Who is behind
The guy behind Tube WorkShop is Mario Gebhardt. Degree in electronics, active guitarist and confessing sound fetishist. Equipped with 20 years of professional experience as Head of R&D and sound expert for one of the leading German manufacturers in the audio industry...
What is it
at Tube WorkShop?
It's all about the best sound...of guitar amps... with tubes!
What does "sound" mean to you?
Having worked in the audio industry for many years, I know that while sound can be measured in many different ways, it represents only a fraction of what we actually hear, perceive and feel. Two products with a virtually identical frequency response can sound very different. One product can give you goosebumps... the other can't. Sound must always be personally experienced and not just "measured". Our perception is so incredibly much more complex than the pure measuring instruments...
Why is our hearing unbeatable?
Apparently there seems to be a deeper dimension to the subject of "sound" that we are well-able to experience but can only hardly measure. That has always fascinated me. Why do different coupling capacitors in a guitar amp sound different even though they have the same technical values? Why do different tubes sound different even though they have identical gains and frequency responses?
I cannot and do not want to answer this question, but I find that it is so!
And this is exactly where there is a wide open field between "good sounding" standard products and "emotional products". The good-sounding standard product meets all technical requirements. The "emotional" sounding product was not only developed according to measurement parameters, but beyond that according to the tonal properties of all components. And it gives you goosebumps!
I have often experienced that such a product has put a smile on user's faces or even put tears in their eyes. At Tube WorkShop we want to create exactly those kind of products.
Does it have to be tubes?
It doesn't necessarily have to be tubes. Anything that sounds good is allowed. If it sounds good, then it is good!
And who would deny a Marshall Silver Jubilee or a Tubescreamer to sound good?
Tubes inherently have the property of sounding"musical". When overdriven (which of course the datasheet lists as "NoNo") they tend to produce more even than odd harmonics. That sounds nice to us and makes them an excellent basis for good-sounding guitar amplifiers.
Also: you can touch them and experience them haptically because they are big... they glow in the dark... they get warm...
They are simply beautiful and characterful components that (albeit antiquated) exert a fascination. In addition to the tonal advantages, they radiate an undeniable aesthetic that we find difficult to ignore.
Is "old" always better?
No! There is the "Vintage Voodoo" fraction, where the obviously "mystical" sound from the past is tried to be restored with incredibly expensive (partly NOS) components. It doesn't matter whether these are good or rather bad or whether it's just about small details. At the end of the day, it comes down to the ability of the amp-tech to make the perfect selection and use components in a musically profitable way. Very few have this ability.
Sometimes old components deliver exactly the sound you want to achieve... but very often well-chosen current components are the better choice. It's all about the sound you want to achieve. Ultimately, it is secondary whether the components used are old or new.
How does Tube WorkShop position here?
Somewhere in the middle! Tube WorkShop is about excellent sounding tube amps that you use and want to use every day. Without "Vintage Voodoo". The purely technically correct function is self-evident, but not enough for us. Actually, much too little. It is also always important to consider and create the “right” sound.
Purely technical considerations of the component values are not sufficient when it comes to "sound". Different types of capacitors, for example, sound different although they have the same technical values... other components as well. Sometimes more sometimes less.
Good is what sounds good, works reliably... and gives us goosebumps!