RCA tubes back in production

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ASC67, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    HUH. I got a "dangerous site, back away" warning from Chrome.
     
  2. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I hope Guitar Center caries them, then I can use one of their 1% off $299. or more coupons.
     
  3. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Tele-Meister

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    RCA never made tubes in Nowheresville, Nevada. They were made in Harrison, New Jersey across the river from Newark, which shoulda been called Glass City because back in the early thirties there were a dozen tube manufacturing plants there. Tung Sol did OK until the sixties and I was still selling new Tung Sol car lightbulbs in the late 1970s

    In the two pictures above, the stereo amp has two Sylvanias in the middle and GEs outboard. Perhaps the other is what's left of Pittman's remake of GE tubes project that flopped.
     
  4. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    No warning here with Chrome... Not sure what's going on there.

    I will say though - the $500 website with no information makes me really wonder about the business plan in general. Just saying ...
     
  5. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    i call shenanigans.

    the fact that they think USA made RCA tubes somehow need improvements (or worse that they are the ones that can improve them) tells me they dont know wth they are doing.

    but, they could be like new sensor and produce decent quality tubes but here in the US. I believe Russia, and Canada are the only countries making new tubes today.
     
  6. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Who said Americans own it?
     
  7. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    CANADA? That would be news to me....
    We stopped making tubes about the same time the US did.

    Russia and CHINA makes more sense :)
     
  8. backline

    backline Tele-Afflicted

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    It will definitely be a "Wait And See" scenario.
    I get the feeling their customer base will be Hi-Fi people.
    But I will keep my fingers crossed.

    Even if the factory was full of the old equipment....who would run the machines.? and what Chemists do they have to make and control the materials.?
    There just are not that many people alive that know how to make good tubes...or that can produce them at a price that makes sense.


    Time will tell...I hope they can make a go of it.:cool:
    best
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  9. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    Russia, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and China are the only countries left with operating tube manufacturing facilities. Northern Electric (in Canada) has their tubes manufactured in China. If a tube comes from Russia, it most likely comes out of one of the factories owned by New Sensor (ie Mike Matthews, of Electro-Harmonix.) He owns the trademarks for the most of the "classic" tube brands (Tung Sol, Mullard, etc), but they all come out of the same couple of factories in Russia.

    Ei used to be made in Yugoslavia, but the factory was blown up during the Kosovo War. There are now Ei tubes being manufactured in one of the Chinese factories, but AFAIK nobody from the original company is involved.

    It looks like the real Winged C (SED) factory in St. Petersberg has shut down for good. Mike Matthews owns the trademark to the name "Winged C", but they're made in New Sensor factories. SED (who made the classic Winged C's) appears to have gone out of business. Confused yet?

    There are one or two small "boutique" tube manufacturers in the US, but they're geared primarily toward audiophile stereos and produce tubes that aren't used in many (if any) guitar amps, such as 300A's and KT-120's. Also, they're ridiculously, insanely expensive. There aren't any real tube factories operating in the US anymore.

    The US military would have absolutely no use for tubes, as they've long since been surpassed by far more rugged technology. The military moved away from tubes as soon as they could, because transistors were far more reliable in the field and less expensive to maintain. If the military needed vacuum tubes for anything, there would still be at least one US tube factory operating, since military regulations require that the military use US-made equipment unless there is absolutely no other option (unless they've changed that rule recently.)
     
  10. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Same here from Firefox

    "This is a suspicious site. There is a higher than average probability that you will be exposed to malicious links or payloads."
     
  11. AussieAndrew

    AussieAndrew Friend of Leo's

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    If it "is" true and a new tube cost an arm & a leg, I could only afford 2. And then I would have no use for 'em anyway.
     
  12. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Well if after they get going and you can pick up a pair of these at maybe $160 a pair vs a real RCA blackplate pair at $200+ or more ??? Only time will tell. I'm all for anything made with a little higher standard than the current Chin. or Russian QC standard, especially if you get a 6-12 month warranty with them.

    Me I'm we'll see..... Ymmv.
     
