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? 



"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.


I’m willing to bet there were far more failed tubes in the early years then most here would like to admit. just the sheer amount made would dictate to a much larger failure rate then we see today. there was also budget cheep tubes made back then so its all relevant. The good tubes made in the past are now stupid money.

new production tube have also come a long way in the past decade to the point i think they are on par with or close to the average NOS stuff. lets face it the really good NOS tubes are getting long in the tooth for availability so there are only the mediocre NOS tube really available in any quantity.

I’m just happy someone is trying to make new tubes still and good quality ones at that.


""Sophia Electric makes the best production tubes.""


Yeah, they look beautiful. I would love to hear those without throwing down $700.