Why Can't Modern Tube Manufacturers Make a Proper Tube?

Current tube manufacturers, at least the ones I have tried should be utterly ashamed at their ineptness, apathy, ignorance, or whatever it is that makes them seemingly unable to make a tube properly.

And I never knew what I was missing before I tried reclaimed tubes from the 1950's, an era where people build things instead of ruining things.

The present manufactures are said to have the actual machinery to make tubes for which they have examples in hand and schematics on file, but they just can't do it.

Is this a case of Idiocracy? Are people just stupid today? The world and all creation do follow the 2nd rule of thermodynamics so I guess this is the case.

Listening to Black Plate RCA’s and Mullards in my system, even for a short time made it glaringly obvious that modern manufactures are embarrassingly inadequate. There is absolutely no comparison.

Why can't modern tube manufacturers make a proper tube?

1. lack of IQ?

2. Apathy? 

3. Lack of Materials?

4. Lost knowledge? 



There was a UK company originally making medical tubes that came out with updated things like 12 series with considerable improvements  a number of years back. Never heard of them since. 

Basically, the market is tiny and the cost is high if I were to venture a guess.  One can emulate the distortion products in a transistor circuit and using various FETs, do a pretty good job of the transductance curves. I don't think we understand the "musicality" well enough to emulate in DSP but I bet some are working on it.   

@tonydennison  - regarding WE tubes they presently are only manufacturing their 300B, but as noted elsewhere in the thread their intention is to produce some other tube variants at their Rossville Works facility. https://www.westernelectric.com/rossville-works

Here's WE's links for getting on their mailing list for product annaouncements, and direct contact page.



Goggle is your friend



"In classical rhetoric and logic begging the question or assuming the conclusion is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion. A question-begging inference is valid, in the sense that the conclusion is as true as the premise, but it is not a valid argument."

"I looked at the Tak’s and they were over $1K a piece....No way I’m doing that."

Me neither. That’s one reason I have jumped off the tube bandwagon, along with convenience, the uncertainty regarding actual quality of what you buy unless from select sources, and being a fan of technical innovation and advances in general that cut into the value of an old time technology like vacuum tubes increasingly over time.

As time goes on, like most anything of quality that is vintage and still desirable (much is not), the "best" tubes will only cost even more. How long can people make that work?

I also like wine well enough but the best is not even something that I aspire to there.