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Attenuator after Preamp?

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Anonymous
July 3, 2005 5:51:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
clean for my tastes. Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
"output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
converters.
Is this a normal way of recording? I know other pres like the API
3124 don't have a seperate output control either. Do people do the
same with these?
Or, is this totally improper? Will I just be clipping/distorting
the output stage of the VMP-2?

Thanks, Mark

More about : attenuator preamp

Anonymous
July 3, 2005 8:17:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

if you distort going in and do not like it
there is nothing you can do to undo it
if you get good clean basic tracks when recording
you can process them into the sound you want
in the mixdown !
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 9:30:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote:
> I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
>sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
>clean for my tastes. Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
>"output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
>use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
>my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
>tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
>turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
>converters.

Sure, you can do this, if your goal is to get the sound of the preamp
clipping. I don't think that's a good sound, but if that's the sound
you want, go for it. Depending on the frequency in question, the transformer
may saturate before anything else.

> Is this a normal way of recording? I know other pres like the API
>3124 don't have a seperate output control either. Do people do the
>same with these?

No, people avoid clipping preamps for the most part.

> Or, is this totally improper? Will I just be clipping/distorting
>the output stage of the VMP-2?

Yes, but isn't that what you're trying to do?
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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Anonymous
July 4, 2005 1:14:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1120423874.332324.180110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com> strat65@ameritech.net writes:

> I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
> sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
> clean for my tastes. Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
> "output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
> use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
> my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
> tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
> turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
> converters.
> Is this a normal way of recording?

Well, for those who want "agression" it's normal, if your preamp puts
out too much level for your converters when it's pushed. Go for it.

> I know other pres like the API
> 3124 don't have a seperate output control either.

I guess their design expectations are still left over from the days
when every recorder input had a level control so you could properly
match it to whatever was feeding it. The manual for my Ampex MM-1100
explained that the record level trimpots on the record modules were
to be used (in conjunction with the meters) to adjust the record level
from the source.

Sadly, such controls are practically non-existent on modern day
DAW recording hardware, for several reasons which I've suggested
here before, even fairly recently, so I won't go into them again. Of
course if your audio interface has a -10/+4 switch (which might be
in software) and you're running it at -10, switch it to +4 and it will
add about 12 dB of attenuation. If it's already set to +4, then you'll
need an external attenuator like you planned.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 2:50:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 3 Jul 2005 13:51:14 -0700, strat65@ameritech.net wrote:

> I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
>sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
>clean for my tastes. Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
>"output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
>use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
>my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
>tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
>turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
>converters.
> Is this a normal way of recording? I know other pres like the API
>3124 don't have a seperate output control either. Do people do the
>same with these?
> Or, is this totally improper? Will I just be clipping/distorting
>the output stage of the VMP-2?


For the price of an attenuator, sure, try it. Or haven't you got a
mixer you can run it into? You will doubtless be
clipping/distorting at some stage. But that's what you're aiming
for, isn't it?
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 6:50:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1120423874.332324.180110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote:

> I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
> sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
> clean for my tastes. Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
> "output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
> use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
> my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
> tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
> turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
> converters.
> Is this a normal way of recording? I know other pres like the API
> 3124 don't have a seperate output control either. Do people do the
> same with these?
> Or, is this totally improper? Will I just be clipping/distorting
> the output stage of the VMP-2?
>
> Thanks, Mark


Yes, you'll be distorting the preamp. If that's what you want to do,
then my suggestion would be to use an inline XLR resistive pad (Shure
sells them, or you can build one for like $10 and 10 minutes
soldering). I would, in this case, use the +4 XLR outputs since you're
going for coloration and you're going to pad the output anyway. A 20dB
pad might be enough to get you started.

ulysses
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 3:47:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mark, I agree that you should experiment with this to see whether the
type of distortion that you get is a type that you will always want.
The problem is, if you ever changed your mind after making a recording,
there wouldn't be any way to undo the distortion so that you could try
different approaches or settings.

