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Tube SPDIF output
Tube SPDIF output
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:03 PM   #1
MrCurwen is offline MrCurwen  Finland
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Default Tube SPDIF output

I found a strange thing on eBay; search for "SPDIF output tube stage,6S31B".

If I understand correctly what this is for, it's one of the most curious way I've ever seen tubes to be sold to audio people. =)

This forum is full of knowledgeable people, can somebody explain to me where the tube sound comes in?
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:07 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I suspect you already know the answer!
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:08 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Tube SPDIF output
In the purchaser's mind. I suspect that it's really just poor English and that the actual item is a DAC with an SPDIF input and an incompetent tube output. If it really is a tube handling the SPDIF signal, my current sig line is proved once again.
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:12 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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The ebay listing appears to be a subminiature tube CF for SPDIF, with a choice of capacitor or transformer output. Unusually, this one is not from China but the old Eastern bloc. There are lots of Russian submin tubes around.
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:15 PM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Tube SPDIF output
Yeah, it does seem that way. It does kinda look like a tube driven SPDIF.
Here is the item with a photo and a diagram.
SPDIF Output Tube Stage 6S31B | eBay
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Old 15th May 2013, 12:09 AM   #6
Tubologic is offline Tubologic  Belgium
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... and the sound is "warmer and softer" of course ! This is pure audiophile B.S What's next ? A tube CD player spindle motor driver for a more analog sound ? A tube powered remote-control with photomultiplier receiver ? A thyratron controlled power switch ?
And by the way, they also have a "low jitter tube clock" ...
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Old 15th May 2013, 12:16 AM   #7
vinylkid58 is offline vinylkid58  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubologic View Post
And by the way, they also have a "low jitter tube clock" ...
Hey, can I use a nixie tube for that?

jeff
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Old 15th May 2013, 12:34 AM   #8
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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Tubologic,

The warmer and softer sound comes from rounding off the leading and trailing edges of the SPDIF (digital) signal.

We all know that this removes some to the odd harmonic content and therefore must make it better.
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Old 15th May 2013, 09:52 AM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Cathode flicker adds noise-shaped jitter to the signal and so enhances the dither, adding the warmth and musicality which brick-wall filters have removed.
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Old 15th May 2013, 10:40 AM   #10
SY is offline SY  United States
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Tube SPDIF output
The dynamic contrast between ones and zeros is enhanced, with the ones standing out against a blacker background. The increased detail in the digits make this a worthwhile upgrade.

If it's cheap, it's an interesting novelty, akin to those clacking balls-on-strings made for executive desktops.
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