Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 21, 2012.

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Enjoy the rich, smooth sound of a vacuum tube amplifier. Connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone, Android device or direct aux inputs.

Our Kickstarter campaign is coming to a close, but you can still get a BlueTube Audio Amplifier. Head over to www.bluetubeaudio.com for more info and to place an order.

Thank you all backers!

Thanks to you, the BlueTube Audio Amplifier was successfully funded!

This Kickstarter page will be locked on December 21, 2012. To follow our continued progress, follow us on Facebook.

The Crosby Press - "If you listen to a lot of Carly Rae Jepsen, this is probably not terribly exciting news, but if you’re a serious fan of music, good analog sound can fundamentally change your relationship with your favorite bands & singers."

Leveled "...clean aesthetic and solid body while maintaining a vintage feel."

BB-Blog - "Wow. Just look at this little beauty – vacuum tubes + digital technology, all wrapped in a seriously yummy wood case."

CON.CA"What sold me on the BlueTube Audio Tube Amplifier was not the true-to-life sounds it wants to achieve, but the stunning good looks, the soft-glow of the tubes and that lovely blue power button."

Apartment Therapy - "Joining the likes of Joey Roth and Ben Warhlich, the ClockOS Team merges the steam punkappeal of a hand-built vacuum tube amplifier (they glow!) with Bluetooth enabled wireless audio, all encased inside a handsome walnut and cherry wood case ready to impress whether on or off..."

Android Rundown - "My first reaction to seeing this was mostly amazement. The BlueTube looks very classic and yet has subtle touches of modernity that make it one of the most attractive amplifiers I have ever seen.... The wood encasing is timeless and when paired with the optional speaker combo the BlueTube amp would make an incredible addition to anyone’s home or office.... I would strongly consider purchasing these for my home office. Seeing as the BlueTube amplifier will probably outlast me.."

SoFreakingCool.com - "...audio quality has been going the quick & cheap route since the compressed sound of the MP3 came into fashion. The BlueTube Audio Tube Amplifier looks to reverse that trend with a finely crafted, hand-built tube amplifier that fills any room with rich sound and classic aesthetics."

A tube amplifier that looks as impressive as it sounds. 

  • Solid 3/4" walnut and cherry hand-rubbed, waxed enclosures 
  • True stereo output (8 watts per channel) 
  • Internal  BlueTooth receiver with voice command setup, 2 hardwired inputs (Aux1- 1/8" jack Aux2- RCA jacks)
  • Class A push-pull amp for outstanding sound reproduction 
  • Optional titanium full range speakers in matching walnut/cherry cases 
  • High quality "easy-connect" spring loaded speaker connections 
  • USB charging port to power and charge portable audio players (iPhones, Android Phones, MP3 players, etc)
BlueTube Amplifier and Speaker Combo
BlueTube Amplifier and Speaker Combo

True analog sound, the way it was supposed to be

This hand built tube amplifier will look amazing and sound unbelievable in your office or home. The 3/4" thick walnut and cherry enclosures are hand rubbed with linseed oil, then waxed and are reminiscent of audio equipment built 50 years ago by craftsman. The retro feel of the exposed tubes distinguish a tube amplifier from any other type of audio player. When the lights are turned down, the tubes themselves produce a warm glow that makes this sound-system stand out from all the rest. This is a system you will be proud to show and a system that that could well be in your family for generations...

Detail of LED power button.
Detail of LED power button.

Tube Amplifiers History

Vacuum tube amplifiers are an old technology, invented more than 100 years ago. The silicon transistors used in most amplifiers today were invented in the 1960's and very rapidly replaced vacuum tubes in almost all audio products.

The solid-state amplifiers have a few notable advantages over vacuum tube amplifiers:
  • much smaller and lighter;
  • usable in low power situations, such as battery-powered radios;
  • much improved energy efficiency;
  • no warm-up time (tube amplifiers need to be warmed up before use).

So on the face of it, solid-state amplifiers would seem like a much better choice, but that's not the whole story...

Tube amplifiers have a more refined sound, very different from a transistor amplifier. The tone of a vacuum tube amplifier is softer, warmer and more natural. Vocals are more articulate, the separation of the instruments is much more defined and the entire listening experience is greatly enhanced.

There is only one reason to invest in a tube amplifier...To thoroughly enjoy your music as it was intended to be heard.

