Building a Tube Amp! Does it produce better audio quality though? EB#47

8. 11. 2020
413 033 zhlédnutí

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In this video I will be having a closer look at a commercial vacuum tube amplifier aka a tube amp. I will show you how such vacuum tubes works and how to create a simple class A amplifier with them. At the end I will then show you why some people still like using them even 100 years after their invention, even though they offer lots of disadvantages.
Thanks to Altium for sponsoring this video.
2011 Lookalike by Bartlebeats
Killing Time, Kevin MacLeod

  • Totally not what I thought you looked like lol

    IdealSound & PerformanceIdealSound & PerformancePřed 2 dny
  • I see tubes more for musicians then home audio. Home audio you want to hear what was meant to be, not some distorted version of it. Musicians on the other hand might want those very distortions. That's my two cents.

    Jeff MJeff MPřed 2 dny
  • So true, analog always produces better sound:-) (infinite value).

    SevenDeMagnusSevenDeMagnusPřed 3 dny
  • The valve equipment of days gone by that I worked on had anything between 250 to 350 volts dc in them, 100 volts is childs play, and CRTs had anything up to 25000 volts , you were very careful what you touched. You need 2 x ECC 83 pre,amp valves feeding 2 x EL84 in class A configuration, that will give you a beautiful sound. If you want to run a turntable, you’ll need an RIAA equalisation section in the pre amp.

    Andy PeekAndy PeekPřed 3 dny
  • Define audio quality. A class A amp using tubes is probably the most inefficient and source polluting way to amplify a sinewave. The fact we "love" that "warm" sound it makes is just the sinewave being buttfucked and we somehow appreciate it. Transistors, and mainly the AB class amplifiers are most likely the best way to amplify a sinewave without changing it too much other than amplitude. But sure, audiophiles are probably going to go full chimp about it now, but there really is that "warmness" that tubes add to sound. But it doesn't mean "quality". Quality would be a 0% signal noise and a 100% conversion. Which will probably never happen.

    Dante VortexDante VortexPřed 5 dny
  • This is my first time seeing your face, nothing wrong with it but some of the magic was lost just now.

    Far BottyFar BottyPřed 7 dny
  • I've seen the theory of both mechanisms... They do the same shit... The tubes look cool and all but they do not change how the amplification process works... It's still the same process... In fact even relays in theory could be used for amplification but... Because relays are electromechanical (and not purely electronic like tubes or transistors) they would suck they would generate a lot of freaking noise.

    Naota AkatsukiNaota AkatsukiPřed 11 dny
  • The sound of tube amplifiers is warmer because it amplifies both odd and even harmonics where a transistor amplifier only amplifies odd harmonics

    alainmcinalainmcinPřed 11 dny
  • Check out Uncle Doug Scott.

    Edward ArrudaEdward ArrudaPřed 12 dny
  • Tube amps now are so way over hyped and priced its not funny and meanwhile I've dealt with a ton of audiophile wannabes that really cant tell the diff esp in a blind test its hilarious to me More often than not is guys with more $ than brains and when push comes to shove they've got sfa real knowledge and cant tell the difff even when told!

    Kindanyume .KindanyumeKindanyume .KindanyumePřed 12 dny
  • Learning Vacuum tube electronics looking at datasheets will not give any knowledge how to design a vacuum tube pre-amp. It also looks that your transistor amplifier is also a basic electronic textbook design. Professionally design simple vacuum tube pre-amplifier can have less harmonic distortion that a transistor amplifier unless more complex design is required. If you look at the inside design (even of low-cost OP) you see complex design required. Comparing datasheets of a triode (more like FET transistor) of a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is not quite that simple. If you compare a complete analog (VT) audio amplifier to a complete analog transistorized version (include diodes, BJT, FET, etc.), the complexity for obtaining the same quality (including distortion).

    Edwin OrtegaEdwin OrtegaPřed 12 dny
  • The (tube) distortion rather than the hard clipping is the key. Particularly for instrument amplifiers. Particularly when we are accustomed to the sound of it in "electric" instruments. Yamaha (I think themselves) made an ASIC which models the behaviour of a tube amplification circuit in digital logic: this is not even the usual Fourier transforms and frequency-domain sculpting typical to DSP-based approaches, but some sort of live SPICE, I think. Crazy idea, but I played on one (through the show-room supplied guitar as well - which might have been part of it[!]) and it sounded very nice. I think a product like the one you show in this video (or identical) was reviewed by EEVBlog quite a while back, which I saw... with major disparagement.

