What Are Valves or Tube Amplifiers?
Valves aren’t necessarily something that would come out of a mad scientists laboratory but they are the very definition of a superbly sounding hi-fi kit. Hailed as tubes in the US or valves in the UK, these 20th-century glass technologies used to be the most sought after piece of equipment for any up-and-coming musician in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
They may have fallen out of fashion in the following decades with the rise of synthesizers and computer-generated music but right now they are experiencing a comeback like never seen before!
A lot of modern-day manufacturers are trying to replicate the original valves, which can fetch quite a high price on the market. It is considered THE alternative to solid-state technologies because it provides that retro warm character, which not only sounds great but also feels natural.
We have dedicated our heart and soul
to these gorgeous, warm, natural, and kindling pieces of audio equipment which needn’t be beyond any musician’s grasp. Of course, the quality of “budget” valves is always open for debate but one of the greatest things about tube amplifiers is that it is all relative!
We believe we can help you find the most suitable models on the market, whether you are on a hunt for those high-end products or wish to keep things cost-friendly.
How Exactly Do Tube Amps Sound Great?
This question will forever be open for discussion but one thing is certain: valve-based amps generally cannot push out those deep roaring sub tones as modern amps do (there are exceptions, of course) but in terms of midrange and treble performance – there is no rival. They excel in harmonics, clarity, and transparency.
The lifespan of tube amplifiers, however, has a reputation of being finite because valves waste away with use. It can be a costly business to maintain a fully functional amp but the results are fantastic nonetheless.
A tube amp produces a lot of heat and may be powerful enough to replace your home’s central heating system. Alright, joking aside, the warmth of the valves isn’t that drastic but it coats the sonics with this sepia-like feel that no other piece of audio equipment can match.
It Is Impossible To Generalize Valves
Their natural feel is what makes the discussion relative. In fact, some valves run quite cool, some don’t “color” the sound with anything, whereas some work like a furnace. It all depends on what you are looking for in your personal sound and what you can get your hands on. That is why we are here to help you understand all the facts, tips, and tricks if you are to make an educated shopping decision.
The market is swarming with “low-cost” tube amps but just because it says so on the box, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true. Why? Well, what some might consider being “budget” in the valve world is still more than most of “mortals” would bargain for. It costs a decent sum for a reason.
Additionally, it takes not just money but also musicianship, in-depth knowledge, and a keen sense of hearing to really tell the difference and find the proper application of those glowing glass tubes.
To help you with your pursuit of amp tube knowledge, we have developed this online platform where we will discuss, analyze, and compare the findings concerning this piece of unprecedented audio technology. Join us on our journey and discover the expanding world of tube amplifiers!