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Little tubes promise big sound

ZVEX specializes in the esoteric.


Among boutique technology companies there is esoterica, and then there is esoterica. Zachary Vex falls into whichever category is more extreme.

We learned of ZVEX's wares last winter upon encountering its "Nano Head," which it described as "." Its mission has apparently continued undaunted, for we now see that it has created "the world's smallest vacuum tube stereo power amplifier" (pausing to inhale). There must be so much competition in developing these products.

ZVEX's "iMP" amp can be used with pretty much any consumer device, whether it be an MP3 player or a laptop, according to GadgetGrid. Its claim to fame is not unwarranted, as it stands (or sits) at a diminutive 4.4 by 3 by 3 inches. For our part, though, we prefer a full-size set of tubes; that way, in case they break down, we can always turn them into a mini-bar.