22 years later vacuum tubes still available...
I realized that it has now been 22 years since USA production of Radio and Amplifier vacuum tubes ceased. The current state of the Tube guitar amplifier market is actually booming. There must be at least 100 small companies (or individuals) offering tube guitar amplifiers for sale. Demand for tube audiophile equipment is also high.
Thankfully, production of new vacuum tubes has continued in China, Russia and the Czech republic.
I can only hope that should film production cease by Kodak, other international manufacturers will continue to supply us with film for years to come and that our analog method of photography will prosper in a manner similar to vacuum tube audio.
And oooh how I love those amps! (now please excuse me while I go play)
the boxes for the russian tubes are the coolest.
a rocket ship shooting to planets and stars
silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
artwork often times sold for charity
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Yep...I use vacuum tube guitar amps exclusively. Tubes are a little more expensive now than they used to be, but they sound great. There is no comparison...just like film.
Tubes are cool
I am in the middle of a tube revival as part of my mid life crisis. I just finished a tube headphone amp and have another on the assembly bench. There is also a Dynaco 70 waiting for a new driver board to be installed.
The office Ipod is driving a Tube 6w integrated kit amp.
Most of this will be done in the fall when I can use the heat.
Dad, is the lens cap suppose to be on?.
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Excellent analogy. My last photo show was about the links between the vacuum tubes and film. Besides the parallels in the markets, they share a lot in common in their roles as key mass media technologies.
Freaking crazy luddites.
Next they will be bringing sailboats, bicycles, brick stoves, analog clocks and classic guitars back!
They will stop at nothing to burn computers, turn the clock back and return us to the stone age!
Btw, why are vacuum tubes so good for sound?
I would really like a detailed, yet in layman's terms explanation.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
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Vacuum tubes handle over-driving differently than solid-state devices. When a vacuum tube amplifier is driven to "clipping" it "clips" softly. When a solid-state amplifier is driven to clipping it clips abruptly with massive distortion. It is the soft-clipping that makes vacuum tubes more appealing to guitar players, as the distortion from overdriving can be controlled very well, and produce sound that guitar players like.
Originally Posted by arigram
In HiFi audio, vacuum tube amplifiers have a "warmth" that is hard to define, but easy to hear. They just sound more "analog" and "warm", and make music played from CD's sound more analog. Some feel that a good vacuum tube amplifier can produce a sound stage that has more "live" perception, like you are being immersed in the music. It is magical, at best.
Currently, vacuum tubes (of various types) are made in Russia, a couple of former east European countries, China, and I believe Western Electric makes one or two HiFi tubes (very expensive) in the USA. Obviously, the tubes that are still made are the audio tubes still used by amplifier manufacturers, and audio tubes for classic amps. Also, some specialty radio transmitting tubes are still manufactured.
There are actually more "brands" of new tubes available than there are manufacturers. The manufacturers make custom tubes for certain vendors and the vendors put their own labels on them.
"Btw, why are vacuum tubes so good for sound?
I would really like a detailed, yet in layman's terms explanation."
In theory, an amplifier regardless of technology used, should produce a copy of the input signal but at greater amplitude. In reality amplifiers are not perfect so I believe the difference people hear is the difference in the way solid state and tube amps distort. Some people prefer the sound (distortion) of tube amps.
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