vintage console ic mic pre's

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vintage console ic mic pre's

Post by weroflu »

i used to own a trident 70 back in the day and really liked the mic preamps. i got to thinking recently that many of the well-regarded vintage ic-based consoles used not very-well regarded op amps... trident, neotek, older series soundcraft, soundworkshop, neve 81 series, studer 169, harrison, etc etc. i realize that they used what was available in their time, but some of these consoles are still well-regarded. my conclusion, which is at the least uninformed, is that these slower slew rate ic based pre's have a pleasing sound, (i think i read that they also roll off the top end as well) in some cases and in some situations better than all the modern day so-called improvements. the 2520 opamp is also very sought after and is technically a slow op amp, and just about everyone loves well-designed tube preamps -- also slow on the transients. i was doing some reading this morning that vinyl can only capture ~ 3v/uS slew rate...
Last edited by weroflu on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: vintage console ic mic pre's

Post by chrisp »

Hi Weroflu

The same can be said for some old synths, yes? Them older chipped keyboards are getting quite a vintage shine.

I think there are bigger issues than just the choice of IC for the opamps. Its about board design, getting right signal levels in the signal chain, having the right headroom in the right places, quality in the power supply, etc etc etc. In my view, the true magic lies in the brilliance of the design were all these things come together. You can see it in the modern world equipment - just because someone uses valves in their design doesn't mean it sounds good, or even valvey. And a great design that uses 5532 chips can sound way better than a poor design with NOS Raytheon valves.

The performance numbers for opamps make good selling points, but really its about the sound. Your illustration from vinyl is a good point in case - at +4dbu, 3v/us means that a 1 Khz tone can jump from -max to +max in a single wave cycle. But that number is not what makes vinyl what it is - ask a vinyl mastering guy what makes vinyl different and I bet that slew rates doesn't get on the agenda.

As a cynic, I also question whether there's a lot of "good old days" going around at the moment. There was a reason so many studios chucked out their Neve's in the 1990's. But even getting the exact same studio setup as Pink Floyd will NOT have you sounding like Dark Side of the Moon - you still need talent, musicianship, and good engineering / mixing - these are all people skills, not chips.

Why did the record producer cross the road? 'cause that's how the Beatles did it!
Chris P
I do lots of things. I believe eclectic skills are best.

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