Two Upcoming Tube Fests
by Steve Graham
Tube Fest No. 1
A friend and I decided to sell off the majority of our collections of vintage and classic European tubes. Part of the process was educating our customers about the intertwined and labyrinthian nature of tube production in this golden age of tube making. It occurred to me that a primer on a pair of the most popular small-signal tubes would be of use. A soon to be posted article will be an introduction to the minutia of the 6DJ8/ECC88 and 12AX7/ECC83 tubes produced in Europe and Great Britain.
Tube Fest No. 2
Thoughts of vintage tubes and how best to use them inspired Fest No. 2. A happy coincidence, or perfect storm, depending how you view it, will be another DIY project. Several people wanted in on the Tetra phono build of last year. Only one Tetra was available, and our kind patron Adrian was the first to step up.
Those who missed out the first time around will soon have a second chance. This new all-tube phono stage, in the works and partially built as I write this, will go to the home of some fortunate vinyl freak. As an added inducement, I’m going to squeeze in a pair of step-up transformers (SUT’s), so that low output moving coil (MC) cartridges can go straight in without the need of an external SUT. If this isn’t enough to set serious phonophiles hearts aflutter, they should be checked for a pulse. The N-F-P Phono Amp will have a low-gain, or moving magnet (MM) input as well.
Like the N-F-P Line Stage series from 2016, the sale price will be donated to one of my local charities. Hospice Huronia is fundraising to construct a new facility before getting the boot from the rented space they currently use. This phono stage will not be another TubeCad Tetra like the first phono build. It will be simpler and less expensive. The challenge I’ve set for myself is to make it perform as close as possible to the over-achieving Tetra.
Oh yes, the proceeds from my tube sales (Tube Fest No. 1) have gone to finance this project (Tube Fest No. 2). Don’t worry though, I held back some of the choice, vintage tubes for the N-F-P Phono Amp build.
My pal that’s also selling tubes? His tube-sale bucks go the care and feeding of an aging BMW.
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