RE Audio believes the time is ripe to return to the market with a rare tube amplifier for the car.
The company will bring a prototype 12 volt tube amp to CES in January. It will decide then decide whether to release two tube amplifiers to market; a 4-channel model at $999 and a 2-channel version at $699.
RE Audio along with US Amps offered a car audio tube amplifier in 2010 that was discontinued two years later. At the time, there were a lot of “fake” tube amplifiers on the market, which caused confusion and hurt the category, said Hernando JR Mares, VP RE Audio and US Amps.
But fake versions have since gone by the wayside and the market for high end car audio is rebounding, he said.
“We’re starting to see more demand for the high end in Asia, in Japan, in the Philippines, in Thailand…they are gravitating either to the low or high end…We’re already seeing it here. A lot more people are entering sound quality instead of SPL in competitions.
Mares said the trend toward SQ in competition has been growing over the past two years, and added, “Everything in the car is pretty good, so in order for it to sound better, you really have to step it up.”
Tube amplifiers are known for their reproduction of a rich, warm sound. “…it’s not harsh like a transistor and you have a way better sound stage. If I had a good CD with an orchestra I could figure out where the instruments were,” he said.
RE Audio will display at CES in booth #3327 January 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.