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The Advantages Of Tubes

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by AZ1, Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. AZ1

    AZ1 Guest

    Tubes are warm, they are not cold.
    That is why we are attracted to tubes as to the other sex.
    Tubes are clean, they contain vacuum, completely unpolluted.
    Tubes use heaters.
    In the cold climate this adds electric heat to the room, and we need to burn less wood
    or coal in our houses to keep it warm, reducing pollution near our place.
    In the warmer climates less energy is needed to bring the cathodes to the same temperature / emission level.
    So tubes are enviro friendly.
    Tubes uses electrons, tubes are not full of holes like semi-conductors, but are sealed
    properly, even air cannot get in, so much better quality.
    Tubes use sockets, you can simply just replace the tube if a problem occurs, and not have to dump the whole Chinese
    made impossible to decipher 208 pin flat pack + board + whatever expensive thing it is in.
    Tubes give light, some tubes it is even possible to read by in the dark.
    The more power the more light.
    Tubes start glowing all red like blushing if you overload them, unlike semi-conductors that just fail and then
    blow your fuses.
    Tubes are made of glass, you can see what you buy, and can see what happens inside.
    Glass can also be melted again and re-used.
    Tubes are easier to manufacture then semi-conthings, no very expensive plants needed.
    Tubes allow more profit to be made, for example a bad tube amplifier sells for more then good transistor amplifier.
    Tubes are beautiful, the art of glass blowing presents itself in wonderful shapes in tubes.
    Unlike trans-sisters, now so small you cannot even see these.
    Tubes allow for extra connection on the top, saving on through holes in some designs.
    Tubes can be manufactured for much higher power then trans-sisters, tubes are the item of choice in many high power
  2. MooseFET

    MooseFET Guest

    Tubes are hot. You burn yourself on them. Transistors are very cool.
    What you mean "we" paleface? Are you sure the reason isn't that they
    look like little phallic symbols.
    If vacuum is clean, why do they make vacuum cleaners? Answer me that!
    Yes but these heaters are run on 6.3V which is the squareroot of 39.69
    and therefor obviously evil.

    Smart people move to a warm climate.

    When the tubes light the house on fire, a lot of wood gets burned.
    Very few house burn coal for heat any more. Coal burning is a dirty
    nasty way to make power much like tubes are a dirty nasty way to make

    The same is true of transistors. If you lived in a place that was
    about 5 degrees K, you'd have to heat the transistors in your radio.
    We all live in a warmer climate than that, even the foolish ones who
    live in the north.

    Tubes cause puppies to die.
    Those holes let the good sound pass through without effort. Tubes
    contain magnetic materials. These lead to distortion.
    They suffocate the sound.
    You mean "when" not "if". Tubes are all sealed up so you can't use
    Draino on them to keep them clear.

    No they don't. They light up with blue things crawling around inside
    and then there is a bright spray inside finally, the side walls melt
    and suck in.
  3. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Big mistake. There's plenty of crap in there. And the amount of crap increases with use.

  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Long time ago I picked up this story...Never bothered to get it
    Here goes:
    Apparently the US takes apart some Russian jet from a defected pilot.
    (Sorry.. forgot when I heard this...maybe 20 years ago??)
    Lots of tube technology was found in the jet.
    The theory being that tubes are more resistant to damage from a
    nuclear EMP.
    D from BC
  5. Er, you'd be wrong. At least every second woman I've met has an icy
    Dunno about you, but I find cold sheilas to be completely unattractive.

    However, tubes seem quite able to carefully preserve the warmth of
    an acoustic musical event. Some say tubes add warmth, an artifact,
    and this can be excessive, like a boring cloying lover.....
    But not so simple inside when you examine the messiness of the
    cathode emission and the graceless way the electrons hit the anode.

    So more pollution from coal burning power stations then occurs elsewhere
    out of sight,
    out of mind, and the resultant acid rain
    kills trees in foreign nations.

    But at least you may as well use a tube amp to help warm your room in
    It only helps. My 300 watt amps draw about 550W for each channel
    and thus give 1,100 watts of heating, and for someone in a house my size
    in a
    NY winter, its nowhere near enough heat to stop them freezin their balls

    A 5050 amp would only make 200 watts, so its like having only 5 x 40watt
    light bulbs on,
    and on many nights, I'd have that many lights on. Otherwise I trip over
    in the dark.

