Tube Terminology Question..

ive been into tubes for over 15 years yet tube terminology still escapes me...Can someone here kindly Define the various parts of a tube and what they are called and how they define the sound...terms like Getter, Black Plates, Side plates, why sometimes tubes like a 6sn7 has a silver or chrome substence which drips down from the top of the tube.....D getters?, please be as comprehensive as possible...

Try this Sonic Frontier site:
I forgot to mention...when you access the above site, click on "Taste of Tubes" in PDF format.

Hope this helps!
Look here: If you hold the cursor at about 5'oclock on the tube an enlarge button will appear.

The article above sited by Equinox is a good one too although it talks about the entire circuit more than the tube(which is good).

The getter and the "getter flash" (the "silver substance")that you mention are talked about in the first article below. The last article by John Harper has a little more math in it but you can read past it if you want and still learn quite a lot. It is nearly impossible to talk about how a tube works without numbers and measurements. You can click on the image of the tube twice* at the start of the first article at "Inside a tube" (almost at the start of the article) and it enlarges to give a pretty good view of things in a pentode.

1) How A Vacuum Tube Works, E. Barbour:
2) Vacuum Tube Valley FAXs, E. Barbour:

John Harper, Tubes 201, How Vacuum Tubes Really Work: a very nice modern and more detailed overview of what goes on in a tube.

Here is one about the sound of tubes: The Cool Sound of Tubes, E. Barbour:

Beyond a few cliches the sound of a certain part of a tube is very difficult to talk about and, as often as not, a waste of time attempting. Different types (845, 300b etc) of tubes have some general qualities but it is also the tube and the tube circuit and the operating points choosen, etc... all together.

I remain
Clueless, can we trade monikers???
Forgot this one on Getters.

* Werner Espe and Max Knoll, Getter Materials (from Electronics Magazine 1950):

Can't change the handle at this point. Fits like an old T shirt.

I remain,