is heavily distorted – approaching 30% total harmonic
distortion or more. Whereas solid-state amps sound harsh
when driven to this level of distortion, tube amps have a
‘warm’ sound that’s impossible to exactly replicate with
modern electronics. I have a couple solid-state modeling
amps that come close to the tube sound, but in a side-by-side experiment, there’s no question that the tube amp
provides the best sound. If you’re into bass or guitar and
searching for your tone, you’ll more likely find it in a tube
amp than in a more technologically sophisticated (and
typically cheaper) solid-state amp. If you want to
experience tubes without the hassle of scrounging for
parts or dealing with a Hong Kong merchant, try PAiA
Electronics, Angela Instruments, and Audio Note for kits
and supplies. Good luck finding your tone. NV
ARRL Handbook, Pre-1980.
AnalogMetric, Hong Kong, www.analogmetric.com.
PAiA Electronics, Inc., Edmon, OK, www.Paia.com.
Tube preamp kits, with a focus on music applications.
Angela Instruments, Annapolis Junction, MD,
Tubes, sockets, capacitors, resistors.
Audio Note, www.audionotekits.com.
Audiophile-level preamp and amplifier kits.
Arctic Silver, www.arcticsilver.com.
Thermal epoxies and compounds.
LED Supply, www.ledsupply.com.
High-power LEDs and constant current drivers.
TechInsights teams with Microchip
Technology and Digi-Key to launch the
Microchip PIC32 Design Challenge
Innovative, social-networking community for engineers
offers total prize value of more than $100,000.
TechInsights has announced the launch of the Microchip
PIC32 Design Challenge, a year-long contest and community
sponsored by Microchip Technology, Inc., and Digi-Key
Corporation. The Design Challenge can be found at
The objective of this four-phase Challenge is to foster a
social community where designers can build, test, and display
their designs to their colleagues through the use of blogs,
videos, and forums. This interactive community is made of up
of members and contestants. Registered members of the
community will have the ability to rate each contestant’s
design, according to the design value criteria. Contestants of
the Design Challenge will rely on Microchip’s PIC32 Starter Kit,
an easy-to-use, all-in-one, PIC32-based module ($49 value). A
set of three industry expert judges, as well as member peers,
will vote each week to see who “survives” and wins prizes that
help contestants continue their contest journey.
Each week, members will be eligible for prizes based
on their participation and activity within the community. The
winning contestant will receive a home theater system valued
at $8,000, although the total value of prizes for members and
contestants throughout the contest exceeds $100,000.
For contest rules and eligibility requirements, visit
June 2008 9