Your Questions About Tube Amplifiers Audio

Mark asks…

What is your view of vacuum tube audio?

I've been building many vacuum tube audio amplifiers and tube guitar amps. I just like using them since I have a large collection of them and I'm in the vintage radio and tube business. I'm a big fan of beam power tubes and I would take a 6L6 or 807 over a 2A3, 300B, 45, 50, or any power triode tube any day.

Jesse Roth answers:

Some of the world's most respected audio equipment is still vacuum tubes!

Check out...

Www.audioresearch.com (This company has been around for AGES!)

To see what's available in tube audio....go here...

Www.audiogon.com

George asks…

Why are vacuum tubes still used in audio amplifiers instead of solid-state transistors?

Some audiophiles say that the sound quality in vacuum tubes is better, but I fail to see why, especially since vacuum tube electronics is an older technology.

Jesse Roth answers:

It has NEVER made any sense to me either. I think the audiophiles are just spinning a web of bullshit.

Donald asks…

How does one restore vintage (tube) audio systems?

I have a couple of tube receivers and amplifiers that I want to restore. How do I restore them without damaging my priceless collectibles? I want to clean the chasis + exterior to make them look brand new, but how? Which chemicals can I use? Any good LINKS will help too, THANK YOU!

Jesse Roth answers:

I search on web and find out there are a lot of sites that tells you about vintage radio restore and also provides services to you.
See this:
http://www.valve.demon.co.uk/
Just search for "vintage radio"!!!!
Good luck!

Thomas asks…

Why Do Tube Amplifiers Sound Better Than Solid State Amplifiers?

I partisipated with a group who were blindfolded and allowed to listen to several comparisons of music recordings played on state-ot-the-art DVD digital audio equipment and again with vinyl records played through tube amplifiers.

In every case the vinyl records played with tube amplifiers were voted by the majority of partisipants to be more pleasing to listen to than the new solid state systems were.

This phenomin is also evidenced by the skyrocketing prices on old tube amplifiers, and the marketing of new tube amplifiers.

I want to know why this is so?
The type of music was Big Band. The majority of listeners preferred the analog presentation, but there were a significant number who chose the digital. To my amateur ear, the digital sounded harsh, not like hearing a band live. The analog didn't sound like a live band either, but it was less offensive.

Jesse Roth answers:

The reason is tube amplification, particularly the pentode 6L6 and similar output power tubes are rife with even order harmonics. These even frequency multiples are exactly one octave in pitch, so this distortion has a pleasing melodic attribute.

The question is, should the distortions of the amplifier be considered an essential part of the performance (like the intentional audio clipping of the guitar fuzz box). Or, should the amplifier be neutral and simply present an unaltered and distortion free reproduction. I vote for the latter proposition, but the focus group seemed to prefer warm fuzzy sound.

I expect that the genre selection of music performances was crucial to getting the reported result. Not all music sounds improved when warm and fuzzy.

Carol asks…

The sound of a vacuum tube amplifier?

Do vacuum tube amplifiers really sound best?
The high-end audio critics seem to think so.
I would like some "real world" opinions.

Jesse Roth answers:

They still use them for Marshall guitar amps, can't get much more real world than that. I can't help thinking that tapes and records sound better than CD 'remasters' as well, after all the human brain works by analogue processing not digital.

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