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"Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?

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Posted on July 11, 2020 at 00:00:09
kostas
Audiophile

Posts: 52
Location: London
Joined: December 14, 2004
I would like to add a pleasing visual element to my solid state pre/power amplifier combination that I am very satisfied with the sound of.

Ideally I would like to add a standalone device consisting of Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters (using one or more Magic Eyes per channel)

Were such devices ever produced by a "hifi company"? Or, even made to order?

Many thanks in advance for any pointers

 

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RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 11, 2020 at 06:24:12
Eli Duttman
Audiophile

Posts: 10317
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Joined: March 31, 2000
Not quite Vu meters, but "magic eyes" were used as level indicators on tape recording devices.


Eli D.

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 11, 2020 at 08:04:48
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 3668
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
February 21, 2019
Don't you mean tuners? I loved my Fisher 400 and never should have sold it


"Bass is the place..the rest is filigree and lace" Doug Sax


 

Magic eye level indicator..., posted on July 11, 2020 at 12:42:13
1973shovel
Audiophile

Posts: 9190
Location: Greenville SC
Joined: February 25, 2007






View YouTube Video



 

After seeing that, I definitely would not want one. )MT(, posted on July 11, 2020 at 15:06:52
J. S. Bach
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Posts: 9158
Location: Chester, SC
Joined: November 28, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
June 29, 2004


Later Gator,
Dave
Find more about Weather in Chester, SC

 

Look on eBay..., posted on July 11, 2020 at 18:22:36
Rod M
Web Geek

Posts: 12953
Location: So. California
Joined: March 1, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
March 1, 1999
However, the tubes that I've seen were used in radios for tuning back in the 30s and 40s.
-Rod

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 11, 2020 at 20:49:18
Eli Duttman
Audiophile

Posts: 10317
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Joined: March 31, 2000
Receiving equipment is (IMO) self evident, but even in stereo times, indicator tubes were used in tape equipment. I had a Webcor stereo machine so configured.


Eli D.

 

No, neither would I, posted on July 12, 2020 at 04:50:26
1973shovel
Audiophile

Posts: 9190
Location: Greenville SC
Joined: February 25, 2007
Especially when it would be added to a component for nothing but visual effect. Hell, I don't even like bright LEDs. I've been known to snip an anode or two (if I'm feeling lazy) or add a resistor to dim them.

I like my listening room the way I like my coffee and my humor. Dark.

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 12, 2020 at 17:34:58
elflow
Audiophile

Posts: 347
Location: Indiana
Joined: November 1, 2005
I have a Heathkit tape recorder I built in 1964 that uses two Magic eye vu meters.

 

Magic Eye , posted on July 17, 2020 at 13:20:34
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 15041
Location: canyon country califiornia, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
i remember the early webcor recorders using it and the early Dynaco tuners using it for a tuning meter. many swear by them.
...regards...tr

 

My Knight capacitor tester uses a magic eye, but it is steady when testing., posted on July 17, 2020 at 15:30:36
alaskahiatt
Audiophile

Posts: 5556
Joined: December 9, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
November 1, 2005
I could not stand a magic eye constantly moving. I'm not even fond of V.U. meters.



 

Wollensack tape recorders?, posted on July 18, 2020 at 04:08:48
Story
Audiophile

Posts: 3668
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
February 21, 2019
did I get that right? My Dad had a Wollensack RTR with some kind of 'level indicator' 1/2 of it was an overload indicator.


"Bass is the place..the rest is filigree and lace" Doug Sax


 

RE: Wollensack tape recorders?, posted on July 18, 2020 at 07:28:46
JonM
Audiophile

Posts: 174
Joined: December 29, 2000
I think that's right - I vaguely remember a Wollensack tape recorder in my parents' basement that had one - it was circular, if I remember right. If the two parts met, you were overloading the tape. My father's Pilot tuner had one that had sort of a vertical fan appearance, and you tuned to get the two sides as close together as possible.

Lots more information on Magic Eye tubes in the link below (posted in case someone else hasn't already linked to it - I haven't read all the replies).

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 19, 2020 at 11:31:31
Alpha Al
Industry Professional

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December 3, 2015
Instead of the round "Magic Eye" tubes, I prefer the 6FG6 / EM84 which has a rectangular bar-graph display. It can me mounted horizontal or vertical.

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on July 27, 2020 at 17:30:43
trobbins
Audiophile

Posts: 78
Location: Melbourne
Joined: March 26, 2012
Typical VU meters use a dB scale - similar to how a volume pot is not linear, but is logarithmic in how its rotation changes its resistance.

However a typical magic eye valve varies its display over a linear range of incoming dc signal level. That operation was very useful for radio station tuning (where it was a premium option), and some instrument indicators.

A magic eye valve needs a high voltage DC supply, and a heater supply - so unless you are retrofitting to an existing valve amplifier that has those power supply rails handy, then the retrofit needs either a mains supply transformer and B+ power rail, or a plug-pack and some dc/dc converters. Plus the signal would need to go through an rms to dc converter, and then a linear to log converter (ie. both modern day specialist ICs) to try and mimic a VU display - so its likely that any commercial or DIY VU product using magic eye valves is 'cutting corners' somewhere.

 

RE: "Magic Eye Tube Vu Meters": Do such devices exist or be made?, posted on September 6, 2020 at 18:37:30
triode3
Manufacturer

Posts: 250
Location: Midwest
Joined: August 23, 2005



I am super late to this party, but when I read your topic, I kept thinking, I have seen that before. Well, I finally found the schematic on my drive. I am attaching it to this post.

This is not my schematic, but one I found, probably in 2005 looking for the same thing you were.

 

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