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Where do Vacuum Tubes come from?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by westland, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Some of the recent threads have speculated on the origin of the current production of vacuum tubes. Here is a list of factories.


    Reflector Corp, Saratov

    Makes most of the tubes marketed by New Sensor Co. of New York under the "Sovtek" brand name. Some of these are old
    Russian types, others are made especially for export. Types in production: 2A3, 300B, 12AX7 (3 variations known), EL34 (3
    versions), 6CA7 fat, 5AR4, 5881, 6922, 6EU7, 6L6GB, 6V6GT, 6072A, 6973, 7199, 7591, 7868, EL84 (2 versions), KT66, KT88, KT90,
    6P15P. "Sovtek" also markets 5U4G, 5Y3GT, 6SN7, 6SL7, three 12AX7s and a few other types made at other factories. Note:
    there is no "Sovtek" factory. "Sovtek" is only an American brand name owned by New Sensor. New Sensor now owns the
    Svetlana brand name and is using on tubes manufactured by Reflector. The Electro Harmonix tube are also made by this
    plant. In 2005 New Sensor bought the names of Mullard and Tung-Sol and are placing these names on tubes of their New
    Sensor banner.

    Ryazan Plant of Electronics, Ryazan

    Makes power triodes for RF and audio applications. Some are sold outside Russia by Svetlana Electron Devices. Ryazan has
    also made large thyratrons and pulse tubes. Types in production: 811A (popular and sold all over the world), 812A, SV811-3,
    SV811-10, SV572-3, SV572-10, SV572-30, SV572-160, GM-100, others. SV types and 812A are made especially for Svetlana
    Electron Devices.

    SED Winged C, St. Petersburg

    A major Russian power-tube manufacturer. Formerly a part of the huge Svetlana collective factory, now independent. SED
    tubes are now distributed in North America and Europe by PM Components. Types in production: EL34, SV6L6GC, SV6550C,
    300B, EL509, EF86, 6BM8, 6AS7, 3CX300A1, 6D22S, GP-5, and a long list of large power types for amateur radio, broadcast and
    industrial uses. KT88 and 12AX7 are have been recently introduced.

    Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

    Large state-owned factory specializes in military equipment. Also makes tubes for use in military aircraft electronics. Types in
    production: GU-50, GU-13/813, 6S33S-V, 6S19P, 6S41P, others. 6S33 is becoming popular in high-end amplifiers in America and

    Voskhod, Kaluga

    Large collective factory, makes many ICs and other semiconductors as well as receiving tubes. Types in production: 6N1P-EV,
    6AX7, 12AX7WA and WB, 6SN7, 6SL7 and a few other types sold by various firms outside Russia, such as New Sensor/"Sovtek"
    and Svetlana Electron Devices.


    Shuguang Electrical Factory No. 1

    Owned by Korean firm Samsung. Shuguang makes most of the popular audio and guitar types, which are frequently rebranded
    by importers and OEMs. Types believed in production: 6L6GC, EL34 (3 types), 6550, KT100, 5AR4, 2A3, 807. Possibly 211,
    845--unconfirmed. Shuguang's low-cost tubes are often seen in guitar amps. (Thanks to Chris Beeching for info.)


    Makes many types which are marketed abroad. PM Components, a British firm, has "Golden Dragon" types made by Liuzhou.
    (Thanks to Chris Beeching for info.)

    O&J Enterprises/Valve Art

    Makes the following: 6L6GC, EL34, 6550A, KT88, KT100, 300B, 300B-C60 (graphite plate 60w), 5300B (graphite plate 80w
    150mA), and 6300B (graphite plate 80w 180mA), plus possibly other types, at a factory in Changsha, Hunan. (Thanks to Wilfred
    ter Borg for type list.)

    "Sino" factory in Beijing recently stopped making 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AU7, 6GH8, 6AN8 and other small tubes, due to a poor
    market and tough competition from Sovtek/New Sensor. It is said that Sino made the popular, low-cost 211s and 845s often
    seen in SE amplifiers; this cannot be confirmed. Sino is apparently no longer making any tubes.

    There are other tube factories
    in China.
    Most keep a very low profile. Some of these lesser-known factories specialize in transmitting tubes such as the 811A,
    812A, 813, 3-500Z,4-400, 100TH, 833 and others. Such transmitting types are often branded with old American/European brands
    and sold without notification that they are Chinese-made, as are the audio types.


    JJ Electronic, Cadca, Slovakia

    A spinoff from now-defunct state factory Tesla factory. Outside of Slovakia, JJ tubes are often sold under the Teslovak or Tesla
    brandname. Groove tubes is a major distributor. Types in production: GZ34, KT88S, EL34, E34L, ECC803S, ECC83/12AX7, EL84,
    2A3, 6L6GC, 6V6GTS, 300B, 7027A, 7591S. Some of the power pentode types are available in red or blue glass.