The Titanium full-range speakers will bring your music to life. The speaker frame is constructed of cast aluminum for maximum rigidity.

Speaker Specs  25 watt / Voice Coil 1" / Znom 8 ohm / Frequency Response 70-20,000 Hz / Diameter 4" / Titanimum cone / SPL 87db 1W/1m

Subwoofer

size - 6.5" Power Handling (RMS) - 50 watt Power Handling (Max) - 100 watt Impeadance - 4 ohm Frequency response 35-800 hz Sensitivity - 83db 1w/1m

Our Story

The vacuum tube circuit we have incorporated in the BlueTube Amplifier is a design that has been around (and still around) for over 30 years. It is a proven "Class A" amplifier design that has been reviewed and compared to other vacuum tube systems costing 3 times as much. We decided when designing our amp that in this day and age lots of music collections are in a digital format on a device that has BlueTooth capabilities. We incorporated a Class 2, 16-bit A2DP BlueTooth radio for true stereo output. We also included voice command setup so there are no buttons to press on the amp to set up the BlueTooth connection. Another decision we made is to include a USB charging port on the unit so you can listen to your music and recharge your devices at the same time.

In designing the case we wanted an enclosure that simply looked awesome. Ben,our master craftsman, hand selects 3/4" cherry and walnut lumber, laminates them together and hand sands each board. After constructing the enclosures, everything is hand-rubbed with linseed oil and finished off with 3 coats of wood wax that is then buffed to a smooth and durable finish.

Not stained but oiled and waxed for a classic finish
Not stained but oiled and waxed for a classic finish

The amp and optional speakers feature gold-plated, spring-loaded speaker connectors that allow easy connection.

Our goal was to produce a vacuum tube amp that sounds awesome, looks great, and will outlast its owner. We believe the BlueTube amp meets all 3 of our objectives. This is a piece of equipment that won't end up in a land fill someday, but will be passed down through generations.

BlueTube T-shirt design
BlueTube T-shirt design

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures and more Pictures

BlueTube amplifier and speaker combo
BlueTube amplifier and speaker combo
BlueTube amplifier and speaker combo
BlueTube amplifier and speaker combo
Close-up of BlueTube amplifier and speaker
Close-up of BlueTube amplifier and speaker
The glow of the tubes and the power button give this a look as good as the sound
The glow of the tubes and the power button give this a look as good as the sound
The Power button has a soft blue glow when powered on
The Power button has a soft blue glow when powered on
The exposed tubes give the Amp a look of elegance and beauty
The exposed tubes give the Amp a look of elegance and beauty
Warm glow, Warm sound
Warm glow, Warm sound
The speakers are just as beautiful as the amplifier
The speakers are just as beautiful as the amplifier
Matching the Amplifier with Cherry and Walnut Hardwoods
Matching the Amplifier with Cherry and Walnut Hardwoods
Titanium Cones and Cast Speaker Cage provide a superior sound
Titanium Cones and Cast Speaker Cage provide a superior sound
A pair of speakers is all you need to fill a room with the beautiful sounds of music playing the way it was meant to be heard.
A pair of speakers is all you need to fill a room with the beautiful sounds of music playing the way it was meant to be heard.

Not enough pictures? Okay here are some from every angle

BlueTube Amplifier Front
BlueTube Amplifier Front
BlueTube Amplifier Side
BlueTube Amplifier Side
BlueTube Amplifier 1/4 view
BlueTube Amplifier 1/4 view
BlueTube Amplifier Back (Just as gorgeous as the front)
BlueTube Amplifier Back (Just as gorgeous as the front)
BlueTube Amplifier Top (Looks good from here too)
BlueTube Amplifier Top (Looks good from here too)
BlueTube Amplifier Bottom (Yeah we continued the beauty to every single angle of the BlueTube Amplifier)
BlueTube Amplifier Bottom (Yeah we continued the beauty to every single angle of the BlueTube Amplifier)
BlueTube Speaker Front
BlueTube Speaker Front
BlueTube Speaker 1/4 View Front
BlueTube Speaker 1/4 View Front
BlueTube speaker right side (There are no wrong sides)
BlueTube speaker right side (There are no wrong sides)
BlueTube Speaker Back (gold-plated, spring-loaded speaker wire terminals)
BlueTube Speaker Back (gold-plated, spring-loaded speaker wire terminals)
BlueTube Speaker 1/4 View back
BlueTube Speaker 1/4 View back

