Ode to the Electron

Welcome to the doors of "Tube-Perception"

The marvels of glowing Vacuum Tube filaments

Electrons energized into invisible quantum conditions

Then leaping across a Vacuum, attracted and repulsed by modulated signals

Rare earth metallic combinations, amplifying voltage or current

Transformed into Electromotive Forces

Resistance, Capacitance and Inductance

Recreating sounds, music, voices and song, for lifelong memories

Long Live Hi Fidelity, and the arts of Audio Reproduction

We cannot see You, but we can Hear and Feel You

The electron, the unsung hero

TDoor  I - Hand crafted ShermanAudio amplifiers


Door II - Classic Tube Amp Restoration


Door III - My Loudspeaker Experiences

Door IV - "The Una-Tuber" Manifesto


Door V - Water Cooler


Door VI - e-mail


Door VII - Electrical Safety


Door VIII - Basics of Tube measurement


Door IX - Hammond-Leslie & Wurlitzer

(Partly under construction, I let a few things make it here)

Door X - Schematic Library

(Totally under construction now, your patience is very much appreciated)

A glass of Merlot, in a cheap Glass, some Classic Rock

Synergy, relaxation and Nostalgia

Old Bands never die, they just break-up, quit, retire or just fade away

But the music they create, is eternally part of the human archeology

As long as the Vinyl doesn't melt

My totally "biased" Audio Power Tubes Opinions - hold the flames please!

Hi-Fi, Guitar, Bass, Organs & Radios

KT-88/6550 - Cavernous lows & very polite highs, that trash metal crunch, surprisingly good with Horns and Lowthers

KT-66/6L6/5881* - Layered, tonal, great for both HiFi & Guitar Amps, many nice variants, the chameleon of Tone

SPECIAL HONORABLE MENTION IS THE 7355 TUBE* (RIP) - Small 6L6 variant, brilliant design, out of production (eg. Harman Kardon)

KT-77/EL34/6CA7 - Midrange Guitar "screamer", with a nice leading edge, crystal clear HiFi, very nuanced, KT77 smoothest

EL-84/6BQ5 - Musically engaging, great for Classical Music, a smooth operator, vocals are crisp and clean

7591/7591A/7868/6GM5 - Sweet sound, deceivingly smooth at high power, can kill speakers, current production is Russian

7027A (RIP) - Nice Warm & Detailed Sound, used when Tubes roamed the market

8417(RIP) - Audio Power Pentode, late bloomer, akin to a V8 and Oil Price Hikes, long out of production

6F6 Russian (US RIP) - In old Car Radios, absolutely fabulous tonality, a best kept DIY secret, listen here on 16 Ohm PSV-2


6V6/7408 - Lighter version of 6F6 but different sound, filaments are not as hungry as 6F6, can be bright, glassy-clear

6AQ5 (RIP) - Out of production, have a few on hand, will made a prototype amp, with plans to enjoy later

6CM6 - (RIP) also out of production, fantastic Jazz and Vocal, listen... a small 6V6, similar sound character, glassy-clear


E80L/6227 (RIP) - European 9 Pin Pentode. 10,000 hour PQ version, on my short list of Tubes to use, uncommon

2A3 - Single Ended Holography, Fine Bourbon & Single Malt Scotch, look for the Single Plate Sovtek

300B - The trusted voice of pure Class A - the golden S.E. standard - Expen$ive but Musical, used in Preamps as well

Special Mention Power Tube;

6146B - Commonly used for Radio Transmitters, used in Audio Amplifiers, bully of the block. Capable of 100W in PP

My totally "Subjective" Small Signal Voltage & Gain Stage Tube opinions - because I can

Line Stages, Tone Controls, Phase Splitters & Buffers

ECC83/12AX7 - High-Mu, Dual Triode everyone knows something about, it is very common in Audio

ECC81/12AT7 - Medium-Mu Dual Triode, common in Guitar amps, seen less in HiFi amps (Fisher SA300)

ECC82/12AU7 - The true 9 Pin chameleon, Low-Mu, versatile, ubiquitous, handy, the toolbox of small signal tubes

12DW7/7247 - Half of a 12AX7 plus Half of a 12AU7cool tube (Dynaco S35, EICO 2036), nice tube

