Tube challenge!

Rene Schmitz uzs159 at
Fri Nov 19 01:39:22 CET 1999

At 15:06 18.11.99 -0700, Doug Tymofichuk wrote:
>Hello, everyone!
>A while ago I sent out a challenge for information on 
>building tube synths. I did not receive a lot of responses, 
>but the few that I did receive were VERY encouraging. Thank 
>you to those that helped with their suggestions and 
>assistance! (You know who you are!) Therefore, I have 
>decided to do some experimentation and hopefully eventually 
>build a modular vacuum tube synth. 

One problem that I see with the idea of a modular (=patchable) VT-synth 
is that one will eventually have rather high voltage levels on the patch
This is no problem when they are patched, but can be at least painful, if
not lethal when you accidentally touch the tip and the ground of the plugs.
One way to avoid this would be to make dedicated high voltage interfaces
that translate between 0-10V and 0-150V.

I'm currently doing a few experiments with vacuum tubes. 
I'm testing a little neon bulb VCO. (Own design.)
No serious plans yet, just out of plain curiosity. If at all I 
try to make it a hybrid module to allow interfaceing to the 
solid state world. (Solid state expo convertor...)

>I also stated that I would like to see more dialog on tube 
>stuff on this forum. 

I'd like to see more of that too.

>So to start this off, a power supply 
>question. Do you think it would be better to build 
>individual HV supplies for each module, or one BIG supply 
>to run the whole thing? By the way, power supplies for tube 
>equipment seem to be quite simple and easy to build, so I 
>think it's a valid question.

If you will need different supply voltages for different modules, 
this may make perfect sence. If all modules will run of the same voltages, 
I'd use the same supply, and add a decoupling R/C combination on every 
module. A stabilized supply will be the best choice for oscillators IMO. 


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