Personally I feel much safer when I record clean/flat. Then I have a
reliable, neutral starting point. With that in the can, I can tweak and
sweeten anything I want on my own time, after the performers have gone
home. While recording, of course, I can monitor through whatever
processors I like, to get a general idea of what might work. But I
focus on getting the required takes, then later I hone in on the exact
settings I want for any processors that I may want to use.

Until not long ago Peavey made, and maybe you can still find, a
two-channel "feel-good box" called the "Tube Sweetener"--basically a
tube line amplifier with variable settings. It lets you add seasoning
"after the fact" without any risk to the original recording. Another
device which I find useful sometimes, though it does a very different
set of things, is the old Carver "Digital Time Lens".

Finally, I've been impressed and sometimes amazed by what can be done
with just plain old EQ, when the person using it has got the necessary
skills. I say that with envy, since I'm rather low on that particular
totem pole myself, but some of the people I've worked with (mostly from
the older generation of engineers, many of whom are now retired or
passed away) could do a great deal of good with a relatively small
amount of "bending" here or there. I'm not sure that this skill is
understood or even respected any more the way it perhaps ought to be.

--best regards
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 12:34:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for all the input. What I'm concerned with is that pres like
Averill & Alexander 1272s, Vintech, etc have input and output controls.
So the unit was designed to be driven hard internally if desired by
the user. With my VMP-2, since there's no output control I'm worried
that I will overdrive the output stage which was not designed to be
overdriven. Instead of (or in addition to) nice tube distortion, I'm
concerned I'll just get nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping
and distortion.
Ulysses, why would you suggest the XLR outs? Paul Stamler recommended
staying away from these b/c of distortion specs. Do these outputs
sound more aggressive b/c of the tranny in line?
I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators. Does anyone know where
I could get 1/4" line attenuators to try on the -10db outputs?
These experiments are going to be fun...
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 5:05:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote:
>Thanks for all the input. What I'm concerned with is that pres like
>Averill & Alexander 1272s, Vintech, etc have input and output controls.
> So the unit was designed to be driven hard internally if desired by
>the user. With my VMP-2, since there's no output control I'm worried
>that I will overdrive the output stage which was not designed to be
>overdriven. Instead of (or in addition to) nice tube distortion, I'm
>concerned I'll just get nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping
>and distortion.

Well, try it and see.

>Ulysses, why would you suggest the XLR outs? Paul Stamler recommended
>staying away from these b/c of distortion specs. Do these outputs
>sound more aggressive b/c of the tranny in line?

Yes, but clearly you _want_ some distortion. So try the XLR outs and the
unbalanced outs and decide which you like more.

>I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators. Does anyone know where
>I could get 1/4" line attenuators to try on the -10db outputs?
>These experiments are going to be fun...

You can use an 1/4-to-XLR cable and just use the Shure attenuators on
the unbalanced output as well. Everyone should have a bag of the things.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 9:19:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1120577658.773097.266830@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> strat65@ameritech.net writes:

> Thanks for all the input. What I'm concerned with is that pres like
> Averill & Alexander 1272s, Vintech, etc have input and output controls.
> So the unit was designed to be driven hard internally if desired by
> the user.

No, they aren't. The input gain control is designed to optimize the
signal-to-noise ratio and the output level control is designed to
match the preamp output to the input of the next stage. If you want to
overdrive the input to make it sound different from what the designer
intended (nobody designs a mic preamp with the intention that it
distory) you can do so.

> With my VMP-2, since there's no output control I'm worried
> that I will overdrive the output stage which was not designed to be
> overdriven.

You won't hurt anything as long as you're driving it with a
microphone. Don't try plugging the speaker output of your 500 watt
guitar amplifier into it, though.

> Instead of (or in addition to) nice tube distortion, I'm
> concerned I'll just get nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping
> and distortion.

You will, if you drive it hard enough. But it's a tube amplifier and
it will distort gracefully, at least a little. Try it.

> I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators. Does anyone know where
> I could get 1/4" line attenuators to try on the -10db outputs?

