No more Tube amps?

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
2,857
Fremont, California
Watched Rhett's youtube video from today.

There used to be 3 Tube factories in the world in China, Russia and Slovakia. The Chinese factory had a fire in 2019 and it is unclear if it's ever coming back online. Russia just banned exports of tubes and if that goes on for a long time, I doubt they will survive. That leaves Slovakia and they are back logged by 6 months.

Fender has cut their Tube amp production by 50% as they can't get tubes.

The prices of Tube amps are bound to get higher. And servicing will get harder.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,287
lafayette in
That day is coming. Guitarists and hard-core audiophiles are the only people that use vacuum tubes anymore. Tubes are an ancient technology (as tech goes) from over a century ago. Transistors came out in the mid '50s---70 years ago. As of now, they still haven't been able to simply replace tubes' unique sound without going into some serious circuitry compared to basic tube amp designs. Solid state is getting better, tho many feel that it still is missing that certain "something" that tubes give us.
If only someone could invent some sort of replacement, it could revolutionize the world... 🤔
Yeah, "If only"...
 

MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,514
SoCal, USA
That day is coming. Guitarists and hard-core audiophiles are the only people that use vacuum tubes anymore. Tubes are an ancient technology (as tech goes) from over a century ago. Transistors came out in the mid '50s---70 years ago. As of now, they still haven't been able to simply replace tubes' unique sound without going into some serious circuitry compared to basic tube amp designs. Solid state is getting better, tho many feel that it still is missing that certain "something" that tubes give us.

Yeah, "If only"...
We should get Tavo on that, pronto!
 

Intoamartian

Electromatic
Feb 10, 2021
73
Midwest
I was wondering if NuTubes would be it. I had a mini Vox head with a NuTube as a preamp and it was decent.

That being said I’m pretty glad I have my DR blonde tone master.
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
353
UK
Back in the late '60's, was doing a month in Germany at a U.S. army base. For some reason my Marshall amp kept blowing power tubes. Took it into a local radio repair shop to have the valves changed about every 5-7 days!
On the last visit the guy said he had no more valves left, but to leave it with him, and he'd see what he could do.
Went back later that day to get the amp back to be shown that he'd taken the old valve base and soldered various components to it.
Looked really odd, but you know what, - it worked, and sounded just as good!
Never had anymore trouble with it, and it still worked after I got back to England.
No idea what he'd done, but seemed like a miracle!
 

MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,514
SoCal, USA
Now I feel bad for not having ordered spare 12AX7 and 6L6 tubes for my Supro Blues King. I went to a tube sellers' website once, and all of the options/variations made my head spin.
Since I only play at home I guess it doesn't matter.
 

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
Watched Rhett's youtube video from today.

There used to be 3 Tube factories in the world in China, Russia and Slovakia. The Chinese factory had a fire in 2019 and it is unclear if it's ever coming back online. Russia just banned exports of tubes and if that goes on for a long time, I doubt they will survive. That leaves Slovakia and they are back logged by 6 months.

Fender has cut their Tube amp production by 50% as they can't get tubes.

The prices of Tube amps are bound to get higher. And servicing will get harder.

yeah I saw Rhett's video this morning and thought it was another silly one from him - he's got plenty of silly ones imo.

Imo silly cos...
1) Tubes are made in several other countries besides Russia ...
2) The trade sanctions on Russia are temporary and history has repeatedly shown it'll be business as usual soon.
3) If demand for tubes remains strong then tube production will be increased by the remaining makers, plus new one's who will enter the market. That's the way capitalism works - the market responds to demand.

Having said that I have already stocked up on all the tubes I'll need for my 2 amps for rest of my life :)
 

MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,514
SoCal, USA
Huh, looks like someone has already created a pluggable 12AX7 substitute ("AMT Warm Stone"). Too bad they're also a Russian export.
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
2,857
Fremont, California
yeah I saw Rhett's video this morning and thought it was another silly one from him - he's got plenty of silly ones imo.

Imo silly cos...
1) Tubes are made in several other countries besides Russia ...
2) The trade sanctions on Russia are temporary and history has repeatedly shown it'll be business as usual soon.
3) If demand for tubes remains strong then tube production will be increased by the remaining makers, plus new one's who will enter the market. That's the way capitalism works - the market responds to demand.

Having said that I have already stocked up on all the tubes I'll need for my 2 amps for rest of my life :)

I can't find any other countries than the three he mentions producing tubes. However, there are more than one factory in China. But the largest one seems to be out of commission with very little information available about its future if there is any.
 


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