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View Full Version : The Vacuum Tubes are BAck!


singularity2006
03-03-2003, 12:50 AM
For the audiophiles out there, vacuum tubes are coming back!!! :buttrock:

So what do you want from a vacuum tube sound card?

Valkyrien
03-03-2003, 01:22 AM
:surprised

ah crap....I'm gonna have to buy the White Album all over again!!!:thumbsdow :cry:

:beer:

Chewey
03-03-2003, 01:33 AM
For those in the know, they never went away.:airguitar

singularity2006
03-03-2003, 01:50 AM
When the Americans captured a Russian fighter plane during the Cold War, they were expecting to unravel so much technology, transistors and all sorts of other stuff. They opened up the main hardware compartment in the cockpit and what did they find?

...

vacuum tubes!!!! :buttrock:

UrbanFuturistic
03-03-2003, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by singularity2006
For the audiophiles out there, vacuum tubes are coming back!!! :buttrock:

So what do you want from a vacuum tube sound card? The insanely good sound quality it'll give... although my Soundblaster Live! Platinum is sufficient for me ATM :D

regards, Paul

GregHess
03-03-2003, 04:29 AM
The greatest things about vacuum tubes is their heat production. Nothing greater then getting a nice cool system, then adding a huge heat source right on a soundcard or motherboard. Go technology.

elvis
03-03-2003, 04:39 AM
vacuum tubes actually give a slightly distorted sound which is a little more bassy than the original, which is why people typically like them.

to throw a cat amoungst the pidgeons, standard transistor technology is much more accurate (especially in the day and age of high-bandwidth, high-bitrate, digital audio sources) which is why people typically don't like it. :p

Joel Hooks
03-03-2003, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
The greatest things about vacuum tubes is their heat production. Nothing greater then getting a nice cool system, then adding a huge heat source right on a soundcard or motherboard. Go technology.

Personally I was going to add a blow torch and candle rig to replace all of my LED lights.

AmateurOne
03-03-2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by elvis
...
to throw a cat amoungst the pidgeons, standard transistor technology is much more accurate (especially in the day and age of high-bandwidth, high-bitrate, digital audio sources) which is why people typically don't like it. :p [/B]

Thank you so much elvis for that bit of sanity! I grew up with tubes and still rejoice at the triumph of solid-state physics.

Carnifex
03-03-2003, 03:42 PM
The tubes used in these kinds of applications are usually not the high-wattage ones. They don't need to be, since they're mainly used for preamping or for headphone outputs. About the same as running two geforce cards in your comp instead of one.

DeathCarrot
03-03-2003, 03:55 PM
i think tom's hardware (i know i know, i dont really go there anymore...) did a preview on a hammer mobo ages ago with these fitted on..

bri
03-04-2003, 10:12 AM
there are pros and cons with vacuum tubes and analog parts in hifi
digital devices excell in signal-to-noise ratio, so they produce a very clean sound, almost free of clicks, hisses and noises that are so annoying... but, there's a problem with digital sound that is constantly ignored: quantification noise and time response, both of them inherent to the process of digitizing an analog signal (sampling); that's why a dvd-audio will sound better than a cd, and one of the reasons for many audiophiles to prefer vynils (do i write it right?). I won't give here a deep explanation of sound digitizing, but there are severe flaws in the sound quality of a cd, and in every digital sound processing.16bit@44kHz is bad (worse than you'd think), 24bit@96kHz is better, but not perfect.

analog sound devicer tend to have a "personality": they don't perform equaly everytime, and usually they give some coloration to your sound; you may like it or not, but i feel theygive a bit of life to my fav music: hearing massive attack's inertia creeps with a pair of bw's and my hand-made valv amp is heaven:drool:

BUT... i don's see the benefits of having a valv soundcard inside one of the (electronic)noisiest environs of the world, and a very hot one too. Vacuum tubes change their freq response with temperature, that's why they need a good ventilation. If you want good sound, don't make it with a soundcard; do it the right way

Chewey
03-04-2003, 02:14 PM
If you want tube sound then just use external tube components (preamp, power amps,etc). Tube analog sound does differ significantly from semiconductor analog sound. Tech talk and terms aside the test is in the listening. I suspect few that frequent this forum have even heard an all tube playback system to know the difference.

