Accepting and loving the imperfections?
« on: July 20, 2020, 07:40:22 PM »
For about four years I've been tinkering, tweaking, and trying in pursuit of the sound I want out of my DIY tube preamp. Ad nauseam. The GroupDIY community has been stellar.

I've gotten this thing down to near PERFECT frequency response. +/- 0.1db from 20Hz to 30kHz at all gain levels. Relatively clean open loop gain. In spite of this, I can’t fall in love with the sound.

However, sticking in this Crimson A10 clone input transformer makes me smile. It has all sorts of anomalies. Overshoot, a 2dB ring at 20kHz that increases with gain, harmonic saturation.

To me, it just sounds better for some reason that I can’t explain. It’s like loving a woman for her imperfections. I keep going back! Would you admit to loving a ringing input transformer?

I trust frequency sweeps and my oscilloscope. But I listen with my ears, and they’re telling me something else.

Am I wrong for feeling this way? Should I not admit this? This seems like a safe place. I can handle the truth.

Analogous to this is violin makers. I’ve been playing fiddle since I was 10, and I’ve held some beautifully “perfect” instruments that sound like garbage. Some builders will chase down and eliminate entirely any semblance of wolf tones, in effect stamping out the instrument’s soul. It might “measure” good, but no serious musician will want to play it. The best ones have resonance, on borderline of wolf, and a certain response unique to itself.

Could it be that our favorite audio gear is similar to this?

Re: Accepting and loving the imperfections?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2020, 08:24:57 PM »
It's very rare that  you see any kind of damping network across a transformer in vintage equipment.  Were the transformers they made then perfect, with no ringing at the top? 
No they weren't, of course not. 
Yet time and time again folks like what they hear when using that non perfect equipment.

No shame at all in coming clean and "admitting" you like the transformer with the ring.

Use it in good health :)
Note to self:  Don't let c**ts wind you up

Re: Accepting and loving the imperfections?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 09:38:41 PM »
In my case it is the opposite, I usually prefer the thing that measures best.

Regarding you quest for perfect frequency response,  dont know why you are using tubes if you  are looking for the flattest response. There is only one application which I prefer the sound of tubes and transformers and that is distorted electric guitar amps, for the rest I prefer solid state transformless.

The good thing about audio is that everyone has the right to have an opininon, so if you prefer the technically "worse" it is ok..


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