Flicker Thoughts

02010-12-30 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

Regarding this post:

Incandescent bulbs minimize flicker because of their inefficient design. The filament continues to glow when the current cycles off.

Similarly many audiophiles prefer tube amplifiers and say that they bring digital media to life. Tubes are slower than transistors and may naturally “connect” the individual digital snap-shots.

Perhaps the same is true for the old TV screen. It is slower than a modern LCD screens and therefore minimizes the flicker.


  1. steve

    The reason a valve amplifier sounds like it does has to do with the circuit layout a valve-based design uses. Because of the nature of a valve being a voltage controlled device, the circuit topology (i.e., layout) will necessarily be different from the topology of a circuit which implements a current controlled device such as a typical (BJT based) discrete circuit, or IC.

    There are other reasons that a valve based design sounds more “natural”, such as the spectrum of its output, particularly the complexity of the midrange and bass.

    But, really, it’s all about the engineering. A valve based design can sound thin and harsh if it’s implemented poorly, just as a BJT discrete design or an IC based design can be made to sound sophisticated and complex if it’s implemented well.

    A lot of is has to do with biasing the circuit well, and maintaining control over voltage, current, impedance and mechanical control (“damping”). Of course, saying that is essentially tautologous, but it’s true: like most things in engineering, an excellent design is a sequence of simple things done well.

    It’s always down to engineering, and how well the design engineer applies their art.

  2. Carol Anderson

    I heard Mom say that the silent movies didn’t flicker with the old projectors. How sad that those wonderful old serious movies have become something to laugh at…if they are saved at all.

  3. yumi

    Most likely not at all related to what you have written, but there is poem by Buson that came to my mind. The setting is a springtime evening.

    I am sure that the poets won’t mind a change from winter to spring as a visual. After all, in a lunar calendar, spring is right around the corner.

    Perhaps you might know the poem? The visual is lighting one candle with another and because of the candles, the scene that could be imagined is one of quietude.


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