The Design Concept Behind Pendulum's Class A Vacuum Tube Products

by Greg Gualtieri
President and Design Engineer, Pendulum Audio, Inc.

  The amazing proliferation of new vacuum tube-based audio products has, quite frankly, given many people the wrong impression about the way tubes can actually sound. While it's true that tubes possess a special 'character' that distinguishes them from their solid-state counterparts, many current designs have focused more on using tubes as an 'effect' - that is, to impart a strong coloration to the sound. This coloration is more a function of vintage circuit topologies and poorly regulated power supplies - artifacts of the circuit design - than any inherent limitation of the tube itself. Consequently, much of the clarity and detail that tubes are capable of delivering is often masked by poor high end response, a muddy low end and unacceptably large quantities of harmonic distortion. Tube coloration of this sort is not necessarily a bad thing, but those of us who use today's high resolution recording technologies frequently require a higher level of sonic accuracy.

   At Pendulum, our goal is to enhance the unique character of the way tubes sound and minimize the sonic artifacts. To this end, our line of vacuum tube signal processors represents the state of the art in modern tube design. These are class A, high headroom, short signal path, transformerless designs that provide superior audio performance and a level of clarity and intimacy that is difficult to describe, since most people have never heard a tube circuit without the sonic artifacts. In addition, all our products are hand-built to exacting standards, using the highest quality passive components and interconnects available. And we don't use a component just because a spec sheet says it's the best. We carefully listen to them and always let our ears be the judge.

  We encourage you to give our new line of tube products a listen and let your ears be the judge. We think you'll change your opinion of how tubes really sound.