I don't believe I've ever seen in-line 1/4" attenuators. Why don't you
get closer to being one with your equipment and build some? It's easy.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 9:55:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:1120577658.773097.266830@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for all the input. What I'm concerned with is that pres like
> Averill & Alexander 1272s, Vintech, etc have input and output controls.
> So the unit was designed to be driven hard internally if desired by
> the user. With my VMP-2, since there's no output control I'm worried
> that I will overdrive the output stage which was not designed to be
> overdriven. Instead of (or in addition to) nice tube distortion, I'm
> concerned I'll just get nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping
> and distortion.

You may. But there's no way to know without trying. You won't blow up the
output stage, though, if that's a worry.

> Ulysses, why would you suggest the XLR outs? Paul Stamler recommended
> staying away from these b/c of distortion specs. Do these outputs
> sound more aggressive b/c of the tranny in line?

They certainly test with nasty-looking distortion. Some of that may be due
to the transformer, but I think some of it comes from a tube trying to do
too big a job, which is to drive the output to a nominal +4dBu. I
recommended the unbalanced -10dBV output for 2 reasons. First, because
it's -10dBV, a much lower output level with concomitently lower distortion
(the tube's not working so hard). Second, because the harmonic distortion on
the balanced output was nastier looking (more high harmonics) than the same
measurement on the unbalanced.

But that recommendation was predicated on the assumption that the end-user
wanted clean sound. You don't. So try both hookups.

> I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators.

These will probably not work well; as I recall, they're lowish impedance
(designed for microphones), and they'll load the daylights out of the
balanced output, producing very nasty distortion indeed. Try building an
attenuator box on your own, with an input impedance of, say, 20k. Something
like:

Pin 2 o----10k-----------o Pin 2
|
XLR-F Rshunt XLR-M
|
Pin 3 o----10k-----------o Pin 3

Pin 1 o-------------------o Pin 1

For 10dB attenuation, assuming your following device has an input impedance
of 10k, Rshunt = 133k.
For 20dB attenuation, same assumption, Rshunt = 2.87k.
For 30dB attenuation, same assumption, Rshunt = 698 ohms.

Make sure your 10k resistors are tightly matched -- buy 10 of them and use a
digital voltmeter.

> Does anyone know where
> I could get 1/4" line attenuators to try on the -10db outputs?

In the same box, mount a couple of 1/4" jacks and:

Tip o--------10k----10k-------------o Tip
|
Rshunt
|
Sleeve o------------------------------o Sleeve

Same resistor values as above for Rshunt. For 10k resistors, use the ones
left over from the matching on the balanced input.

All this stuff will fit into a minibox. If you can't find somebody with
chassis punches to make the holes for the XLRs, use inline XLRs (cable
connectors) on captive lengths of cable; use some strain relief on the
cables.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 4:44:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:

> <strat65@ameritech.net> wrote in message
> news:1120577658.773097.266830@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> > I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators.
>
> These will probably not work well; as I recall, they're lowish impedance
> (designed for microphones), and they'll load the daylights out of the
> balanced output, producing very nasty distortion indeed.

I expect you're right about that Paul if the tood drives the XLR directly.

> Try building an
> attenuator box on your own, with an input impedance of, say, 20k. Something
> like:
>
> Pin 2 o----10k-----------o Pin 2
> |
> XLR-F Rshunt XLR-M
> |
> Pin 3 o----10k-----------o Pin 3
>
> Pin 1 o-------------------o Pin 1
>
> For 10dB attenuation, assuming your following device has an input impedance
> of 10k, Rshunt = 133k.

I think you meant 13.3k there. ( Or maybe actually 910 ohms )

Also 2.2k ( for -20 dB )

The editor. ;-)
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 5:30:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote:

> Thanks for all the input. What I'm concerned with is that pres like
> Averill & Alexander 1272s, Vintech, etc have input and output controls.
> So the unit was designed to be driven hard internally if desired by
> the user. With my VMP-2, since there's no output control I'm worried
> that I will overdrive the output stage which was not designed to be
> overdriven. Instead of (or in addition to) nice tube distortion, I'm
> concerned I'll just get nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping
> and distortion.
> Ulysses, why would you suggest the XLR outs? Paul Stamler recommended
> staying away from these b/c of distortion specs. Do these outputs
> sound more aggressive b/c of the tranny in line?
> I will be picking up the Shure XLR attenuators. Does anyone know where
> I could get 1/4" line attenuators to try on the -10db outputs?
> These experiments are going to be fun...

