PS Audio: Tubes vs. transistors

Paul McGowan writes: Now there’s a hot subject for you, one that’s been debated for as many years as the two have coexisted in the world of high-end audio.

First let me suggest that there can be no debate about the fact circuits built using one or the other sound differently.  But the question many of you are perhaps interested in is why?  What makes these two amplification devices different, what types of techniques can be employed to maximize the sound quality of both and then answer the question of why I have been a lifetime fan of tubes and yet always designed with solid state.

Because I like to keep these posts short and this is a big subject, hopefully one worth exploring for you, I will break the posts up in small daily doses.  Here’s the subjects we’ll cover, one per day.

  1. The Audion
  2. From crystal radios to supercomputers
  3. The fundamental differences between tubes and transistors
  4. High voltage and linearity
  5. Solid state vs. fields
  6. Transconductance vs. gain
  7. How we get the best of both worlds
  8. Why I design with solid state exclusively

I realize some of this sounds technical.  It is.  I won’t bore you or overwhelm you with technical trivia in this mini series.  I promise it’ll be kept simple and understandable.

If we’re lucky, maybe even enjoyable.  Till tomorrow.