[JN] Rupert Neve RIP

Hans Hedal hans.hedal at post.cybercity.dk
Fri Feb 19 08:57:13 CST 2021

> Lord have mercy, how did you even manage to write that?? Oh, the 
> secret formula, duh Phil...
> Germanium is nonlinear? I don't know if I've ever even seen a Ge 
> transistor. It has acquired a bit of a cult status however, AND, 
> someone made, and may still be making, germanium on silicon, which 
> ended up providing real electrical benefits, although I can't remember 
> what. Maybe a certain formula would jog my memory.
> Phil
>     nah, not waffling … just describing Rupert Neve’s contribution to
>     the sound of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. as he did not build tape
>     recorders, microphones or studio monitors, he could not introduce
>     tape saturation, proximity effects or thermal compression to the
>     sound. but transformer saturation, tantalum distortion, germanium
>     non-linearity … he could.
>     ©
>     _ _ _
>     aka christian rintelen

Are germanium transistors non-linear compared to silicon?

I think it is more complicated than that:

Germanium transistors had (and has) a more limited operational 
temperature range compared to silicon transistors.
This was the crucial factor as to why germanium was superseded by 
silicon as transistor material.
Because germanium transistors were (and are) more prone to thermal 
runaway than silicon transistors.
As such they have a greater tendency to shift operating point.
Therefore one should expect details in the distortion characteristics 
(the tonal character / the non-linearity) to be more unstable compared 
to silicon transistors.


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