Re: Valuable 12AX7 and all this audio foo foo.

Phil (VA3UX) <phil@...>

Well hang on guys. I'm with you to a point. My original response was mainly ridiculing the hype and component pricing that is the consequence of that hype, within the audio community. I am not an audiophile but I am a guitar player (sort of) and I can tell you that despite my technical nature and inherent skeptisicm of statements not accompanied by data, guitar amps sound different with different sets of tubes from different manufacturers. Damned if I know why, but they do. Sometimes radically different. I almost feel that I have a split personality by making that statement, but it's true. It seems that audio/guitar amplifiers are just "tone controls", the tone being the result of the sum of the parts. Whatever the attributes are in high grade 12AX7's that make them sound better than lesser brands in audio applications, they apparently are of no consequence to the operation of the vintage scope circuits we are all interested in and we therefore aren't even aware of them.


At 04:15 PM 6/15/2001 -0700, you wrote:
I am with Dean on this one. There is a special process called "double-blind
testing" where these sorts of claims can be debunked. If I understand it
right, double-blind testing amounts to the listener not knowing what
configuration he is listening to and being required to choose between "A" and
"B" a LOT of times, enough to get a pretty good statistical picture of
whether things like tube brands, oxygen free speaker wire, and precision
capacitors REALLY make a difference you can hear. Most audio nuts that I
know REFUSE to submit to double-blind tests . . . and I think we ALL know why
. . .

Stan wrote:

Methinks the tops of my boots are needing a few more inches to clear
the effluent which is building.

Ain't no way the human sense of hearing has the bandwidth or the
dynamic range that even modest test equipment has. There is not a
doubt in my mind that I could write up a page of pure fiction
(including some references to Atlantis and perturbences in the orbit
of Io) and be able to sell my own homemade capacitors (I think that
Saran wrap and aluminum foil will do nicely) and homemade speaker
wire (I think that braiding some Solder Wick with spark plug wire may
do the trick) and sell these items for fantastic amounts of money to
Golden-Eared audio enthusiasts. Easily. It wouldn't be honest, but
sometimes when I read all the ads, it appears that this crowd doesn't
want honesty.

Audio is so darned subjective that no one person can say what's
right. More of my opinion (and that's exactly what it is) should be
showing up in the October 2001 installment of "Q & A"
in "Poptronics". I'll gladly put my 12AX7's on the block. Lessee,
here's the ad copy:

"Specially burned in for smooth audio quality without the sharp edges
one experiences with all new tubes. The lettering on the glass has
been removed to improve the transparency of the sound. Tubes with
specially-rounded exhaust nipples available upon special order."


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