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Blue tube receivers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Billy Posey, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

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    Has anyone heard of akai return to the world of receivers by coming out with two 7 channel home theater receivers that uses blue glowing vacuum tubes?

    I don't have much experience with equipment that uses tubes but I'm sure that many of you out there are. What do you think about this. I'll try to have a link if I can.
    http://hometheaterview.typepad.com/h..._audio_te.html
     
  2. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    I just recently bought an integrated tube amp for a simple two-channel setup, and I have to admit it has a sweet sound . Someone more knowledgeable than me should come around sometime, but here's my thoughts on the Akai announcement.

    Only 7 tubes for a 7 channel 100 or 125 W/channel amp sounds off. My little stereo integrated has 10 tubes. (6 as part of the preamp, and 2 each in a push-pull configuration for 35 watts of type AB amplification). I'm wondering if they just put a tube in the preamp signal path.

    As well, 100 watts of tube amp usually needs some pretty big tubes. Also, you should find out what class amplification the design is. Some tube amp designs just suck electricity - 100+ watt tube amps usually make good room eaters.

    Be aware that tubes wear out, and that retubing can be expensive. Also, it is not uncommon to "roll" tubes by trying different versions of tubes to see which ones sound best. For this, there are standard tube type designations -I'm not aware what "Blue Tube" means, but all tubes work by "Thermionic" emission, so they still haven't said what they are doing.

    But have fun looking into it. This is the hobby part of audio.

    enjoy,
     
  3. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    Only one tube a channel and the rating is 100 watts. Wow, how did they do that? I have tube mono blocks that push 100 watts per channel and there are 9 tubes per channel to do it. How could they do it with only one? I do have the cool blue light on the front though. I wonder if that constitutes 'blue tube' technology! Would love to hear the receiver. Here is a picture of mine with 9 tubes!


    [​IMG]

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yep.. 1 tube per channel???

    I mean even in the simplest of designs, you have to have some feedback stages and stuff. Maybe they solid state the support circuits / sort of hybrid tube design or something.

    I'd love to see some detailed pics of it. The article says it is on the Akia website, which comes up page not found for me.
     
  5. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Is this Akai the same Akai famous for its tape decks in the 70s and 80s? The name and the font of the logo is familiar but I think the brand has been sold to another entity. Previously, it was associated with Mitubishi Electronics.
     
  6. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

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    This is stated in the may issue of Home Theater Magazine " According to Akai, the Blue Tube technology processes the audio signals through highly stable solid-state circuitry coupled with a final stage that utilizes a newly developed Blue Tube Thermionic design. This allows the tubes to operate at cool running temperatures and contributes to their extremely long life spans. Akai brings the warm sound of tube technology down to affordable levels and eliminates the output transformer problems that plagued previous vacuum-tube designs."
     
  7. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    "plagued" LOL!

    Anyway, methinks there's a tube in the signal path but before final amplification. Preamp tubes do have long lifespans.

    Anyway, I *will* be curious about how the rubber meets the road, both the actual design and how it sounds. But I doubt I'll be pursuing it as a purchase.

    enjoy,
     
  8. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    This sounds alot like the same technology in the Butler 5150 5-channel tube amp which is rated at 150 wpc.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Here are two excellent articles by EQ Magazine about tubes & despite the rather negative-sounding titles, the authors are actually quite positive about tubes' perfomance capabilities:

    1) "Warming Trends Tube Warmth: Cure? Or Crock?"

    2) "Do We Dig Distortion?"

    They discuss some things about tubes vs. transistors that I have never heard about, some quite surprising, which increases my desire to score an old tubed integrated amp or receiver at a garage sale or resale shop. [​IMG]
     
  10. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    Eating words now... :b I googled "Butler 5150" and read the 6 moons review. Billy, you may want to do the same - it does sounds rather interesting. If not something you want, it is apparently at least a viable technology and not just trickery. If Akai is able to bring that in at a more affordable price point, more power to 'em.

    enjoy,
     
  11. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

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    I'm not banking on these receivers, I just was trying to get some thoughts on these. I have no experience at all with tubes so I don't know what to expect. I hate to admit it but the main reason I was interested was because they look sweet.
     
  12. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    Look up the Butler 5150 review on 6 Moons. You may get even more interested.
     
  13. Steve*MH

    Steve*MH Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone have any specific specs as to number of inputs, dimensions, other features, etc? It would be nice to get a full list of features and specs on this series. And yes, I do believe this technology is legit and has received much praise through Butler Audio and its amplifiers.
     

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