About that time, when Alan was buying the JoeMeek trademark, there was considerable ill-feeling around; the business was not doing well mainly due to the horrors of 9/11 and Alan went into print with a number of outbursts that I’m sure he is not particularly proud of.
The truth about the CS input stage is that although under some conditions it is marginally less quiet than a regular SSM2017 input chip, it has some spectacular advantages; it is almost impossible to overload, and it is completely independent of the quality and length of the microphone cable. An added bonus is that it generally improves the sound of dynamic microphones. I introduced the CS input stage into all JM mic preamps for two reasons…. a) because there was a world shortage of SSM2017 chips, and b) because I genuinely prefer the sound of the CS circuit.
I’m not sure where the ‘transformer’ comments came from….. we only used input transformers on the very earliest VC1s, virtually all of the later ones were without transformers.
Nowadays I use input transformers and a modern version of the CS circuit working together.
So to put it all into perspective, The modern version of the SSM2017 makes a perfectly good mic amp but to my ears it sounds a little ‘brittle’ and I prefer either my own, or one of the more exotic amplifiers like a re-issued Neve.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a CS amplifier and it is certainly not a ‘cheap’ solution.