When a Watt is not a Watt
One spec you will notice right off is Audion tube amp products have lower power ratings. Anywhere from 2.5W - 65W. Don’t be fooled by how other brands measure their watts per channel. Most brands know people relate to power and when they test their products they regularly use methods that will give them the highest watts. Not actual clean usable watts. Most watt ratings are done by driving the amps into total distortion and measuring the maximum watts. Or playing games with the load.
Audion is extremely conservative with their Watt ratings and regularly under reports their watt claims. Every watt per channel spec you see in these pages is not only guaranteed clean usable watts, but if based on the same test as other brands their ratings would be 1.5 - 2x what is claimed. Audion watts are pure power watts.
Below is how Audion measures their equipment:
Audion Rates its power levels “Clean watts” into an 8 ohm load at full power until clipping occurs to +/- 3db down. Many amp manufacturers will rate their amps into 4 ohm or even 2 ohm loads, thus on paper doubling the power output. So for example we rate our Silver Night 300B power amplifier at 240V AC power input, with a 1khz sine wave input into an 8 ohm dummy load and measure the voltage output across the load until we see the distortion (clipping) reach the 3db level on both channels at the same time. So this rates the amp at 7.9 Watts, we conservatively rate this as 7 Watts at 8 ohms. Other manufacturers may rate this as 16 watts or even 32 watts for a single ended tube amp. Most manufacturers measure into a 4 or 6 ohm load and only one channel at a time or not true RMS values but prefer peak power or distortion at anything up to 10% THD.
A tube amplifier can be pushed well beyond it’s limits without sounding bad. in actual fact most SET amps can easily be driven to 9 or even 12db (10% THD) into distortion as the main distortion is second order which is not too unpleasant to this level. Amplifiers that push further into odd harmonic distortion do not sound good. Admittedly once clipping the amp will not sound good, thankfully the slippage into clipping with a tube amp is quite slow. The key here with low power SET amps is not power, its more about selecting the right components in a system.
Basically a tube is a voltage amplifier; a small change in voltage at the grid produces a large change in voltage at the plate. Since a speaker is a low-impedance device, typically 8 ohms which is why a tube needs an output transformer to convert the large voltage change to a large current change. This is why we build and design our own output transformers.. To get the most and best quality out of the tube.”
So let your ears be the judge and don’t be fooled by spurious specs. We are listing recommended speaker efficiency on each product. You’ll be amazed at the drive these units have compared to your other brands. The drive also provides superior sonics and musicality.