Western Electric considering adding more tubes to their current USA production

pedecamp

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I'm not sure if there was child labor involved in Chinese tube factories.
I've seen in some documentaries that there were many older people around, maybe because they have the knowledge.
Making tubes is a very dirty job that also requires experience. The latter will become a real problem if the old skilled workers retire (or die).
I don't think the younger generation is interested in working in a tube factory. It's a real niche market and I can guarantee you that prices will rise further.

I've said it when that Western Electric news were shared and they started their poll - they will never sell any US made 12AX7 for under 60 bucks when even unselected Russian and Chinese tubes are sold for 30 bucks.
And I doubt that the majority of average guitar players will buy these tubes. They are more for the hi-fi crowd.
I also talked with honest tube dealers and some of them said it straight up, that eg these Genalex tubes (higher price Russian tubes) are absolutely unnecessary for guitar amps. Of course anyone can still use them in a guitar amp.
"Older people!" No wonder the factory shut down, the entire Chinese tube work force probably died from covid!
 

Moony

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Has it been revealed how they determine whether a particular valve is s4a or s4gb? Given that they’re all checked for low hum and microphony.

Good point!
There's no official description just the short info about their sonic qualities the name implies.
I wondered about that too and tried to find out which original tubes they are just by looking at the not very detailed photos.- they obviously use different tubes.

Here are my thoughts about them:


S4GB (selected for Guitar and Bass):


- S4GB 12AX7 High Gain: Shuguang 12AX7B

- S4GB 12AX7 Normal Gain: JJ ECC83MG

- S4GB 12AX7 Clean: JJ ECC83S (?)

- S4GB 12AX7 Low Gain: JJ ECC81 (?)



S4A (selected for Audio):


- S4A 12AX7 Performance: Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 Goldpin

- S4A 12AX7 Dynamic: Sovtek 12AX7 LPS, Mullard 12AX7

- S4A 12AX7 Smooth: JJ ECC803S Goldpin

- S4A 12AX7 Premium: JJ ECC83MG



RSD (Röhrenschnelldienst):


- RSD E83CC Long Life – JJ ECC803S

- RSD 12AX7A – Sovtek 12AX7WA (?)


So if you eg have a JJ ECC83MG available as "S4GB Normal Gain" and as "S4A Premium" they may be probably the same.
They are all tested with low noise and low microphonics - and the S4GB Normal Gain ones I bought are also balanced with gain ratings of both the triodes written on the box. You can also ask them to pick out what you prefer gainwise which is very nice!
It's a great shop! I buy tubes from them since 2013 and never had a single problem.
 

MarshallDog

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From my American perspective, I don't buy from known exploiters of underage/unsafe labor but I also don't research every product I buy. In the end, it's American consumers that essentially pay the tariff fee directly to the US Treasury. There currently are tariffs on tubes and virtually everything else that comes from China and Russia. Raise them and you end up hurting the average US consumer of those products as well as the producers of other American products, all to artificially prop up a specific industry. Tariffs are a delicate balancing act - we raise the tariffs on tubes and China raises them on American cotton, for example.

I'm OK with American products competing on quality rather than price.

Put higher tariffs on imports and you will see more companies moving back to America whic equals more good paying jobs, more self dependance, more tax dollars for the US government, better jobs with health care...its a win all the way around. It might take a bit for it to stabilize but it would all be better in the end.
 

Dogs of Doom

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Mullard made 6550?
sorry, should have said KT-88...

which is what Psvane mfgr's too, although they market them as both...

Mullard:

s-l1600.jpg


vs Psvane: (although they make quite a few different looking bottles)

ps-kt88-t2.jpg

for more of their different tubes (KT-88), look here:


but, anyway, my point was that they are all marketed as hi-fi tubes, as were the Mullards, for audio marketing... Same as Sylvania, Philips, Seimens, etc. They were not mfgr'd &/or marketed as guitar tubes...
 
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PaulHikeS2

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Put higher tariffs on imports and you will see more companies moving back to America whic equals more good paying jobs, more self dependance, more tax dollars for the US government, better jobs with health care...its a win all the way around. It might take a bit for it to stabilize but it would all be better in the end.
Not quite so simple, IMO. Tariff agreements are highly complex and cover every single product that is imported and exported. If one country breaks existing trade agreements by unilaterally declaring higher tariffs on product X from another country, then that country raises tariffs on something of ours. I would rather not hurt the entire corn industry, for example, just to help Western Electric make money off tubes.

A negotiated agreement would work the same way, excepts it's a bit more civilized and there's no surprises. Just ask a Maine lobsterman.
 


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