[JN] Rupert Neve RIP

Hans Hedal hans.hedal at post.cybercity.dk
Sat Feb 20 10:04:17 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 This was the crucial factor as to why germanium was superseded by 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.
> Hans

It is an all too time consuming task to compare the linearity of 
(bipolar) germanium and silicon transistors as a whole by comparing 
their characteristics.
But the best and most convincing explanation for the difference between 
germanium and silicon transistor nonlinearity I have found by reading 
this discussion thread:



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