A-openís new motherboard with vacuum tube preamp - diyAudio
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:22 AM   #1
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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Lightbulb A-openís new motherboard with vacuum tube preamp

An engineer at the well-known motherboard manufacture a-open has built a motherboard incorporating onboard audio with a vacuum tube pre-amp stage. The board also uses ELNA caps, Cardas wire, REL Mulitcap Capacitor and VISHAY resistors. The board comes with a sock Sovtek 9622.

More information can be found at http://www.aopen.com/products/mb/ax4b-533tube.htm The board is called the AX4B-533 Tube.
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:23 AM   #2
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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Here is another pic of the board.
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:25 AM   #3
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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and another
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:27 AM   #4
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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one more
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:34 AM   #5
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Now they went to all that trouble and then went and used a SMPS to get the high voltage rails .... oi when will they learn :'(
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:53 AM   #6
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As was pointed out in another thread, maybe on this board or another, the inside of a computer is a pretty "noisy" place to put an analog tube circuit. Be better just to hang the tube pre off of a FireWire (or even USB) port outside the computer box.

Nice pictures thou. Thanx. A real mix of old electronics and new.

dave
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Old 19th July 2002, 04:55 AM   #7
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Beats me what putting the sound through a single vacuum tube will do after the sound has already suffered the indignities of wiggling through tens of thousands of semiconductors... I think it's a bit like putting a magic power cord on your amplifier even though the power has already traversed maybe hundreds of miles of wire.

That said, I think the mobo is really cool, not from an audio point of view but simply for the sake of aesthetics.

GP.
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Old 19th July 2002, 07:03 AM   #8
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The engineer or engineers certainly did a great job but I have to agree the insides of computers are too noisy for that board use but maybe outside the output stage should sound better. But I think the "idea" for this design may come from the same idea of putting expensive caps in the signal path for a band-aid. Don't get me wrong I use PP, PS, and Met Poly caps too but I'm mainly interested in the price-to-performance ratio. Cheaper cap parallel with small value premiunm cap.
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Old 20th July 2002, 02:42 PM   #9
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Some people use their PC as their source. This might be an improvement for them, though I think this really is aimed at the gamers who want better surround sound.
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Old 4th August 2002, 09:56 AM   #10
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AOpen motherboards has better filteration and regulation then other motherboard manufactures. AOpen uses 2000uF for the on-board power supply and other manufactures uses either 1000uF or 1500uF. With a good power supply like Turbo Cool or Enermax, the noise can be kept to a minimum.

The tube can be switch off if the user doesn't want to have it on every time they start up.
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