    Duncan WalduckDuncan WalduckPřed 13 dny
    • I accept that what I'm talking about is by no means an ideal amplifier - it's for monotimbral signals: So, forget about it from an actual amplification angle (almost always). I also accept that I know so little about SPICE (and circuit analysis in general) that this very-hyped ASIC may simply do the usual simple transformations on the frequency domain of the signal, but with perhaps a tad more oversight (for instance: "at this point the simulated circuit suffers a power brown-out - therefore adjust accordingly"). I need to do some Teensy audio. I probably ought to start with a 4.x to give plenty of grunt in reserve down the line!

      Duncan WalduckDuncan WalduckPřed 3 dny
  • what is he talkin about?

    Enes UsluEnes UsluPřed 13 dny
  • you should make a solid state equivalent and compare their characteristics (efficiency, distortions, frequency response, etc)

    dizzzer adventuredizzzer adventurePřed 18 dny
  • Your channel keeps me interested in electronics.

    Vikram SinghVikram SinghPřed 20 dny
  • Make an x ray with a crt tv and a variac make sure it’s a good variac you don’t want your experiment to fail :)

    Steven KralSteven KralPřed 23 dny
  • why were you Chinese in my mind’s eye?

    Ryan WileyRyan WileyPřed 23 dny
  • Seriously, this is my favourite youtube channel. Period

    SkellingtorSkellingtorPřed 25 dny
  • Can you please do a video on how much you can get for scrapping PCB components? How much you can sell them for, and who you can sell them to

    Izzy KazooIzzy KazooPřed 28 dny
  • To solder to the pins of a tube is stupid the pins don’t take solder ya socket is required no Discussion

    Harry ConoverHarry ConoverPřed 28 dny
  • It depends on the design of any kind of amplifier. A crap tube amp can sound worse than a high quality solid state amp. Its all subjective.

    Greg DoleckiGreg DoleckiPřed měsícem
  • It's not better just different, there's a warmth to tube that is lost in most early solid state. It got much better over time but Still I find tube gear to be way less fatiguing for long term listening.

    Mike RufingMike RufingPřed měsícem
  • This Is a cinese amplifier sound sucks

    Riccardo TenconiRiccardo TenconiPřed měsícem
  • I've various types of vacum tubes which I've collected from discarded old industrial gadgets but I don't know which type of tubes are these and how to utilise these. If I give the pics can you identify and guide to use these?

    G.K. M.G.K. M.Před měsícem
    • I probably can. There's a whole subculture of vacuum tube enthusiasts. For example, check out

      Robert JacobsonRobert JacobsonPřed 3 dny
  • Question is, we are living in digital era.... can a DSP simulate the output from tube amplifier?

    Aswin G SharifAswin G SharifPřed měsícem
  • Great video, but false advertising

    John SmithJohn SmithPřed měsícem
  • We call these things 'valves' not 'tubes'! Valves better described what they do!

    PatPatPřed měsícem
  • Would you try to diy a directly-heated power triode vacuum tube?

    陳九陳九Před měsícem
  • No, but the effect is more pleasing to the ear - it's a matter of even and odd harmonic distortions.

    Dog Breath the 3rdDog Breath the 3rdPřed měsícem
  • Which font set inspires your handwriting?

    John WasingerJohn WasingerPřed měsícem
  • Reckon anyone could tell the difference between a valve preamp to class d vs. valve amp?

    Jonah ShaqJonah ShaqPřed měsícem
  • 🙋‍♂️👍🤝

    Herman FransHerman FransPřed měsícem
  • My dad had some tube amps (also an engineer) but the power supplies were HUGE with caps the size of your arm and transformers like bricks.

    Dave FredrockDave FredrockPřed měsícem
  • Short and simple...NO. The best sounded amplifiers are Ge amplifiers with output trafo. Not Si solid state, not tube. Germanium!!!

    Petar Razović music channelPetar Razović music channelPřed měsícem
  • Лампы лучше не из-за технического прогресса (корпус, затраты), а из-за того как они ведут себя при перегрузке. Это даёт специфичные искажения. Именно поэтому музыканты их любят, но я заметил, все отдают предпочтение отполированному сов. усилку, например как схема Агеева.

    The VatnerThe VatnerPřed měsícem
  • bah distortion of tubes is always a problem and limited frequency range

    Stefaan CoddeStefaan CoddePřed měsícem
  • you are listening to a class d amplifier, a real tube power amp has minimal 4 tubes

    Stefaan CoddeStefaan CoddePřed měsícem
  • I found your video very interesting. :) Cheers!

    Mick GatzMick GatzPřed měsícem
  • With a semiconductor diode is not true that electron current flow from positive to negative . Is the same like in vacuum tube flow from cathode to anode . In the school supposed to start teaching how it is real because many people is confused .

