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Thread: Tubes vs Transistor

  1. #1

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    Tubes vs Transistor

    The major difference between a transistor and a tube amplifiers is exactly that - the amplifying device. Transistor amplifiers use transistors to amplify signals. Tube amplifiers use vacuum tubes or valves to amplify signals.

    The basic operation of a vacuum tube can be compared to the modern alternative of a FET transistor (although they donīt give the same sound, the principles are similar in operation).

    Solid state amplifiers are generally more reliable and have less maintenance costs. Why do tube amps need maintenance? Like most things, the tubes wear out need replacing. How often depends on how much use and how often the amp is over driven. The more stress you put on the valves, the less life you get out of them. Also when changing tubes, they need to be biased.

    Why The Difference in Sound :

    Tube amplifiers tend to sound better to the ears. The reason for this is that vacuum tubes when amplifying sound, tend to emphasize the middle range frequencies when distorting, which gives you that "warm" tube sound. This could be accredited to the way the wave distorts. The wave is compressed rather than clipped, which a transistor will do.

  2. #2

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    Tubes vs Transistor

    Yeh, uīll right! Tube amps surely do sound fantastically warm, i have an ART tube amp and a Marshall Valvestate, and no one can deny their fantastic quality. As well, tube audio equipments are fantastically expensive, so watever you pay for again is watever you get.

    The next level after transistor is digital. That surely is the software computer type, which lags so much in warmth but has better clarity. Just as transistors are clearer than valves in some way. I think the battle in technology is really clarity vs warmth.
    Calvin Nam, Music Producer, Parablue Studios
    http://www.facebook.com/ParablueStudios
    www.reverbnation.com/shixian

  3. #3

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    Tubes vs Transistor

    i kinda enjoy both- the transistor canīt do a tube tone, & sometimes the tube muds out. the ill-informed often has a biased opinion against the transistor though...

  4. #4

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    i personally adore the tube tone.Fender are my choice. My only complains are cost and maintainance

  5. #5

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    Did you know that during the early mature transistors days, the late 70's thru 80's. Everyone was practically turning their back on tube technology.

    Precisely on the disadvantages, like high maintainence cost as opposed to a near 'unlimited' lifespan of solid state components.
    Solid state is easier to manufacture and much cheaper (more than 50%) as opposed to tube components.
    Signals are worked upon with safer voltages.
    Efficiency is much better for AF, which result in less bulky components, increased reliability.
    Circuit designers can explore ways to further reduce output distortion level, with the use of high slew rate components, and direct coupling of output device to the driver (speaker).

    Transistor is the miracle baby, which makes technology cheaper so that the mass can afford it.

    Tube warm sound cannot totally copied on transistor amp, as they are truly two seperate technology. But transistor amp has proven to be very close and capable of producing a much wider sonic tone range than the tube can come up with.

    What I can say is the the tube tone cannot be used for all genre of music. But the transistor circuit is so versatile that it can be tone tailored to be practically acceptable by all genre of music.

    But tube technology is still 'cutting edge', where low power application its poor in efficiency, extremely HIGH power HF/RF transmission it's capable of delivering in a much better efficiency than solid state. I saw this in a documentry once.

    So both got it's own camps of thoughts. Just stick to what you like best.

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