Roger Gibboni Discusses: What’s the Warmth in Tube Amps? Featured in Copper Magazine’s 31st issue.
Why are we, as audiophiles, entranced by the reproduction of music using vacuum tubes?
As it turns out, noise is traditionally thought of as something to be minimized in all high end audio systems. However the proper reproduction of noise is actually the key characteristic that makes tube amplifiers sound so good. This article explores why noise is so important to the “tube sound.”
There are volumes of theory regarding how tube amplifiers saturate and produce harmonics and how their distortion characteristics affect listening. Here, we will explore how tubes reproduce noise and how this particular characteristic represents the basis of why tube amplifiers have a unique, characteristic sound that defines audiophile listening.
In order for us to explore the reproduction of noise, lets first define what we mean by noise. Noise, as applied to audio listening, is defined by three separate characteristics. For the purpose of this article, lets separate those characteristics and define them and their sources. Instead of using the generic term, noise, lets call anything that is not part of the desired soundtrack an artifact….