Western Electric surveying market for (domestic?) mfg. of other tube types?


Hi guys..

Came across this in one of my feeds…it appears legit?

I realize that some of the Russian tube panic may be unfounded. However, I personally would love other options…especially if domestically produced.  

If this is legit,  it would probably be in our best interest to let WE know of the potential demand.  I personally would love another source for 12ax7s, 6922s, etc.

Please share thoughts and link as appropriate.

Gadflies need not respond. 





Here is some text from the webpage:


“…Western Electric is assessing plans to expand tube operations. Our latest factory is equipped to handle production of multiple tube types and, in light of recent worldwide events, we believe our capacity to do so may become vital to the industry. …

I saw this on another forum and answered the questionnaire. Hope they can do something positive with this situation.

I put this bug in their ear a few years ago. Asked why they wouldn't produce other kinds of tubes. Hope they listened. I'd like to see them make a Russian military-grade 6H30-DR tube. 

Click on the link the Op provided , fill in which tubes you have interested in and hit submit to give WE the info they need to assess interest

Great news. Let's hope it happens. GE could also export them and provide stability.

The broader question here is as a country should we only be dealing with other like minded democracies? It might not stop supply issues altogether, but it certainly would mitigate the risk.

@Dweller said: "I put this bug in their ear a few years ago. Asked why they wouldn’t produce other kinds of tubes. Hope they listened. I’d like to see them make a Russian military-grade 6H30-DR tube."

I made the same request. I use old stock DR variants, currently a quad made in the late ’70s. Given the fairly common use of this tube in ARC, BAT, I would think there should be more options. True old DR 6H30s are not only expensive but hard to find. I have the Veloce 2.0 line stage with all the current upgrades- I hear a considerable difference between these old tubes and current Russian production.

This is not something that is going to happen overnight, but long run, would be nice.

I gather some folks that use the tube do not hear as pronounced a difference, but it may be how it is deployed in the circuit.

WE is beta testing in Canada. It's not for public release but has been shared on SH Forum.

Domestic production with high level QC?

Yes please. Make mine 12AU7s, 6922s, EL34s, and KT88s.

When I lived in Indianapolis I drove past the site where the old WE plant was located.   There is still open land there.  It would be cool to see them return to that site. 

This would be fine but everyone must remember these will not be at the prices of the Russian tubes. I personally don't know anyone who has bellied up to the bar for a set of EAT or ELROG tubes. I don't know many people with tubes though. I read some on this and other forums about how anything that is priced more that the cheapest is just audio jewelry that is a common idea on DACs but you can see it on everything else as well. If western electric decided to make more tubes how many people would actually pull the trigger to buy five hundred dollar a pair 6922s? If they did make those even if they were one of the very best ever made there would be a ton of people trash talking them who would never ever work hard enough and save the money to buy a set of them. Back to digital  this is an example of how it really is no matter how we would all love the cheap item to be the best. On new digital I had a 100 dollar Sony blue ray on a home theater system. I didn't care really because I hardly watch tv. I had another Sony es blu ray that was also three years old I bought it because I put a little tv set up in a bathroom with the electronic s out side the bathroom except the tv. I did that so when I soaked in my walk in handicapped tub I could entertain myself. Lol I needed audio out on the Blu ray so that's how I ended up with the top dog Sony at the time. Anyhow I tried it on the big home theater setup the other day and the improvement in both sound quality and picture quality was not small so the idea that generally you get more when you spend more still hold true. Keeping that in mind if they make some wonderful tubes they have to make money to continue to produce them. Which in turn mean we will have to support them by buying them. It will become financially dependant on us to pay the price for them. There is a big difference in saying that would be wonderful and please make them and opening a wallet. 



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I’ve a pair of new Elrog 300b. They’re as wonderful sounding as my WE 300b from  ’48. Different flavor but both are yummy. My system is SET with Voxativ single driver speakers and Rhythmik subs.

ibmjunkman- Outside of audio gear what is the market for tube?


Instrument amps. For gee-tars, basses (not to be confused with the fish), keyboards and other instruments that are "electric" (pedal steel?).


The musicians look for robustness (getting banged around in a van) and long life.

Audiophiles may have different priorities. I’ve found that tube selection is very dependent on system voicing- that is, I have very recherché vintage tubes, NIB, that I don’t use, simply because others sound better in my system. Is it that those are a "better" tube? Not necessary. A metal base Mullard GZ 34 - a grail tube-- does not sound as good in my system as a GEC u52. But that does not mean the metal base Mullard (really a Philips/Miniwatt) is a lesser tube. It comes down to particulars in tonality and balance of the system.

NOS 6L6s are hard to find. Pretty common usage.

KR tubes sell pretty well and aren't cheap by any means. Can vouch as I just purchased a dozen KT88s from them. Don't know the market by any means but having spent a great deal on equipment, don't have any interest in buying less than the best tubes that can be found for it.