Tube amplifier – what is it and what should I choose?
They used to be very popular, but nowadays they are used in rather rare cases, for a few items, such as guitar amplifiers or high-power radio transmitters – tube amplifiers can have their best years behind them, but they are undoubtedly still useful and many people need them. Before anyone who wants to buy such a product, there is a question how to choose the right one and what will be the price of such a device. We explain how tube amplifiers work, advise how to use them and how to make a decision to buy them!
What is a tube amplifier?
A tube amplifier is a type of amplifier in which electron tubes have been used as active/reinforcing elements. The electron tubes themselves consist of electrodes placed in a bulb, with air or gas pumped out of it under low pressure. Electron tubes use electron beams or ions that move between the electrodes and are controlled by them.
The tube amplifier has been known for a long time and for many people it is an interesting curiosity that they want to try out. Such products were used until the end of the 1960s, when they were replaced by transistor amplifiers. We distinguish different types of such equipment, which are divided according to the frequency characteristics, or the amplifier circuit.
Headphone tube amplifier
Whoever is a fan of good sound has probably heard many times about the warm, characteristic sound produced by tube amplifiers – that’s why many people hunt for similar equipment to be able to check the sound quality. Certainly tube amplifiers are sought after by connoisseurs and possible to obtain quite commonly, but they have certain limitations, of which one should be aware. Before buying it is worth checking the technical parameters of headphones – with those with low impedance tube amplifiers may not work properly.
Guitar tube amplifier
Guitar amplifiers are designed to amplify the signal coming from an acoustic or electric guitar. Thanks to that it is possible to modify the sound and obtain interesting sound effects. There are different types of guitar amplifiers – you can choose between tube, transistor or hybrid ones. Most experts are looking for tube versions, because they have the ability to warm up the sound – the sound is more pleasant to listen to, which affects its reception.
Tube amplifier – price
Searching for tube amplifiers usually do not have difficulties in finding them in shops – so they are much more worried about the possible price. Undoubtedly, such products are not cheap, although the price range is quite large. There are versions that can be found for about 2 thousand USD, but also versions that cost tens of thousands. Of course, the better the product, the more expensive it will be, but even the cheapest ones are worth interest. The price also depends on the manufacturer and the shop where the product is purchased. It is therefore best to check in online shops, where you can conveniently compare prices and read a little more about a specific model. Distribution of Hi-End tube amplifiers is handled by the company . If you are looking for a construction made of the highest quality components you should familiarize yourself with the Nautilus offer.
Tube or transistor amplifier?
It was mentioned earlier that there are different types of amplifiers and that in the 60’s of the XX century the tube amplifier was replaced by a transistor amplifier. So does it mean that the latter is definitely better and worth more interest and purchase? In a transistor amplifier, transistors are used as active elements, i.e. a three-electrode (or less frequently four-electrode) semiconductor electronic element that can amplify an electric signal. Transistor versions are quite cheap, do not heat up and may even be very small. However, when it comes to sound, the distortions that are produced in tube versions work in favor of sound. It is somehow softened, warmed up, more atmospheric. It is definitely believed that the sound of tube amplifiers has a soul!

Categories: Tech