Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rolling Your Own... Vacuum Tubes?!

This is a positively amazing video. In fact, it's the most mesmerizing video I've ever seen since the beginning of the YouTube era, and it's not even on YouTube. It's not directly related to music or guitar, but tangentially so: The guy, Claude Paillard, is a French amateur radio operator who actually makes his own triode vacuum tubes!

Since I use tube amplifiers in my two high-end rigs, I found this absolutely fascinating. Of course, guitar amps use more complex pentode tubes, so any guitarist who wanted to take being a tone freak to the ultimate destination and make his own tubes would be looking at much more complex designs, not to mention the learning curve - and equipment - involved. Then, the demands of a guitar amp for sound quality are far higher than with radio gear, so his tubes might not even cut the mustard for guitar amp use, but the process and his craftsmanship are genuinely astonishing. The video is seventeen minutes long (!) but the time goes by very quickly when you watch this guy work. It's very much like watching a magician.

Does anybody know what the music is? It's solo piano and sounds like George Gershwin to me - or at least Gershwinesque and from that era - but I really don't know much of the music of that age and am at a loss. It is quite fitting, though.


In the previous post I noted the amazing bi-fold symmetry of "the girl with the goddess face," so this time I thought I'd take a look at some (very) appealing asymmetry. When I got this idea, I knew exactly the model I was looking for, but finding the right photo took a lot of surfing babe sites (This blogging is hard work I tell you!).

From the eyes up, she's symmetrical, but from the cheek bones down very asymmetrical. I really dig the crooked smile - I can't explain why - and she's actually, um, more "body-beautiful" than the girl with the goddess face (She has a bod to beat the band, and there's almost no asymmetry detectable there). So, if I had to chose between the two - hey, I can dream - it would probably come down to personality. Since they are both eastern European girls and don't speak English, I'm not sure how I'd work that out... but I'd be willing to give it a try. LOL!


Blogger Machinist said...

Thank you for posting that. It has been a long time since I did glass work but that was wonderful. What a craftsman. I've really been enjoying your blog. Thank you!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Pogria said...

Hi Huc,

it is Gershwin. It's called "The Man I love".

Ella Fitzgerald is famous for singing it.

Great piece of music.

Fascinating vid about the tubes by the way.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

machinist: When I was debating whether or not to post this vid, I though at least you'd get a kick out of it. Glad I was right!

Pogria: Thanks! Glad to know my instincts are still functioning properly in my decrepitude. LOL!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Huc, You can be sure that SBH will enjoy it as well. That is quite a versatile fellow. I think that vacuum pump is self made, he appears to have machined the parts.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

My compliments to the Beautiful Pogria on her impressive call. I grew up hearing some Gershwin as my mother loved it, but it didn't take. (That was back when stereo was for rich folks)

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Pogria said...


that's so very kind of you. I'm afraid though, it's not that impressive. As soon as I heard the music, I knew the song. But that's because I've long been fond of Ella Fitzgerald. Ella and "The Man I Love", are an inseparable duo.

I actually had to look it up to see who wrote it.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

You don't give yourself enough credit, Gentle Pogria. No matter, we will do it for you.

10:30 PM  

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