It sounds like you're afraid of your own desires. That's very
Christian of you. You're saying you want some aggressiveness,
coloration, distortion, whatever. But you're worried that you'll cause
some clipping distortion in the output stage. You need to get your
head around the fact that these two concepts are one and the same. The
thing you need to experiment to determine is whether or not you like
the sound you get when you make this preamp distort. I suspect that
there will be a point where you get a modest amount of distortion will
be pleasing to you on some sources, but that you can reach a point
where the distortion will be excessive and perhaps unpleasant. You
will find these points through experimenting with the gain pot while
feeding the output through a resistive attenuator as we've been
discussing, but you won't know until afterward what the threshold of
desirable and undesirable distortion is, and so you'll probably have to
change the resistors in the attenuator after the fact to get your net
output level where you want it. In other words, you might start with a
30dB pad, and then you'll adjust the gain pot to get a good level, and
it will be distorting too much. So then you'll back of the gain
control and get a nice, warm tone you like but the output level will be
10dB too low. In that case, you'd go back and change your passive
attenuator to be 20dB instead of 30, and you'll be in a good ballpark
for the sound you're after. Of course this will change depending on
the source signal, the microphone sensitivity, and the amount of
coloration you want, so you'll end up wanting a variable output
attenuator. But this will be a very good experiment and learning
experience for you, because it'll teach you a lot about gain staging
and how to build an attenuator.

Don't worry about "nasty resistor/capacitor/transformer clipping and
distortion" though. Resistors and capacitors don't really have an
overload point you need to worry about, and transformer distortion is
actually the source of every notion of "tube sound" with which you're
familiar. In other words, it's what you're asking for in this thread.

Remember, the Fender Bassman was not designed to be driven into
overload (at the time, distortion was considered an unfortunate and
unavoidable side-effect of adequate output levels), but tolerates it
just fine and it's primarily that output tranformer being overloaded by
the tubes that gives it such a desirable warm sound. Same goes for
everybody's favorite vintage solid-state preamp modules and most other
highly-regarded audio gear of days past. You're not going to hurt
anything by getting some distortion, and the "degradation" you will
hear will be exactly what you're trying to achieve, so try it and see
if you like it.

ulysses
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 11:11:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Pooh Bear" <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:42CB1B69.B8DCE5E1@hotmail.com...
> >
> > Pin 2 o----10k-----------o Pin 2
> > |
> > XLR-F Rshunt XLR-M
> > |
> > Pin 3 o----10k-----------o Pin 3
> >
> > Pin 1 o-------------------o Pin 1
> >
> > For 10dB attenuation, assuming your following device has an input
impedance
> > of 10k, Rshunt = 133k.
>
> I think you meant 13.3k there. ( Or maybe actually 910 ohms )

Nope, I meant 133k. I'm assuming a load resistance of 10k, which in parallel
with 133k yields 9300 ohms, which works out to an attenuation of 9300/29300,
or .317x, or -9.97dB.

> Also 2.2k ( for -20 dB )

Nope. Same argument.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 12:24:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:

> "Pooh Bear" <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:42CB1B69.B8DCE5E1@hotmail.com...
> > >
> > > Pin 2 o----10k-----------o Pin 2
> > > |
> > > XLR-F Rshunt XLR-M
> > > |
> > > Pin 3 o----10k-----------o Pin 3
> > >
> > > Pin 1 o-------------------o Pin 1
> > >
> > > For 10dB attenuation, assuming your following device has an input
> impedance
> > > of 10k, Rshunt = 133k.
> >
> > I think you meant 13.3k there. ( Or maybe actually 910 ohms )
>
> Nope, I meant 133k. I'm assuming a load resistance of 10k, which in parallel
> with 133k yields 9300 ohms, which works out to an attenuation of 9300/29300,
> or .317x, or -9.97dB.
>
> > Also 2.2k ( for -20 dB )
>
> Nope. Same argument.

Oh, I see. Caught out by line wrap ! And I made a typo myself too ( a missing
zero after 910 ).

