iTUBE Tech Notes Part 1: The Magic of Tubes

Tubes are good for you

Thorsten Loesch look into the importance of the tubes....

Do you wish for greater musical enjoyment out of your existing system?

Then you may wish to take a listen to the iTube.

Tubes are Good for You

Many wax lyrical about the “magic of tubes.” Why?

Because the scientific fact is that adding tubes to a HiFi system increases our intrinsic enjoyment [1] of music. The harmonic characteristic of tubes eases tension and gives us a greater sense of well‐being. We have not and may never fully understand why tubes do the “voodoo they do”, but there is a scientific basis to re‐affirm our subjective sense of enhanced enjoyment of music.The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts [2]

The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts was established in 1938 and boasts an excellent list of alumni from the classical field. In 2000, the university conducted an extensive scientific study [3] of a HiFi system with a vinyl source feeding between a tube amplifier and a solid‐state amplifier [4]. Headed by Jürgen Ackermann [5], a psychologist (who liked audio), the study was organised and assisted by students – this was not a “paid for” research project sponsored by a company (like cigarettes).

50 people participated; cross‐section of musicians, general public and audiophiles.
Testing was blind. The researcher did not interact with subjects at all.
Various unfamiliar but non‐offensive music pieces were played.

Results of the University of Frankfurt StudyIn summary:
The Tube system improved the participants’emotional status (i. e. enjoyment of themusic) by a whopping 187% over the Solid‐State system.
The Tube system improved the participants’ mental status (i.e. less tense, more relaxed) by 102% over the Solid‐State system.
Strikingly, 30% of participants felt worse after listening to the Solid‐State system, yet not one felt worse after listening to the Tube system!

Very possibly the most “interesting” comment was by one long‐term test subject: the (non‐audioloving) student who facilitated the experiment heard each system over 50 times! At the end of the experiment, she reported that she could not stand the sound from one of the systems anymore; feeling physically “attacked” by its sound.

The offensive system was…the Solid‐State‐based system.

For further reading, please see the Stereophile article by Markus Sauer, “God is in the Nuances [6]”.

After listening with the iTube in your system…Do you find you listen to your system longer?

Do you wish to try album after album, “rediscovering” your music collection?

…with the iTUBE, expect a resounding “YES” to both. In the real world with solid‐state amplification ubiquitous from smartphones to audio/visual receivers to super luxurious solid‐state amplifiers, there is a clear and resounding place in the signalpath for the iTube.

Its Class A tube circuit using the exceptional GE 5670 [7] takes music listening enjoyment to the next level.

[1] We are not saying tubes are “better” than solid-state; humans just seem to enjoy the sound of tubes more.
[2] Source:
[3] Jürgen Ackermann - PhD Thesis at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (Music and Performing Arts University).
[4] Summarised for ease of reading, please refer to the original article for the full details of the study.
[5] Jürgen Ackermann Dipl.-Psych, Varrentrappstr. 51, 60436 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
[6] (page 3)
[7] The NOS General Electric 5670 used in the iTube is second only to the famous Western Electric WE396A.

Matej Isak. Mono and Stereo ultra high end audio magazine. All rights reserved. 2006-2013. ..:: None of the original text, pictures, that were taken by me, links or my original files can be re-printed or used in any way without prior permission! ::..