Throwing a 12AAX7 preamp tube inside a computer case environment is just more marketing gunkery.

DeathCarrot
03-04-2003, 04:13 PM
anyway, staying on the subject of digital vs analogue in sound, check this out http://www.gibsonmagic.com :thumbsup:

Carnifex
03-04-2003, 06:29 PM
Actually I have had the pleasure of listening to some rather high end tube amps and they do sound incredible. Given the right source.
I even used to own an old, old monoblock tube amp and even that sounded really good. As far as the worth of tubes on a computer soundcard, the reviews that have been made of the Aopen board that uses a tube-powered onboard soundcard, they have pretty much been very favorable. The soundquality was from what I remember reading, very nice. Especially considering it was an onboard soundcard.
Don't discount the value of this solution, until you have a chance to hear it. The principle is valid enough and as far as the ventilation needed, I can pretty much guarantee you that your average computer case has better ventilation than just about any hifi component. Ventilation is not even remotely an issue.

sumatra
03-04-2003, 07:10 PM
Vacuum tubes change their freq response with temperature, that's why they need a good ventilation

just watercool 'em :cool:

Chewey
03-05-2003, 01:21 AM
Water and high voltages don't play together well. But as stated earlier, the 9 pin 12AX7, 12AT7's and other dual valves used for preamp level circuits don't generate a tremendous amount of heat. Inserting a valve circuit in between an analog semiconductor audio path will provide a marginal amount of coloration to the tone and hardly worth the bother.

GregHess
03-05-2003, 03:47 AM
Define the heat produced.

20C? 30? 40C?

If its 30C or higher, it would create a hot spot in the area its mounted.

The highest ventillation is usually the rear of the AGP card, around the cpu/northbridge/exhaust area.

Speaking from common machine building, soundcards tend to fall within the lower of the PCI slots. Usually slot 4 or 5, where the slots are not sharing any IRQ's with other devices (on an average # of motherboards).

This also happens to be the area of least case airflow, as there is no exhaust for this area. The exhaust is usually mounted above and behind the AGP slots, rather far away from the 4th pci slot, airflow wise.

Depending on the heat produced, I'd consider this a factor in building a system enough to warrant building some sort of additional airflow into the lower rear of the case.

Chewey
03-05-2003, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
Define the heat produced.

20C? 30? 40C?

If its 30C or higher, it would create a hot spot in the area its mounted.

The highest ventillation is usually the rear of the AGP card, around the cpu/northbridge/exhaust area.

Speaking from common machine building, soundcards tend to fall within the lower of the PCI slots. Usually slot 4 or 5, where the slots are not sharing any IRQ's with other devices (on an average # of motherboards).

This also happens to be the area of least case airflow, as there is no exhaust for this area. The exhaust is usually mounted above and behind the AGP slots, rather far away from the 4th pci slot, airflow wise.

Depending on the heat produced, I'd consider this a factor in building a system enough to warrant building some sort of additional airflow into the lower rear of the case.

Who cares. From the viewpoint of one who's designed and built valve and semiconductor consumer products for over 30 years it'd s just another silly product based on marketing hype and mystic "mojo" factor.
:thumbsdow

GregHess
03-05-2003, 12:59 PM
Who cares. From the viewpoint of one who's designed and built valve and semiconductor consumer products for over 30 years it'd s just another silly product based on marketing hype and mystic "mojo" factor

I actually care. :surprised I'm just curious as to what type of ventillation, and/or problems an additional heatsource in that area of the machine might cause.

Consulting and all. =/

elvis
03-13-2003, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by AmateurOne
Thank you so much elvis for that bit of sanity! I grew up with tubes and still rejoice at the triumph of solid-state physics.

no problems. :)

and here's a link for anyone still interested in this topic:

http://www.techwarelabs.com/reviews/motherboard/ax4ge_tube-g/

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