Going to be a bit touchy if the following stage *isn't* 10k though !

Cheers, Graham
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 1:24:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <42CB872F.8C5BBC4B@hotmail.com> rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com writes:

> Going to be a bit touchy if the following stage *isn't* 10k though !

This is why things should have output level or input attenuation
controls - so that you can be really touchy and keep a finger poised
on it so that you can anticipate every potential clip.

Othewise, you knock things down somewhere between 8 and 15 dB (however
it comes out based on the loading of the source) and get to the safe
side of in the ballpark.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 12:01:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

strat65@ameritech.net wrote:
> I've got a Peavey VMP-2 pre. It sounds nice ond clean on all
> sources. However, when recording rock/pop bands it's a little too
> clean for my tastes.

Wish mine was "too clean".

Since it only has one gain knob (no seperate
> "output" knob), I was thinking of putting a line attenuator (1/4" as I
> use the -10db outs as suggested by Paul Stamler) in between the pre and
> my DAW. This would allow me to increase the input gain to push the
> tubes harder and possibly get some "aggression" out of the pre, while
> turning down the volume on the attenuator so as not to clip my DAW
> converters.
> Is this a normal way of recording? I know other pres like the API
> 3124 don't have a seperate output control either. Do people do the
> same with these?
> Or, is this totally improper? Will I just be clipping/distorting
> the output stage of the VMP-2?

If you want a little more grit, run the two channels in series.
In fact, I have run line level signals into it with the 20dB pad engaged
just to use the EQ controls during mixdown.
What most people don't realize is that the while the VMP2 is an okay
tube mic preamp, it is much better as an equaliser.

Rob R.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 5:33:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

There are two types of distortion you might be seeking when driving the
input of a mic pre. One is second harmonic distortion and the other is
clipping. I've gone for both intentionally for certain applications.

Second harmonic distortion is when you make things a little warmer. I
assums that's from saturation transformers, but it can also come from
things like the "Silk" circuit on the new Neve 5012.

Clipping can be really nasty sounding, but it can also be used as a
form of limiting. That clip point is the most impermeable of all
brickwall limiters. I like a 1073 all the way up followed by even more
distortion and limiting from a Distressor when recording drums.



PS. There are pres made that are designed to clip.
Anonymous
August 20, 2005 6:34:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

First off, thanks for all the great info guys. Tried everything
suggested above.
You were all correct in suggesting I experiment with overdring the pre.
Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Since my original post I've recorded various drums, guitars bass
through the VMP-2 while recording both the balanced and unbalanced
outputs.
This is a little embarrassing but well, here goes...
Except for a volume difference, I can't hear any difference in tone
between the two outputs. Even listening through my trusty K240's I
can't hear a difference between outputs. Just so you don't think I'm
completely deaf, let me add that the same procedure through my Vintech
473 yields a huge difference in tone. The balanced out is much fuller,
rounder, and less highs than the unbalanced out.
As an aside, my Dan Alexander (newer model) yields the same result as
my VMP-2 ... Balanced out is louder, but I can't hear a tone
difference.
As an aside aside, my Mackie 24X8 pres, VMP-2 pres (unbalanced), and
Vintech 473 pres (unbalanced) all sound eerily similar...

Can someone confirm any of these:
-That BOTH VMP-2 outputs (balanced and unbalanced) run through the
tranny, and the only difference between them is volume?
-That BOTH Dan Alexander outputs (balanced and unbalanced) run through
the tranny, and the only difference between them is volume
-That on the Vintech 473, only the balanced output runs through the
output tranny. The unbalanced output bypasses this tranny.

Thanks,
Mark
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 2:08:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<strat65@ameritech.net> wrote:
>Since my original post I've recorded various drums, guitars bass
>through the VMP-2 while recording both the balanced and unbalanced
>outputs.
>This is a little embarrassing but well, here goes...
>Except for a volume difference, I can't hear any difference in tone
>between the two outputs. Even listening through my trusty K240's I
>can't hear a difference between outputs.

This is a good thing. This is a sign the balanced output is properly
designed.

>Just so you don't think I'm
>completely deaf, let me add that the same procedure through my Vintech
>473 yields a huge difference in tone. The balanced out is much fuller,
>rounder, and less highs than the unbalanced out.

