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Old 10th October 2013
Gear Maniac
Johanz's Avatar

Originally Posted by gyraf View Post

..a bit confusing: IIRC, the Ear660 uses PCC189 vari-mu tubes in a strange cascode type setup, very very far from the Fairchild's push-pull 6386 setup. Yet this is both? Or neither?

That aside - what a beautiful device! And a very good idea to update it to contemporary functionality instead of clinging to purist classicness.

Jakob E.
Hi Jacob

It uses 6386's. Don't know about the Ear, but POM just skips the tubes for the power transformer and for the side chain amp. They're not in the audio path anyway, you could argue. Maybe the Ear does the same? Anyway, heard some samples and ordered it right away! I has the same rich sound as a 1:1 'remake' I tested, though even more details in the mid and the very handy low cut. Original Fairchilds are made for different music conception as the more bass heavy sound we're used to today (Hifi homesystems became more bass heavy too). I could hear the 1:1 clone struggling with this, testing extreme samples, were the POM could deal with it by using it's sidechain filter.

It's a great idea to update to modern functionality indeed (same as with the UTA Unfairchild, which is still not available since they switched to JJ 6386's and are redesigning things).

Anyway, this is were my long quest for the best sounding Vari Mu limiter ended. Personally, I believe it's mainly the transformers/inductors which 'color' the sound, make the phase right, and thereby pressing the sound forward in a pleasant way.