    Marian KowalMarian KowalPřed měsícem
  • I heard high om impedance headphones make the tube amps sound better why would this be?

    Eric EspinalEric EspinalPřed měsícem
    • Harmonics, they subjectively sound warmer. Also a lot of traditional transistor amplifiers were badly designed, too much added too easly in to correct design errors, Vacuum tbue amplifiers are more physicaly difficult to build and costlier, so designs are simple and thus sound better (or crap)... Integrated circuit amplifiers are generally designed by very professinal engineers with a lot of math and less emotion, so more linear and accurate. Read John Linsey Hood's book on amplfiers.

      Joe FishJoe FishPřed měsícem
  • 👍

    Abdul Q KhanAbdul Q KhanPřed měsícem
  • Tank´s a lot!

    EasyMusic36EasyMusic36Před měsícem
  • Easy answer = Yes

    MyEyesBledMyEyesBledPřed měsícem
  • Disappointed you're using a hybrid valve amp and not a true one with true pre and power amp sections. Also disappointed that you're not building a guitar amp, where the harmonic distortion of valves becomes more relevant.

    Daniel LomaxDaniel LomaxPřed měsícem
  • you do read *all* the comments? say pigeon somewhere in the next video

    ‌Před měsícem
    • @GreatScott! understandable, have a great day

      ‌Před měsícem
    • No

      GreatScott!GreatScott!Před měsícem
  • Great!scott!👍🎸📢🔊🎛🎶🔩⚙🛠📹📸😁

    Francis SkundalinyFrancis SkundalinyPřed měsícem
  • There are NUTUBES that korg makes that you might be able to integrate into another design. They are a triode tube and seem to be very popular since they are very low power.

    viscountalphaviscountalphaPřed měsícem
  • You look really German 🇩🇪🇩🇪🇩🇪🤣

    Aaron FitzgeraldAaron FitzgeraldPřed měsícem
  • Ahhh, a face for the voice I have followed for years. Greetings from USA !

    Gary WintersGary WintersPřed měsícem
  • For many electric guitar players, vacuum tubes are the most normal thing ever.

    gabgabPřed měsícem
  • Tubes are for suckers

    torque313torque313Před měsícem
  • Tube's distortion produces mostly even harmonics, where semi-conductors produce mostly odd harmonics. That is what gives tubes the "warm tone".

    Jack BloznowskiJack BloznowskiPřed měsícem
  • As a little tidbit - Part of the distortion characteristic of tubeamps is that instead of clipping, they tend to compress the signal instead. This gives a much more tolerable sound when you begin to get any distortion, and can squash some of the highs downwards, giving that 'warm' sound.

    Alaric PaleyAlaric PaleyPřed měsícem
  • I've built tube preamps before, and ended up using 9 volts into a Max1044, putting out something like 36-ish V. A little worried about long term stability.

    Alaric PaleyAlaric PaleyPřed měsícem
  • Altium is awesome. For sure. But damn its expensive. So i use KiCAD instead

    FieryFireFieryFirePřed měsícem
  • If you aint got tubes you aint got shit. Been playing almost 50 years. Tubes are the best in tone by their physical nature.

    esam 65esam 65Před měsícem
  • Answer : Yes , ask Eric Clapton

    Trevor G WelchTrevor G WelchPřed měsícem
  • I am glad that you let as know your preferences and satisfy your curiosity!.... But it does nothing for us, try to stick to the title and get sound waves rocking out of the amplifier with tubes....

    pavel deverauxpavel deverauxPřed měsícem
  • Your presentation is excellent. I wish my videos were as refined. How did you measure and come to the conclusion that tube amplifiers do not clip like transistors amplifiers when over driven? Also, I have none of these amplifiers as you have shown but you revealed something really basic - the power amplifier is solid state in these headphone amplifiers. I think what is missing to the audiophile ear is that the "magic" of vacuum tube amplifiers is in the power amplifier, not the voltage amplifiers. It is in the power amplifier where the difference in clipping when over driven makes the difference in vacuum tube amplifiers. Clipping rarely occurs in the voltage amplifier section. Also, and I think you alluded to it, we seem to like the artifacts of distortion that vacuum tube amplifiers add to the sound. Very well done video but regardless of the academic analysis of solid state vs vacuum tube sound systems, the humble and ancient vacuum tube just won't go away to modern day whiz-bang electronics.

    ElPaso TubeAmpsElPaso TubeAmpsPřed měsícem
  • Does it sound like a stack of Marshalls when it’s cranked?

