts, dBV or dBU) at an absolute sound pressure of 1 Pascal, which translates to 94dB SPL. So, when a 94dB SPL sound hits the front grill of an RE20, the mic produces 1.5mV. That voltage converts to -54.2dBU. For that sound to produce a studio reference level of +4dBU, the preamp needs to amplify it 54.2dB to get to 0dBU, then another 4dB to get it to +4dBU for a total 58.2dB of gain for standard balanced line level. If the device your preamp feeds needs less than that, you just apply less gain.

Your preamp can provide up to 65dB of gain. All looks good so far, right? More than enough gain? Not quite. Remember that 1 Pascal/94dB SPL sound? What produces that? I think you were recording speech, right? "Normal" human speech at a distance of 1 foot comes in at about 70dB SPL. So, to get that sound up to +4dBU, you need 82.2dB of gain! Yikes, that's a lot! Does any preamp do that? Sure, but not many. But hang on, we're not done yet.

The basic way SPL works is, if you cut the distance from the source to the mic (or ear) in half, you increase SPL by 6dB. Cut the distance in half again, you get another 6dB. So, if you start talking at 1 foot away from the mic, then move to 6", you increase the level 6dB. Move to 3", up you go another 6dB. That's 12dB more level just by moving in. That puts your need for gain back to 70dB, which is reasonable, but not quite what your preamp does. See what "kissing it" does? It should be obvious that moving away does the same thing in reverse; double the distance, loose 6dB, etc. Works with speakers and ears too.

How is the SM58 different? To start with it's output at 1 Pascal/94dB SPL is -54dBV, so we already have a problem in that the two mics are specified using a different reference, dBV vs mV. But it's not a problem to convert. -54dBV is easily converted to -52.3dBU. And looking at that in comparison to the RE20, it starts out at 2dB higher output at the same distance. So, again moving in closer, the SM58 will aways have a 2dB higher output advantage over the RE20, and technically, you'd need 2dB less gain to hit studio reference level.

So unfortunately, the RE20 is not going to help you stay farther back from the mic. However, since it has much less proximity effect, it will sound more natural at 3" than the SM58, which will boost lows at that distance.

Back to your preamp, though. It might seem like it's at least 5dB short of having enough gain, but perhaps not. It depends on what comes next. If you go into a mixer, there's always an input gain control where you can pick up a few dB, no problem. If you go into an audio interface, same thing, there's usually an input gain control you can lift a bit. And finally, going back to your original post, you're singing! The singing voice is almost always louder than the speaking voice, sometimes a whole lot louder. You could easily end up turning down your preamp gain, but your reference here is your SM58. The RE20 will not be louder, it will be 2dB lower, at the same distance.
Sure. And you might try a little more here, a little less there...play with it.
Oh wait now. Transformer coupled mics are not "dark" by definition. Do you think a U87 is dark? Nope. Transformer. Budget gear is not "dark" either, just because it costs less. You know, the fact is, it's darn hard to build a mic preamp that isn't pretty spectacular and transparent. And as I've said a whole lot lately, preamps don't add color, mics and acoustics do. If you want deliberate electronic color, grab and EQ and compressor.

Gain Staging....this hangs on the ragged edge of mythology. It's like people think changing gain alters the color or something. Wow. I sure hope not! If it does, you have true junk in your hands. What gain staging is supposed to do is optimize your total dynamic range by ideally getting each stage to clip at the same point. So if you wang the gain on your preamp all the way up, kiss the mic and sing your heart out, the preamp is likely to clip. If the next device it feeds is many dB away from clipping under those conditions, you haven't "gain staged" (I'm starting to really hate the term now) because the preamp is your limiting factor. For most pro level gear, "gain staging" (yup, officially hating it) has already mostly been done for you by virtue of level standards. Your preamp clips at +26, and it has an input gain and a meter. If you were going next into a Motu M2, you'd adjust the input gain on the M2 according to its meter, and not drive it into clipping. Gain. Staged. If your next device was a Mackie 1202VLZ4 (I'm just pulling stuff out of thin air here), the maximum line input is +22, so you bump the pre down 4dB, and you're done.

But the key point here is, gain changes gain, not color. More gain brings up input noise, less brings it down. Match the points of overload of each device in the chain, and you have both maximized total system peak level, and minimized system noise.

One last word on "color". Hating that one too. But anyway, "color" is made of primarily of two different things. First is frequency response. This is the brighter/darker/warmer/cooler thing. All are easily achieved with EQ, learning exactly how takes a bit of effort. The second part of "color" is distortion (caused by level moving into transformer saturation), and that comes in many flavors. People assume transformers add distortion, and that is partially correct under certain conditions, but transformers at mic levels are very clean. Transformers operated at or below design parameters are nearly distortionless. But if you stress them, like push too much level into a low-level transformer, you get two kinds of distortion. First, harmonic distortion, a mix but mostly odd-order harmonics dropping in level as their order goes up, with much more distortion happening at very low frequencies. That's a little bit of color, but the big one is intermodulation distortion, literally one sound modulating another. Typically strong bass frequencies amplitude-modulating high frequencies giving the sound a gritty, growly, gravely color. This happens strongly with abused transformers, and is quite audible. I'm not sure why anyone would think it's good, though. And it is something transformer designers have beating out of their designs pretty well. But that, and frequency response changes, is "color". And nothing you can't do with a plugin. But please understand it's not easy to abuse a line-level transformer, and nearly impossible at mic levels. The classic one everybody pays hundreds for, the WE 111C, doesn't begin to "color" anything until you slam audio that averages over +22dBu, and not many devices will even do that.

I'd put transformers on the growing list of devices that don't do enough to improve or damage audio to warrant the trouble and cost, at least, not without a whole lot of fuss.
First of all, thank you for your "detailed explanations", even if I "practically" already knew those things...

I'm not claiming to be an "expert" or something like that, but I'm neither a "noob" anymore...

Regarding expressions like "gain hungry mics", "gain staging", "color", etc.: to me what is important is undestanding each other...

And you also have to consider that I'm not a "native english speaker" (I'm italian); so this for me adds up to the difficulties when trying to express myself clearly and correctly (that's also why I use a lot of "quotation marks"); especially in order to avoid misunderstandings, which can also lead to unneeded bickering, etc....

Regarding my "hope" (and the comparison between the SM58 and the RE20): if you re-read my posts you'll see that, when comparing the gain needed by those two mics, I was not comparing them when used at the same distance (in that case is enough to look at the specs to see that the SM58 will need less gain)...

I was comparing them when used at different distances...

What different distances?...

The different distances needed to achieve the same "acceptable" (for me) amount of proximity effect...

Let's say, for example, that one is singing (not screaming) at 8cm from the RE20's diaphragm...

At that distance one will achieve a certain amount of proximity effect (of course a reduced one, because of the "variable D" technology)...

Now, if one wants to achieve that same amount of proximity effect with an SM58, one will need to be at a bigger distance (like you also stated); let's say, for example, that in this case one will need to be at 16cm from the SM58's diaphragm...

(all of this is just an example to express my point, so these numbers don't need to be perfectly right)

What follows is that one will need 6dB less with the RE20 (being at half distance from its diaphragm)...

But of course one has also to consider those 2dB of difference (resulting from the specs)...

So, the end result will be that, with the RE20, one will need 4dB less gain (when used at those different distances, like in this example)...

And, the bigger the difference of the proximity effect "exhibited" by those two mics, the bigger the distance one has to keep from the SM58 to "compensate" (and the lesser the gain needed by the RE20, comparatively)...

Now, this was the only "hope" I was talking about: which is "correct", if one follows mine (and yours) reasoning...

Regarding the preamp and budget gear in general: I was not claiming that budget gear (or a transformer-coupled mic) is necessarily "dark"...

What I was arguing is that, when using budget gear, the risk to cause "unwanted distortion" (if one does not pay the required attention) is a bit higher (for example when turning down the output and turning up the gain of a pre, in an attempt to "color" the signal a bit)...

And while I think that, also depending on the type of preamp, you can get some "color" out of it (for example saturating its transformers, like you also stated), I surely agree that mics and acoustics have a bigger "impact" on sound...

Thanks again...
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
Regarding the preamp and budget gear in general: I was not claiming that budget gear (or a transformer-coupled mic) is necessarily "dark"...

What I was arguing is that, when using budget gear, the risk to cause "unwanted distortion" (if one does not pay the required attention) is a bit higher (for example when turning down the output and turning up the gain of a pre, in an attempt to "color" the signal a bit)...
The concern is real, but it is in no way related to the cost of the gear. Everything eventually clips, and that is normally to be avoided.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
And while I think that, also depending on the type of preamp, you can get some "color" out of it (for example saturating its transformers, like you also stated), I surely agree that mics and acoustics have a bigger "impact" on sound...

Thanks again...
I hope you understand that saturating a transformer for "color" is difficult to do and probably won't occur at all in a device that actually uses an input or output transformer. Get one on its own and play with the source and load Z, you might get some saturation distortion. But just the presence of a transformer in a circuit doesn't mean it adds distortion or can be driven to saturation for "color".
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
The concern is real, but it is in no way related to the cost of the gear. Everything eventually clips, and that is normally to be avoided.
Ok, maybe not the cost, but the quality...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
I hope you understand that saturating a transformer for "color" is difficult to do and probably won't occur at all in a device that actually uses an input or output transformer. Get one on its own and play with the source and load Z, you might get some saturation distortion. But just the presence of a transformer in a circuit doesn't mean it adds distortion or can be driven to saturation for "color".
Just to be sure I understood you:

Are you suggesting that, for example, when I drive harder my pre gain, lowering the output trim, the "saturation" I ear is due to the whole circuit design and not primarily due to the output transformer (the Fred has only an output transformer, not an input one)?...
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
Ok, maybe not the cost, but the quality...?
I have yet to see a device that was so badly designed that it produced high distortion when operated normally and correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewix ➡️
Just to be sure I understood you:

Are you suggesting that, for example, when I drive harder my pre gain, lowering the output trim, the "saturation" I ear is due to the whole circuit design and not primarily due to the output transformer (the Fred has only an output transformer, not an input one)?...
Almost certainly.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #46
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Stewix's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
I have yet to see a device that was so badly designed that it produced high distortion when operated normally and correctly.
Well, the only possible explanation that remains then, is "user error"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
Almost certainly.
Thanks a lot, you have been really helpful!...
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