Vintage mojo... What is it exactly?

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abbey road d enfer

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If a modern high-end signal transformer has less leading phase shift in the bottom end than a vintage counterpart, you might hear that (and prefer it or not).
That should be measurable in the frequency response test. Transformers are Minimum Phase devices, hence the phase and frequency responses are directly correlated. It's been demonstrated times and times that, in this case, it's the frequency response perception that dominates.
 

JohnRoberts

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somethings you just can't quantify.
I had a company I worked with decades ago try and copy a transformer design in the hopes they could make a less expensive version of the name brand they were using. The idea was new part number, less costly, and some marketing spin and done. So after voicing my concerns, we had test samples made. When they arrived got to testing right away. After all the testing and measuring, the clones measured pretty well compared to originals while at the same time sounded something awful by themselves and sounded no where close to the originals.
if something measures good but sounds bad, you are not measuring the right thing, or right way.

JR
Other times it can be something as simple as it looks the part so people and their brain say it is. For example, my current studio wants to make more modules for our desk, but they insist they get made like the originals with large ass wiring looms because that is what makes the difference.

Then other times, it's just belief. For example my buddy at an audiophile show once told the guy giving the demo that the cable lifters they used were the wrong ones for that type of demo music. He had them convinced they needed to use another kind. It was funny.

and sometimes it's in the details. Age can effect how things sound. Like an acoustic guitar that matures and sounds good when you get it and great after many years of being played.
 

pucho812

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if something measures good but sounds bad, you are not measuring the right thing, or right way.

JR
I've heard that if it measures right and sounds like shit, you measured the wrong thing.
While I agree with you, I can assure you, we measured everything as much as you can with a transformer. But anyway that was years ago.
 

JohnRoberts

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I've heard that if it measures right and sounds like shit, you measured the wrong thing.
While I agree with you, I can assure you, we measured everything as much as you can with a transformer. But anyway that was years ago.
Back in the 70/80s I had to roll some of my own test equipment because typical inexpensive bench equipment (like heathkit) didn't capture everything.

The main issue I had sourcing Chinese transformers last century was that the vendor didn't know what mu metal was... but they eventually figured it out.

For vetting audiophile transformers consider null testing to objectively see how they differ. However that won't tell you which one is causing the difference. If they deliver a deep null, they should sound similar. I can imagine differences from core material, winding wrap/coupling. etc.

Caveat, I am not a transformer guy either.

JR
 

Bo Deadly

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For vetting audiophile transformers consider null testing to objectively see how they differ. However that won't tell you which one is causing the difference.
That's what a "control" is for. Null test two units that you know to be identical. Then null test with one DUT. The difference between the control and the DUT tests is attributed entirely to the DUT because that is what changed.
 
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