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Old 3rd November 2018
Gear Nut
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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...

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


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

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?


Steve Butterworth

Professional Audio System Technology


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

Professional Audio System Technology