They sound cool !!!!!!!!!!!!
The crazy audiophiles that buy tube amps use old tubes that are no longer made, because they "sound better" than the new ones.
If you ask me, it's all expectation bias.
In the OP I mentioned the 100 or so manufactures of guitar amps that make and sell NEW amps. Most NEW tube guitar amps are in the $1000 to $3000 USD range. You can make a nice kit for less than $1000 UDS. Don't know how many tube audiophile amps are available new. I don't follow those that closely as the circuits are different and they can use different current production tubes than guitar amps.
Originally Posted by Andrey
Maybe, but my old Grundig, tubes and all still sounds better than digitial. An old RCA Red Lable played on the Gundig has a warmth and depth that digital lacks. It be the wooden cabnit has well as the tubes. But flipping a vinal record over every 20 mints is a pain.
Originally Posted by AutumnJazz
MIG 17s and MIG 21s are equipped with vacuum tubes instead of chips....the planes will still function in an atmosphere of nuclear flux while the chip driven planes we fly won't!!!..EC
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Just like others have said on this post, tubes can color the sound of a recording in ways that some prefer. An analysis of the audio will show some distortion specific to tubes. Solid state can add it's own coloration to be sure.
Originally Posted by arigram
For the amount of power, tube amplifiers consume, (heat from the filaments in the tubes, heat from the usually inefficient transformers, heat from the emission currents in the tubes. Heat ain't audio, heat is heat!) they produce relatively little audio power.
Internally there are voltages around 350 to 700 volts, so fiddling is done with a great deal of caution. (Voltages that can kill you, or at least make a pretty good mess of your underwear)
But...I like tube stuff. I like tube stuff likely because It was there when I was young. Tube design can be amazingly simple. Tubes color some sound in a way I enjoy. I can still fix tube stuff. Tubes filaments glow red and if you look closely at the output tubes a deep violet.
There is also the added bonus of the fantastic hyperbole, downright lies and bullshit, about tube stuff to keep one entertained for hours if one Googles "tube amp".
And, a slight loss in power needed to drive those tubes shuts them down, while a sharp jolt via gravity or explosion nearby breaks delicate filaments and bends the wire guides.
Originally Posted by eclarke
We went through the pros and cons. So, with solid state, the circuit boards sublime in vacuum and either break or make a connection causing a breakdown.
Everything has good and bad points.
The top-of-the-line musical instrument amps are *still*, and always have been in the eyes of musicians, tube amps. Now, there have been times when solid state was pushed as the top of the line...but nobody with ears believed them, tubes never died, and now tube amps show no signs of going away any time soon. Ampeg, Marshall, Fender have all got smart and kept offering both, so we have a choice. They offer us tube and solid state models, but the industry standards are still tube amps: The SVT, the JCM, and the Twin or Showman (actually, I am pretty sure they do not make the Showman any more). They are power hogs. They are inefficient. They are heavy. They are finicky. They have a host of quirks compared to solid state, but the simple fact is that nothing sounds like them, and that is what matters in music more than anything else. They are still around because people in the know can still tell the difference (and/or because people with $$$ claim they can!). For those here who might not understand, it's the same basic reason why we all know and love film. You cannot replace infinite (analog) with finite (digital) and expect the same results. (Not better or worse results, but *same* results.)
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-09-2008 at 07:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
There are plenty of new tube based HiFi stereo amps for home audio use. From simple kit amps to extreme exotics costing $20,000 or more. A nice kit amplifier you could build that would deliver a solid 40 watts per channel is about $500, or so. You can find some tube amp advertisements in Audio magazines. Others are available online. There are even a few magazines devoted to analog audio and vacuum tubes. Vacuum Tube Valley is one such magazine. I think the materials required to make quality tubes and the manufacturing equipment put tube making in the "very difficult" category. It is one thing to make "one" tube, quite another thing to make a whole range of different tubes in the thousands with each tube having the correct specifications.
For new tube audio amps check out this: http://www.caryaudio.com/
Last edited by PHOTOTONE; 07-10-2008 at 03:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.
In the early days of transistor amplifiers the transition at the crossover point (where the signal swings from positive to negative and back again) was not handled very well by the two (usually) output devices. This caused a problem with quiet passages of music and caused 'listening fatigue'.
In modern designs this is well corrected for but initially added to the perceived and/or actual preference for listening with a tube amp over a transistor amp.
This is not to say that a tube amp was perfect or better - just different. And that difference was in the favourable direction with regards to listening experience.