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(Boing Boing)   I know vacuum tubes are a nearly dead technology, but this is ridiculous   (boingboing.net) divider line 24
    More: Amusing, vacuum tubes  
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6130 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Jul 2012 at 10:39 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-10 10:41:35 AM  
I had a roommate in college that built/modified tube amps for his guitar. He wasn't the best guitarist but that amp sounded great.
 
2012-07-10 10:44:28 AM  
I have restored 2 1940s era Philco Radios and I have to say that it would be much harder to restore a transistor type.

/there is just something cool about a 3 foot tall AM radio
 
2012-07-10 10:58:13 AM  
I just go word that my TS-520, which had the original tubes in it, is done from being re-tubed. So it will be putting out the 100+ watts of RF that it should.

Tubes are still around.
 
2012-07-10 11:01:01 AM  
www.amplifier.cd
Yeah, try that with my scope and I'll be painting a skull on your FACE!
 
2012-07-10 11:01:05 AM  
craphound.com

Hans, are we the baddies?

/They've got skulls on them.
 
2012-07-10 11:06:00 AM  
a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com

too obscure?
 
2012-07-10 11:14:35 AM  
I've got an old Firestone HI-FI Stero with turntable that runs on tubes. Still works just fine. The sound you can get out of it is amazingly rich. It SUCKS when I have to find a replacement tube for it as no one around here will hold on to them!
 
2012-07-10 11:35:09 AM  
Audio tubes aren't dead, they've become scattered into subcultures: hams, audiophiles, survivalists (for EMP resistance), and broadcast radio engineers.

Of note, but not surprising, the Wife Approval Factor for attractive old tube radios (like my Emud T7) in living spaces is higher than for my ham gear.
 
2012-07-10 11:47:17 AM  

Devolving_Spud: [a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com image 600x800]

too obscure?


Wat?
totallylookslike.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-07-10 12:00:23 PM  

Devolving_Spud: [a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com image 600x800]

too obscure?


You're kidding, right?

Pic is of a friend who has a habit of having the open mouth like the Sleestak:

i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-07-10 12:10:07 PM  
High end guitar amps have tubes. That is all.
 
2012-07-10 12:12:35 PM  

red5ish: High end guitar amps have tubes. That is all.


And Naval radios. When you get up into the really high wattage transmitters, transistors don't cut it.
 
2012-07-10 12:29:17 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: red5ish: High end guitar amps have tubes. That is all.

And Naval radios. When you get up into the really high wattage transmitters, transistors don't cut it.


Harder to blow a glassfet front end on a receiver, too.
 
2012-07-10 01:05:35 PM  

satanorsanta: I had a roommate in college that built/modified tube amps for his guitar. He wasn't the best guitarist but that amp sounded great.


Like most people I listen to digital music because it's convenient. Right now I can switch from Aimee Mann to Zero 7 in a click, rather than fumbling with media.

But there is nothing - NOTHING - like listening to Dave Brubeck on vinyl, breathed through a tube amp. If it weren't so damned annoying it's all I would listen to.

So I guess I'm half-hipster/audiophile douche. I recognize the awesomeness but still go for usability.

/don't make me post my stereo, because I will and the post will be the worst wall 'o text you've ever seen
//yes, people still have home stereos
 
2012-07-10 01:27:48 PM  
Love the old glass transmitting tubes, like 4-1000A's, 3-500Z's, etc.
 
2012-07-10 01:43:10 PM  
Klystrons are still used, and damned scary to work near.

Tubes are cool, plain and simple. They also sound great, and work very well at taking out a lot of the harsh from modern produced (overcompressed) music.

Seeing someone point and laugh at tubes is like seeing someone point and laugh at awesome.

/But hey, if you want to be boring, that's cool too....
 
2012-07-10 01:58:10 PM  
Nearly dead technology or technology of the future?
 
2012-07-10 09:13:00 PM  

Znuh: work very well at taking out a lot of the harsh from modern produced (overcompressed) music.