Still haven't had you fill of photos?  Okay, here are some of the design and manufacturing process

We start on paper...
We start on paper...
We then move on to 3D CAD...
We then move on to 3D CAD...
Our very first prototype to see if the design felt good...It did...
Our very first prototype to see if the design felt good...It did...
We then went for the real wood...
We then went for the real wood...
PCB and electronics mid-design...
PCB and electronics mid-design...
Our first article.... Ben's pretty good at the woodworking...
Our first article.... Ben's pretty good at the woodworking...
Our progression of amplifier prototypes...
Our progression of amplifier prototypes...
Our progression of speaker prototypes.
Our progression of speaker prototypes.

Still haven't had enough?

Check out our website here for all the pictures or send us a message.  Also the FAQ below may answer any remaining questions.

FAQ

Are stereo tube amplifiers really better? 

Tube Amplifiers have a sound that is much different from transistor amplifiers. The tone of a vacuum tube amplifier is softer, warmer and more natural. Vocals are more articulate, the separation of the instruments is more defined and your listening experience is greatly enhanced.

The only reason to invest in a tube amplifiers is simple: To listen to music as it was intended to be heard and to enjoy every nuance in the recording.

Recorded media of today (MP3 and CDs) is compressed and has lost much detail, how does the Blue Tube amp compensate for this?

An advantage of tube amplifiers is that they will improve the sound produced by digital music formats like the CD and MP3. Have you ever noticed how the 
sound produced by your digital recording can feel cold and lifeless? Tube amplifier circuits will soften the sound coming from digital sources and greatly improve the listening experience. Playing your your digital music through a tube amplifier will breathe new life and excitement into your music collection.

Why does the BlueTube amp have a BlueTooth option? Doesn't BlueTooth compress the music even more?
 

A lot of people will say that it is crazy to take a recording that's been compressed, run it though a blue tooth radio that compresses the music even more, then play it through an expensive vacuum tube amplifier. We have only one reply to this......Hearing is believing. Although your music will not sound quite as good as it will when plugged directly into the amp, it will still sound clearer  and have the expression and emotional tone missing from a transistor amp. Regardless of what you feed into the BlueTube amp, it will sound clearer and more defined when it comes out of the speakers. And with BlueTooth you can control your selection of music and volume without ever getting out of your chair.
 

Why does the BLUE Tube Amp not have a bass or treble adjustment?

There are two very good technical reasons for eliminating bass and treble tone controls: 
 
1) Tube amps don’t need sound altering circuits to modify the sound like transistor amplifiers do
2) Bass and treble controls make the sound worse, not better. (read on) 
First, when playing low to moderate volume levels, tube amplifiers retain the tonal balance much better than a transistor amp, eliminating the need to constantly adjust the tone or bass to alter the recorded sound.
Second, sound altering circuits, such as bass and treble, color and mute the sound and subtle details in the recording can be lost. Most listeners aren't aware of how much detail can be lost with unnecessary sound processing. You will never see a transistor amp without a tone and bass control, but it is rare to see a tube amplifier equipped with a bass or treble adjustment. Music is recorded, mixed and mastered with equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to give you a recording that if you closed your eyes you would swear that you were at the performance. With the BlueTube Amp, you can experience the music like it was intended to be heard.
 

How long will the tubes last?

The BlueTube amp uses a triode pentode tube that can be purchased from many "tube stores" on the internet, the price varies from $12.00 to $64.00 depending on what brand you select. The vacuum tubes are designed to run at 300 volts. By running the tubes at 180 volts the BlueTube amp puts much less strain on the tubes, significantly increasing their life.

We predict the life of the tubes to be around 40,000 hours (1600 days or 4.3 years if run non stop) This increases to 25 years if run for only 4 hours a day every day. 
 

Tube break-in period 

There is a trade off for the warm, silky sound of tubes over transistors. Vacuum tubes need to warm up to a constant operating temperature and any existing gasses need to burn off. The tubes takes around 15 minutes to reach a temperature for their optimal performance. You will without question notice a difference in the sound of a "cold" tube vs a "warm" tube. The transformers also need to reach thermal stability, which could take a bit longer than the tubes themselves depending on ambient temperature. (The breath taking sound of fully heated vacuum tubes running at full operating temperature is well worth the wait) You will also notice after 100-200 hours of tube break-in, the sound will become even more defined and sweeter. 

