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bthylafh
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A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:54 am

https://korgnutube.com/en/

A modernized triode tube for the Audiophilia nervosa crowd; it's 30% the size of a traditional tube and uses 2% of the electricity, while having similar sound distortions.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:05 am

That's still has nothing on wooden knobs and crystal wiring stands that "allegedly" cleans up sounds. :roll:
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:08 am

bthylafh wrote:
https://korgnutube.com/en/

A modernized triode tube for the Audiophilia nervosa crowd; it's 30% the size of a traditional tube and uses 2% of the electricity, while having similar sound distortions.


That's a pretty cool (or warm) idea.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:27 am

bthylafh wrote:
https://korgnutube.com/en/

A modernized triode tube for the Audiophilia nervosa crowd; it's 30% the size of a traditional tube and uses 2% of the electricity, while having similar sound distortions.

Similar is not good enough. The targeted crowd will hear the difference and reject it out of hand. :lol:
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:27 am

A couple of notes. First, the last update on that site is mid-2016, so Bob knows if the tech actually made it to market. Second, Korg is a manufacturer of keyboards, guitar pedals, and other such devices, so the tech was likely designed to operate as a pre-amp/line-level tubed output stage in such devices. It's certainly nothing anyone is going to build a stereo component around; those of thermionic nature remain the domain of fire bottles (with the exception of a couple of odd nuvistor-based designs). This stuff won't be replacing 6dJ8s or 12AX7s any time soon.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:50 am

That's pretty neat. Looks like they really did take a vacuum tube and miniaturize all of its internal components, effectively shrinking it to the size of a (1970's-era) integrated circuit.

As Captain Ned notes, this thing is clearly designed to operate at very low power levels, which limits its applicability quite a bit. I could see preamps and headphone amps being a niche. Probably not gonna be of much use in any application that needs to put out more than a few tens of milliwatts.

Looks like someone is selling them (and associated products) on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/str/nutubeusstore

More product info from the person with the eBay store: http://www.nutube.us/
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:57 am

http://www.nutube.us/HA-kit.html

Vacuum tube: Nutube 6P1
Output impedance: 10 Ω - recommended load 15 Ω or higher
Maximum output: 50 mW (when MUSES 01 is used), 80 mW (when using NJM 4580)

Not exactly a powerhouse of a headphone amp.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:59 am

DancinJack wrote:
http://www.nutube.us/HA-kit.html

Vacuum tube: Nutube 6P1
Output impedance: 10 Ω - recommended load 15 Ω or higher
Maximum output: 50 mW (when MUSES 01 is used), 80 mW (when using NJM 4580)

Not exactly a powerhouse of a headphone amp.

It's not even pure tube based, MUSES 01 and NJM 4580 are op amps, so the tube isn't driving the headphones directly.

I was gonna download the 6P1 device datasheet just out of curiosity, but Korg makes you register on their site to get it and I didn't care enough to do that...
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:03 am

just brew it! wrote:
I was gonna download the 6P1 device datasheet just out of curiosity, but Korg makes you register on their site to get it and I didn't care enough to do that...

http://www.nutube.us/downloads/Nutube_D ... otes_E.pdf

http://korgnutube.com/en/guide/
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:03 am

Yeah, found that right around when you posted.

Anode current 10-34uA at an anode voltage of 10V. This thing operates down in the microwatt range. So yeah, not even enough power to directly drive headphones.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:05 am

Looks like its sole function is to add some 2nd harmonic distortion into an otherwise solid-state output stage.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:07 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Looks like its sole function is to add some 2nd harmonic distortion into an otherwise solid-state output stage.

Sounds about right. And I'm sure there are cheaper ways to do that... :lol:
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:08 am

In case some were wondering, this is what my personal headphone amp puts out:

(Balanced)
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 7500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 5000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 3000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 900mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 500mW RMS per channel

(Single Ended)
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 800mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 350mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 175mW RMS per channel
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:14 am

I'm not sure why the output specs of the headphone amp are as low as they are. A cursory glance at the 4840 data sheet implies that it ought to be able to push more than 80 mW.

