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Surface Mount Componants? sound like crap !!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by Bassplayer2030, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    Hi All,
    Can anyone tell me if there is anyone making gear with discrete componants anymore?
    The reason Neumann & Neve were great & expensive was the cost of great Caps & Resistor etc !!
    Anyone opened up a U87 these days? It seams like what is in there is as good as Berhinger & only good for a Mobile phone Audio? Is there any good news out there? And I dont want too so hear about Valve gear, Valve gear has screwed almost 40 x CD's of mine !! I love great solid state Pres !!

    "Screw Surface Mount technology & Placement Robots" !!!!!

    Regards Michael
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Michael,

    I hear you however, there are many high end discrete preamps and compressors being built but they are expensive and that doesn't sit well with the plug-in generation and/or our current state of the economy. When there are free plug-ins and behringer, who needs it right?

    The list would be long:

    Millennia Preamp Design
    etc etc etc


    and many more
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Surface mount as a technique is not crap. Using proper components for any type of build is what is important. There is little demonstrable difference between surface and through hole mounting.
  4. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    It is not the manufacturing I am annoyed about !! it is the quality of the components !!!

    So you are saying a surface mount Caps & Resister etc? They sounds as good as the the components in a Neve or API , How can that be? The cost is a few cents compared top $20+ for one cap?
    I have been working in this technology when it fist came in, in the 90's
    Things have a tone & quality to them !!
    I have a few Neuman's that are old & some with surface mount
    the difference is VAST !!!
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There is no difference between surface mounting caps and through hole mounting caps provided you are using identical caps. Same for resistors. The difference again, is in the caps/resistors themselves and not the mounting style.

    I am not arguing at all that different types of caps sound the same. They do not and this can be demonstrated in null tests as well.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Also, comparing U87's is somewhat misleading anyway. A thirty year old tube will never sound today like it did new. It may still sound good and will certainly be different than what is generally available today but that is much more a variable than the caps in the rest of the guts. Additionally, a thirty year old diaphragm will not sound the same today as it did then.
  7. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    U87 is a Transister mic !!
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Yes. Using tube analogy was an extreme example of comparing equipment aged 30 years. Diaphragms age and change also. Caps do make a difference.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  9. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    I have a mid 70's U87's & one bought last year !!
    The boards are made in China now surface mount
    sounds like Behringer to me
    are You in manufacturing?
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    No, but you are confusing using different quality choices of capaciters and resistors with surface mount as a manufacturing option. And you are still not accounting for the changes in the mic capsule itself over thirty or forty years.
  11. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    I ask You strait !!!!! do you really think there are any Quality Parts on the market for Surface mount that are of the same quality as Neve or Neuman Massenberg API componants? etc
    we are talking Analoge only ! Preamps & Microphone Circuits?
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Surface mount devices are really only about making electronics smaller, they don't really have that much use in high end audio gear that have no need for miniaturization or low power consumption.
    iPod's, cell phones, laptops, tablets are usually designed with that in mind and these are the reason SMD has made so many in roads. They are also very cheap and disposable. They are difficult to repair and they are excellent for robotic assembly.
    So if your using those sorts of devices for recording music or making music then you get what you get.
  14. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    Surface Mount Componants are 90% of Electronic Manufacturing today!!! for the last 20 years !!!!
    A Placement robot glues the parts onto a circuit board then the board is passed through a wave soldering machine to solder all the componants to the board,
    Look inside your mobile phone ,computer,Ipad etc
    What I am saying is because it is cheap to make ,because there is no labor costs (for board assembly) once the programming is done for the production line
    Every mass produced Audio product is made in this way, The first well known being Mackie with 1/2 the gain at the Trim pot & the 2nd 1/2 at the fader spreading the load to make the componants work well within their bandwidths, so after all this time are people craving & drooling after Vintage Mackie? NO WAY !!
    It is surface mount that made them sound like they do !!
    What do surface mount have to do with High End Audio???
    well now Neuman use that technology as opposed to Discrete componants they are famous for !!! But still charge because of their name !!!
    Pro Audio is No-compromise as far as I was led to expect
    That is why apart from my Protools rigs everything is Old !!!
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Old as in vintage?

