Frequently Asked Questions
What's a vacuum tube?
Vacuum tubes, or just 'tubes' for short, are the predecessors of the transistor, which are themselves the predecessors of integrated circuits.   Prior to the invention of the transistor, all amplifiers, radios, and televisions used tubes.   To the right is a typical power tube.   This tube, a 6V6GT, is currently in production (this one was manufactured in May, 2010).

Tubes and transistors are completely different in construction and how they work -- and in how they sound.   Most CopperAmps' amplifiers have three or four tubes.   There are NO integrated circuits or transistors anywhere in CopperAmps' amplifiers.

So why should I have a tube-type amplifier?
They sound better.   They always have, they always will.   Now why they sound better is not understood fully.   Very-high-end audiophile transistorized electronics have achieved near 100% transparency.   That means the output of the amplifier is nearly identical to the input.   And the tube amp, which isn't 100% transparent, still sounds better.

They're also better for the environment.

If tube amplifiers are so great why can't I find one at <my local big-box store>?
Two main reasons:
  • Cost.   A tube amplifiers cost more initially.   It costs less in the long run because you won't be replacing it.   But big box stores count on people to never get past the price tag when they go amplifier shopping.
  • Revenue stream.   Cheap transistorized amplifiers are constantly being replaced.   Consumers are counted on to buy a new one every few years.   Foreign manufacturers have no reason to make reliable electronics; long-term reliability hurts large factory profitability.
They sound better.   The purpose of the European ROHS requirements is to reduce the amount of Lead in their landfills.   This is an issue there (and here) because of all the electronic devices being tossed out daily.   Tube amplifiers don't cost more in the long run, and because of that they are certainly greener from an environmental standpoint since they don't show up in landfills.

What's so special about CopperAmps?
Electronics like you don't find anywhere else today.   The differences between CopperAmps' amplifiers and any mass-produced amplifiers are astounding.   Here's a few of the differences:
  • Point-to-point wiring.   There are no printed circuit boards in CopperAmps' amplifiers.   CopperAmps uses turrets swaged on 1/8" NEMA G10/FR4 Garolite board -- the heaviest-duty, longest-lasting construction in the industry.
  • Made in USA.   Ever caught yourself looking at another 'Made in China' label and saying: "We don't make anything in the USA anymore!"   Well, CopperAmps amplifiers are wholly made in the USA.   Extensive research means not only are the amps designed and built in the USA, but the vast majority of the components are also made in the USA.   The Garolite circuit board, the turrets on the board, transformers, inductors, the chassis, the Aluminum that went into the chassis, capacitors, resistors, everything we could find a US source for are Made In USA.
Welcome to CopperAmps -- designer and manufacturer of fine vacuum tube-type guitar and stereo music amplifiers.   Our amplifiers are 100% hand-wired, American made.

"Harmless" Tube-type Stereo Amplifier for Guitar Amp Builders