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Old 2nd January 2011, 04:54 PM   #1
bob123 is offline bob123  United Kingdom
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Default Germanium transistors for a preamplifier

Hi,

I plan to design and build a microphone pre-amplifier using germanium transistors. Devices that I feel would be suitable are looking very difficult to track down.

I need the transistors to be able to withstand VCE of over 24v and can be found in relatively large numbers or still be being manufactured today. Does anyone know of devices that could be suitable?

Cheers
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Old 4th January 2011, 01:07 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Why germanium? Very few Ge devices are still made, possible none at all?

What can Ge do, which can't also be done by silicon or vacuum devices?
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Old 4th January 2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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I did a search for a guy that had a Farfisa organ where the Ge transistors had rusted the steel leads and cases off. All the results for Ge came back as germanium doped silicon RF transistors, not germanium transistors as such. You would do better cruising the flea market and buying early sixties battery am radios and record players, or very early non-tube organs. Germanium was horribly temperature sensitive, very unstable.
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Old 4th January 2011, 05:29 PM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Germanium has it's charms
RS Components | Electronic and Electrical Components Your search for germanium
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Old 5th January 2011, 01:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Why germanium? Very few Ge devices are still made, possible none at all?

What can Ge do, which can't also be done by silicon or vacuum devices?
I agree, Si is better in every respect. Ge transistors have horrible leakage which makes for horrible thermal run-away. IMHO, the only Ge device that should be manufactured is the 1N34 diode, but only for use in crystal radio sets.

Bobby Dipole
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Old 5th January 2011, 10:56 AM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Yes, Ge diodes still have their uses although in most cases a silicon Schottky diode can substitute OK.
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Old 6th January 2011, 08:28 PM   #7
bob123 is offline bob123  United Kingdom
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It's the germanium sound that I am after. I have heard that it could be possible to create the effect of germanium using a ge diode with a si transistor. How would this be done? By putting it in series with the base or emmitter? Or is a different technique used?
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Old 6th January 2011, 09:08 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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What is germanium sound? Temperature-dependent noise from leakage currents? Spikes from tin whiskers?
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Old 7th January 2011, 12:34 AM   #9
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A preamp from a company called Chandler is currently getting rave reviews in some quarters. Some are claiming that it gives 'digital' recordings an 'analog tape' sound. It apparently makes use of germanium transistors. Chandler produce a range of recording ancillaries such as compressors and preamps, some based on legacy designs.

w
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Old 7th January 2011, 06:41 AM   #10
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
What is germanium sound? Temperature-dependent noise from leakage currents? Spikes from tin whiskers?
Not at all

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headp...phone-amp.html

A physical property of Ge is that it has much higher electron mobility than Si. Whether that plays a part in "subjectivity" I don't know. You can't fiddle that effect in any way by adding Ge diodes to Si. Whether that plays a part in "subjectivity" I don't know.
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