The Beginner Audiophile’s Intro to Tubes

October 20, 2017


If there’s anything in audio as subjective or contested as cables, it might be tubes. There are audiophiles that solemnly swear that tube amplifiers are the true path to Audio Nirvana. Then there are those that won’t sway from the sterility of solid-state amplifiers. And there are those that haven’t tasted tube flavor—they should probably change that.

In my article "How to Tube Roll," for The Master Switch, I wrote that "unlike solid-state amps that simply let you hit a switch and hear the music, tube amps immerse you in the musical process; they require extra care and attention in tube selection, but reward you with something special and seductive in return."

Tube amps bring a different level of uniqueness and personalization into your audio chain, from looks to sound. From different brands, to different variations, swapping one tube for another can have a big impact on system synergy and the tonal characteristics of your amp. And, for many, this is what owning a tube amp is all about. The ability to tweak and experiment through tube rolling is just one more part of the audiophile’s journey to #AudioNirvana.

Roll With It

To learn more about tube rolling and read about a practical example, check out the full version of "How to Tube Roll," on The Master Switch.

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