That sounds to me like the balanced out is using a poor quality
transformer to me.

Why would you WANT the balanced output to sound different than the
unbalanced one?

>As an aside, my Dan Alexander (newer model) yields the same result as
>my VMP-2 ... Balanced out is louder, but I can't hear a tone
>difference.

Yes, he is using quality Jensen output transformers, and driving the
transformer with a very low impedance source. This is a good design.

>As an aside aside, my Mackie 24X8 pres, VMP-2 pres (unbalanced), and
>Vintech 473 pres (unbalanced) all sound eerily similar...

Try it on an SM-57 and see if you say that still.

>Can someone confirm any of these:
>-That BOTH VMP-2 outputs (balanced and unbalanced) run through the
>tranny, and the only difference between them is volume?
>-That BOTH Dan Alexander outputs (balanced and unbalanced) run through
>the tranny, and the only difference between them is volume
>-That on the Vintech 473, only the balanced output runs through the
>output tranny. The unbalanced output bypasses this tranny.

No, not at all. A good transformer should be pretty subtle. People have
spent decades trying to get transformers that are clean and accurate.
A huge amount of engineering work has gone into making good output
transformer designs.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 2:23:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 20 Aug 2005 14:34:38 -0700, strat65@ameritech.net wrote:

>This is a little embarrassing but well, here goes...
>Except for a volume difference, I can't hear any difference in tone
>between the two outputs. Even listening through my trusty K240's I
>can't hear a difference between outputs.

Good. Sounds like a well-designed amp. Did you EXPECT them to sound
different?


>Just so you don't think I'm
>completely deaf, let me add that the same procedure through my Vintech
>473 yields a huge difference in tone. The balanced out is much fuller,
>rounder, and less highs than the unbalanced out.

Unless the unbalanced out is advertised as "clean" and the balanced as
"valve sound" or something, this just looks like bad design.
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 3:25:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <jnhgg19dfr5oekr8nmsv6le0npv9sq8j68@4ax.com> lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com writes:

> On 20 Aug 2005 14:34:38 -0700, strat65@ameritech.net wrote:
>
> >This is a little embarrassing but well, here goes...
> >Except for a volume difference, I can't hear any difference in tone
> >between the two outputs. Even listening through my trusty K240's I
> >can't hear a difference between outputs.
>
> Good. Sounds like a well-designed amp. Did you EXPECT them to sound
> different?

Some people just think that unbalanced means that the design is
compromised and that it will necessary "affect the audio quality." How
many times have you read those words here?



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 10:44:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 21 Aug 2005 11:25:42 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

>> Good. Sounds like a well-designed amp. Did you EXPECT them to sound
>> different?
>
>Some people just think that unbalanced means that the design is
>compromised and that it will necessary "affect the audio quality." How
>many times have you read those words here?

I thought unbalanced was the signal's natural state. If you needed a
balanced output because of long cable runs or a noisy environment, you
hoped that the extra circuitry required wouldn't noticeably degrade
the signal :-)

Is a "warm" distortion, maybe caused by a transformer, a feature of
the balanced outputs on some older gear?
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 10:44:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <m3fhg1l1hoj26td521tp92htl38vgd8im2@4ax.com> lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com writes:

> I thought unbalanced was the signal's natural state. If you needed a
> balanced output because of long cable runs or a noisy environment, you
> hoped that the extra circuitry required wouldn't noticeably degrade
> the signal :-)

It's possible to build a fully differential circuit, in fact, audio
manufacturers used to do that. But it's rare today to find it anywhere
but at the output.

> Is a "warm" distortion, maybe caused by a transformer, a feature of
> the balanced outputs on some older gear?

