Triode/Ultralinear Switch

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by bachlover, Mar 24, 2014.


  1. bachlover

    bachlover Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Hope this isn't pushing the boundaries too much as this concerns a tube stereo amp I bought (Houston Mini 2). :bag: I can't hear any difference in the 2 settings, but would really like to know what that switch does. The manual doesn't address it at all. Any ideas? Thanks!
  2. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
  3. InsanityAmps

    InsanityAmps Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Triode always sounds darker to me than pentode, tetrode, or ultralinear. Not familiar with that amp though...
  4. bachlover

    bachlover Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Thanks. Any ideas as to why they would provide this option?
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  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    The switch allows for a different sonic landscape. In general, triode mode is more raw (distorted), less controlled, less sterile. Ultralinear works well in hi-fi amps. I find that UL is not so good in musical instrument amps where you want some character. At the same time, I liked my super clean 135W Fender Twin Reverb that had a form of UL in the power amp.

    It's an option that doesn't cost a lot to implement. Sometimes they add features just because they can and perhaps it is a marketing feature.
  7. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I built an amp for a friend that used a switch to change from pentode to triode (EL34s) and a second switch to change from fixed to cathode bias. These allowed him to tailor the amp with four differing voicings.
  8. bachlover

    bachlover Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I think so - headphone jack would've been much more useful IMO.

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