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Thursday, October 22, 2009

... further considerations about MC transformers... (from a chatting with Steve Clarke)

Please allow me to play the romantic role in this serious, technical matter... you already know, from previous chatting, my "ear-first" approach... I'm unfortunately too low tech-headed to use a different approach and consider the MC-trannies listening and swapping a very interesting and enriching experience in itself... BUT, how do you explain that, also using a given tailored, correct transformer matching, same ratio, almost same shielding, external size and materials... THEY ALL SOUND VERY DIFFERENT? WHY?!?

The great Walt Bender, one of my fave audio scholars ever, explains this as a cause of the copper AWG used - so important, tension used in winding - VERY important, core shape, size and material - a big transformer doesn't sound big, like a miniature doesn't sound limited or too little and vice-versa... so, again, it's not a matter of Sowter, Lundhal, Bent, Uesugi, Western Electric, Beyer, RCA, UTC, Peerless or JS, names mean NOTHING, only but care and knowledge used are paramount... IME, usually: the older, the better... because in the Hey-Days they used to care... every detail was carefully worked out and techeads proudly wore white uniforms... only trained, experienced personell was used for cleverly wind up the top of the line audio and studio gears... a little gizmo was SO important in the whole, final quality of - i.e. an Ampex 350 or an MR 70 tape-recorders, costing like an apartament, back in the '60s... also the 20-20.000 hz dogma isn't saying all!

How do you explain that, for example, WE 618-B, Peerless 4611 and Peerless 4685, three VERY old - almost 50 years old design and manufacture - trannies, despite being maybe a little noisy (hissy), are the MOST MUSICAL I ever listened to?

When I try to describe their sound, I compare the listening to the music played in an old wooden room, where music is emerging from a rich, fat, "greasy" noise-floor, not an anechoic electronic desert - common in some modern boutique MC-trannies - i.e. - Ortofon, Fidelity Research et al. - BUT an humus-like, solid background, harmonically rich and detailed, yet very pleasant, ear and music-friendly... Solid Air, would say the late John Martyn...

The above MC-transformers are not forgiving, rounded, or worst, bandwidth limited... only different and to my ears and in my system, always the best sounding - I 'm a musician and concert-goer, so I know a violin is different from a viola - BUT I saw a friend, an audiophile with scarce concert-going background, saying: "WOW... this violin is SO muddy!" and... we were listening to Maestro Uto Ughi in Bach's Solos played on a Stradivarius... I was amazed, but also I was aware my friend never really experienced a "real violin" before!

So: the task is obtaining true-to-life music at home... nothing more, nothing less... not an easy task.

... enough material to speculate and to think about, isn't it?

P.S. - a grateful, sincere "THANKS!" to Joseph Esmilla for his invaluable, superb site, his so kind support when asked for and tons of hints on MC-transformers, etc.


Mellowgroovy said...

Did you have try Western Electric 285 series input transformer for MC transformer?


twogoodears said...

No, never tried one... do you know it? how does it sounds? Thanks...

Mellowgroovy said...

I recently got Peerless 4611 transformers.
And plan to compare with my friend who have WE618B and WE285E.

I want to know your opinion about your WE618B and Peerless 4611 in comparison.


maddman79 said...

I'm very interested in hearing the results of this test...