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




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