    Michael BMichael BPřed měsícem
  • Mr. Scott, the output signal of the 6J4 triode (at 8:14) was so ugly because of improper biasing. The grid does not require the 50V nor the 100k resistors. Maybe you should consider using just a 1 megohm resistor between grid an cathode and perhaps your power supply was not faulty. Your 6J4 valve was operating in saturation region, so you found almost no output swing!

    Salvador SiscoSalvador SiscoPřed měsícem
  • Tubes just sound better don’t try to explain it

    Gw KGBGw KGBPřed měsícem
  • Anode +? WTF is going on in this reality?

    Flux CapacitorFlux CapacitorPřed měsícem
  • The answer depends on what is "Better". Less linearity, more harmonics, less frequency response makes a warm fat sound. It is less accurate of the original signal source. Many feel this is better. It has that sound.

    isettechisettechPřed měsícem
  • so you used MP3 Musik from your smartphone to compare a digital amp with an analog amp, you should have used something with more sinus wave form

    Calchen on TourCalchen on TourPřed měsícem
  • Altium...good old days of Protel99SE

    Mohd Norhalim ZainudinMohd Norhalim ZainudinPřed měsícem
  • How about diy everything 😙🎶😙🎶😙🎶

    kuroharukokuroharukoPřed měsícem
  • Yep- any harmonics due to the tube pre-amps will be distorted and wiped by all the following semi-conductor circuits. It's those harmonics that give a tube amp its warm sounding audio. A tube amp is made up of 100% vacuum tube circuitry making the point of this video totally moot.

    Fiddly PhukFiddly PhukPřed měsícem
  • Now i see your face. Let me subscribe. 😂

    WR Electronics Research & DevelopmentWR Electronics Research & DevelopmentPřed měsícem
  • I doubt it. Just depends on the entire amplifier design and how (these days) you digitize and encode the analog signal.

    Andrew LankfordAndrew LankfordPřed měsícem
  • Winding output transformers is a lost art. The Chinese are proving that fact every day.

    joeyb4everjoeyb4everPřed měsícem
  • Tube amp are clearly more audiophile but they are more expensive, more power consumption, heating, fragiles, and the last one, very often they have not enough basses. And chinese lamps are not of the same quality than Philips or Sylvania. But aniway, it is very pleasant

    Laurent ValetteLaurent ValettePřed měsícem
  • Mixing semiconductors and vacuum tubes. Ugh.

    TheDaniel366CobraTheDaniel366CobraPřed měsícem
  • I got a video for u . I have vacuum tube mystery circuit from like the 1930s or 40s possibly twenties I don't know that much about vacuum tubes and I got this from an old ham radio station operator if u want I can send you pictures and would lend it to you if you're interested

    Christopher ThummChristopher ThummPřed měsícem
  • Nobody has ever wanted to answer my question .... please be kind and text me back ! I have an old transmitter from the 1942 aprox and it only has 6.2volts for the heater !! Why ?? It is my question ! I thought 6.3volts was always a standard. Can i use these trnasformers to power and make a Guitar amp and worked perfectly well with 6.2v instead of the normal 6.3volts ?? Thanks

    dnantisdnantisPřed měsícem
    • It's only .1 volt dude. If you're that concerned just tweak the plate voltage to get the specified no-signal current for whatever tube you have.

      Fiddly PhukFiddly PhukPřed měsícem
  • The topic here is abt quality. But the OP didn’t define what he meant by the word. We all know it’s pointless talking abt wattage and distortion figures like the Japanese did in the seventies. But there must be a yardstick in making our purchasing decisions, which will otherwise become uninformed and therefore again pointless. I say the quality lies in audition. Hearing is believing in audio. The issue then becomes what we should match our chosen amps with to make sound.

    EggShell SkullRuleEggShell SkullRulePřed měsícem
  • can we talk about the placement of Quotation marks?

    Toshio YamadaToshio YamadaPřed měsícem
  • Клас д с лампи, добре ли сте? Все едно да сереш срещу вентилатора ...

    Слави СтояновСлави СтояновPřed měsícem
  • Triodes are considerably less linear that low count transistor amplifiers and have much higher levels of noise. The only thing they do better is they have higher drastic overload point. Also they are more rugged. Both of these things are irrelevant for signal level audio amplification.

    etmax1etmax1Před měsícem
  • He sounds german, and not at the same time

    DanielDanielPřed měsícem
    • The heating of the Tube is to reduce its internal resistant right?

      DanielDanielPřed měsícem
    • Da hammen wirs'

      DanielDanielPřed měsícem
  • Tube amps are used in class D amps but so are Mosfets. They have both have very low input impedance and eliminate the biasing threshold of bipolar transistors. Tube types are power wasters however, evidenced by the heat dissipated, great if you want to heat your house in winter.

