Western Electric looking for consumer feedback to make new tubes!

This was brought to my attention a few days ago, and I’ve filled out the form stating that I would love to see mid-priced 6SN7s, 5U4Gs, EL34s, and KT88s from them. I’m not sure how long of a time-frame we’re looking at here, but it appears at the very least that Western Electric is interested in hearing from us! Please fill out the form and don’t forget to put down what tubes you would like to see from them, this could be a good thing! Best regards, Aric




Guitar.com: Much more harmonic distortion is acceptable in guitar amp tubes than in hifi tubes – is this lower-fidelity sound reflected in the ease of the manufacturing process?

Western Electric: “There is a need for better quality. This is yet another major reason we would even consider breaking into the guitar amp tube market. People have grown accustomed to cherry-picking from any given batch of tubes to get the best sound. Along with better reliability, we hope to offer a super low-noise, low-distortion, and consistent product people can trust. Our goal has always been to make the best electron tubes in the world.

“That being said, yes, manufacturing a miniature dual triode like the 12AX7 is significantly easier and less labour-intensive than a 300B, for example.”


I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how they sound and what they cost.

Agree, we’ll have to wait and see about how they sound, but I don’t know if or how the Russian and Chinese approach the differences between guitar amp and audio amp requirements when devising their tubes. Both markets seem to be buying the same tubes as there isn’t a selection choice for one or the other that I have seen when buying those tubes.

It would be awesome to see another US manufacturer succeed

Question from a newbie regarding tubes: what are the most “valuable” tubes that WE could produce?

As a small manufacturer, WE needs to produce tubes for which they can charge a lot - if they want to fill spare manufacturing capacity, they need to do it with relatively specialized tubes catering to customers who would pay anything. Question for the group: is that something like 211s? 2a3s? 45s? @aricaudio your insight greatly appreciated by the group

If they want to get bigger in a healthy way, then they’d drop down a notch in price level and address a bigger market with an ultra-premium product ($600 845s whatever)

I think WE would need to become much bigger before producing a more common tube like an EL34, and even then will always need to position as an ultra-premium product. WE can take a big share of market profits without taking a big share of market unit sales

An analogy would be the way in which Porsche expanded its product line from the 911, to the Boxsters, to SUVs, to sedans. They sell a lot more cars, all of which enjoy high levels of customer loyalty, and all which are expensive

BTW, I’ve surely missed a bunch of ways one could think about this idea, so alternative views requested!

Have a great day

@jonwatches1 The best commodity tube would be anyone’s guess. I personally sell more 300B amplifiers than any other, and more 6SN7 pres than 2A3, 845 or 211 amps. I also read an interview with WE posted two days ago that states their new facility was built intentionally larger than they required and that tooling and machinery for other types of tubes is already in place and has been for some time. Also stated was that 300Bs are much more involved and costly than making say, a 12AX7 or other Noval or Octal based tubes.  Apparently they also do not want to make all of their tubes at a premium price, but understandably they will be priced higher than Chinese or Russian tubes as they want to maintain a higher level of quality. It I can find the link I’ll share it.

All the best, Aric

@aricaudio - thank you so much for the response - I believe the thread to which you refer is posted above. Perhaps then WE’s next best tube is the 6SN7, for which there is a lot of demand (and hence the ability to create a premium segment)

And thanks again for your ongoing personal support of these forums - it’s a pleasure to hear from people like yourself and @atmasphere  who bring so much professional expertise to these discussions