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can u use Nuvistors like in musical fidelity amps

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone has tried to use Nuvistors- the sort of micro tubes - I think as smal as Light emitting Diodes- for a Diy headphone portable amp.

I want a portable that is tiny- yet powerful with real timbre.

The NUvistors are shock proof as well and supposedly very linear even up to very high frequencies.

How would I get in touch with JMT to see if he would build such a thing?
post #2 of 27

post #3 of 27
This could be cool. Imagine a micro Earmax clone-like amp in an Altoids tin. The little cute things could stick out of the top like a really small tube amp.

Even if these things don't work-out well in a head amp, it would be worth making strictly for the cute factor. After all, it's better to look good than to sound good...
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

That is the basic idea.

Because these devices are relatively small and inexpensive I think we could make a top notch tube head amp that is durable- shock proof, and relatively energy efficient.

Are these Altoid amps really that good? how Do they compare to the Cosmic?
I'm all for pushing the limits of this stuff.

I've never tried a Shaki stone (spelling) but perhaps we could integrate one of these as well.

Also individually trimmed resistors as opposed to pots- anyone tried- sliders that work like jumpers to get purer sound? I'm not talking about low quality sliders like Dj's use, I'm talking about sliders with individual resistors. I think the Altoids box is too small for a high quality individually trimmed pot- but in sliders it is possible to cram it in that tin.

If the circuit board can be warped (curved) I think a great place would be inside a hip flask as anatomically it fits to the body well. The cap could be a volume control- or a headphone jack if we opted for sliders. I could go for the classy leather outer casing.

Other nice cases that come to mind- Cigarette cases and mini cigar cases- antique?

too many topics within this one post- try to respond to all.

I haven't heard from JMT yet though.
post #5 of 27
The Cmoys are killers for the price! But, they can't really hang with the big boys, but they are meant for portables, and they are great for that job.
post #6 of 27
I looked around today, apparantly nuvistors are pretty rare and no one anticipates production anytime soon. With the way op-amps continue to improve I would doubt anyone would bother.

It would be a way cool product but it could never be "mainstream" in the audiophile community except for maybe a few 'inmates' at audioasylum (last time I used the term freaks).

The novelty factor would make it worth it alone though.
post #7 of 27
You can find them on ebay pretty easily... It'd be interesting how an amp using nuvistors would sound...

Oh, and I think you are referring to some form of a stepped attenuator, RichardAldrich.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

Is anybody interested in trying this out?

who will bell the cat?

I would be willing to put some cash into this.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
What do these Altoid amps run $$$as opposed to a cosmic. When you say "the big boys" do you mean the Orpheus system and the Max and maxed out home- or do you mean to include the Cosmic?

I want timbre as well as clarity- also clean bass delineation. I would rather have low bass rolling off with a slight slope than a bass hump at 60hz and nothing below that.

I will buy both the HD600 and the etymotics. I have never owned a headphone amp- am am fine admitting my lack of education in this area.
post #10 of 27
Richard, have you listened to a Cmoy yet? They are fantastic little 'buggers (especially for the price), I think you would like them just fine. Grab yourself one from JMT already, they are really really good, solid deep bass extension (and I'm talking well around 20hz), clarity and quickness and good timbre... compared to the big portable boys (cosmic) and other higher end amps, they probably sound less refined, but still really great.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm going to get a good Headroom amp

I'm going to get a good headroom amp--------- but.....

I still want to do a nuvistor tube amp with a circuit that is known for great tube sound. I'm after a nice...but no super tubey sound...more along the lines of an Audio research vt100III tube amp- articulate, yet not overly lush, controlled with slam, but no loss of delicacy and with lots of air that is not just boosted treble.

I'll hunt down the dang nuvistors.

Who would build such an item for me? Can anyone drop me an email at richardaldrich1000@yahoo.com ?
post #12 of 27

I think most of Nuvistors are DHT, Directly Heated Tubes. Which means the amp will be susceptible to microphonics.

post #13 of 27
The fact that nuvistors are so rare means it will be very difficult to get much hope at building any amps with them.

Steve Bench discussed on his website some low-voltage tubes that had been used in virtual antiquity for early hearing-aid amplifiers. It's been a while since I've looked at the page, but if I recall correctly, the heater filaments were 2.5V and drew the order of tens of mA's. As for the anode supply, this could be operated with a few 9V's.

He said that they would be very suited for a battery powered pre-amp, but looking at the specs offered on the tube data sheet locator, I think they could be legitimately configured for enough gain to be in a headphone amp.

my $0.02,
post #14 of 27

Re: Is anybody interested in trying this out?

Originally posted by RichardAldrich
who will bell the cat?

I would be willing to put some cash into this.

Where can I buy in quantity ? I like to try it if it cost not high.
Or you send it to me and I tailor made for you
post #15 of 27
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