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Nu tube tech.

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Wulfgang, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Yes, that might apply to our generation, but not to young players, which are mainly Metal guys with totally different requirements and taste.

    I'm not really sure, but I bet, that 90% of Kemper and AxeFX users are Metal guys. And they mainly use this digi-tech for tone consistency between rehearsal room, studio and stage ... and for reduced dependancy from audio engineers (studio & stage).
     
  2. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    "Young players are mainly metal guys".

    Really??
     
    Floo and TSims1 like this.
  3. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta


    That may be true in Germany? It certainly isn’t in the US.
     
    Floo likes this.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Age:
    64
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I think at the end of the day, players want what they want, like what they like and play what makes them the happiest for their individual circumstances. It's futile at best to try and predict the future. Generally speaking, incorrect predictions of the future far outweigh correct predictions.

    Folks that play strictly at home will typically have different wants, needs and likes than those that are performing publicly and even then the size and types of live Venues coupled with the style of music played will end up with those folks having different wants and likes for their individual purposes too.

    Speaking in general terms, I can't imaging playing a Theatre and anyone in the audience, other than another guitar player...maybe, caring whether the guitarists "sound" came from a pair of 65 Blackface Deluxes or say a Tech 21 and a series of pedals running straight into a PA.....as long as both sounds were good. And good is subjective as well.

    I am a diehard tube amp guy and don't see that personal preference changing but in performance situations in larger Venues I can see the day (for me) where a "live rig" for me resembles what Tony S. describes....it just makes sense, for me....perhaps not for everyone.

    Keep in mind, it's all about personal choice and what puts a smile on your face when you play. It's not a lot more complicated than that. IMHO
     
    russmack and Floo like this.
  5. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    I'm talking mainly of guitarists playing in a band ... what do you thing ... wordwide ... how much % are below the age of 25 and don't play Metal?

    My guess is at least below 50%.
     
  6. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    Over here metal isn’t a big thing. There are pockets and certainly a niche market for it, but it doesn’t drive sales and it doesn’t get played in most clubs etc. Frankly, most young people that play electric guitar are playing it in churches doing worship stuff. True story.
     
  7. Synchro

    Synchro As spoken about at Wildwood Guitars. :) Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I think you make a great point. While there are some impressive players in the world of metal, I’m really not interested in such music. So then it becomes “horses for courses”, what tools fit your sound?

    The genres I play are clean, Surf, early sixties Rock n’ Roll, classic Country. If I show up sounding like a Metal guitarist, it’s not going to fit the music or the audience. A Winfield Cyclone works perfectly for my needs. If it makes anyone happy, my echo/delay and reverb are digital, but the dry signal comes through untouched. I love the dynamics and the response of the instrument. I wouldn’t want the compressed and scooped sounds that are found in a highly distorted guitar amp. I’m certain the modeling my sound would be a simple matter, but I prefer the dynamics of what I have.

    And that’s really the crux of the matter, as far as I’m concerned. I can find my sound in a very simple and straightforward manner. It’s in a Deluxe Reverb, it’s in a Winfield Cyclone and I’ve found it in many other amps as well. I have no need for something which allows me to choose between any number of amp models or other preset sounds. I don’t care.

    In a few minutes, I’ll be hopping into a sports roadster built in 2001, and driving to work. It’s dated in many ways. The same model (Mazda MX-5) built 15 years later is a much more advanced, refined vehicle. But mine suits my needs and I doubt that I’d buy a new one. Why would I? This does what I need and the license plates are cheap. :)

    This thread started off as a discussion of NuTube technology and included a variety of opinions, which were respectfully discussed. Somehow it has gone elsewhere and taken a somewhat harsh term. Let me suggest that someone start a thread about modelers and those whom want to spend their time on that subject can do so. I’m still interested in NuTube and one of the main reasons is that it uses analog methods.
     