Is 8-watt output enough power? 

In typical transistor amplifiers, there is a tendency to play music at a much higher volume level than necessary to compensate for the inherently “thin” transistor sound. (remember the bass and treble controls?) Low power, single ended tube amplifiers like the BlueTube amp are famous for providing breathtaking detail and a full, rich sound even at moderate volume levels, so that many users find it unnecessary to play music at high sound levels. When matched with efficient titanium speakers, the Blue Tube Amp will fill a small to medium sized listening environment with surprisingly full, extremely detailed, high-fidelity sound. If you like to play your music at sound level that will cause ear damage or have a bass thump that will knock the pictures off your wall...This system isn't going to do that. On the other hand, if you want to hear your music with crystal-clear vocals, stand-out guitar and drum, and super-defined bass, the BlueTube amp will go beyond your expectations

Why do the speakers have a single speaker instead of 2 or 3?

In the audiophile world it is known that high-efficiency, single driver, full-range speakers--with no crossover--give the best sound. The titanum speakers we paired with the BlueTube amp are full-range speakers designed to reproduce every detail of you music from 80hz to 16khz. The BlueTube Amp so accurately reproduces your music input, that you don't need tweeters and subwoofers to achieve a realistic live performance sound. 

Why does it seem I can listen to my music longer? 

Don't be surprised if you start listening to more music every day. Another advantage of the sound of a tube amplifiers is the minimizing of “listening fatigue”. The fast transient 'attack' characteristic of transistor amps may sound impressive at first, but after extended listening will produce listening fatigue. Analysts have attributed this fatigue to “transistor hash”, the tendency of transistor amplifiers to produce higher amounts of odd order harmonic distortion, and the tendency to emphasize sharp transients. Because vacuum tube circuits eliminate the transistor hash, you can listen to your BlueTube amp for hours at a time and enjoy the warm tube sound of your favorite music without listening fatigue. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The risk and challenges are minimal for this project. This is our second kick starter project we are introducing. Our last project was the ClockOS project (notice our name). We were able to deliver all rewards in a timely fashion and have continued to sell these unique clocks to individuals after the kickstarter program. Another great thing about our project is that everything is proudly made and hand-crafted right here in the USA. No offshore assembly or construction on our BlueTube amps.
As for the BlueTube Amplifier project:
- All the design work is done, we have multiple working prototypes and we have a finished unit. The reason we are seeking kickstarter funding is that we need high-quantity discounts to bring the price down on the systems. Please check out our webpage for more information about us. We are real people in the heart of America. We have published our address and even have a toll-free number if you would like to call and talk to us about the product.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at our project and that you decide to become a backer today!

- Adam and Ben

FAQ

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    Thanks for supporting this project, you will now be in the loop on this project and all future projects.

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    Retro BlueTube T-shirt. Let the world know you are a person that really appreciates finer music.

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    A Bluetube powered subwoofer custom hand built in cherry and walnut wood enclosure. Ready for you to connect to your own amplifier. MSRP $425.00 You can also just add $300 to any other reward level to add the Bluetube Subwoofer to your pledge.

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    A pair of 8 ohm Bluetube titanium 4" speakers custom hand built in cherry and walnut wood enclosure. Ready for you to connect to your own amplifier. MSRP $425.00

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    Kickstarter Backer Price. A custom hand crafted BlueTube Amp with bluetooth radio. Ready for your own 8 ohm speakers. (for amp with Blue Tube Audio titanium speakers see below) Free Shipping US. MSRP $899

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    Early Supporter. Blue Tube amp with matching titanium speakers handcrafted in walnut and cherry woods. For deciding to be one or our early supporters you can save $80.00 off of a complete system. And, you will be one of the first to recieve your system. Free shipping in the USA MSRP $1199

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    The Ultimate package (Early Bird). This level includes it all. The BlueTube Audio Amplifier, a pair of titanium speakers and a powered subwoofer. We'll also include a custom BlueTube Audio T-shirt with this reward level. Limited supplies see below.

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    The Ultimate package. This level includes it all. The BlueTube Audio Amplifier, a pair of titanium speakers and a powered subwoofer. We'll also include a custom BlueTube Audio T-shirt with this reward level.

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Funding period

- (30 days)