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Definition: tube amplifier


An audio amplifier that uses vacuum tubes instead of transistors. Most aficionados of high-quality audio believe that vacuum tubes provide a more musical and more pleasing sound than transistor-based amplifiers. These are subjective opinions that often depend on the hearing ability of the listener. Many people cannot hear much difference between medium-quality and high-quality sound systems. Nevertheless, the most expensive amplifiers are tube based. See audiophile, stereophile, high-resolution audio and vacuum tube.




LAMM ML3 Tube Amplifier
Considered one of the finest manufacturers of audio equipment on the market, LAMM has been making amplifiers for more than two decades. Using gold-plated speaker terminals, a pair of ML3 amps cost USD $139,000 in 2014. (Image courtesy of LAMM Industries, Inc., www.lammindustries.com)






For the Do-It-Yourselfer
This do-it-yourself Gowegroup tube amplifier kit sold for USD $249, a tad more down to earth than the model above. (Image courtesy of Amazon.com.)