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Why does 100-year-old tube technology still turn audiophiles on?

This past Wednesday I wrote about electric guitarists and their never-ending love affair with tube amplifiers. The technology dates back to the first decade of the 20th century, and tubes were integral to the development of radio, television, home/professional audio, radar, telephone networks, medical test instruments, and early computers! The transistor was invented in the late 1940s, but widespread use was only reached in the mid-1960s. Transistors nearly obliterated the tube home audio market in the '70s, but audiophiles and guitar players never gave up on tubes. Tube gear sounds different, it's richer, warmer, more full-bodied than transistor models. Those amps are, for the same output power smaller, lighter, cooler running, and cheaper than tube amps. Even so, the popularity of tube amps remains strong.

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Bimkoblerutso2482d ago

Mmmm, I love me that tube tone. Just wraps me up in a warm blanket of sound.

Granted, industry pricing has become... unquestionably insane at this point, but that tube tone is just so appealing for so many different audio applications.

Luckily, there is a rather sizable DIY community out there making tube amps that don't run the price of a used car.

Longshot282481d ago

Cause solid state sounds like shit... that's why.

Dasteru2479d ago (Edited 2479d ago )

Tubes add distortion to the signal to make it sound different than it should, some people like that, but it is far from accurate. A properly designed solid state amp doesn't color sound at all, they have no "sound" of their own, they simply take the signal from the source, add more power, then pass it to the speakers. Saying solid state sounds like shit is the same as saying music as it is created and intended by the artist, sounds like shit.