Will sanctions be the end of the tube resurgence?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BayouTiger, Feb 23, 2022.

  1. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    OK, so I really don't wan't this to devolve into anything political, but with the events taking place in Europe and sanctions looming and relations freezing, How will all the tube manufacturers maintain any supply chain for tubes which are nearly all sourced from Russia? Yes there are many that are made in China, but they generally do not have the breadth and quality of those coming from Tung-Sol and other's in Russia. I can see a disruption, at least for awhile.

    Yes this is incredibly petty with war on the brink, but this is an audio forum and it is a reality, and maybe worth a consideration. I know that (again as petty as it is in the grand scheme, I will be ordering at least one set for my GSi75 and my A50T as they both are close to needing replacement, so it's not paranoid, just prudent.
    guestuser, PATB, uzn007 and 6 others like this.
  2. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    No one can see the future.

    But two weeks ago I did buy a backup set of Tung-sol's for my amp.
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Yikes, I didn’t even think of this. I don’t have any tube hi-fi gear, but I do have tube guitar amps… should probably see if I can grab some now, rather than wait until I need them only to find they’re unobtainium…
  4. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    The Seattle area
    Both JJ and Chinese tubes should remain unaffected. But its never a bad idea to buy a few extras just in case.
    Manimal, fortherecord, uzn007 and 9 others like this.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Somehow heartbreak feels good in a place like this

    New York
    Sanctions could block exporting goods to those countries that participate in sanctions, but there are already enough other problems with the overall supply of tubes.

    Article from this past summer:

    “There is a worldwide panic on availability of vacuum tubes”: EHX's Mike Matthews on the murky future of valve amps | Guitar.com | All Things Guitar

    Speaking about what he described as the “digital IC crisis”, Matthews cited the closure of a factory in China putting huge pressure on the New Sensor facility in Russia, which was founded and is owned by Matthews, to supply the global demand for amp valves.

    “Currently, there is a worldwide panic on the availability of vacuum tubes,” Matthews wrote. “The big Shuguang factory in China was forced to move… and the Jamona (JJ Electronic) factory in Slovakia that used to have lead times of one month, now has lead times of six months.

    “We’re getting bombarded with orders from desperate customers from all over the world. Our tube factory is operating now at 100 percent of capacity, so we cannot produce all the quantities that are demanded. However, we are allocating quantities to many customers so that they can continue to survive.”
    kt66brooklyn, layman, AaronW and 3 others like this.
  6. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well, some of us have amps designed around the KT150 or KT120 and for those of us with modern ARC gear, we are highly dependent on the 6H30 which are very limited in sourcing.
    kt66brooklyn and TarnishedEars like this.
  7. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    What sanctions. So far, no one has suggested import sanctions against Russian products; the sanctions are financial (against banks) and certain individuals.
  8. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian

    Bummer if there’s a shortage. Hope it’s not permanent. Lucky I only use preamp tubes.
  9. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    I think @BayouTiger brings up a reasonable point. It’s easy to see the possibility of further disruptions, whether that’s due to supply chain issues or outright sanctions on goods.
    qwerty and BayouTiger like this.
  10. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    ALL Russian tube brands are owned by an American corporation. I would imagine the owner had done some lobbying in DC to avoid falling under these sanctions?
    hi_watt likes this.
  11. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    NYC Metro
    Tube lobby third only to Pharma and Tech
  12. Slimpickens

    Slimpickens Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    I like Telefunkens.
    fishcane, fretter and sbo like this.
  13. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
    I doubt it will much if any effect
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Somehow heartbreak feels good in a place like this

    New York
    Well, if you are one of those US tube manufacturing companies that has total control over all trade routes and shipping and trucking companies across multiple countries from there to here, and your own bank to convert currency and move money between countries, and are cool enough with the sanctioned country to be exempt from any retaliatory actions against businesses owned by sanctioning countries ... then I guess you'll be pretty immune to whatever may happen. :agree:
  15. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Is that a beer I hear?

    Tri-Cities TN
    So expect a run on tubes just as I re-entered the tube amp arena...
  16. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    I’m not sure how we’d tell if the situation has any real effect on tube availability, or availability of any goods… stuff’s been pretty disrupted already.
    Tim 2 and Harris11235 like this.
  17. BillWojo

    BillWojo Forum Resident

    Burlington, NJ
    What happens if Russian imports are banned? The same thing that happened during the cold war with Russia. Another country that can import the tubes buys them, relabels the tubes as made in their country and happily sells them to us. This was going on for decades during the cold war, even the US government was purchasing them for military use.
    Business as usual. History repeats itself.

    sushimaster, layman, mds and 5 others like this.
  18. ca1ore

    ca1ore Forum Resident

    Stamford, CT, USA
    Been worried about the future availability of tubes for a while so I’d been waiting for Upscale to get enough Tung-Sol 6550s for my three VTL amps. That happened late last week so I ordered a bunch. Who knows whether supply gets interrupted, maybe yes maybe no (I lean to the latter). Or maybe prices just go up. Either way I figure it cannot hurt to have two full replacement sets, particularly bought from a reputable place.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
  19. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    The Russians have not, so far, imposed much in the way of sanctions on the US, despite the US doing quite the opposite. So, my take on it is: as long as the US lets the Russian tubes in - the Russians will probably let them out - they're not a strategically important product. The rest is technicalities, which might just make them more expensive, that's all - isn't everything else nowadays?
    SandAndGlass and Big Blue like this.
  20. Oddiofyl

    Oddiofyl Forum Resident

    I stocked up. Bought four. Nos JAN CRC 5r4gy rectifiers , first pair were 89 ea. Second pair were 99 ea. I went to buy two more and they were 150 ea , so I passed. This was from a dealer in Serbia. I think they have been cranking up prices in anticipation. I also picked up 4 pair of Mullard e180f for $6 ea. I should be good for a while but it never hurts to stock up.
  21. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Senior Member

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I expect you to be doing raids on tubes. Like a rogue or thief. After all, you bought a Rogue amp. You must stay within your character class.
  22. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hey I just placed a big order at Upscale, I've fussed about Kevin being smarmy salesman, but I'm loving him now! :)

    Tim 2, Jacob29, rischa and 4 others like this.
  23. Oddiofyl

    Oddiofyl Forum Resident

    My soon to be delivered amp uses all obsolete tubes... good news they are easily obtainable . I have 6 nos rectifiers, 5 pair of NOS input and one pair of output tubes , new production Western Electric 300b.

    Upscale does sell quality tubes. I have bought from him in the past for my other amps and preamps. Kevin's Stash tubes are among the best I've ever received
    jb welda and jonwoody like this.
  24. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    I bought a quad of Tung-Sol 7591A for my Fisher 800c today mostly because I’m fairly certain my current set are having issues. But it did cross my mind that the current conflict could throw a wrench into the tube trade.
  25. Oddiofyl

    Oddiofyl Forum Resident

    Yeah, I just re-tubed my Mid Monos , JJ inputs, drivers , and EL34 power and it was $160 for both....not bad but I'm sure vendors will continue to gouge with what's going on in the world now

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