On The Bench

Posted by Ken on July 1, 2010 1 Comment

I’m going to try to keep this one short, with the 4th of July holiday weekend coming up quick, and lots of work to do on new plug-ins and new releases. Here’s a few quick shots of what’s sitting on my lab bench right now… from the inside. Can anyone guess what it is?

In the first shot, the darkish green square on the upper right is the mic input transformer. One side of the transformer is connected to the mic input, and the other side is connected to the mic preamp circuit.

In the second picture, the lighter green square on the upper right is the line input transformer. It’s about the same size as the mic input transformer. The fuzzy green wire in the foreground is one of my test leads attached to the secondary (the output side) of the line input tranny.

And in the third photo, the brown and black thing on the bottom is the output transformer, and it’s a lot bigger than the two input transformers.

A lot of people seem to equate bigger transformers with bigger sound. In a way that’s sort of true. If you want to get loud sounds or a deep low end, and especially loud and deep low end out of your analog box, you need big transformers. But some people say that it’s transformer non-linearities that give analog gear its juicy goodness. Well, if that’s true, then you might want smaller transformers, because those will saturate more easily. So which is better, and what IS the sound of iron that everyone’s talking about? More, louder, low end… or more saturation?

Hmmm… something to ponder over the holiday weekend. Happy Independance Day to all the Americans out there!

  • It’s either a Neve 1066 or 1073 preamplifier.

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