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Is this true?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Wilber, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. Wilber

    Wilber Guest

    "Some Pres are based on solid-state technology, which tends to produce a clear- uncolored signal. While others use tubes which tend to add warmth or color to the signal. Some combine the two and let you mix the output. "
  2. tmix

    tmix Guest

    It is a general statement to which there are a huge amount of exceptions.
    Many high end tube pres are the most clear sounding thing you will (n)ever hear. Many solid state pres have transformers and circuitry that have a very "distinktive" sound. And yes there are models that offer both solid state and tube circuitry on the same pre for variety.

    That probably does not help you, does it?
    What are you looking for?
  3. Wilber

    Wilber Guest

    I guess I was wondering if something like a benchmark media pre was solid state...and therefore more "clear"

    So you are saying that tube doesnt nessisarily mean warm...or it can mean warm but also be just as "uncolored" or "clear" as a advertized "clean" pre?
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Yes, But there are still many, yet subtle differences in many mic pres and their tone that are still considered clear. There is also transformer/transformerless, discrete or IC based and other things that are considered solid state but can have a big impact on the sound of that clean mic pre. it is not just about clear as much as it is about what the sonic goal of the specific mic pre designer was and how they achieved it.

    Yes, to all of the above. One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that tubes can be unstable and inconsistant from time to time due to their limitations as well as the way tubes age.
  5. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    Solid state preamps will also add color to the sound. They do it in a non-musical way by adding uneven harmonics. Valve gear will add even harmonics which are musically related. So the color added by the solid state processors is less musical than the color added by the valve processor.
  6. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    That's not correct! ;)

  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Where did learn all that? The only thing that I can find in your statement that is even close to true is that all preamps, solid state or tube, will color the sound. But that can be said with anything in the signal path. And what little color is there or added to many high quality preamps can be so subtle that it may be hard to even notice. Things that color are not always a bad thing and often when they do are still considered musicical.
  8. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    That statement was very popular among MI guys selling gitar amps in the 80's when I was in LA. Of course, SS amps back then did pretty much suck for guitar.

    Then there was the Hafler marketing propaganda that said MOSFET amps were sounding just like tube amps?

    When Rupert Neve and the other great designers were making tube consoles and circuits, they never wanted the distortion. Their goal was purity. Units like the Millennia Twin Topology were a big disappointment to many people without the knowledge of what makes a good preamp, as there was little to no difference between tube andd solid state. That's because both were designed to be sonically pure.

    This "warm" theology is what we want now, because digital is so much more realistic, and we no longer have our signals masked by distortion and saturation of analog recorders. Atleast that's my opinion. To quote a movie, "You can't handle the truth!" haha
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have had a Millennia STT - 1 ORIGIN here for a while now and I have to say I can hear a difference between the solid state and the tube paths ... Check the mic pre comparisons and judge for yourself! .. I also hear a difference with the transformer in the input path. I really like the STT - 1 a lot! It's a great channel strip. There have been some negative things said about the ORIGIN by a very well known reviewer / audio warlord, who is also an equipment dealer (can you say, conflict of interest?). I have to say that I think it has something to do with a personal difference between said reviewer and the management of Millennia rather than how the ORIGIN actually sounds. Either that or that reviewer is deaf! Kurt
  10. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    I always learned that transistors add ugly (uneven harmonic) distortion and tubes add even harmonic distortion. So should i blast the guy who tought me that?
  11. white swan

    white swan Guest

    Isn't (in this case) the opposite of "even harmonics" (as in 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.)supposed to be "odd harmonics"(like 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.), not "uneven" ones? :confused:
  12. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    Yeah, and if you get it why post this unnescersary comment??? Sorry but you could at least add something to the discussion also instead of pointing me to my typo's.
  13. white swan

    white swan Guest

    Sorry Dave!

    I don't know enough about this stuff to be sure that what I think I know is actually correct. So when you substituted "uneven" for "odd", (which certainly stretches the definition of a "typo") I just wanted to make sure that my understanding was correct. Especially someone with an impressive title like yours.

    Sorry if my insecurity and personal lack of knowledge came across as a put-down or personal attack. Please believe me, it was the farthest thing from my mind.

    If I get confused and ask questions, it's only because I'm trying to learn. I kinda thought that's what this place is for? :(
  14. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest


    No problem man. I was a bit cranky also. I see you are just here to learn like me. But it came to me as somebody who really needed to make my typo's so obvious. I hate it when ppl do that on forums. Well, sorry for my reaction also. :)

    Oh, and i'm all about stretching definitions hehe. I'm from Holland. I think i speak and write pretty damn good in English but there's still some words which don't always come automatically to me, as with you Americans :)

    [ September 05, 2003, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: DmDreams Sound Design ]

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