On the Great River MP-2H, there are both transformerless unbalanced
outputs and transformer balanced outputs. They sound a little
different. They're there mostly for the sound of the transformers.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 1:29:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Laurence Payne <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in
news:m3fhg1l1hoj26td521tp92htl38vgd8im2@4ax.com:

> On 21 Aug 2005 11:25:42 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike
> Rivers) wrote:
>
>>> Good. Sounds like a well-designed amp. Did you EXPECT them
>>> to sound different?
>>
>>Some people just think that unbalanced means that the design
>>is compromised and that it will necessary "affect the audio
>>quality." How many times have you read those words here?
>
> I thought unbalanced was the signal's natural state. If you
> needed a balanced output because of long cable runs or a noisy
> environment, you hoped that the extra circuitry required
> wouldn't noticeably degrade the signal :-)
>
Well, in the beginning, everything was balanced. direct
connection by a pair of wires between the telephone's microphone
and another telephone's earpiece. When people started designing
amplifiers, it was cheaper to use a single-ended amplifier.
which brought along unbalanced wiring.

So unbalanced is really the compromise with the almighty
dollar..

--
Bob Quintal

PA is y I've altered my email address.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 2:21:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 21 Aug 2005 17:01:14 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

>> Is a "warm" distortion, maybe caused by a transformer, a feature of
>> the balanced outputs on some older gear?
>
>On the Great River MP-2H, there are both transformerless unbalanced
>outputs and transformer balanced outputs. They sound a little
>different. They're there mostly for the sound of the transformers.

Only mostly? What else for?
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 2:21:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Laurence Payne <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote:
>On 21 Aug 2005 17:01:14 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
>wrote:
>>> Is a "warm" distortion, maybe caused by a transformer, a feature of
>>> the balanced outputs on some older gear?
>>
>>On the Great River MP-2H, there are both transformerless unbalanced
>>outputs and transformer balanced outputs. They sound a little
>>different. They're there mostly for the sound of the transformers.
>
>Only mostly? What else for?

Well, for balancing and noise rejection. If you have a 2,000 foot
run from the catwalk where the preamp is located to the truck outside,
that's a big deal. If you're running a short length to a nearby rack
with a different ground potential and need to break grounds, that's a
big deal. Balanced outputs are always handy, and transformers give
you better balancing than just about anything else out there. That's
why people keep using them in spite of the sonic deficits.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 3:22:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 21 Aug 2005 18:05:48 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>>>On the Great River MP-2H, there are both transformerless unbalanced
>>>outputs and transformer balanced outputs. They sound a little
>>>different. They're there mostly for the sound of the transformers.
>>
>>Only mostly? What else for?
>
>Well, for balancing and noise rejection. If you have a 2,000 foot
>run from the catwalk where the preamp is located to the truck outside,
>that's a big deal. If you're running a short length to a nearby rack
>with a different ground potential and need to break grounds, that's a
>big deal. Balanced outputs are always handy, and transformers give
>you better balancing than just about anything else out there. That's
>why people keep using them in spite of the sonic deficits.

Indeed For some reason I misread your previous as "...both
transformerless balanced and transformer balanced outputs." Some
sort of audiophile choice.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 9:25:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bob Quintal <rquintal@spampatico.ca> wrote:
> Laurence Payne <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in
> news:m3fhg1l1hoj26td521tp92htl38vgd8im2@4ax.com:

>> On 21 Aug 2005 11:25:42 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike
>> Rivers) wrote:
>>
>>>> Good. Sounds like a well-designed amp. Did you EXPECT them
>>>> to sound different?
>>>
>>>Some people just think that unbalanced means that the design
>>>is compromised and that it will necessary "affect the audio
>>>quality." How many times have you read those words here?
>>
>> I thought unbalanced was the signal's natural state. If you
>> needed a balanced output because of long cable runs or a noisy
>> environment, you hoped that the extra circuitry required
>> wouldn't noticeably degrade the signal :-)
>>
> Well, in the beginning, everything was balanced. direct
> connection by a pair of wires between the telephone's microphone
> and another telephone's earpiece. When people started designing
> amplifiers, it was cheaper to use a single-ended amplifier.
> which brought along unbalanced wiring.

> So unbalanced is really the compromise with the almighty
> dollar..

Sort of. Some devices allow you to take the unbalanced feed ahead of
the output transformer. This allows for a less coloured signal. Why
colour it if you don't need to?

Er....I can't remember---is the unbalanced out on the VMP before the
transformer? Sorry if this is already answered in this thread.

Rob R.
!