  13. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Let's see, A mom and her son are are going to manufacture tubes under a name that employed thousands of skilled workers, engineers that specialized in tube manufacture, R&D, Quality control, required millions of $$ in funding, and no EPA Regulations to worry about, etc.; all of which are pretty much lost to time. I'll pass......
     
  14. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    not only that but they will make improvements to the old tubes.

    I have an RCA 5Y3 in my tweed deluxe thats been going strong for 30+ years. Yeah, they should improve on that lol
     
  15. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

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    Forgive my bluntness, but this sounds like nonsense. Watch the 1960 film from Mullard, posted on YouTube. Pay careful attention. It shows in some detail what's really involved in the mfg. of an EL84, from start to finish.



    Owning the "rights", or some tooling, or a factory space where tubes were once made is not enough, The industrial supplier network required to support vacuum tube manufacturing with U.S. sourced materials spec'd at the standards of "golden-era" tube quality no longer exists. When it did, it was not in Nevada. It was, as PrarieDawg pointed out, in New Jersey and Owensboro KY, etc. an old lamp facility in Nevada doth not a 6L6 factory make. :)

    I suppose it is possible someone might come up with a novel way to make new tube designs, but the idea that someone is going to "restart" any old production line to recreate a replica of the old 6L6GC is an absolute pipe dream. Elvis has left the building. The US industrial infrastructure and qualified labor force is nonexistent. Ain't gonna happen.

    Just watch that Mullard video and pay attention to the little details the 1960 narrator talks about, like "the new wire pulling plant" or "the chemist's division, where getter materials are produced", etc. Narrator goes on to describe that Mullard built those divisions, because they "wanted better control of the quality of their materials". That means that even in 1960, Mullard was not happy with the quality of wire and chemistry they were getting from outside vendors! And this was in the gooden era, when the vacuum tube was still the dominant electronic device. It is now a quaint relic.

    In particular, watch the last scene. You'll see literally thousands of workers pour out of the Mullard Blackburn factory at the end of their workday. Where are you going to get these skilled workers in Nevada - for cheap? Really...

    Without a Mullard-sized, internally sourced manufacturing facility, the price and quality will never become competitive - even if they did manage to cobble together a few working examples.

    IMO, this is just another "raise the Titanic" scheme, and just as nonsensical.
     
  16. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

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    And besides all of that, the website is laughably long on hyperbole and suspiciously short of factory floor shots.

    Show me "Hernando, our mica spacer cutter" or "Miss Culverton, who runs our grid wire spooling machine" or "this is Donny, the machinist who keeps our automation working", or "our accountant Mrs. Brightston" or "our engineering staff at work" or anything believable

    Heck, just show me an organized production line - then maybe I'll believe.
     
  17. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    And for $200 a pop you could get the real deal....
    This is aimed at the same people who pay big $$ for special wooden knobs that make their stereo sound better.
     
  18. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of negative people here. This is why the US is becoming a 3rd world nation. Too many people who find ways or reasons not to do something.

    I for one hope they do well. I would guess they will be buying all their materials from other manufacturers thus the EPA will never get involved as there will be very little toxic waste on site to worry about.
     
  19. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, if they're buying it anywhere it'd have to be China or Russia ( ''Made in USA"?), and you might just as well buy from New Sensor or Shugang or whatever and save yourself some $$. I'm all for supporting legitmate US business but I don't support BS no matter where it originates.
     
  20. backline

    backline Tele-Afflicted

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    Is that what the article implies.?
    That they will be buying their:
    Getters
    Envelopes
    Screens
    Coated Cathodes
    Pins and Wires
    etc etc. from Shuguang...and then assembling them in Nevada.?

    They claim to be "Resurrecting" the RCA line of tubes.
    To me, that means they are using the old RCA recipes, and making all their own "stuff" in an effort to replicate tubes of that 1940-1970 era.

    Like I say in my previous post...I hope they succeed...but I have my doubts.
    Remember a few years ago, when those guys reopened Blachburn.?
    They could not even get the "original" Mullard AX7 to work...after trying for 2 years.
    Thousands and thousands of hours....Millions of dollars.
     
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