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Journey to the Center of a Tube


tube-1This video titled "Journey to the Center of a Tube" is about vacuum tubes that are used in guitar amps. It was created for The Tube Depot and the demonstration animation in this video was done by Jay Phillips using Blender. For you aspiring Blues guitarist, the 6L6 tube gives a nice warm tone and is used in many guitar amplifiers such as Fender and my favorite, Dumble.

From the site" "Your host Robert Hull takes you on a journey to the center of a tube. You will be astounded at the beauty of this SED 6L6GC tube, so close you can almost touch it. From the outside glass to the deepest filament, see every element in vibrant color ... just please, refrain from feeding the electrons."


  1. ysvry, you obviously don't play electric guitar.

    Back to the topic: Nice video for me as a blender & guitar enthusiast.

  2. Well said, Nico! The merits of infinite resolution need only be heard, but to also have the experience of "speaking" with such- like when we plug into a high-powered tube amp- brings even more validity to this wonderful medium... Ah, the utter joy of pure electron flow!

    Great to see a "blend" of Blender and a wonderful musical thing!

  3. Not allot of animation, but the scientific visualization parts are cool for me (I make earth science teaching tools with blender. Animation and or G.E.)

    Tube sound is still the best sound you can have for guitar/bass. Solid state is terrible sounding. Solid state does break less, but is harder to repair, and usually requires a total electronics replacement. While I would never use a tube computer, tube amplification is still far superior to solid state. In fact the bottom of the line Sovtek tube amp, is far better sounding than the best Fender solid state amp, and when the sovtek breaks down, all you need is a soldering iron, a screwdriver, and replacement tubes. If a fender solid state amp breaks on you, most likely you are S.O.L.

  4. Unsettlingsilence on

    The debate over tube versus solid state is purely subjective. Tubes might be great for certain sounds but not for all occasions. After all the "warmth" attributed to tubes is actually a type of signal degradation which may not always be desired, or only to a certain degree. Also, tubes are a very imprecise tool. Sounds vary greatly defendant upon the various metals and their varying purities, size, design, age of the tube and use, ect... On the other hand there is a tendency to lump solidstate amps into one category when the choice of circuit style and components makes a big deference in their sound. For instance, what type of transistor is the amp running? Mosfet amps when engineered right can tend to have a response much like that of a tube amp, but with the precision and durability of a transistor. I personally have a couple amps that blend tube sound with solidstate, and I find that I don't like to turn the tube channel all the way up. Application is key here, for the blues tube sound is without question associated, but for say industrial tubes may not be razorsharp enough. So we can only really have a debate over what texture you are attempting in the context of genre you are playing. As a long time player of a wide variety of instruments and musical styles as well as a soundman and former investor in a music shop I tend to regard tube as a pre or post effect, but it is not precise enough to constitute a superior option for every application.

    As to the video, awesome job! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I liked that Blender's use was subtle and the animation, while being architectural in nature, was much more pleasing to the eye than many I have seen. It was seamless and well done.

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