• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

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.


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Joined 2003

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...
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.

Joined 2003
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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