    AVVT, Prague, Czech Republic

    Run by former Vaic Valve Co. founder Alesa Vaic. Manufatures audio power triodes for high-end hi-fi amplifiers. Types in
    production: AV300B SL, AV32B SL, AV62B SL, and others.

    KR Enterprise, Prague, Czech Republic

    Formerly Vaic Valve Co, now operated by Riccardo and Eunice Kron. Manufactures power triodes for high-end audio
    amplifiers. Types in production: VV30B, VV300B, VV52B, KR1, a single-plate 2A3 and other types..


    EI Electronic Industries, Nis, Serbia

    Former state-owned factory, makes all types of electrical products, still making tubes using some old Philips production
    tooling and equipment. Marketed outside of Serbia by Edicron Electronic Components Ltd, UK. Types in production: 6CA7,
    6CG7, 12AT7, 12AX7, 12BH7, 12DW7, EL34, EL519, PL519, KT90, KT99, EL84, EL86, possibly a few others. Latest reports indicate
    that the EI factory was not destroyed in the 1999 Kosovo conflict by NATO missles.


    Poljaron, Lvov

    Makes 833A and some Russian power types, plus related products such as vacuum capacitors.


    Richardson Electronics, LaFox, IL

    Makes a 300B, 845 and 50 sold under the Cetron brand for high-end audio, as well as a KT88 sold under the National brand.
    Richardson has large quantities of tooling obtained from old American tube factories when they shut down. Also makes some
    larger transmitting and high-voltage types. Richardson markets many tubes, obtained from other factories worldwide, under
    their own brandnames; such as Cetron, National and Amperex.

    Westrex Corporation, Kansas City, MO

    Makes the reissued Western Electric 300B for high-end audio. Claims to be developing a KT88, WE308, WE274A and other old
    WE types for future manufacture. Corporate and sales offices are located in Atlanta and Chattanooga. Also has sales office
    in UK. Tube manufacturing facility was relocated from Kansas City to Huntsville, AL. This firm is independent of AT&T
    Corporation and has licensed the brandnames from AT&T.

    MU, Oceanside, CA

    Small contract factory, makes occasional runs of unusual glass and metal-ceramic tubes for military use. Still makes some of
    the old "Bendix Red Bank" tubes, such as the 6094 and 6384, in occasional lots.

    Triton Services ETD, Gaithersburg, MD

    Makes some Eimac and Litton glass power types, using equipment from the original manufacturers. Recently discontinued
    some glass types, such as 4-65A, 4-125A, 250TH, 304TH/TL, etc. (these types are now only available from China).
  2. Good post, thanks for the info!
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    from what source(s) have you compiled the list. I've read quite a bit of conflicting info this past couple years I've been tube curious.
  4. You mean they don't come from the stork?

  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    now dang son, i always thought vacuum tubes came from the experiments of legends in the fields of 18th century physics and the study of electricity like edison.
  6. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Well done!

    [Dr. Strangelove]
    He can't come in here, he'll see everything, He'll see
    [/Dr. Strangelove]

    See, all that space program money the Russki's spent
    didn't go to waste!
  7. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    I didn't .. I just copied from the GT site http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/ ... I knew about the Russian and Chinese factories, and about JJ's from their web page ... GT's info is consistent with my priors, and more complete

  8. LOL!
  9. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    agh... myles's site... woah boy...don't let him know about this forum, or he'll come here and start spamming all over again... *sigh*
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    cool, similar to my assumptions too... just curious of the origins.
  11. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    They come from Santa Clause...

    Mele Kalikimaka y Hauole Makahiki Hou...
  12. That list came from Vacuum Tube Valley. With the exception of the update for the SED/Svetlana debacle and the addition of KT90's to the Saratov factory list, it is out of date by at least five years. It's no surprise to find an old version of it used without credit by GT.
  13. Steelpulz


    Nov 4, 2003
    Inglewood, CA
    First the Daddy vacuum tube and the mommy vacuum tube fall in love. Then they.....
  14. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    BTW, here is The VTV List with commentary :D
  15. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    OK, let's all make a story ... I'll continue ....

    Then they "... felt the electricity. She said 'Vac, I get such a charge out of you' when he biased her grid.

    He said 'wait 'til I warmup my Anode, babe'

    She said 'ohhh, my plate's so hot. Let's make beautiful music together' " ... (NEXT) ...

    (lame, lame, lame :eyebrow: )
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA

    hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe you should stick to finance and information systems. Although that might make for some interesting lyrics for a blues number to be performed at MIT. - ;)
  17. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    My first rave review ... I'm flattered :D
  18. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    typically you want to warm up the cathode... *shrug*

    and that's why they call it a.... er, nevermind... gotta keep this clean.
  19. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    You can write romance novels and you're main demographic would be musicians! lol :bag:

    "Then Sir Ampeg blew his fuse as lady Hartke gasped (In Db). Sir Ampeg's 15"....sub.. tremebled from the sound"