[ProAudio] Microphones question

Bill Whitlock engineer_bill at verizon.net
Mon Jun 14 10:24:49 PDT 2021

Excellent point Scott!  The "race to the bottom" has even hit semiconductors ... and what used to be typical "off-label" behavior we could assume applied to the quality suppliers (Motorola and Fairchild) can't be assumed any more.  And, if I were to revisit my "ultimate and transparent" mic pre design, I think the THAT PNP pairs (operated in parallel as a single device, of course) would be my top pick.
Bill Whitlock

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Dorsey via ProAudio <proaudio at bach.pgm.com>
To: proaudio at bach.pgm.com; dan at lavryengineering.com
Sent: Mon, Jun 14, 2021 5:53 am
Subject: Re: [ProAudio] Microphones question

2N4401 and 2N4403 have the largest die area of any transistor that you could
get for less than a nickel each and consequently were pretty good performers
in linear amplifier stages with low-Z sources like mike preamp front ends.
Not GREAT performers, but okay performers for cheap.

The problem is that today we have a lot of vendors making 2N4401s and some of
them are actually making 2N3094s that are stamped 2N4401 on the box.  Some of
them have shrunk the die and pretty much all of them have cheap epoxy that 
contaminates things in spite of all attempts at passivation.  

If you're willing to increase your budget to ten cents each you can do better.
THAT makes some excellent transistor arrays which are probably as good as you
can get today... but they are almost five dollars which is more than the
whole channel strip on a cheap console gets budgeted.
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