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Triode/Ultralinear Switch

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

  1. 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

    Aug 7, 2008
  3. Triode always sounds darker to me than pentode, tetrode, or ultralinear. Not familiar with that amp though...
  4. Thanks. Any ideas as to why they would provide this option?
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    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.
  6. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    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.
  7. I think so - headphone jack would've been much more useful IMO.