recording acoustic instruments, the prerogative of the technician
must be to capture a realistic impulse, a true to life transient
response and delicate details, on the medium of his choice, which
is mostly tape.
Transients need electronics with a wide frequency band and a minimal
Detailing the signal to the full asks for a high degree in resolution.
The current digital formats of CD and DAT are limited in the extension
of the frequency band and are limited in resolution. These restrictions
do shift the phase. Hence they have difficulty in establishing
a true to life transient.
The nature of the analogue recording technique can provide transient
responses to a greater extend.
many technicians and music lovers report that they hear a loss
in natural harmonics and hear hampered transients when old tape
recordings that were made on machines with valve equipment are
played back on modern, transistorized tape recorders.
This phenomenon can be heard by everybody when listening to Lp's
which were remastered from tapes originally made before the transistor
came into use. This also counts for the recent mastering on vinyl
of those famous vintage recordings of DECCA, Deutsche Grammophon,
RCA and the like by the specialized companies like Speakers Corner
and Testament. As a matter of fact these technicians should use
the old tape recorders if they are still available and should
restore them if necessary.
It is clear
that the 'sound' of valve equipment differs greatly from that
of transistor circuits.
But not too many people do talk about the fact that this is more
true for certain instruments than for others.
Each instrument has its own colors and specific character. They
depend on the nature and the amount of harmonics which are arranged
in a special blend of dynamics.
example: let's take two cymbals which are made of different sorts
of brass. The differences depend on the relationship of copper
and tin in these alloys. The difference in warmth of sound these
cymbals produce is clearly discernible.
let's now take two different tweeters. One has a 1" dome of plastic
and the other is of the aluminum coated type. Now you can hear
a difference too, not only in frequency response but also in 'sound'
that only partly depends on the tweeter's inability to produce