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philipbarrett 20th August 2005 07:27 PM

Old Meets New
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Thought this might spark some interest, hopefully not too OT.

Digico, manufacturers of the leading large scale, all-digital sound reinforcement mixing console is now offering a tube mic pre card for their stage racks.

If I can get a demo unit to slot into one of the ones I use I'll report back! I'm thinking a tube output card might be even sweeter though.

EC8010 21st August 2005 09:46 PM

Lots of manufacturers try this sort of thing. There was a computer motherboard with a valve on it recently. Years ago, Luxman made a transistor amplifier with a valve showing through a window in the front panel. Musical Fidelity currently make a big fuss about using nuvistors and wire-ended valves. Studer made an A/D convertor with a valve in it. I'm sure others can think of further examples...

philipbarrett 21st August 2005 10:00 PM

Agreed - even Takamine offers an on-board acoustic guitar preamp with a 12AX7 built in. Behringer have all kinds of glowing windows, but we're talking about products designed for home or light pro-use.

What interested me about the Digico (made up the road from you I believe) is that this is a serious ($150K +) piece of hardware designed to be used & abused hard, failure is not a good option in front of 12,000 fans. Any design changes & additions have to be factored against this criteria. It would be sort of like IBM putting tubes back into a main frame.


EC8010 22nd August 2005 12:03 AM

Valves are far more reliable than most people think. If you bought a second-hand valve amplifier, you'd be surprised if it didn't work. Now compare that to a transistor amplifier fifteen years younger. By the time valves were displaced by transistors they were a mature technology and reliability issues were understood. There's really no cause for worry in using a valve in a bit of modern equipment. Unless, of course, the designer doesn't know what he's doing...

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