Korg has since diversified into digital effects, tuners, recording equipment, electronic hand percussion, and software instruments. In 1992, Korg acquired Vox, then primarily a manufacturer of guitar amplifiers. Korg was the exclusive distributor of Marshall Amplification product in the US for decades. This arrangement ended in 2010.
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Korg NuTube Triode valve on custom atm-audio input board. Optionally, the amplifier is available with the Korg NuTube triode valve or the Sonic Imagery Labs SIL990 Enh-Ticha Operational Amplifier. In both cases, this concerns only the input voltage stages, the output stage is the same for all versions.
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- What Is It?
- Electrical Characteristics
- Mechanical and Physical Attributes
- Reference and Example Circuits
- Audio Performance
The Korg Nutube 6P1 is a new, miniature, low-power dual directly-heated triode device. It was developed by Korg (of musical instrument fame) and Noritake Itron, a manufacturer of vacuum fluorescent displays, in Japan. Although it is a true directly heated triode, it is manufactured differently than traditional vacuum tubes, which gives it some unique attributes.Electrically, the Nutube 6P1 is somewhat comparable to the battery-powered “hearing aid” tubes. It operates on very low voltages – th...
The Nutube is a very low power device – the filament consumes only 12mW of power per triode, and the plate dissipation is rated at only 1.7mW! The consequence of such low power operation is that, compared to most traditional vacuum tubes, it also has quite low transconductance (gm). Refer to Table 1 for a summary of the electrical specs of the 6P1.Table 1 - Nutube 6P1 Electrical CharacteristicsEven though the numbers are a bit different than a common tube like the 12AX7, a first look at the p...
The Nutube is manufactured by Noritake-Itron in Japan, using a similar process as vacuum fluorescent displays. It is, in fact, a one-pixel VFD device. The plate is coated with a phosphor just like a VFD, and it glows a blueish-white color when plate current is flowing.A close look at a 6P1 triode (Photo 1) shows a very fine coated wire running across the device. This is the filament. Even though it is heated enough to emit electrons, it does not get hot enough to show a visible glow. Below th...
The basic application circuit provided by Korg (Figure 4) uses simple JFET source followers to buffer the signal in and out of the Nutube. An input buffer is used to support the relatively low impedance looking into the grid and bias source. The output buffer is needed to drive anything but very high impedance loads, due to the low transconductance and resultantly high plate resistance of the tube.Figure 4- Korg Application CircuitThis circuit is intended to operate from a single power supply...
As with any vacuum tube, the audio performance – gain and distortion in particular – are dependent on the circuit implementation. Bias point and plate loading make enormous differences in the performance of an amplifier stage.I ran some tests using the Korg application circuit, at the recommended bias and plate load, to see what the audio performance looks like. All of these tests were run with a grid bias voltage of +2.5V, and a plate load resistance of 330k.With a single +12V supply, the ci...
The Nutube 6P1 is intended to be used in various audio applications, mostly in musical instrument applications. It’s very low power requirements enable its use in battery powered systems, ideal for a product like a guitar effects pedal.However, due to its low gm and correspondingly high noise, it is difficult to use it in low-level applications like the input stages of microphone or phono preamps.In some cases, the Nutube can also find use in high fidelity audio equipment.As you might also co...
Though it certainly won’t make conventional small tubes like the 12AX7 obsolete, the Korg Nutube can be a useful device in audio. I expect it will find many uses in musical instrument amps, guitar effects, and high fidelity. Its low power and low operating voltage makes it a natural for experimentation by those not familiar or comfortable working with the high voltages usually used with tube circuits.For more information about the Nutube, visit www.korgnutube.com and www.nutube.us. See also t...
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A Pristine, Compact Sound Amplifier You Build Yourself The HA-S is a Nutube-equipped DIY Headphone amp kit that will let you enjoy the highest quality audio anywhere. No soldering is required, so even if you are new to the world of DIY, you will be able to assemble the HA-S to add a warm, analog tube-driven signal boost to any sound source in ...
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In 2004 four friends, all bandmates, were looking for a new challenge. Having worked together for years at the highest levels of the amp designing industry, their dream was to create new and innovative guitar amplifiers and pedals that would be the ultimate tools for self expression.