    What are you using?
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You have to go with what the manufacturers produce. Many of the new audio operational amplifiers such as the OPA1641 family are only available in surface-mount packages. You could choose to mount the SO package on a DIP header and then pretend it is not a surface-mount component, but what's the point?

    One thing to take into account is that the non-linear properties of some passive components vary with the packaging type. For example, the resistance/voltage curve of many types of SM resistor makes them unsuitable as feedback components in op-amp output stages where one end has the full output voltage swing. It's application of this sort of knowledge that can turn a good design into an exceptional one.
  17. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    what is Vintage? I grew up using U47, U67 ,U69,U87, Neve,Api ,Telefunken,Harrison,Amek,Pultec,Lexicon,B&K, Sennheiser, AKG, UA 1176's & 1178's,DBX160
    Trident MCI & Ampex etc,
    I still have some old stuff ,but the 1176& 1178 & 224's I sold because it is easier to use Waves Plug-ins !!
    I dont buy new stuff at all !! if it sounded good I would !!
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    That's too funny, Waves are some of the worst sounding plug-ins I've ever owned.
    If they sounded as good, I would buy each and every plug-in on the planet without hesitation, sell the gear and go on a holiday, but they don't all sound as good to me. Each to his own. thumb
    They are easier to turn on though and take up less space, you have that correct.
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    You are mistaking manufacturing techniques with component quality. The fact is, high quality components that used to have wires on them for circuitboard installation, are the same ones being utilized in quality audio devices that happen to be utilizing surface mount technology construction. I've seen you mention API more than once. The API 2520 is mostly, today, surface mount except for the 2 output transistors. Paul Wolff made the mistake of having Panasonic build his 2520's early on with surface mount output transistors. Well those all blew up rather quickly. Too much heat needed to be dissipated. So they went back to the entire front end being surface mount with the 2 additional output transistors not being surface mount for better heat dissipation in that little epoxy block. I'm sure the Neumann U87, still utilizes the 2N3819 FET. Whether it's an epoxy pack with three leads or whether its surface mount. It's not dealing with any current and therefore, no worries. In fact there is sonic advantages to surface mount construction. Every wire has both a resistive and inductive property to it. Without the wires, there are less interactive problems. So if you still like the sound of API, it's mostly surface mount. Of course there are still those stubborn stalwarts that want 2520's from Farmington New York, from 1968. Hey, I even have Melcor 1731's which everybody says they are not API 2520's but they really are. And though all of those are discrete components on a circuit board, you still can't repair 'em. But you can repair a Neve BA 438/440. You just can't repair the Neve BA 638/640 except for its output transistors. Otherwise, you need only insert a new Signetics 5534 IC chip. And what is a 5534 IC chip but a single globule of surface mount in an epoxy package. Nobody complained about their IC chip based Neve consoles. So your criticism is too broad ranging. Sure, like yourself, I like nice big clunky parts that I can pull off, pull out, stick in and re-solder. So I'm an old fogey old-school, stubborn stalwart, like yourself. And I like myself that way. Obviously you do also. No reason to get bent out of shape about a manufacturing technique that you cannot bend out of shape. API fixed their problem and everybody still loves their sound and they are now more reliable because they have combined both manufacturing options in a single device. I'm sure plenty of others are doing similar. So don't worry about the construction as it sounds good until you have to fix it. Then, it may not sound so good and you might not also be able to fix it. It's a small price we pay for the high price we pay. Shipping and handling not included. Titles, taxes, tags, optional. See your dealer for details. No down payment and 36 months to pay. 30 mpg (30 microphones per gig).

    Neve, er, more quote the CROW. Brak! CROWmobile.com CROWmobile.com CROWmobile.com Brak!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  20. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    I am asking ? do you think the Surface mount componants are as good sounding as descrete componants?

    I dive a don't give a rats @#$%^ about the capsule
    (you either have a good one or an average one!! because very few Neumanns sounded fantastic!!
    most sounded good ,But only a few where amazing !! They dont all sound the same)
    If you are talking Vocal mic I woul'd alway use a Sony C37A over a Neumann But each to his own !!

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