OTOH, your personal headphone amp specs are a little crazy. At full power into low-impedance cans, that will not only damage your hearing, it'll melt the voice coils in your headphones! :lol:

All that said, 80 mW should be plenty for most headphones.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:19 am

just brew it! wrote:
I'm not sure why the output specs of the headphone amp are as low as they are. A cursory glance at the 4840 data sheet implies that it ought to be able to push more than 80 mW.

OTOH, your personal headphone amp specs are a little crazy. At full power into low-impedance cans, that will not only damage your hearing, it'll melt the voice coils in your headphones! :lol:

All that said, 80 mW should be enough for most headphones.

Oh yeah, it only gets like ~10-20 percent power with my main headphones. It's kinda crazy.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:21 am

Oh, you folks are way too late to the game :)

The "nutube" or "nanotube" already found its way into guitar amplifiers. First here's the BluGuitar Amp1, designed by Thomas Blug. A 100-W tube head in the dimensions of a couple compact pedals. Then there's Vox, who has an entire lineup of amps using Korg's Nanotubes.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:24 am

DancinJack wrote:
Oh yeah, it only gets like ~10-20 percent power with my main headphones. It's kinda crazy.

...and since volume controls are logarithmic (because human perception of volume is logarithmic), 10-20% of full volume is likely down in the single-digit milliwatts in terms of actual power.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:24 am

@morphine - Better late than never! It's still pretty cool tech.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:27 am

I know, I'm just teasing. The problem I see is that to put it bluntly, guitarists are as bad as audiophiles. It doesn't have a big, hot, glowing glass bottle, so no matter if a Nano/Nutube does exactly the same thing, an amp using it never be "a real tube amp." Funny how that tune changes when they're in a blind test, but I digress.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:40 am

morphine wrote:
Then there's Vox, who has an entire lineup of amps using Korg's Nanotubes.

Reading that, it's still used solely in the pre-amp section, unless there's a power amp version we haven't seen yet. If you want 150W directly from a tube, it'll be a big hot glowy KT150 or so, as you'll need 4 or more EL34/6L6 to get you to 150W.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:42 am

To be fair, guitarists and distortion are pretty much inseparable.

The use case is very different from normal sound reproduction.
 
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:43 am

@Ned: correct, but I think it's simply a matter of time and using more TinyTubes (I called it). The things are so small and consequentially easier to use that the sky's the limit. I think the major roadblock, as with literally anything about sound, is going to be a psychological, not a practical one.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:16 pm

morphine wrote:
@Ned: correct, but I think it's simply a matter of time and using more TinyTubes (I called it). The things are so small and consequentially easier to use that the sky's the limit. I think the major roadblock, as with literally anything about sound, is going to be a psychological, not a practical one.

Still doesn't make sense. You'd need thousands of them to make a power amp, so it'll be a lot cheaper (not to mention more practical) to just use fewer normal sized tubes.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:22 pm

Ah, I see the confusion. The "nanotube" inside the Bluguitar Amp1 can push 100W. The Korg Nutube is designed for preamps, though. I figure that we're going to see TinyTubes across the entire power spectrum, assuming that the degree of audiophilia nervosa isn't too high.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:23 pm

I do love the fact that they've used legacy 0.1" DIP IC pin spacing. So you could put one of 'em on a solderless breadboard to play with it.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:23 pm

morphine wrote:
Ah, I see the confusion. The "nanotube" inside the Bluguitar Amp1 can push 100W. The Korg Nutube is designed for preamps, though. I figure that we're going to see TinyTubes across the entire power spectrum, assuming that the degree of audiophilia nervosa isn't too high.

Ahh, OK. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:24 pm

Maybe we'll see the return of motherboards with tube-based audio! :lol:
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:25 pm

You might want to check out a couple videos on the Amp1. Thomas Blug is an amp designer by trade, and if I remember correctly, he basically bought an entire factory's worth of those tubes which (again, IIRC) are Russian-made for military purposes.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:25 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Maybe we'll see the return of motherboards with tube-based audio! :lol:

Egads, just kill me already.
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Re: A modern vacuum tube

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:27 pm

morphine wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Maybe we'll see the return of motherboards with tube-based audio! :lol:

Egads, just kill me already.

The idea of putting a tube-based output section on a generic Realtek-based audio codec is funny/sad on so many levels...
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