    Rand SipeRand SipePřed měsícem
  • Would have been fun so run some test signals through both amps and check the distortion at various frequencies and waveforms.

    PhaTs00pPhaTs00pPřed měsícem
  • fuck no

    PoindexterPoindexterPřed měsícem
  • transistaaah

    Kamran MKamran MPřed měsícem
  • Much of the appeal of tube amps (and vinyl record players) are purely psychological mostly driven by nostalgia. To their proponents tube amps "just sounds right/better" while they are objectively worse in regards to response time and distortions, but all the objectivity in the world can't compete with the nostalgia. And the fact they are more expensive also plays a HUGE role in their appeal.

    Oscar SommerboOscar SommerboPřed měsícem
  • Yes.

    itsadanimalitsadanimalPřed 2 měsíci
  • Agree with most of presented about sound and distortion of tube and transistor amplifiers. As I remember from my university time, in general tube amps produce about 10 times more distortion than transistor amp. Main difference is that tube amps produce "even" harmonics that sound more harmonic or musical to our ear and this is main reason why it sounds worm and pleasant.

    Marjan EftimovMarjan EftimovPřed 2 měsíci
  • and thats not even the amp everyone was talking about we are talking guitar amps

    epicgamer 420epicgamer 420Před 2 měsíci
  • just play a guitar with a solid state amp and a tube amp.. you will get it

    epicgamer 420epicgamer 420Před 2 měsíci
  • They are the bees knees for guitar amps

    Jessie HydroJessie HydroPřed 2 měsíci
  • I used to repair console radios and some high performance transistor amplifiers in 70s,after 1980, tube amplifiers almost disappeared. In theory, transistors have much better linear characters, and distortions are much lower on paper than tubes, however, transistor amplifiers generate odd harmonic distortions and tube amplifiers generate even harmonis distortions which is acceptable to human hearing, that why they have warmer sound. One time I decided to test a German tube radio with single end ouput, I was very surprised that the distortion meter showed a below 0.1 percent distortion which is extremely low for tube amplifiers. I hope I can now find those oldies radio and bring it home.

    Tze TongTze TongPřed 2 měsíci
  • To anybody seriously aiming to improve their music listening setup: watch this video with extreme caution and don't let the conclusions get to your head. I have recently bought an OTL tube amp for my sennheiser hd650s, and the improvement going from a solid state amp has been phenomenal. I was not expecting such a big change. The timbre and texture of instruments sound true to life now. No offence to the guy but he does not know all there is to know about circuit design, so if you're ready to take a plunge and trust me on this, prepare to make the best choice of your audio life.

    Electro BeatsElectro BeatsPřed 2 měsíci
  • I work at a nuke plant that still uses tube amps in its neutron monitoring equipment. Plant was designed in the late 50s and early 60s and went online in 1969. We have upgrade parts of the circuits to solid state but still use tubes in a couple if remaining circuits since they work very well. The preamps still implement them as it is hard to implement a solution which will not alias out neutron hits, without a wholesale upgrade which is $$$$$. It also makes me chuckle that more modern plants, including the other unit on site, use a 386 sx based system for neutron detection. Although there are still a lot of analoge circuits on the back end of that system. Speaking of which, I would be interested in seeing a video of a comparison between DSP's and analog filters. That might help the engineers in training out there as well. My bad if you have already done one.

    mike allmike allPřed 2 měsíci
  • tubes give liner frequency response in relation to gain so they are better used in final output stages. With transistor amps you need to change the tone as you increase the volume

    Jane DoeJane DoePřed 2 měsíci
  • Answer: Yes.

    Brandon RugglesBrandon RugglesPřed 2 měsíci
  • 3:13 ah i see you are a man of culture as well

    Jatin ShimpiJatin ShimpiPřed 2 měsíci
  • With musik but film ist is really hard for an artist, because he does not know how his work gets recived. This is why you should listen to old vinyl on old equipment and get the remastered versions for playback on your digital 10 speeker system.

    ralixfilmralixfilmPřed 2 měsíci
  • Nice vid man I am also into electronics

    Amy SureshAmy SureshPřed 2 měsíci
  • Yes, distortion sound like violin Stradivarius. Or no distort is recorder flute.

    unlimit punlimit pPřed 2 měsíci
  • Short answer, no. Tube amps Introduce distortion and add hum. If your solid state amp is clipping, the fault is yours for overdriving it.

    Sam MooreSam MoorePřed 2 měsíci