ECC88/6DJ8/6922 - Frame Grid design, a Love/Hate HiFi reputation, I love'em Hot and Bothered (Audible Illusions)

ECC85 - Used sparingly in Audio, very sweet, much more common in German Amps (Grundig)

EF86/6267 - A small Pentode Tube, everyone needs to listen to, most never have (Mullard 5-20)

6C4 - This is half of a 12AU7, small and petite, very cute, used in Hammond AO-28 Preamp (RIP)

6SN7/5962 - The bulldog of Small Signal Gain Stages, robust and musical (Cary Audio SLP-5)

6J5 - This just half of a 6SN7 (think 6C4), killer tone, a best kept secret, out of production (RIP)

6N7 - Rare metal audio tube, Stromberg Carlson Theater Amps (Stromberg Carlson APH50)

6SL7/5961 - Less seen in amps, Cary Audio used them in the 90's (SE300)

12BH7 - Robust dual triode, awesome & beefy, great good driver tube (Hammond AO-28)

ECC99 - The new kid on the block, speaks with an accent, nouveau 12BH7 (JJ Electronik)

6C45P - A best kept secret for Phono Stages, used in DIY for those in-the-know (Transcendent Sound)

6N1P - More robust than a ECC88/6DJ8, great driver for DHT Triode Tubes (ShermanAudio Kismet)

7199 - Out of production tube (RIP), Pentode/Triode, Russian version so-so (Dynaco ST70)

6AN8 - Out of production tube (RIP), Pentode/Triode (Dynaco MK3, some Japanese Amps)

My "preference" for Tube Rectifiers, here are the unsung heroes who work in the engine room

"The unfair reputation" when it comes to music, Tube Rectifiers absolutely rule the tone department.

I hope to launch a Tube Rectifier revival.... QUIET, Shhhhhh, prices will skyrocket.

GZ34/5AR4 - 5V/2A Superman of tube rectifiers, general purpose (Dynaco ST70)

GZ37 - A somewhat filament hungry 5V/2.8A variant of the GZ34, British, rare & expensive

Type 80 Globe - Paleo Rare Tube Rectifier, too much for me as well, for museums

5Z3 - Also rare, museum stuff, not for DIY, unless there is extreme nostagia

5Y3/5Y3GT - Neutral 5V/2A, very reliable when operated within their maximum ratings, quick-on

6X4 - Lighter 6V/.6A version rectifier, mostly used in Preamps (Scott LC21)

5V4 - Rare now, 5V/2A sweetie, nice for medium powered amps 20 to 30w

12X4 - A 12V/0.6A version of a 6X4, same tube, different filament (Dynaco PAS)

6CA4/EZ81 - Like a 6X4, but not as popular, 1amp, think VOX (Leslie Reverb Cabinets)

5U4/5U4G - Robust Rectifier 5V/3A, tall, dark and handsome (US Navy)

5R4GY - That Sexy glass bottle, 5V/3A often seen with Brown Shorts (JAN)

5R4WGB - Potato Masher Rectifier, totally ready for Dinner and Battle (Military Grade)

6AX5/6X5GT - Popular 50's-60's 5V rectifier, similar to 5Y3 in ratings, 5V/0.6A from the 50's

274B - Western Electric, high end tube, available today, must be nice, Expensive as F, $$$


Tech Note - SA.TN01 on Vintage 7189 amplifiers

EL84/6BQ5 is not always a substitute for 7189

NEVER replace a 7189 with an EL84/6BQ5 in a true 7189 amplifier....

Unless, the Amp was designed for EL-84/6BQ5


If the socket, instruction manual or schematic says; 6BQ5/EL84/7189

YES... both tubes are compatible

If the tube socket is labeled only 7189


You will toast the amplifier, output transformers or both

The images above are borrowed from Duncan's Amps

Duncans Amps - an awesome tube website, here is their link below >


A practical 7189 Case Study - Olson AM240

Many of these Olson amps were toasted and roasted by EL84/6BQ5's

A pity I did not take photos of the damage to the Output Transformers on the parts unit I bought for $50

before I discarded that chassis and roasted Transformers at the local dump

The OPT's were dark charcoal black inside, the Mains Transformer oozed of dark resin and had that burned aroma

Someone used EL84 in the AM240 BBQ, with obvious catastrophic consequences

This donor parts amp carcass gave me a nice AM240 Top Cover and also a real Bottom Plate.

