Korg says that the NuTube generates the musical harmonics of traditional vacuum tubes, but offers three key benefits:
- Low power Consumption – less than 2% of the power required by conventional vacuum tubes;
- Compact – less than 30% of the volume of a conventional vacuum tube; and
- Reliability – Nutubes offer up to 30,000 hours of continuous operating life.
We asked Korg for more information, based on reader questions to our initial post about the NuTube.
Here are their answers, via Korg Marketing Manager Junko Fukai:
Q: Can you share any information on expected applications for the Nutube?
A: We are still developing several ideas and we are afraid that we cannot provide details right now.
However, you can imagine that places where tubes have been used before is one obvious field we are exploring, and as well we are seriously considering some products where tubes could make a positive difference to the sound, but have not been used because of lack of physical space and minimum power requirements.
Q: The NuTube design that was announced at NAMM is a triode design. Are there only plans for a triode tube, or are tetrode or pentode tubes planned?
A: The Nutube shown at Winter NAMM 2015 is Twin Triode type which we named 6P1.
We are considering to make other types as well.
Q: Is the Nutube technology going to be limited to Korg products, or do you expect to market the chips to other companies for other types of applications?
A: We would like to consider every possibility for Nutube.
Q: How do these sound compared to traditional tubes? Are any audio demos available?
We demonstrated it in a guitar amp format at Winter NAMM 2015. In all our tests, we are very satisfied with the sound quality, we think it has same sound and feeling of traditional tubes.
No audio demos are available currently. There are so many variables to consider when doing A/B testing, and also the product is still being refined.
Q: When do you expect to introduce Korg products based on this technology?
A: We are planning to have some products from KORG and VOX which we will support with this our technology. We hope to unveil more by early next year.
Q: What is the goal for introducing this technology at NAMM, independent of a specific product?
A: We are steadily advancing in the development of the Nutube and wanted to know the market’s reaction at the biggest music instrument show, Winter NAMM.
Fukai adds, “Sorry that we can not give detailed information right now. But when we are ready to announce, we will.”
While Korg is limiting what they say about potential products based on the NuTube at this time, they did share several key points:
- The NuTube offers the same ‘sound and feeling’ of traditional tubes;
- The NuTubes can be used for traditional vacuum tube applications, but they also expect them to allow for new types of electronic music gear applications;
- Korg is considering making a variety of types of vacuum tubes in the NuTube format;
- It sounds like they are open to making the technology available to third parties to use; and
- They expect the first Korg NuTube products to be available by early next year.
Got ideas for applications for a reliable, low-power ‘vacuum tube on a chip’? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!