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.