Everything about the Nord Wave Synthesizer

Analog stage upgrade

Postby roberth909 » 19 Mar 2016, 00:32

I found the overall sound of my Nord Wave to be dark, murky, undefined, lacking detail, so I had the output op amps replaced by BurrBrown OPA1612s and some poly film caps added for "air." I like the sound a lot more now, way more clarity and detail. Just a note for those who want a bump in their Wave sound. :ugeek:
roberth909
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Mar 2015, 17:24
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Wave

Analog stage upgrade


Sponsor
 

Re: Analog stage upgrade

Postby Mr_-G- » 19 Mar 2016, 01:30

"Sound" is somewhat subjective. Did you make a recording before and after to document the differences?
User avatar
Mr_-G-
Moderator
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: 18 Aug 2012, 16:48
Has thanked: 937 times
Been thanked: 875 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2

Re: Analog stage upgrade

Postby roberth909 » 19 Mar 2016, 07:35

The objective was to get a sample played back by the Wave (a lengthy snippet of a full recording) to sound as close as possible to the same recording played back through a Metric Halo ULN-8. It's almost there. A +1.6dB bump on the Treble control gets it very close after this upgrade, so it's still a little on the dark side (compared to the ULN-8), but nothing that matters much, since it's a synth and not an audio interface. It was noticeably darker before. There is no before and after recording, sorry, to document this upgrade is only as useful as the A/D being used during recording, sample rate, good clocking, keeping the audio uncompressed, the D/A used during playback, the accuracy of the monitors, and having your head in the monitor sweet spot, it's hard to prove something squishy. I made recordings of a similar upgrade to a Yamaha FS1R in the past, posted on gearslutz, and it didn't end up being very helpful for anyone. It's personal preference in the end, and kind of fun to customize stuff to see what happens.

Edit: With further listening, the +1.6 bump was too high, it's actually only +0.7, so it's just a tiny bit dark really, nothing significant, after the upgrade.

Update: Really loving this upgrade. You know, I was very close to selling the Wave, thought I'd give an upgrade a try, now I won't sell it, it makes such a difference, being able to hear the sounds with clarity, unmasked, how they should be. I'm not sure you can just EQ this better, the new op amps have a much faster slew rate that just let's all of the sound through. Love it now.
Last edited by roberth909 on 25 Apr 2016, 05:24, edited 2 times in total.

The author roberth909 was thanked by:
Mr_-G-
roberth909
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Mar 2015, 17:24
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Wave

Re: Analog stage upgrade

Postby Mr_-G- » 19 Mar 2016, 13:13

Thanks. Shame there is not way to hear the improvement. That would help deciding others whether the risk of messing about with the circuitry ;) is worth the enhancement. I see that the OPAmps you mention are ultra low noise and distortion. Is it known what are the ones you replaced in the NW?
User avatar
Mr_-G-
Moderator
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: 18 Aug 2012, 16:48
Has thanked: 937 times
Been thanked: 875 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2

Re: Analog stage upgrade

Postby roberth909 » 19 Mar 2016, 15:41

Well, I suppose it is possible for people to play along at home. They could load the same sample that I'm using into their Nord, turn off all filtering and effects, and then compare it to an audio recording of my Nord, and switch back and forth. I'd have to stop using the kd land sample and use something of my own, which is not ideal, I wanted something more acoustic, I'm electronic, not sure that would work well for such audio comparisons.

The op amps removed/replaced where LM833, two of them at the output stage. The keyboard is VERY quiet (low background noise), I'm not sure how it was before, but compared to your typical analog synth, it's very quiet. I was hearing what I would call distortion issues, the sound felt strangled, and now it seems to breathe more, the tie around its neck has been removed. Subjective observations, working from memory.
roberth909
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Mar 2015, 17:24
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Wave

Re: Analog stage upgrade

Postby Mr_-G- » 19 Mar 2016, 16:02

Thanks again, here are the specs, in case anybody is interested in op amp surgery:
http://www.ti.com/product/LM833/datasheet
http://www.ti.com/product/OPA1612/datasheet
User avatar
Mr_-G-
Moderator
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: 18 Aug 2012, 16:48
Has thanked: 937 times
Been thanked: 875 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2


Return to Nord Wave Forum



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests