Western Electric considering adding more tubes to their current USA production

Georgiatec

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Looking for something I don't remember what.
Will be interesting to see what happens. I think if they can produce quality tubes at a half decent price, then private buyers will queue around the block for them. Whether they can tap into the manufacturer market and sell in real bulk will always come down to price and availability. It would be great PR to be supplying Marshall and or Fender though.
I listed every type of tube that my Orange tester will test, so that covers virtually anything used in an amp.
 

pedecamp

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They will have to have JJ make them for them otherwise they will have to charge $500 per tube, thats the reality of it.
 

Matthews Guitars

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Just so you know, that's not the Western Electric company of days long past. It's a much newer company that bought the rights to the name.

Their main focus is the "audiophile" market, where sales INCREASE as you get farther past the knee point on the curve of diminishing returns.

I'm something of an audiophile myself, but not to that level. Even if I had unlimited money I would not be playing in those waters, where people have more dollars than sense!

But if they can make high quality tubes we can use and at a price that is reasonable, I'm all for it.
 

pedecamp

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I thought they stopped making tubes in the US due to environmental regulations?
 

Matthews Guitars

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I don't see anything that's essential to tube manufacture that would set off alarm bells at the EPA. Materials used in tubes: Iron, Steel, Nickel, Copper, Barium Oxide, tungsten, glass (may contain lead), tin, indium for the glass seal around the pins. Nothing that's particullarly dangerous.

Tubes have been made that contain more toxic materials including Mercury, certain radioactive elements, Beryllium, Phosphorus, certain Sulfides, and a few others. But none of those are needed for tubes of interest to US.
 

Clifdawg

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I signed it, but if their 300B tubes are anything to go by… Let’s just say I’m not spending three-thousand bucks to re-tube a DSL40.
 

Gunner64

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They talk like they're experienced, and made tubes a hundred years ago?..ahh no..those people are long dead.

I recon This may be a quality experiment for a bit until things get sorted out, Like Matthews said they just have the rights to the name.
 

AtomicRob

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They talk like they're experienced, and made tubes a hundred years ago?..ahh no..those people are long dead.

I recon This may be a quality experiment for a bit until things get sorted out, Like Matthews said they just have the rights to the name.
It's a bit more than that, they are actually producing tubes that work and people are buying - at audiophool prices - but still they can make tubes. The question is could they do it at a scale and price that makes sense for ordinary tubes.
 

Gunner64

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If they aren't making the tubes we need, like the survey implies, there will be start up issues I'm sure.

And You guys are gonna lose your minds If they go for what 300b tubes go for.
 

Trapland

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It’s not going to happen. They sell those 300 tubes EACH for $775!!!!! (when you buy a quad).

Probably less than 1% of guitar players would even consider shelling out $3100 to retune a Superlead. Add another +/- $1500 for the preamp. $4600 to retube a $3000 jcm800 2203.

Nope. why would they bother making tubes that they need to sell for 1% of what they are used to?

Just to illustrate how out of touch they are, they think the 300B is the most popular tube in the world.

Lets hope Slovakia and China pick up the damand, because the good old USA ain’t gonna get it done.
 

FutureProf88

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It’s not going to happen. They sell those 300 tubes EACH for $775!!!!! (when you buy a quad).

Probably less than 1% of guitar players would even consider shelling out $3100 to retune a Superlead. Add another +/- $1500 for the preamp. $4600 to retube a $3000 jcm800 2203.

Nope. why would they bother making tubes that they need to sell for 1% of what they are used to?

Just to illustrate how out of touch they are, they think the 300B is the most popular tube in the world.

Lets hope Slovakia and China pick up the damand, because the good old USA ain’t gonna get it done.

Isn't the 300B prized by the super high end audio market? A JJ 300B single is $200. So that's about 3.5x the JJ price getting the Western Electric.

Applying the same logic to a JJ EL34 advertised for $30 you get $105 for the W.E. EL34, and that is assuming that there is no discount for scale economies from a greater amount of EL34 tubes sold. Applying the same logic to a JJ 12AX7 (even more likely to have scale economies) you'd get $88 per tube. So let's assume that we take that logic to how I retube my "hard use" amps when my band is playing out regularly, which is power tubes annually and preamp tubes biannually.

The math works out to $242.50 every other year for preamp tubes, or an average of $131.25 per year for the preamp.

Power tubes are $210 annually for a 50 watt or $420 (nice) annually for a 100 watt.

That's a chunk of change. But, it's not any more obnoxious than what guys who try to wheel and deal with NOS glass are paying, and I'd rather chuck that out for a new production tube that would hopefully have comparable quality that has a warranty - and W.E.'s 300B has a five year warranty. I also think that those numbers I just tossed out are on the high side of things.
 

Eric'45

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I mean, it's not like they put a gun to anyone's head and force him to pay unrealistic prices for their tubes. Most likely the Tubes for Guitar Amps will be priced differently. If JJ is still in business by then, even better, there will be some competition, which is always good for the consumer. Either Western Electric has to compete with JJs pricing, or JJ has to try to match the quality.
 

Old Punker

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Will be interesting to see what happens. I think if they can produce quality tubes at a half decent price, then private buyers will queue around the block for them. Whether they can tap into the manufacturer market and sell in real bulk will always come down to price and availability. It would be great PR to be supplying Marshall and or Fender though.
I listed every type of tube that my Orange tester will test, so that covers virtually anything used in an amp.
Orange tester? :scratch:
 

Old Punker

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It's a bit more than that, they are actually producing tubes that work and people are buying - at audiophool prices - but still they can make tubes. The question is could they do it at a scale and price that makes sense for ordinary tubes.
I'm not rich but I'd be willing to pay a reasonable premium for tubes that sound just as good as (or better than) what's currently available, and more importantly last a lot longer than the current issue tubes.
 

Matthews Guitars

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They get that price for 300B tubes because that's what the market expects them to cost, and they're not a very common tube anyway. Not outside the 300B audiophile world. Really there's no other reason for that tube to exist.

But if they were to make something common like EL34s or 6L6s, they'd have to make a competitive product in terms of both price and performance.

And if they did, then they would soon find that 6L6 and EL34 production is most likely more profitable than 300B production. The sales volume would ensure it.

Once you have an established tube production line, adding another tube type to the production list is certainly less difficult than it was to start up the first line.
They'll know what they need. Building new tube type specific tooling is the complicated/expensive part.
 

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