So you're saying they're useful for low-fidelity amplifiers? Because I typically prefer my amps to faithfully reproduce the input signal at great amplitude and not do anything like "taking out a lot of the harsh".

/ If you want to modify your signal buy a filter, not an amp
 
2012-07-10 10:56:11 PM  

profplump: Znuh: work very well at taking out a lot of the harsh from modern produced (overcompressed) music.

So you're saying they're useful for low-fidelity amplifiers? Because I typically prefer my amps to faithfully reproduce the input signal at great amplitude and not do anything like "taking out a lot of the harsh".

/ If you want to modify your signal buy a filter, not an amp


Everything distorts. It's absolutely unavoidable. You can certainly tune a circuit so it isn't producing anything remotely like guitar amp levels of distortion, but trust me, it's still there. The difference is that tubes do the distorting in a way that's less unpleasant to the ear. Astronomically expensive audio amplifiers typically use tubes for that reason.
 
2012-07-11 12:29:50 AM  

profplump: Znuh: work very well at taking out a lot of the harsh from modern produced (overcompressed) music.

So you're saying they're useful for low-fidelity amplifiers? Because I typically prefer my amps to faithfully reproduce the input signal at great amplitude and not do anything like "taking out a lot of the harsh".

/ If you want to modify your signal buy a filter, not an amp


LOL, unless you have perfect speakers set up to reproduce the sound as recorded, and had perfect microphones and perfect recording and mastering, you are living in a dream world.
 
2012-07-11 01:15:14 AM  
Wow! Thanks guys :) I was going to essentially say the same thing, but forgotmydamnusername and Quantum Apostrophe beat me to the punch.

Tubes add warmth. I make my living as a professional club DJ, and I travel as far as Florida to Maine playing in all sorts of places with a huge variety of sound systems. Some good, most bloody awful. I don't know what it is, but most places seem to be EQ'd for crispy crunchy treble, muddy mids and blat-blat bass.

Sooo, without the ability to lug a metric assload of gear with me, I use this:

catimages.8thstreet.com

The Allen and Heath Xone V6. When you find the compressor/limiter is under lock and key in most venues, the best you can do is supply a fantastic signal. Since I play a lot of electronic music that usually is compressed up the wazoo, I've found that sending the signal through a tube pre-amp seriously warms the sound, removes cold, and adds a lot of color. The EQ shelves are quite nice too as are, as you suggested, the filters. The mixer alone cost me four grand.

And yes, it's got valves. Which make an insane difference in the sound compared to the 'colder' all solid-state Xone 92, etc.

You can read more about the mixer Here.
 
2012-07-11 08:24:47 AM  

Pick: Love the old glass transmitting tubes, like 4-1000A's, 3-500Z's, etc.


I just found out that my TS-520 is done. I had a guy re-tube it for me. As I had suspected, the driver tube was going bad, but also one of the finals (a pair of 6146Bs)

The kicker?

Those tubes were the original manufacturer tubes. In the 35 years that radio has been operating, it's been operating on the original tubes. The guy was amazed that they lasted that long, especially given that I actually *USE* the damn thing.

I suspect that it was my occasion use of sideband that killed those tubes. If I had just stuck with Morse, They'd still be putting out full power.
 
2012-07-12 06:47:51 AM  

forgotmydamnusername: The difference is that tubes do the distorting in a way that's less unpleasant to the ear.


The other difference is they typically produce much more distortion. So it's still a question of what particular signal aspects you value, not of absolute quality.
 
2012-07-12 06:51:51 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: LOL, unless you have perfect speakers set up to reproduce the sound as recorded, and had perfect microphones and perfect recording and mastering, you are living in a dream world.


I said nothing of the sort. Even with a tube amp all those sources of distortion still exist. But the tube amp itself introduces additional distortion that can be avoided with other types of amps.

My point is if you like the distortion a tube provides you can add that distortion effect with a filter and buy a cheaper, lower-distortion amplifier that doesn't contain tubes.
 
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