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Might be a stupid question, but why is Russia popular in tube production? Any guesses?

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The benefits of communism meant the Russians got to stay stuck in the 1950's longer than the west. That's sarcasm, BTW. It took them a while to catch up technologically.

Tube manufacture requires a staggering amount of hand work. At least with those old production methods. I doubt anyone's about to spend 100 million developing a robotic production facility for vacuum tubes. Maybe we can start a rumor that the field produced by tubes causes weight loss.

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Maybe we can start a rumor that the field produced by tubes causes weight loss.

Oh, but it does!

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Might be a stupid question, but why is Russia popular in tube production? Any guesses?

Also there are supposedly a lot of EPA type hurdles to opening a tube factory and that has killed off attempts to open a US based tube factory. There was a time when that would have probably just meant that somebody would open a factory in Mexico where you could avoid EPA concerns but I think the NAFTA agreement put an end to that.

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Tubes and their associated circuitry are reportedly very resistant to electromagnetic pulses (EMP) from nukes (remember the James Bond movie 'Golden Eye'?), which is why tubes were of interest to the military of all sides in the Cold War...the tube/valve powered circuits were big and clunky, but usually hard to kill and easy to fix...kinda like some favorite vintage amps! Which also may explain why there is still a LOT of military surplus tubes available on the market.

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Tube manufacturing produces lots of toxic waste, it is not cost effective to produce tubes in the Westernized world. Lucky for us there will always be some third world crap hole willing to do our dirty work.

My company, Raytheon, used to make tubes down in Florida - you can still find some NOS tubes of ours on ebay. The real-estate that had the plant we used to make those is so toxic, there's NO WAY the company would be able to sell it off....a different era. The reason China and Russia still make tubes has more to do with a) need/market and B). lack of environmental 'hurdles' from a local EPA

Many of the tubes I see available are for for obsolete applications (not necessarily Audio), so unless you're capable of tube-based discrete circuit design (not something that's available at your leading University Undergrad Engineering curriculum), many of these tubes have little present-day use.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

I agree with all of that. And I am so biased toward tubes that I think an amp would have to be not just as good, but clearly superior to a tube amplifier in tone and response. Unfortunately, it's just human nature to really have to be absolutely gobsmacked to move on from tools we hold dear and have served us well over the years.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Kind of an argument from authority there. What Kirk Hammett and the Edge use really doesn't matter much to me when I am the one playing through the gear.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

I agree with all of that. And I am so biased toward tubes that I think an amp would have to be not just as good, but clearly superior to a tube amplifier in tone and response. Unfortunately, it's just human nature to really have to be absolutely gobsmacked to move on from tools we hold dear and have served us well over the years.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Kind of an argument from authority there. What Kirk Hammett and the Edge use really doesn't matter much to me when I am the one playing through the gear.

When people with access to anything, and cost is no object, choose to use gear in front of 100,000 fans I'd take that an endorsement over yours, no offense. And since neither of you probably have tried the unit, your likely talking in antiquated generalities.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Those guys have either RACKS AND RACKS of signal processing (Edge) or massive diode-clipping distortion chunka-chunka (Metallica) who play in venues where 'quality' audio is sacrificed upon the alter of raw volume - the nuance of tubes is absolutely lost in those signal chains. I don't see anyone lining-up to dump their Dumble (if they have one) for a pile of microchips. Until I see full-spectrum signal replication on a high-sampled spectrum analyzer, side-by-side, and there is zero difference in signals between a tube amp and a digital amp-modeler, I remain sceptical that this technology is ready for prime-time and we should all just walk-away from tubes 'today'.

When people said regular 35mm camera film was "dead" after digital photo technology came along, they didn't realize that you STILL had to run your digital images through hours-and-hours of Photoshop 'tweaking' to get some of the effects that using different camera film emulsions gave you - there is a trade-off in moving to 'new' tech. With digital tech, your creative freedom is bound by whatever the chip-maker and the software programmer are willing to write code for and give you - if 'they' don't write that nuance into their algorithms, you don't get access to it, and you could lose that analog dynamic/nuance forever.

Now, maybe your ears/eyes don't see or hear the difference - your palate is not that refined. A McDonalds hamburger tastes the same as a Wendy's burger to you, I dunno. But to others, there is a big difference. I have on my desk next to me a custom-made, tube-powered headphone amplifier - for my ipod. This little blue MO-FO, when the JJ tubes get warm, is absolutely amazing.

