I am educated as an engineer in electronics, telecommunications to be specific (RF, transmission lines, protocols and such). Over time my job has gradually changed from hands-on engineer into an enterprise architect. I am TOGAF and ArchiMate certified and typically consider ICT from a higher level of abstraction. So, no surprise, I lost contact with electronics over time.
So some time ago there was moment that I wanted get back to my passion for electronics and needed a project.
Why tube audio? Well, I had always been into audio. Since I was young, I had a fair set of solid-state audio equipment and nice set of loudspeakers that I enjoy very much.
I am also curious by nature and some time ago I developed an interest to explore tube audio. But I found the products on offer to be either too high priced for my taste, of “undefined” quality and design, but generally lacking the ability to adapt to my taste.
I have to admit, I am not into ultra-high-end audio. I am more into enjoying the emotion that music brings. My philosophy is tuning amplifiers to reproduce the music to be emotionally pleasing and I am not much into measurements as the ultimate quality indicator. Furthermore, the architect in me believes that the design is more critical than the components (always in a balanced way of course). To me that philosophy means no “unobtainium” components and no eternal strive for the best.
Then I stumbled onto various designs, tube amplifier blogs and videos. These inspired me to build my own tube amplifier. That way I could satisfy two desires at the same time. Foremost, this would be a fun project that covers all aspects of designing, sourcing and building. In addition, I would be able to explore, and hopefully enjoy, tube audio tuned to my taste.
This site is about my journey into tube audio, but it also dwells into solid-state and microcontrollers. I use those support the tubes. You may not like mixing tubes with solid-state and microcontrollers at all; that is ok. I also asked myself why I needed a microcontroller in my amplifier. The simple answer is: because I can, and I believe it allows my amplifier to be more fit-for-use by my non-technical family.
Some final words: I do not believe my approach to designing and building my tube amplifiers is perfect. To the contrary, what I find pleasing to listen to, might not appeal to you at all. So I hope you get inspired, but I encourage you to do your own research, do your own experiments and disagree with my philosophy.