An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A Free Guide from Audio Masterclass

Q: Can I tell at a glance if my preamp is tube or transistor?

A post by David Mellor
Friday July 23, 2010
Can you recognize by a glance what kind of amplifier you have in front of you without reading the specifications? Do they have special visual features? For instance, could I recognize a vacuum tube from a transistor one?
Q: Can I tell at a glance if my preamp is tube or transistor?

The answer is yes, you can tell instantly.

There is a perception in the pro audio manufacturing industry that solid state preamplifiers (transistor, FET, integrated circuit) are ordinary and vacuum tube preamplifiers are special.

(Or perhaps that's a perception put about by clever marketing.)

So a tube amplifier will always be very clearly identified as such, so that a potential purchaser can see that it is supposed to be special.

So you will see 'TUBE' in big large letters on the front panel.

Or you will actually be able to see the tube(s) through a window in the case. Hi-fi manufacturers sometimes mount the tubes externally, but that would be too fragile for studio use.

If you can't see 'TUBE' written on the front, or a window displaying the tubes inside, then it is almost certainly a solid-state device.

If you come across an exception, please let us know!

A post by David Mellor
Friday July 23, 2010 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)
Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR