Browse Definitions:
Definition

vacuum tube (VT, electron tube or valve)

Also see cathode ray tube ( CRT ), the specialized kind of vacuum tube that is in most desktop display monitors.

A vacuum tube (also called a VT,  electron tube or, in the UK, a valve ) is a device sometimes used to amplify electronic signals. In most applications, the vacuum tube is obsolete, having been replaced decades ago by the bipolar transistor and, more recently, by the field-effect transistor . However, tubes are still used in some high-power amplifiers, especially at microwave radio frequencies and in some hi-fi audio systems.

Tubes operate at higher voltages than transistors. A typical transistorized amplifier needs 6 to 12 volts to function; an equivalent tube type amplifier needs 200 to 400 volts. At the highest power levels, some tube circuits have power supplies delivering several kilovolts.

Vacuum tubes are making a comeback among audiophiles who insist that tubes deliver better audio quality than transistors. These old-fashioned components are more electrically rugged than their solid-state counterparts; a tube can often withstand temporary overload conditions and power-line transients that would instantly destroy a transistor.

The major disadvantages of tubes include the fact that they require bulky power supplies, and the high voltages can present an electric shock hazard.

This was last updated in March 2011

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

nicearticle. Being a vacuum tube retailer it is nice to see articles like this.

Joshua Syna
www.tejastubes.com
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • NVMe (non-volatile memory express)

    NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol to enable a solid-state drive to use the ...

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close