Some Time for Romance

While riding the F train this morning, I, for some reason, found myself face down on the Hawkins Street School asphalt. All over again, on this hot, summer, 5th grade afternoon: Jose Quiros pushed his weight down against my lower spine, clenched his angry hands around my 10-year old throat, and announced, clearly and confidently: "I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you..."

A few days ago, I asked George Kaye to provide me with the pros and cons of using a passive preamp in conjunction with his 401HR, and to also go into some detail regarding the benefits of keeping the connections between the amp and preamp short. The italic bits that follow are George's, as filtered through Jonathan Scull.

George began: Here's the 20/20 on passive preamps. It won't be as voluptuous or sumptuous as the amp, I'm sorry to say....

For a moment or two there, while the crowd gathered around with their excited cheers, as my hopes for a stop to this mess were answered only by random kicks to the head, I really did think that Jose Quiros was going to kill me. Why is this happening to me, and how will it end? Who will save me because I can't save myself?

The commonly used term "passive preamp" is a misnomer to begin with, but it does roll off the tongue more easily than "passive volume controller." If a "control" device is "passive" then it doesn't actually amplify the signal, so "passive preamp" (pre-amplification) is the wrong term. But everyone uses it.

I don't know how it happened, but I survived. I was again on my feet. Jose Quiros was washed away in a wave of flailing limbs, unfortunate hair, and white teeth. A blurry-faced black girl pointed at me and demanded: "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry..."

And that, of course, is when

I
started
to
cry.

The left eye was first to let loose its tears. It's always the left eye. I don't know why. How could I know why? I have no communication with this easy-flowing left eye of mine; It never listens when I ask it to please hold back.

Consider the flow of an audio signal as similar to the flow of water in an oversimplified but useful analogy. Let's say in this case we have two hoses, a smaller one located within a larger one. The inner hose/line represents the "hot" side of our electrical signal, and the outer hose neutral or return. Yep, the signal returns to the source. So, here it is: The effect of capacitance is like having two-way "seepage" from one hose/line to the other.

Share | |
COMMENTS
Jonathan Scull's picture

Oh that

Monty's picture

I like the analogy and it stands to reason that when you aren't sending a very strong signal from the source to begin with," long cables could have a more significant impact on the original signal than shorter ones. The school you linked to looks straight out of ""Welcome Back Kotter."" Isn't it funny how things from your childhood can appear without any explainable reason? I am sometimes reminded of a difficult period in my childhood by a certain ""smell."" Having recently relocated to a different school", there was this obnoxious odor in the cafeteria that I never could get used to. Now, every time that I get a whiff of this particular odor, I am instantly reminded of the very unpleasant 6 months of my childhood. It's a real bummer and amazingly vivid when it happens. By the way, ass whippings when you are 11 sorta goes with the territory. Ass whippings when you are 20 are infinitely more painful reminders of the wisdom of avoidance whenever possible. Pain is a very good teacher.

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading