Where To Buy Vacuum Tubes
No, that is not a misprint. We actually have Twelve Million vacuum tubes in our inventory. So you can stop wandering around the Internet! We are the only tube supplier you will ever need. Even our competitors buy from us, especially those hard to find tubes. We have them all, in stock, and we have them at the best prices! Try us! Give us a call today at 1-800-326-4140 and find out for yourself why we are #1.
where to buy vacuum tubes
We keep both NOS (New Old Stock) and factory-new tubes in our warehouses. The majority of our orders ship within twenty-four hours. After your order is received, we hand test each vacuum tube TWICE to make sure it is exactly up to the manufacturer's specs before it is ever sent to you. Nothing leaves our warehouse without this service! Our customer loyalty is legendary and for good reason. We do exactly as we promise and we stand behind our customers 100%
We stock radio and vacuum tubes for every application from all major manufacturers including RCA, GE, Sylvania, Raytheon, Tungsol, and Amperex. If you are looking for a hard to find vacuum tube, we can nearly guarantee that it is in our inventory and available today!.
Western Electric engineered, designed, produced or experimented with over 785 different tubes from 1913 - 1988. Many of these tubes were superb sounding audio tubes that are still in very high demand today. These tubes include the 101D, 205D/E, 211D/E, 274A/B, 300A/B, 310A, 348A, 350B, 396A, 417A, 421A and 437A, just to name a few. Tube World stocks one of the most extensive inventories of WE tubes on the planet.
High-end hi-fi shops are full of tube-based devices, and a plethora of tube amplifier kits are available for the electronics enthusiast. Tubes can be bought under a bewildering array of brands often at eye-watering prices, something of a surprise for a technology which might be presumed to have disappeared over four decades ago. This does raise an interesting question though, with such a large number of tube brands on the market, where are they all made, and how have their manufacturers survived for so long? The answer is relatively straightforward, yet in other aspects a story of labyrinthine complexity.
High power RF amplifiers for UHF and higher frequencies for example still use vacuum tubes, be they specialised planar tubes or slightly more exotic fare such as klystrons. Similarly there are specialised RF applications that still use travelling wave tubes, and very high power industrial equipment that uses vacuum and gas-filled tubes for control or rectification.
As someone who has been a vacuum technology enthusiast for four decades now it makes me happy to find that tubes are still in production and their industry appears healthy for now. But my tour through the world of 21st century tube manufacture leaves me slightly disappointed that so much of their marketing is still clouded by mythology.
In fifty years of electronics, I reme!ber one article from about 1964 about a ham in South America who made his own tubes. I think just power tubes for transmitters. It required skill, but also design. He had to know how tubes worked enough to make them.
By the way. In broadcast applications where you might have a tube that costs $8,000+, they make a really big deal about filament and cathode temperature control. The filaments and cathodes are thoriated which makes them more electrically active (details omitted for brevity) meaning that the more intact the coating, the higher the gain. There is a depletion of this with time and temperature, resulting in eventual loss of gain. Broadcast tubes hardly ever fail, they just Peter out.So the method of control of this is to (after a 1 week burn in period) operate the filament at normal voltage while monitoring the plate output *gain*. Gradually decrease the filament power until you see a slight decrease in gain and nudge the filament power back up to recapture this slight loss. This minimizes the filament and cathode temperature (they are additive due to cathode resistance heating)You can typically extend the life of a tube from the typical 1 to 2 years to 4 or 5. Although it is more difficult to do with a Fender twin, the same would apply to well made small power output tubes. There is a lot to be said for regulated filament supplies. Also. The primary reason light bulbs and tube filaments burn out is because they have very low resistance when cold which creates a high in rush current when they are first turned on. You can significantly increase the life of tubes by limiting the initial cold filament current. I see some of the boutique guitar amp manufacturers are doing this with stepped filament voltages.
I see that there are still many surplus NOS Soviet miniature tubes often selling for $2 each or less, even with shipping. We should be designing some audio gear using these still plentiful mil-surplus tubes, rather than chasing overpriced reissues of once-common tubes (looking at you 12AX7)
Eh, those stocks will not last forever. If you use them in a mass produced thing, you get a mass market for replacements of that type, and eventually the thing becomes useless because there are no replacement tubes available anymore.
Western Electric tubes are still made in Rossville Ga. Of course you pay for that made in the US quality. The 300B triode goes for $1499 for a matched Pair or a matched Quad for $3099. You can also buy a single tube for $699. Check them out on the web at:
The biggest vacuum tubes EVER are clearly the particle accelerators. The LHC at 27 km length uses 16 klystron tubes, each one driving 300 kW at 400 MHz to smash two proton beams together at multi-TeraElectronVolt energies. Interesting design summary at
The situation is complicated by the fact that many vacuum tube brands are not vacuum tube manufacturers. They source their tubes from a handful of factories from around the world that Matthews referenced above.
However, it does reflect the precarious position that the guitar industry is in: relying on a few factories to prop up a multi-billion-dollar global industry is less than ideal, and a long-term shortage of tubes could cause prices to rise dramatically, maybe making some makers turn away from valves altogether.
Electro- Harmonix made an official announcement last week, stating that it could no longer manufacture and sell Russian made vacuum tubes. Restrictions and sanctions, as a direct result of the war in Ukraine, made it impossible. Now, barely a week later, the company has made a u-turn; however, it could be expensive news for anyone wanting Electro-Harmonix Russian Vacuum Tubes.
The situation preventing the importing of Russian vacuum tubes has been resolved for now. As a result, we are accepting new orders, processing backorders, and hoping to resume shipping in April 2022.
Considering the various economic pressures mentioned in our last announcement, we will be forced to raise our wholesale prices on these tubes. This price increase, which will be announced separately, will apply to all new orders and backorders.
Well, if you wanted to buy Russian-made vacuum tubes via Electro-Harmonix, then in theory, you can now have access to them once more. Although, the physical cost, and also the moral costs, of doing so will be something that you will have to take into account. The Electro-Harmonix factory in Russia produces vacuum tubes for Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix, EH Gold, Genalex Gold Lion, Mullard, Svetlana and Sovtek.
The export restriction on Russian tubes has been resolved for now. We are accepting new orders, processing backorders, and hoping to resume shipping in April. Priority will be given to the oldest orders.
Considering various economic pressures, we must raise our wholesale prices. This price increase will apply to all back- and new orders. Also, there will likely be a further price increase for tubes shipped from our NYC headquarters once the government implements heightened tariffs against Russian goods, akin to the 35% rate Canada is now imposing. Other territories, including EU, UK, and Japan, are expected to follow suit.
Even Coke and McDonalds managed to stop doing business in/with Russians. I think musicians can do without Russian tubes, especially with digital as an option. This is a poor choice for EH, and one that will be remembered.
EHX is a joke I ordered JJ tubes about $400 I got everything but. I returned my order and they now accuse me of keeping a portion of that order. Also they claim to own Russian factories,,, read the fine print, they are at best leasing rights to see certain brands
I hope So too so Brimar its a British brand,failed and ended for decades from 2019 they ve started to produce tubes made in Britain again. and I strongly believe Americans should start tube production too.
Only the highest quality and most consistent vacuum tubes earn the MESA Engineering seal of approval. All MESA tubes offer unsurpassed consistency and reliability for ANY tube amplifier, and certainly MESA amplifiers!
The tubes are quiet, like very quiet. The difference between OEM vs the GF tube is obvious. I used to think that my amps were noisy, but only after I plugged in the GF tubes, I realized a good amount of noise was actually from the tubes itself.
Overall was it worth it? The decision is leaning to a Yes. With the tube and sound quality accounted for. And most importantly, this is a case where I plugin, dial in and enjoy the music without having to worry too much about reliability (knock on wood, so far so good).
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