[JN] Rupert Neve RIP

Hans Hedal hans.hedal at post.cybercity.dk
Sun Feb 21 19:10:35 CST 2021

The sonic fingerprint of germanium transistors?




Den 20-02-2021 kl. 17:04 skrev Hans Hedal via Sound:
>>> 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 This was the crucial factor as to why germanium was superseded by 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:
> https://www.electronicspoint.com/forums/threads/silicon-vs-germanium.100872/
> Hans
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