    Rubbish, tubes operate with 900C cathodes and operating a tube in
    uses barely more power than in Jakata.
    Tubes are anything but enviro friendly; they are a pollution menace.
    However, tube gear is owned now by only 0.01% of the world's audio
    so they represent a tiny fraction of a large problem.
    My house where I live and a house mate the electricity consumption is
    an average of about 1 kilowatt hour per hour all day and one wonders
    it all goes, but life would be uncomfortable below this level.
    Using my tube gear is a very small % of the problem, and hot water
    and heating are the main problems.

    But in fact the vacuum inside a tube isn't all that clean.
    Lots of dirty big gas molecules whizzing around, and they hasten the
    ultimate demise.

    I'll agree here, service is easier with tube gear but seldom does a tube
    cure a fault; its so often some other darn thing causing a problem.
    But if you damage an OPT or PT, expect the repair bill to be high...
    The Chinese made new amp may cost a lot less than a tube amp repair job.
    Ambience light, but reading beside 813 tubes isn't for eveyone.
    Most tubes most ppl use hardly give any lighting effects.

    How many amps have you repaired?

    Tube melt-down can be quite a disaster, and can occur before a fuse

    I have a friend who knows each electron flowing from cathode to anode by

    But an EL34 uses far more resources than a power transistor.
    Then how come virtually no tube factories exist in western developed

    OK, WE still makes 300B in the US, but they want $300 each.
    Where oh where is any sign they are cheap technology?

    It depends where you shop. A 40w+40w stereo amp can be had via direct
    ex hong kong for usd $500. The same watts from Jolida in stores here
    $3,000, and so if the chinese perfect the bypassing of western middle
    who makes any profit?
    At least I agree with you here....
    Have you seen trans-brothers? they are the latest thing in China...
    Wrong, a top cap makes a tube more expensive.
    The Russians developed tubes so big they are about 8 feet tall,
    and have halves that unbolt, for service to the cathode and grid
    and they are good for a very large rock concert indeed.

    In the bad old dark days of the Soviet era, such multi kilowatt tubes
    used for RF transmissions, often as jamming signals over the top of
    western nation
    broadcasts because they didn't have rock concerts.
    If the Politbureau knew someone they didn't like much,
    they'd lead him down to the transmitter undegoing service, and into
    the dark of an opened up triode. Without warning they'd
    bolt up the tube, apply vacuum and power, and transmit the poor bugger.
    Fzzz, and your'e gone, no more politiaski mistakzi.

    Patrick Turner.
  6. Nothing is pure, not even the most genteel virgin you'll ever find.
    She's full of tricky plans, and a mish mash of ideas that are mainly

    And the amount of crap increases with use.

    Patrick Turner.
  7. Peter Wieck

    Peter Wieck Guest

    The sole-and-only advantage I see with tubes is that they are great-
    good-fun. Far more fun than transistors in the same way that a 1968 VW
    Beetle is more fun than a 2008 VW Beetle.

    That they can sometimes sound well is an accidental pleasure.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  8. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    Whether a 1968 VW is more fun would be strictly in the eye of the beholder.
    My youngest son had a 1968 VW van, which at 40 mph felt less controllable
    than a modern car at over 100.
  9. tubegarden

    tubegarden Guest

    Hi RATs!

    I have some tubes and their often suggested fellow travelers in audio
    circuits. Laying around, all over the house.

    I used to build audio circuits, out of thin ideas! Some even sounded
    OK! (Some never actually sounded ... just got abandoned in process)

    Now I scarcely change a tube or speaker. But, still do, occasionally.

    Sometimes a whole amp! Wowwee Zowwee!!!

    Much smarter friends of mine have died.

    I just listen and type a bit into these cesspools of the world's


    Happy Ears!
  10. Peter Wieck

    Peter Wieck Guest

    When one is immortal (30 and under), that makes no nevermind anyway.
    if you have gotten too crusty over the years to understand that most
    basic premise-of-youth... or even the memory of it... that is an
    unhappy condition.

    My 1969 Westie would do a sustained 65 with no troubles back in the
    day. Of course, I drove it as if I were an Aztec sacrifice exposed on
    the front bumper (i.e. with great caution and care). Much as I drive
    our 1987 Westie wasserboxer now. The 1999 Winnie with all its bells
    and whistles (AC/Front Engine/FWD/Air-bags/ABS/Traction and so forth)
    is far more inviting of complacency.

    And, we maintain both the Westie and the Winnie to have fun, no other
    reason whatsoever. They are hardly necessities. Much as I keep,
    experiment with, maintain and repair my tube equipment as it comes and
    goes. Also hardly necessities.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  11. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Here, I thought he meant "fun to work on", not as much "fun to drive".

