Although the first amplifier I built was valve based (EL84 if I remember correctly...), I can't say I am a fan today.
But, I do get the occisional arousal out of looking at soime of the beautiful contraptions that people around the world come up with, using valves (or tubes, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are from...)
This beautiful example here is from Thrax Audio from Bulgaria.
Their claim to fame is the use of DHT, Direct Heated Triodes, and they suitably impressed one of my fellow journalists and tube lover who happened to be visiting the stand at the same time.
I was just in awe with the sheer beauty of the beasts and the sound they provided via a pair of unusual speakers, the Kawero from Kaiser Acoustics (more on these in a later post...)
The French were remarkable by their absence: no Jadis, no Tosca, no Ocellia either...
Below, you will find a gallery of the valve electronics that I was impressed by...
And it started, I guess, because there was always music playing in the house, mum played the piano, my parents used to dance in the living room to the sound of an old gramophone playing LPs but also a very large collection of jazz 78rpms .
And one day, when I was 15, Dad surprised us with one of the most up-to-date piece of technology of the time:
A Grundig Stereo console and black & white TV ( 819 lines SECAM, the now defunct French precursor of HDTV),
complete with a tube receiver and 2 elliptical bicone speakers, all housed in pure 1950s faux lacquered mahogany. It would have cost an absolute fortune, and knowing Dad, it would have been a decision carefully undertaken, with Mum financial blessing. This piece of equipment has been in continuous use from around 1965 until the 80s, including a 4-year stint in Mexico City and back, and then the cabinet was still home of a new transistorised hifi system bought by Dad's colleagues when he retired, and a new colour TV suitably replaced the SECAM unit, obsolete by then. In 1984, I presented him with a pair of speakers of my own design.
More on this later...
It was our first television, and we had had a telephone for just a couple of years, only because Dad was on the road for work most of the week. He was driving around a large territory centered on Tours to inspect large computer installations and ensure their proper performance and maintenance. He ended up being the General Manager of that Division for the whole company for the last five years or so of his employment before retiring at the tender age of 57...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.