Tag Archives: vacuum tubes

Asheville, North Carolina ‘s Home Theater and Audio specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Whirlwinds of change

We’ve moved from the holistic curated system approach, popular with dealers in the late 70′s and early 80′s, towards the DIY approach of today. But let’s not ignore the middle years of system building where we transitioned from the original to what we have today.

During the grand years of high end’s history, where dealers were revered kings (think Mike Kay of Lyric), we relied primarily on those dealers to curate our systems, as opposed to what we do today, building our own. But why the change? I think it’s important to remember the environment back then. No, not the Vietnam war, the Hippies, peace, love and dope, but the changes. Let’s remember what change was taking place and review the upheavals of the day.

Here’s a partial list:
• The rise of the two most popular high end magazines, Stereophile and TAS
• The decimation of the former magazine kings, Stereo Review and Audio magazines
• The introduction of solid state electronics attempting to dethrone vacuum tubes
• The compact disc attempting to dethrone vinyl
• The introduction of the separate D to A Converter
• The Japanese receiver invasion trying to eliminate the need for separates altogether
• Quadraphonic Sound
• The first stereo catalog sales channels (Warehouse Sound among others) threatening to dethrone the smaller retailers
• The rise of the mega stereo store (Pacific Stereo comes to mind) threatening to dethrone the smaller retailers
• The introduction of the personal computer (the PC)
• … and no, there still wasn’t an internet

Stuck in the middle of this melee of change were you and me just wanting to kick back and enjoy our tunes.

When we begin to look at today’s patterns of hand assembling our own high end music systems and how we got here, I think it’s instructive to remember where we came from.
It really helps with understanding where we’re going.

More tomorrow.

Asheville, North Carolina ‘s Home Theater and Audio specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Full circle

Ever notice how much of what’s good comes around full circle?
One great example is vinyl. When I was visiting my friends at Music Direct I got a tour of their warehouse. The area dedicated to vinyl was perhaps 100 times larger than the small and, apparently, dwindling area of CDs they have for sale.

Another was sent to me by my friend Tim. It now looks like Moore’s law may be adhered to with, of all things, vacuum tubes. Yup. Talk about coming full circle.

Moore’s Law states that in computing hardware, the number of transistors will double every two years. When Intel founder Gordon Moore wrote that “law” he knew that someday that number would get so big it will bump up against the laws of physics. And we’re getting to that point now. But a group of scientists have discovered that we may be able to go beyond current limitations in transistor sizes by bringing back the vacuum tube, in the form of a vacuum transistor.

Here’s a picture of a vacuum transistor, compared to a MOSFET.

You can read the article by clicking here.

Love how this works!