    TSims1 likes this.
  8. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    OK, back to the NuTube (I apologize if anybody feels offended by anything I wrote here so far!):

    So here we go again: if the NuTube was replaced with another (good) opamp there would probably not much difference. That reminds me of those low-voltage tube-overdive circuits that can be found in the www. In these, the distortion is mostly generated in an opamp stage with clipping diodes. The tube/valve isn't but pure cosmetics. Why bother with that kind of stuff? I wouldn't be surprised if the nutube vanished in a few years, unless somebody came up with a circuit where the NuTube really generates a tube/valve-like tone. That might be interesting in terms of, hopefully, cost for good sounding, cool looking and lightweight amps. I like a good dose of overdrive from hard working tubes/valves in pre- and poweramp stages, and if NuTubes can do it, I would really start being interested.
     
  9. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Ok, back to Nu Tube ... I guess it's success could maybe be a bit related to the new Tube Screamer.

    I saw an original from the 80ies for nearly 700 bucks on Reverb and the reissue is around 170€ new. The Nu Tube Tube Screamer will cost what? Over 200 bucks?
     
  10. ponca

    ponca Electromatic

    86
    Nov 27, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    The TS Mini is an 808 isn't it? That's only $80. It's really hard to imagine paying >$200 for the NuTube one, although I also had no idea the regular TS808 reissue was as expensive as it apparently is.
     
  11. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    This is a fun discussion.
    Anyway might I add that amp manufactures and private amp builders have been tweaking amp designs for nearly 50 years now. Back in the late 60s Mesa was taking old Fender Deluxe & Princeton amps and adding over sized transformers and making changes to the original circuit designs to do just what BIAS & Line 6 allow you to do with software.
    Granted it may be a whole lot easier doing it in software but I don't think the end result is any better and in most cases not quite as good as what Mesa and other amp designers have come up with over the past 40 years.
    Hey I jumped on those modeling products by Johnson, Line 6, IK, UA, etc.
    I used them in the studio & live with my Duo and other acts.
    Mic'd dozens of modeling amps and for the most part came away disappointed.
    I know there's a place for them and there will be some people that get good results with them but in the end they are just an emulation of a real amp.
    I think the problem is and has always been that it takes time and money to get a good sound out of a real amp. In the studio for instance you need a good signal chain (mic, preamp, good digital converters or well adjusted analog tape machine and a good sounding room).
    Many players just don't have it in them to do it. So they might get a better sound out of a modeling amp where they have presets available to them that someone else setup.
    Hey I'm not going to knock that. If that's what works best for someone then I say go for it.
    I just believe that as a musician develops a better ear they will eventually hear the difference and work their way back to a more traditional setup.
    Having 100 different amp models with 1000 different presets is not the best road towards finding "your sound or voice".
    A few good guitars and one good amp is a better approach in my opinion.
    I remember when all the drum modules came out in the 80s & 90s and musicians would spend hours and sometimes days just trying to find the snare or kick drum sound that they wanted to use on a song. So I would have to sitting there for hours with them listening to hundreds of different snare & kick sounds. Oh my God I hated it!
    Now guys are starting to do it with modeling amps and software. So much time wasted. When just in the other room I have some great classic amps that they could plug into and be recording in half an hour...:(,
     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro As spoken about at Wildwood Guitars. :) Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I'm not sure I agree, Floo. Indeed, Op Amps can distort, but if they are creating gain in the NuTube then I can't agree that it's purely cosmetic. I've read what the manufacturer has to say on the subject and they are claiming 14db gain. If that's the case, I don't see how it could not be affecting the output.

    Having yet to play one in person, I'm not so certain of how it will work in the real world. The demos I've heard online sound pretty good, but Tony Sims played one through a Marshall 2x12" cabinet and found it disappointing. Unfortunately, I am exceptionally busy for the foreseeable future and have little time to spare, so this, along with several other projects, may not happen anytime soon. I'm afraid that I'll be talking about music a lot more than participating in it for some time. It's sort of like "dancing about architecture", but at least it's a catchy tune. :)
     
  13. Synchro

    Synchro As spoken about at Wildwood Guitars. :) Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    Please gents, if you want to discuss modeling, start a thread about it. You can even post a link in this thread so that everyone that wants to talk about modeling will know where it's at.

    I don't normally pay much attention to threads going off-topic, but in the case of this thread it has essentially smothered the original discussion and that's why I'm posting to this one in the first place.
     