So what tubes do 7189 amps need... the best, Russian 6n14n-EB Tubes, they are tough as nails

Below are some useful links to what I see as good 7189 resources





Manifestation of Tube Wisdom

Mr. Kevin Deal - SME (Subject Matter Expert)


Video direct from Upscale Audio


Note that when great solid advice is given, certain reactions may manifest

"You are not generally upsetting a person, you are upsetting their programming"

"Man Cave" #6 in Virginia, #7 Under Construction in Rochester NY

My Personal Guitar Collection (began mid 70's)

Giannini GNF-8R CEQ (Brazilian design, crafted in China) my January 2020 Ebay Score

 Fender Newporter (made in Japan) plays and sings, installed 18:1 Grover Tuners, from Roanoke, VA, 1996, Pawn Shop

 Giannini AWN-20 3/4 size (Made in Brazil) my oldest guitar from 1974, needs a bit of fretwork, loyal as loyal cand be

 Epiphone Invader Electric (Made in Japan), plans to swap out cheap Machine Heads for Grover's, WIP.

Never fear... just rely on turn-key Hangover Service

in Las Vegas, Nevada

When you party in Las Vegas, and wake up feeling like HELL

Google the "Hangover Bus", they will fix you up... for a price

Master Percussionist

Mr. Billy Cobham

I met Billy in Panama City, Panama

Listen to "Palindrome" & "Glass Menagerie"

"One Word" from Mahavishnu Orchestra "Birds of Fire", amazing

Billy's virtuosity and skills, they transcend this existence

Billy's playing emanates from somewhere within a parallel universe

The Old and New Geek Testaments

Of  thy Sacred Electrical Theory

Remember always safety first

Prevent fatal electric shocks

& Soldering Iron Burns

Always use Eye Protection

Never work when tired

Use good lighting and magnification

When measuring, one lead, always grounded

One hand with probe, other hand in pocket

No Alchohol when on the Bench

And don't spill the Coffee either

My General Bio and Tube Legacy

"From Sousaphone & French Horn to Guitars & Vacuum Tubes"

Born on Urantia (Earth), I am a 787,236 years old today


First Xmas Concert, on Sousaphone - '72

Gianinni AWN-20 3/4 Student Guitar - '74

Middle and High School Lead Sousaphone - '73 to '80

Arian Music Award Recipient - '79 & '80

My Sousaphone mentor

Mr. Jay McCallister (RIP) awesome musician, instructor and motivator

Graduated Antilles Pirate - Class of '80

 Played AHS Soccer #4 - 1976-1979

Tore my Meniscus, so much for Soccer

Played College Intramurals on Vengeance at FIT

We beat Pi-Kappa-Alpha! (the Pikes)

AHS Soccer Coached by the best Math Teacher ever - Mr. Paul Trittschuh

We had the honor of having a Girl play on our Boys Soccer Team

We were, ahead of our time....

Little did I realize that Maxwell was the father of "The Quaternians"

As I learned Maxwell's Equations as an EE and applied them

Just like E.L.P., in the beginning

To the left, my first Vacuum Tube Amplifier - late 1972 (Photo in 73-74)

The LP spinning - Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol.1

The age of Alice Cooper, The Who, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin

Tube Amp pulled out of Dictograph 100A Mono Console

 a hand-me-down gift from Mr. Beck

Thank you so much Mr. Beck

You launched me on this journey

100A Console and internal Tube Amplifier

From Radio Museum Website (thank you!)



B.S.E.E. - Class of '86

Electrical Engineering

Month's out of College

Motorola Site Survey Work 1987

Radio Systems support, late 80's

 Cool High Voltage "Hockey-Puck" EIMAC Tubes

Microwave Transmitters +1250 Volts DC on the Plates

The tube cage had an "interlock" plug, to avoid shocks

Legacy 1962 Lenkurt Microtel 76A Microwave Radio (2 GHz)

The MW system was as old as I was, yellowing Service Manuals

by turning pages they would rip apart

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