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|For most electronics, transistors have replaced
vacuum tubes, but for the most demanding
applications, electron tubes still rule.
No serious audiophile would trade the richness
of vacuum tube amplification for transistor,
and professional high power and high frequency
applications are beyond what transistors
can handle. Unfortunately, the disadvantage
of vacuum tubes is that they do not have
nearly the life of transistors and require
replacement every few years.
To maintain the high quality
of an audio
system, it is important not to
tubes with just any replacement.
- country of origin is an important guide for
judging vacuum tube quality. Newer tubes
come from China, but in general do not match
products from Russia or other Eastern Block
countries (where they never went out of style)
that still make tubes the old fashioned way.
Countries advancing into the twenty-first
century, like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia,
have made quality products in the past, but
much less so now as they modernize.
- matching tubes are important for circuits
with balanced components. Replacing old tubes
with tubes with varying characteristics may
multiply rather than cancel their differences
- new old stock (NOS) are tubes that were manufactured
a while ago and have been lying
or little used in a warehouse
accept them only if tested
and shown to meet
specification before shipping