If you’re an audio-lover, then undoubtedly you’ll know what a tube amplifier is. However, you might not be aware of what a Nutube is. We’ll, get into what it is briefly in just a bit, but what’s important right now is that this tech will soon be available for owners of iBasso’s DX150 and DX200.
What is Nutube tech?
OK, as the name suggests, its a “new tube” design. Basically, it takes somewhat of the traditional vacuum tube design and shrinks it down a whole bunch, Not only does this reduce the physical size and power required for this type of circuitry, but also comes with an exceptional life-span of up to 30,000 hours of continuous use (that’s nearly 3.5 years with no breaks!).
Essentially a Nutube has an anode grid filament structure (just like a conventional vacuum tube) and operates exactly as a triode vacuum tube. What this does is to produce those rich overtones that tube-based systems are so well-known and loved for.
This has been achieved thanks to the Noritake Itron Corp. and their vacuum fluorescent display technology.
Nutube in Portable Players
We first saw this Nutube tech being implemented in Cayin’s latest flagship, the N8. But now, thanks to the modular design of the DX150 and DX200, iBasso‘s upcoming AMP9 module will feature a Nutube setup.
This also means that, maybe, just maybe, FiiO could also produce a module similar to this for their X7-series and Q5 portable DAC/AMP.
The physical size of a Nutube chip-set is still a bit on the large size (relatively speaking in relation to a purely solid-state circuit), which means that, at least for the AMP9, only a 3.5mm single-ended output can be implemented. Although, iBasso could perhaps create a truly balanced module, but that would likely require the amp module to be significantly longer than their other current amp modules.
This post will be updated with official release dates and pricing once they become available.