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Those guys have either RACKS AND RACKS of signal processing (Edge) or massive diode-clipping distortion chunka-chunka (Metallica) who play in venues where 'quality' audio is sacrificed upon the alter of raw volume - the nuance of tubes is absolutely lost in those signal chains. I don't see anyone lining-up to dump their Dumble (if they have one) for a pile of microchips. Until I see full-spectrum signal replication on a high-sampled spectrum analyzer, side-by-side, and there is zero difference in signals between a tube amp and a digital amp-modeler, I remain sceptical that this technology is ready for prime-time and we should all just walk-away from tubes 'today'.

When people said regular 35mm camera film was "dead" after digital photo technology came along, they didn't realize that you STILL had to run your digital images through hours-and-hours of Photoshop 'tweaking' to get some of the effects that using different camera film emulsions gave you - there is a trade-off in moving to 'new' tech. With digital tech, your creative freedom is bound by whatever the chip-maker and the software programmer are willing to write code for and give you - if 'they' don't write that nuance into their algorithms, you don't get access to it, and you could lose that analog dynamic/nuance forever.

Now, maybe your ears/eyes don't see or hear the difference - your palate is not that refined. A McDonalds hamburger tastes the same as a Wendy's burger to you, I dunno. But to others, there is a big difference. I have on my desk next to me a custom-made, tube-powered headphone amplifier - for my ipod. This little blue MO-FO, when the JJ tubes get warm, is absolutely amazing.

So in summary you've never played an Axe and have no idea what you're complaining about, but your camera experience and generic prejudice is good enough to roll with this.
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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

I agree with all of that. And I am so biased toward tubes that I think an amp would have to be not just as good, but clearly superior to a tube amplifier in tone and response. Unfortunately, it's just human nature to really have to be absolutely gobsmacked to move on from tools we hold dear and have served us well over the years.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Kind of an argument from authority there. What Kirk Hammett and the Edge use really doesn't matter much to me when I am the one playing through the gear.

When people with access to anything, and cost is no object, choose to use gear in front of 100,000 fans I'd take that an endorsement over yours, no offense. And since neither of you probably have tried the unit, your likely talking in antiquated generalities.

Actually, I have played on one more than a bit, and I still prefer my Boogie. A country picker I used to play with in Gainesville had one. Sounded great, but never wasn't as comfortable to me as my Mark V. Seriously, it's not like they are some ancient fucking mystical scroll that only an esoteric sect of free masons, long forgotten by history, have access too. As I noted, maybe it was bias, maybe it wasn't. Either way, I prefered my rig ever time I ever played around with it, which was for at least and hour on more than a few occasions.

And I'm not suggesting you take anyone's opinion but your own, hence my saying you were using a logical fallacy. Just because Metallica and U2 use them live doesn't therefore mean that I should throw my gear away and buy what they use. Should I also start using a wah pedal for every solo, or should I take the approach of using as few notes as possible and then using effects to do stuff? Should I start playing only ESPs or whatever tweaked the Edge's fancy last tour cycle? I mean that's what Kirk Hammett and the Edge do, right? And they are international touring acts while I am just some nobody playing in Austin! What business do I have playing what I like!

Likewise, no, my opinion shouldn't matter to you either, which isn't what I was suggesting as that is the entire reason why an argument from authority on its own is a fallacy. At the end of the day, the only opinion that really matters for something as subjective as what you like to play is yours. It's interesting that those guys play on Axe stuff now. Knowing that would have made me interested to try one, but having played on an Axe II myself, I still like the rig I have now.

I love it on the Internet when someone says "no offense" and then goes on to sarcastically make a massive assumption. It's a beautiful thing, really.

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Might be a stupid question, but why is Russia popular in tube production? Any guesses?

As far as I know it's Russia or China. Who else makes tubes? I wish we still made them in the US. I'd loose my finger in the press if I had to do that for a living. Ouch!

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that's crazy labor intensive. when digital modeling can replicate the touch-feel dynamics of a good tube amp, not just the tone, tubes will truly be obsolete. We will probably see that day. Which will be good, because by then I'll be too old to lug around 100lb amps :P

That day passed with the Axe II.

I dunno - tube output and dynamics is another variable to the 'dark-art' equation that I'm not sure the sterile, digitial realm can bring to the table. To me, a tube amp is a 'living-thing' that offers different expressions dependent upon careful tube selection and bias adjustments - a single computer algorithm has captured all-that? I doubt it.

It's good enough for many international acts including Metallica and U2.

Fair enough, but it is obviously not good enough for the majority of recording artists.... yet.

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