Esoteric Nature of Music (1977 VHS)  

Guitar Preamp Tone Explained – by Phil Taylor / Effectrode

Guitar Preamp Tone Explained by Phil Taylor For images and entire article:   During the research and development of the ‘Blackbird’ vacuum tube preamp I undertook a thorough investigation into tube preamp circuits in a quest to discover just what factors are important in creating great guitar tone. The following article is a result of … Read more

Reactive loading and amplifier distortion

section 10 of article — Referring to the complex impedance of a loudspeaker, Vance Dickason states [2] that, “Phase angles in excess of 40° at low frequencies, and the same at frequencies about 1-2 kHz, can be considered as a somewhat difficult load for an amplifier to drive.” Also on p.129 of the same book … Read more

The Changing Picture of Nonlinearity in Musical Instruments

A natural starting point for the study of any physical system is linearisation–leading to great simplification is terms of analysis, and also, in the computer age, to design flexibility and algorithmic simplification in simulation. The acoustics of musical instruments is no exception. One question, then, is: how much of the behaviour of a given instrument … Read more

Contribution of active hair-bundle motility to nonlinear amplification in the mammalian cochlea

Abstract   The cochlea’s high sensitivity stems from the active process of outer hair cells, which possess two force-generating mechanisms: active hair-bundle motility elicited by Ca2+ influx and somatic motility mediated by the voltage-sensitive protein prestin. Although interference with prestin has demonstrated a role for somatic motility in the active process, it remains unclear whether … Read more

The Discordant Eardrum – Chaotic and Superior above 3 kHz

Abstract   “At frequencies above 3 kHz, the tympanic membrane vibrates chaotically. By having many resonances, the eardrum can transmit the broadest possible bandwidth of sound with optimal sensitivity. In essence, the eardrum works best through discord. The eardrum’s success as an instrument of hearing can be directly explained through a combination of its shape, … Read more

Tubes vs Transformers – What good tube “tone” looks like

Metal and wire is just metal and wire. The real sonic magic comes from the tubes. GAGA gets all that metal out of their way. An examination into the esoterica shrouding audio output transformers, tubes and “tone”, or the various unpleasant effects of bulky metal on faithful, musical amplification. Whereas traditional output transformers – homogenizing … Read more

Tubes vs Transistors – Perception of Loudness, Clarity, Distortion, Sound Quality

In general, with other variables held steady, as the power rating goes up dramatically (10x), the perception of loudness only doubles. 3,000 Watts sounds only “four-times louder” than 30 Watts. It seems unlikely, but measurements and anecdotal evidence have consistently shown it is generally true. People often ask, how does the Milbert BaM-235ab compare, in … Read more