Tube sound

~ 8 Jan 2011, 20:57

Hey guys, happy new year to all of you!

I got recently into the audio hardware mood and did some testing at home - I have a couple of unused car audio speakers, and I went to check out whether it was worthy to assemble a DIY audio system, based on them. Basic PC usage, that is. After all, any audio geek out there would tell you that the speaker size is a key factor of the sound quality - good sound requires bigger speakers. Well, what I have here are 6.5" speakers, compared to the 3.5"-4.5" that are commonly available in consumer desktop PC speakers.

Well, after some testing, I concluded that the car audio speakers are inferior. So, if you want a decent sound, you should start with a pair of specialized, high-quality speakers - the ones used in cars are not good.

During testing, I tried what would happen if I put a small light bulb in series with the speaker:


Enjoy the "warm", "tube" sound :)
What you won't hear from the youtube clip is that the bulb acts as an active component of the system, it is not just a blinking coolness! Remember that a resistor (the wire in this case) becomes more resistive as the temperature increases, so when the bulb shines bright after a powerful bass-kick, its increased resistance attenuates the sound a bit (not much, but it's quite noticeable). So, in short, it acts like a slow-acting audio compressor. Combined with the thermal inertia effects, I was truly amazed by the amount of functionality that can be achieved by a simple hot wire!

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