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Old 19th February 2003, 05:18 AM   #1
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Default The attraction of vacuum tubes / valves.

Quite apart from the sound, I think tube equipment is way more interesting to look at than solid state stuff. Anyway, what I was thinking of is... would tube stuff have as great a following if all tubes were in metal cans instead of glass, therefore you could not look inside them and see what is happening when they are going. Being such good entertainment for the eyes as well as the ears gives them an extra facet of attraction but I wonder how many people would have taken an interest in them if they weren't so great to stare into when they are going?
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Old 19th February 2003, 06:48 AM   #2
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Default Tube attraction.

You are right. The tube is attractive with the glowing heater and the transparent see through tube. I am glad that they sound so good also. Circuit wise they are easier to figure out and use less components in many cases.
I must admit that if they were only as good as a good solid state amp I would have bypassed them. They do have the the hassles related to high ( lethal!) voltages . I have been ' shocked ' so many times. Even if one is careful , it does happen off and on.
For people who just buy boxes and use them , this should not be a problem.
Tubes are great. I love them !
Cheers.
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Old 19th February 2003, 08:08 AM   #3
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Good observation...
And I agree wholeheartedly (probably spelled wrong). Like ashok said luckily they sound good as well. Otherwise I would have just gotten a 5.1 channel receiver because it can be quite an expensive hobby and a hassle.

The looks are a big factor in the enjoyment of the hobby and music.
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Old 19th February 2003, 09:02 AM   #4
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Default A third reason

Some of us grew up with them.
As a child I would pull apart old radio's.
At school age, I built them.
So my first constructions used valves like 6V6, ECC33, EF91, EF50 (which didn't glow).
So nostagia plays a big part for me

BTW Bas, the spelling's fine
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Old 19th February 2003, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: The attraction of vacuum tubes / valves.

Quote:
Originally posted by Circlotron
Being such good entertainment for the eyes as well as the ears gives them an extra facet of attraction but I wonder how many people would have taken an interest in them if they weren't so great to stare into when they are going?
We are emotional beings so certainly aesthetics, nostalgia, etc. will play a role in our enjoyment of reproduced music and subsequently have an influence on what we ultimately end up with.

se
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Old 19th February 2003, 10:41 AM   #6
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Default Caveman feelings

It has to glow. Transistors are extremely boring things to look at, and to date the only scope for sculpture seems to have been in the heatsinks. On the other hand, who can fail to be warmed by the sight of one's cat stretched out in front of a set of output valves?

An alternative secondary use is that the radiant heat and glow from a valve amplifier in subdued lighting makes your whisky look and taste nicer.
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Old 19th February 2003, 10:42 AM   #7
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Default What we acquire in life........

Quote:
.......have an influence on what we ultimately end up with.
Live or inanimate !

Cheers.
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Old 19th February 2003, 10:59 AM   #8
leon is offline leon  Greece
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It's oo easy with tubes

Simple circuits sound good from the start.
You don't have to care about distortion too much with tubes
because their distortion is what makes them sound so good.

With transistors you have to try a thousant times and the
music seems harder when distortion reaches very low levels.
(maybe bad Cd recordings is the cause ?)

It's unfair.
Maybe I am wrong, do you think so?
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Old 19th February 2003, 11:15 AM   #9
7N7 is offline 7N7  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by leon
It's oo easy with tubes

Simple circuits sound good from the start.
You don't have to care about distortion too much with tubes
because their distortion is what makes them sound so good.

With transistors you have to try a thousant times and the
music seems harder when distortion reaches very low levels.
(maybe bad Cd recordings is the cause ?)

It's unfair.
Maybe I am wrong, do you think so?

All the above points are well made and I agree that the aesthetics are important - I love valves and that's why I am in this mad hobby.

Another point in favour of valves is the staggering abuse a valve can take and survive. E.g. being connected incorrectly!

Just look at a transistor/IC in the "wrong tone of voice" and it will lay down and

7N7
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Old 19th February 2003, 11:33 AM   #10
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Hi 7N7,

Yep that's another reason I love tubes..ruggedness...

But when building my frontrow amp a 6X4WA died when I connected 540v to the heater instead of 6,3V.



Ooops.

Cheers,
Bas
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