    Then again, I once had a '70s-ish Ford Econoline van, with the straignt
    6 under the doghouse. I had a neighbor at the time who was a car guy,
    and one of the funnest things we did was go about 70 on I-494 with the
    doghouse off and him diddling with the motor. :)

    It was very noisy. )(><)(

  12. krw

    krw Guest

    Nah, tubes are hot. You'll burn yourself. Laptops are nice and warm
    (warming my hands as I read).
  13. Bret Ludwig

    Bret Ludwig Guest

    They can be a more workable technology for the small manufacturer and
    hobbyist to build certain types of electronics. They are capable of
    enduring some kinds of abuse solid state can't. But their range of
    economic application today is quite limited, and successful marketing
    of them does depend on nostalgia a little.

    A 1968 Beetle can be kept running in an environment, such as after an
    economic collapse or limited nuclear exchange, that would stop the
    modern one either from EMP or lack of sophisticated parts support. It
    is much easier for a hobby mechanic to keep going. But it does require
    regular maintenance, and if stock, will require total overhaul much
    sooner. The rebuilt version with hydraulic lifters, Chevy rocker arms
    and valves, an oil filter and improved cooling blower and a five speed
    transaxle will give the new one more of a run for its money. You still
    cannot air-condition it without making engine maintenance impossible.
  14. Bret Ludwig

    Bret Ludwig Guest

    I sold a pile of Corvair parts in my garage last week to a guy
    building a Corvair powered Type II. In 2007.

    With the high winds around here, I'd eschew a Bus for a Chevy
    Suburban with a 4-53T under the hood if I wanted a camp-mobile.
  15. Bret Ludwig

    Bret Ludwig Guest

    The Type II VW was never meant for American driving conditions.
    Hippies bought them for, well, you know why.

    They were not cheap, then, and aren't now.

    There is as much room in a Suburban, or IH Travelall as in a VW Bus.
    The old Bus didn't get exemplary mileage, a fact now mostly forgotten.
    Most years had serious isssues of one sort or another and the fix was
    a major upgrade. Various years of engine, transxle, and front end had
    problems. And in high winds the poor bus was a menace to life and

    IMO the most successful VW product was the Karmann Ghia. If they had
    used the Type IV engine from the start and the IRS, the car would have
    been a Porsche 356 killer. Probably that was why not.
  16. Tom Bruhns

    Tom Bruhns Guest

    Guess you haven't been using ceramic external anode valves...
    Oh, yes...that's a fun thing to do with valves. Connect filament
    transformer to 833 bottle. Connect -200V--+200V variable power supply
    between the grid and the filament transformer center tap. Connect
    3000V power supply between the plate and the filament transformer
    center tap. Apply power to the filament transformer; allow the
    filament to warm up to normal operating temperature. Turn on the grid
    power supply and adjust it so the grid is -200V relative to the
    filament. Turn on the plate power supply. Monitor the current in the
    plate supply. Make the filament voltage more positive, stopping when
    the plate current reaches 0.3 amps. If nothing spectacular happens
    within fifteen minutes or so, crank up the grid voltage a bit more
    till the plate current reaches 0.4 amps. Continue in this fashion
    till something happens. Observe the new shape of the glass envelope.
    You've done the first part (the "melted" part). Now try to figure out
    the "re-used" part for this sample.

  17. AZ1 wrote:


    Can add another old time advantage.
    Working in aerocraft industry have seen opened radio equipment on planes
    with the good glass envelopes smashed with a hammer.
    On querry got an answer: It was a time for replacement so the checking
    worker made sure they will be replaced!

  18. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    There is a lot of truth in that theory; i heard there were ceramic
    versions of the Nuvistor with ring-like connections in the lelment stack
    that were made expressly to runin EMP environments in satellites and such.
  19. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    No great surprise I'd have to say. Maybe some ppl find scary things 'fun' ? Like
    parachuting, bungee jumping and rock-climbing for example. The adrenalin rush
    and subsequent hit can be very enjoyable.

  20. Peter Wieck

    Peter Wieck Guest

    Yep. Fun to work on was the point. But apart from that, a well-
    maintained VW of the time would pretty much go forever at a relatively
    low cost. My 1968 VW squareback (FI) averaged 35mpg in mixed driving,
    not bad back in the day of cheap (and leaded) gas. And it did a pretty
    good job of hauling stuff.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
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