Updated 01 JUN 14
|Vacuum Tubes and Parts - and the world's tube factories
|Endorsed by us ... and used by us ...Vacuum Tube Suppliers and parts vendors on the internet ... folks we trust, and test at least every 90 days.
They deliver what is expected and advertised. Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting purchases tubes at retail from a number of internet tube suppliers
using ten selected customers from the USA, Europe, and Asia. The tubes are then sent to us and all are tested and traced. Some folks stay on the
list, and some do not. If you do not see a vendor you use, it does not mean they are a bad one ... it may be somebody that we have not tested
(there are a lot of them out there). If they were here though, and now gone, there is probably a reason. Feel free to inquire via email if you have a
|These are my personal favorite TUBE suppliers. Any of these folks are first rate.
CLICK ON THE COMPANY NAME BELOW IN EACH AREA FOR MORE INFORMATION
|KCA NOS tubes - Generally my first stop for NOS tubes, Mike is also a great vendor of many current production tubes where having a vendor
who knows how to test is even more important due to the poor quality and inconsistent nature of today's current production tubes. Mike is also a
great technical resource on music instrument amplifiers and HIFI amps.
Lots of new old stock and premium tubes. They can also supply matched phase inverters done properly, as they use the VTV unit . These are a
MUST CHECK for any consideration of NOS tubes. They are one of the few NOS vendors that Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting recommends and uses
for our clients that want to go the final step in making a good amp sound spectacular.
Mike at KCA is my personal favorite NOS guy. His prices are great and he has what I need on hand just about all of the time. Mike strongly
supports my personal clients and I hear nothing but praise from them about KCA. The KCA website is also chock full of GREAT information.
|Doug's Tubes - Doug Preston is one of my favorite personal suppliers of vacuum tubes, both NOS and new.
Doug has a very extensive inventory and every Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting client I have sent his way, has been thrilled with this fellow. Doug's
website (just click on the link above in green), was just put up over Christmas I think. It's great that I finally have a link to send folks to, as in the past
I had to give out his email address or personal phone number, and at times did not know all of what he may have had in stock.
I strongly recommend giving Doug a call if you are shopping for tubes. His prices are very surprising on many items. He will also do special deals on
bulk items and combined lots.
|Antique Electronic Supply The folks at AES supplied me with the following writeup on their products and services: Antique Electronic
Supply offers the most diverse line of products for all types of tube gear including vacuum tubes, transformers, speakers, capacitors, parts, supplies
and literature. We have the largest inventory of NOS tubes in the U.S. and also offer a large variety of current production tubes. We offer Jensen
and Celestion speakers, Hammond and One Electron transformers, Original Fender, Gibson, Ampeg and Dunlop replacement parts, Accutronics
reverb tanks, Pro Co and Maxon effects pedals, Caig chemicals, Weller and Xcelite tools, and an extensive line of books. Contact us for your free
catalog or browse the catalog/shopping cart on-line.
On a personal note, these folks have a lot of great books if you are interested in tube equipment, and sell speakers such as Jensen and others at
nice prices. They also always have the output transformers I use most often in stock all the time.
The wholesale side of AES is CE Distribution. They can be found at www.cedist.com
|Tubefreak - some tubes, but a lot of great info on amps and tubes. Good schematics library too.
From the Tubefreak website:
At this site you'll find info on tubes for guitaramps, how they sound and influence your tone.
Besides info on tubes, you can find various articles on improving your equipment and the largest list of Mesa/Boogie schematics online. But also a
Gear Database which contains all preamps, poweramps, switchers, etc I know. Plus detailed info of my guitar setup
The past years I've worked on several solutions for guitar players. A simple but affective buffer to preserve your signal and a remotely controlled A/B
switcher for example. Info on this can be found at the Schematics and Products sections.
Remember, this site is made by an enthusiast, not a commercial company. Enjoy & share the knowledge.
GLASS ELECTRON TUBE MANUFACTURERS
We currently estimate that the demand for audio tubes is growing 10% to 20% per year. Audio tubes are over a $200+ million dollar industry in the USA and possibly $500+
million dollars worldwide.
Note: this list shows all the small glass audio tubes believed in production at this time.(not counting exotic devices, such as photomultipliers and microwave devices)
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.
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 Japan.
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.
SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLICS
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
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.
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).
|Magic Parts & Ruby Tubes The folks at Magic Parts are know for the line of tubes sold as the Ruby Tubes
brand. They have a number of exclusive tubes such as the EL34B-STR which is one of my favorite EL34 tubes. There is
a detailed report on this particular tube elsewhere in this website. Their 12AX7C is a superb 12AX7 type that is one of the
most smooth and linear of any current production 12AX7.
Magic Parts is also a supplier of many types of parts for amps such as resistors, caps, sockets, transformers and items of
There items are sold through their extensive dealer network. If you click on the text title in this box or on their logo to the
left you will be redirected to their website where you can find their dealers and browse their catalog of items.
As a side note; their warranty on tubes is six months and that includes their power tubes. I do not think there is anybody in
the industry that has a warranty this long on output tubes Great folks!