  14. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    683
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    Actually 20*log10(5) = 14 db :)

    Regardless, the more I research the NuTube, the more I will have a wait-and-see attitude. I can't see spending $250 on a tube screamer if a similar sound can be achieved with all solid state parts (and I suspect that is in fact the case). Even for DIYers like me, $50 for one NuTube is a bit pricey unless I hear that overdrive/distortion circuits based on the device sound uniquely better than conventional stompbox designs.
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro As spoken about at Wildwood Guitars. :) Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    That's my point, there's a gain factor of 20,at 12 vdc. That strikes me as more than decorative in function.

    The demos I've heard of the pedal sounded pretty good, but that's a compressed soundtrack to a video. I agree that $250 is a lot for an overdrive pedal and I'm not about to buy one. My point, my entire point, is that this is a bit of a sea change. A vacuum tube which operates at low voltage opens up some interesting possibilities. Will it grow legs? I don't know, but if they continue to develop along these lines we could see some very interesting possibilities in future generations of this technology.

    The fact that this is a low voltage twin triode really grabs me. Think of it like this, up until roughly 20 years ago, telephone systems within a building required circuit switching. Each phone had a literal pair of wires running to it and there was a device which physically routed calls to the proper set of wires. Then, someone had the idea of using the same packet switching as is used in data networks as a way to switch telephone calls within a building. Packet switching had been used in the public telephone network for some time, but when they found an economical way to bring that technology to private phone systems it spawned incredible change. Except for the fire alarm, there isn't even one analog phone circuit in our workplace. What is more, branches can now be tied together using data lines, which means that remote branches can avoid tolls. It all started with some fairly simple experiments, some of which were none too impressive in the beginning.

    Perhaps, and only perhaps, we will see low-voltage vacuum tubes make a similar impact in the future. The costs would have to come down, but that usually happens when a product catches on. I think it bears watching.
     
  16. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Sychro, I was only referring to what markeebee said and saw some similarities to low-voltage tube-overdive circuits where an opamp has back to back diodes in a feedback-loop to create overdrive/distortion.
    Since I haven't played anything NuTube personally I can only rely on what folks here are saying. TSims seems to be an institution when it comes to trying out new equipment :D, and markeebee's statement made me think of low-v tubes.
    If there is any chance that NuTubes do what "old" tubes do, I might get interested. But at the moment, I'm totally satisfied with my good ol' Vibroverb working with the volume set at 6 :). Since I don't have money to spend on stuff that I don't actually need (or can use for gigging or recording with the band), I tend to follow Frank_NH and just wait and see :cool:.
     
  17. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    We will see, if it will really be that expensive, but even if it's slightly more expensive as the reissue, I fear it will likely fail. Time will tell.

    Any further Nu Tube stuff worth mentioning besides Vox and TS?
     
  18. Synchro

    Synchro As spoken about at Wildwood Guitars. :) Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I think that it's being promoted by Korg, which owns Vox and, I believe is tightly partnered with Ibanez, perhaps they actually own Ibanez.

    Korg and Noritake are definitely promoting this and it may be that there's a degree of over-optimism on their part. It's an interesting step in an interesting direction, one which I believe bears watching. I can't imagine Korg jumping into this frivolously. They have a good reputation and aren't about to risk that unnecessarily.

    One thing I find very interesting is that they are using the NuTube on the reissue of the Vox Continental combo organ. That's an iconic name and they definitely want that reissue to succeed. This is a $2,500 piece, so they aren't dealing with an accessory purchase that can be easily forgotten. If someone buys a Vox Continental RI and the NuTube fails early in its life there's going to be some justified outrage.

    As I understand it, the NuTube has a 30,000 hour MTBF, which is to say 40 hours per week for 15 years until mean failure time is reached.

    As much of a cheerleader as I find myself with regard to this product, if they drop the ball I'll be among the first to call for tar and feathers. To paraphrase the police chief in Young Frankenstein, 'an angry mob is an ugly thing, and it's high time we had one'. :) Time will tell, but I think it could prove to be an interesting ride.
     
  19. ponca

    ponca Electromatic

    86
    Nov 27, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Oh, I think you're right about the price it's going to be... I just think that's extremely high for what it is.
     
  20. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Yes, there have been cooperations before, and they partner again for the NuTubeScreamer, which btw will cost 269€ and will be available end of January ... regarding a German online magazine.

    PS: I couldn't find any hints, that Ibanez belongs to Korg.