European triode festival

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Since 2000 each year the "European Triode Festival" (ETF) has been held in various venues in Europe (the first three events were called "Aarhus Triode Festival" aka "ATF"). The ETF focuses on do-it-yourself audio valve amplifiers using triode vacuum tubes, and brings together high end vacuum tube audiophiles from all over the world (from as far away as Finland and New Zealand). At the festival, participants demonstrate their (all home-built) equipment (analogue/digital/amplifiers/speakers/etc.) and discuss aspects of high-quality vacuum tube sound reproduction. The event is a private venture of in total 300 audio lovers, of which some 120 will attend; commercial promotional activities are not allowed.

For the first 3 years, the festival was organised by Kurt Steffensen and held in Aarhus, Denmark. During the next 3 years, Christian Rintelen and Wolfgang Braun organised the festival and held it in Langenargen, Germany a stone's throw from the Austrian and Swiss borders. In 2006 and 2007 Guido Tent and Emile Sprenger organized the Festival in The Beukenhof, a former monastery in Biezenmortel, The Netherlands. In 2008 Guido teamed up with Arend-Jan Wijtzes and Rob Hubertse to organize the final Dutch edition and in 2009 the festival moved for three runs to Stella-Plage (Cucq), a North Sea Shore village in France close to Belgium. The following three years the festival again moved to Germany, and was held in a former East German recreational facility in Schmöckwitz near Berlin, neighbouring a prime historical site with regard to triodes, the Königs Wusterhausen radio transmitter. In November 2015, the gathering moved again to its country of origin. Location for three years until end of 2017 is Tisvildeleje, Denmark.

During the 4 days of the Festival, several seminars, workshops, shootouts and musical performances are organised. A flee market for audio gear and typically a sizable selection of vinyl is open at all times.

Previous seminar speakers have included people like Jean Hiraga, Morgan Jones, Lynn Olson, Per Lundahl (Lundahl Transformers), Brian Sowter (Sowter Transformers of England), Steve Bench, Guido Tent (Tentlabs), Allen Wright (VSE), Peter van Willenswaard of Stereophile magazine, Pieter Treurniet (Tribute Transformers) and John Broskie (GlassWare and Tube CAD Journal).

Previous workshops have included subjects such as power supplies (shunt/series/passive/regulated), the sound of distortion, noise and hum, speaker crossovers and digital jitter. Audio gear listening competitions are held for items such as phono stages, full range speakers, single-ended triode amplifiers and output transformers.

ETFs have been reviewed in several magazines, including Revue du Son, MJ, TNT Audio, 6Moons and Prestige Audio Video.

A recurring item with each Festival is a Special Guest that is invited to join the Festival and hold a presentation about a high-end audio subject of their own choice. Another highlight is the annual ETF auction, with proceeds going into the fund that sponsors the next event. Items auctioned are voluntary donations of vintage gear and curio brought by the attendees.

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Previous ETF presentations[edit]