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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Simple 2-buss transformer box
      #1108798 - 21/06/14 01:46 AM
I'm looking for a stereo, line level box with transformers - purely for the 'transformer sound' - to run mixes through.

I don't need multi-input summing, output to mic-input levels, compression or anything fancy... just +4 stereo line in and out through decent transformers (Cinemags, Lundahls etc).

Sounds simple, but does such a thing exist? Any suggestions?


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77raymondo77



Joined: 29/07/08
Posts: 5
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1108805 - 21/06/14 04:10 AM
One here or if you're handy with a soldering iron get a pair of these 23-112 Lundahl LL 1540 Transformers, they work well as ground loop hum isolators but I'm not sure you'll get that full on analogue ABBA sound, even though they're made in Sweden. I wonder if el cheapos, mixed in parallel, would give you more 'character'.


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: 77raymondo77]
      #1108852 - 21/06/14 10:50 AM
Thanks for the reply...

I've found a few similar DIY solutions online – but surely someone makes a ready-to-go box?


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5834
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1108861 - 21/06/14 11:16 AM
THIS is still my favourite. Nice big solid transformers. And you can't argue about the price.

It's much more about recording good instruments, played well, in a nice room though. You can always turn the treble down a bit for a nice "mellow" sound.

Edited by James Perrett to fix link

Edited by James Perrett (23/06/14 09:12 AM)


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17585
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1108874 - 21/06/14 12:08 PM
Hi Evie!

I know you're after a ready built solution, but have you read this entertaining thread on the DIY approach with plenty of examples?

www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=897262

That Canford box could well be a little 'too' good if you want to add some flavour to your mixes - they quote '+/- 1.0dB, 40Hz-20kHz' and 'Better than 0.015% / 1% , 1kHz / 30Hz, +22dBu'.

I'd certainly be pushed to hear 1% of distortion at 30Hz in the context of a mix, and that's assuming that you can push the peak level up to +22dBu to achieve it


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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JonathanRace



Joined: 22/06/14
Posts: 52
Loc: UK
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109062 - 23/06/14 07:25 AM
I know there was one made for the Api lunchbox which looked pretty good. Had switchable transformers as well for different 'flavours' can't remember the name of it atm though I'm afraid.

--------------------
Evolution Mastering
Online Mastering | Mixdown Tutorial


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10826
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1109078 - 23/06/14 09:14 AM
I'd go with EW's ground loop isolator suggestion to start with - they're likely to be easier to saturate than a more expensive transformer though whether you like that sound is a different matter.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5834
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1109124 - 23/06/14 02:08 PM
What design features would make a transformer easy to saturate?


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10826
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1109134 - 23/06/14 02:59 PM
Transformer cores are far from perfectly linear and, in general, the smaller they are, the lower the current required to saturate the core. A decent pro-audio line level transformer is normally far larger than that Maplin box so I would deduce that the 2 transformers in there are fairly small and therefore saturate at a lower current.

As a youngster I remember messing around with small interstage coupling transformers from a cheap intercom - you could make some interesting sounds with them.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5834
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1109140 - 23/06/14 03:45 PM
I must open up one of my Maplin units and see just what's inside. There's certainlt been no attempt to miniaturise. It may be absolute crap. It may just be than no-one told the manufacturer something competent deserved a higher price point.

It would also be interesting to test just what (if anything) is wrong with THIS. Don't forget we seem to be LOOKING for grunge, not a straight wire with ground lift.


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1109241 - 24/06/14 10:46 AM
Not really looking for 'grunge' - this is the angle I'm coming from...

I have tried summing (including a pricey SSL setup) without being overly impressed. At the same time, number of equipment reviews have concluded that any sonic benefit from summing boxes can most likely be attributed to circuitry such as transformers, rather than the summing process itself. In other words, that processing a stereo mix (rather than a bunch of stems) is just as effective.

Back in 2006, the (largely positive) SOS review of the Audient Sumo said: "Personally I could hear very little difference between using the Sumo as a mixer and using it to process a stereo Logic mix. This being the case, perhaps there's a potential market for a two-channel unit for those of us who can't justify the cost of a Sumo? "

Eight years later, you'd imagine there'd be a few transformer-laden, 2-buss processing boxes on the market, promising to add all manner of 'weight', 'solidity', 'smooth highs' etc.

But where are they?


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5834
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109252 - 24/06/14 12:25 PM
Quote Evie McCreevie:

Not really looking for 'grunge' - this is the angle I'm coming from...

I have tried summing (including a pricey SSL setup) without being overly impressed. At the same time, number of equipment reviews have concluded that any sonic benefit from summing boxes can most likely be attributed to circuitry such as transformers, rather than the summing process itself. In other words, that processing a stereo mix (rather than a bunch of stems) is just as effective.

Back in 2006, the (largely positive) SOS review of the Audient Sumo said: "Personally I could hear very little difference between using the Sumo as a mixer and using it to process a stereo Logic mix. This being the case, perhaps there's a potential market for a two-channel unit for those of us who can't justify the cost of a Sumo? "

Eight years later, you'd imagine there'd be a few transformer-laden, 2-buss processing boxes on the market, promising to add all manner of 'weight', 'solidity', 'smooth highs' etc.

But where are they?




It's unlikely that a gear-based magazine is ever going to QUITE come out and say "this is audiophool BS" (though, to SoS's credit they HAVE confirmed that most of us don't need master clocks and, whatever premium mic preamps may be about, they aren't much about detectable sonic difference when used "clean" - yes, my hobby-horse, but it obviously bears repetition.) They said "there might be a potential market...." Maybe the fact that there apparently wasn't should be telling you something...


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10826
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109260 - 24/06/14 02:25 PM
There are plenty of expensive 2 channel boxes with transformers but they tend to do other things like eq or compression as well. I doubt that most manufacturers would make a simple audiophile transformer isolator box at a sensible price either as the main market for such a device is people who would pay through the nose for the marketing BS.

However, there is one manufacturer that does make a sensibly specced transformer device at a sensible price. I'd suggest taking a look at the Orchid Electronics Dual Isolator.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6861
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109269 - 24/06/14 03:35 PM
Hmm? All seems a bit R.A. to me.
In any case the better the transformer the less you will"hear" it. The BBC et al did not use such expensive devices for their sound but because they had to!

Tell you what. Build the box with some nice Cineies' whatever then clank it onto the back of a handy guitar speaker. You will then get some nice even harmonics!

Dave.


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Huge Longjohns
long-serving member


Joined: 10/04/03
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Loc: Where the black rocks stand gu...
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109466 - 25/06/14 02:16 PM
Quote:

purely for the 'transformer sound'




Can someone explain what this is to me? Cheers.

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6861
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1109470 - 25/06/14 02:46 PM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

purely for the 'transformer sound'




Can someone explain what this is to me? Cheers.




Certainly Huge...It's BOLLOXS!

Dave.


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: ef37a]
      #1109472 - 25/06/14 03:09 PM
Quote ef37a:

Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

purely for the 'transformer sound'




Can someone explain what this is to me? Cheers.




Certainly Huge...It's BOLLOXS!

Dave.




Yeah sure, it's all bollocks... Check out Hugh Robjohns talking utter shite:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb10/articles/analoguewarmth.htm

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/qa0208_2.htm


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6861
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109475 - 25/06/14 03:17 PM
Quote Evie McCreevie:

Quote ef37a:

Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

purely for the 'transformer sound'




Can someone explain what this is to me? Cheers.




Certainly Huge...It's BOLLOXS!

Dave.




Yeah sure, it's all bollocks... Check out Hugh Robjohns talking utter shite:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb10/articles/analoguewarmth.htm

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/qa0208_2.htm




Quite! A reasoned and in depth examination of the subtle effects of various non-linear devices on sound quality.

Not "Bolt any old traff onto your line outs and get superb, retro warmth"!

Or! Put it another way? COMPLICATED BOLLOX.

Dave.

Edited by ef37a (25/06/14 03:28 PM)


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: ef37a]
      #1109589 - 26/06/14 11:29 AM
OK, thread back on topic...

Thanks for the suggestions so far, though it looks like some DIY/soldering is on the cards – unless anyone has any other ideas?


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17585
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109619 - 26/06/14 03:03 PM
Hi Evie,

It does look like DIY is the solution to me.

Why not add a post to that existing DIY forum thread I pointed you at earlier and we can discuss it further?

I've had an interest in doing this myself, but never got around to it. However, I HAVE amassed a good list of URLs with further info on other folk who have done it to good effect, with build details, examples of transformers used, and so on.

If you decide to post in that thread I'll be happy to provide you with my list.


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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Evie McCreevie



Joined: 06/09/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Dublin
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #1109651 - 26/06/14 07:10 PM
Quote Martin Walker:

Hi Evie,

It does look like DIY is the solution to me.

Why not add a post to that existing DIY forum thread I pointed you at earlier and we can discuss it further?

I've had an interest in doing this myself, but never got around to it. However, I HAVE amassed a good list of URLs with further info on other folk who have done it to good effect, with build details, examples of transformers used, and so on.

If you decide to post in that thread I'll be happy to provide you with my list.


Martin




Done!


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17585
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Simple 2-buss transformer box new [Re: Evie McCreevie]
      #1109964 - 29/06/14 12:40 PM
And my list of links is now finally in place too

Hope it helps!


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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