Whilst doing some research on vacuum tubes, I ran across the Western Electric
website, showing that they are still building tubes today. In particular, their
historic 300B vacuum tube, available
newly manufactured at Western Electric's Rossville Works plant, for $699 apiece,
or $1,499 as a matched pair (they are typically used in a push-pull configuration).
A fair amount of vintage amplifier gear used by musicians is still in service,
and many use the 300B amplifier tube. You might ask why anyone would spend $700
on a vacuum tube when he could simply buy one on eBay. A search of recently sold
(don't judge by unsold listing prices)
300B tube shows even the new old stock (NOS) tubes are selling for $1,500 and up.
At those prices, Western Electric is doing equipment owners a favor by providing
brand new tubes using modern materials and production techniques for about half
You might also wonder why Western Electric is manufacturing 300B vacuum tubes
today. The answer is that they are used in
Western Electric 91E audio
amplifiers also being produced, it being the modern version of their famous predecessor,
the WE 91A. "A never before realized level of performance has been achieved
with a completely new approach to SE amplifier design. Developed over five years,
the 91E's circuitry intelligently steers the parallel feed constant current source
(SCCS), allowing the tubes to deliver more than double their previously rated output
of 7-8 watts. You've never heard the 300B like this before." You can be a proud
owner of one for a mere $14,999
for the Black or Champagne color, or $15,499 for the Nickel color version.
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