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previous: Dave Harris Erik,If you think the CD is... -- 8/8/1997 8:54 AM View Thread

Re: Differential amplifiers?

8/8/1997 9:38 AM
Erik M. Wood
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Re: Differential amplifiers?
Actually, Dave you're right. Using a distorted tube would be counter productive to the clean sound we're after. But the natural compression and sweetness of a tube stage is by definition distortion, too. It's just not noticeable the way that gritty, growly, down and dirty woman tone is that we get through our guitar amps. Anything that is an artifact of the amplifier and not a part of the original signal, is what I mean. The early stages of overload, produce that compression and subtle harmonic coloration which are responsible for that tube tone we love. It still sounds clean, but as RG pointed out in another post somewhere, it's just very forgiving distortion, unlike solid state distortion, which is harsher and more noticeable at much lower levels of THD. It's all got to do with the predominance of which type of harmonics produced by the relative technology. Even harmonics (consonant and sweet), and odd harmonics (harsh and dissonant). I was listening to a speech given by Rupert Neve (designer of the famous recording consoles) about some Japanese scientists who have discovered that our neurons fire differently in response to the two diferent types of harmonics. They fire symmetrically when we listen to even harmonic distortion, and asymmetrically when we listen to odd harmonic distortion. This is obviously a connection to the perceived consonance or dissonance or even the sheer noticeability of distortion. I don't know which came first, though. Do they fire asymmetrically because it sounds harsher, or does it sound harsher because they fire asymmetricaly?  
Oh, yeah. I forgot to plug guitars:  
Umm... I'd like to dig inside some of the newer solid state guitar amps like the Peavey Transtube series or the Carvin SX or Sansamp units to see how they've attempted to recreate that tube sound.  
-Erik.

 
Replies:
Dave Harris Hi Erik,All this talk of ne... -- 8/11/1997 10:33 AM