Thu
5
May '11

Tubes / Valves for Guitar Amplifiers: Worldwide Brands and Manufacturers List

This article presents a list of the worldwide brands and manufacturers of tubes / valves used in guitar amplifiers at the date of writing or update. The words tube and valve are synonyms indicating the same device, we will use tube in the article. The list is only informative and does not provide any judgment or comparison between brands and models.

First of all, a few clarifies are necessary in order to understand the actual situation of this niche world. There are several brands in the market and several manufacturers in the world, and in recent years there have been many “buy and sell” operations. As a result, today some facilities produce tubes models labeled with different brands, and you can purchase the same device under a different name and/or brand according to which part of the world you reside in. A good example of mess, no doubt :) . It’s my opinion that the simplest way to approach the market is identifying the various tubes models by brand because the market does it. So this article is a list of tubes brands with details about the manufacturers that produce them.

Another clarify is necessary about Svetlana, a common Russian female name, roughly translated as “luminosity” or “luminary,” similar to “Dawn” or “Stella” in English, that creates confusion because it has been used in past years for competing devices that generated legal actions. If you are interested about this “saga”, you can find a good synthesis in the article named Svetlana vs. Svetlana by Barry Willis on Stereophile, but keep in mind that the final agreements that are cited concern the United States and Canada markets only. Anyway, the actual worldwide situation is that there are two different assortments of tubes that are often confused when named as Svetlana only, but can be precisely identified in this way:

In the specific paragraphs you can understand how to recognize them.

The last clarify is about Mike Matthews’ New Sensor Corporation owned brands: they own the brands Sovtek and Electro-Harmonix plus the rights on Svetlana “S” logo one for the United States and Canada. Moreover, they produce and sell even Mullard New Production and Tung-Sol New Production tubes.

Whew, that’s all folks! Believe me that clarifying this points cost me  several orchitis attacks :) . And now, the list:

JJ Electronic – Slovak Republic

JJ ECC83 S - 12AX7, 7025 tube

JJ ECC83 S - 12AX7, 7025 tube - Courtesy of JJ

JJ EL34 tube

JJ EL34 tube - Courtesy of JJ

JJ Electronic began development and production of vacuum tubes in 1994, and today offers an assortment of more than 20 types of tubes. Formerly known as TeslaJJ Electronic tubes are made on some of the original European equipment that was used in the heyday.

Beside tubes, they produce even tube amplifiers and electrolytic and polypropylene capacitors.

On their website is possible to freely download many technical informations, like tubes data-sheets for example, and you can find a brief description of their technology.

Company logo is:

JJ Electronic logo

Sovtek – Russia

Sovtek 12AX7LP tube

12AX7LP tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Sovtek EL34WXT tube

EL34WXT tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Sovtek seems that originally was a Russian factory and brand, but nowadays it is an American owned  brand of New Sensor Corporation.

Sovtek tubes are produced by Reflector Co. facility in Saratov, Russia, together with Electro-Harmonix, Mullard New Production, Tung-Sol New Production and Svetlana “S” logo ones.

Sovtek tubes are distributed among the others by TubeDepot that on its website states:

these tubes are used by more manufacturers than any other tube made. Some of the companies who trust Sovtek tubes are: Fender® • Marshall® • Peavey • Crate • Mesa Boogie • Atma-Sphere • Ampeg • Soldano • Hartke • Bogner • Audio Note • Cary • Balanced Audio Technology • Behringer • Dynaco • Matchless • Orange • Aguilar • Audio Research • Rogue Audio • Convergent • Manley Labs • Carvin • Demeter • VTL • Wellborne

Brand logo is:

Sovtek logo

Svetlana “S” logo – Saratov, Russia

Svetlana "S" EL34 tube

EL34 tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

New Sensor Corporation has the exclusive right to use the name Svetlana for the United States and Canada markets only.

They use it for this assortment of tubes that can be identified uniquely by the “S” logo, that’s way if you want to use a name for them you should call them Svetlana “S” logo. Svetlana only is confusing, because in the rest of the world it is used by SED / Svetlana “Winged C” logo tubes.

These tubes are produced by Reflector Co. facility in Saratov, Russia, together with Electro-Harmonix, Mullard New Production, Tung-Sol New Production and Sovtek ones.

On New Sensor Corporation website is possible to freely download many technical informations, like tubes data-sheets for example.

“S” logo is:

Svetlana S logo

SED / Svetlana “Winged C” logo – St. Petersburg, Russia

SVEL34 tube

SED SVEL34 tube sold in USA and Canada - Courtesy of PM of America, inc.

Svetlana EL34 tube

Svetlana EL34 tube sold in the rest of the world - Courtesy of Svetlana Tubes

These tubes are produced by Svetlana Tubes facility in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the oldest tube factories in the world, and marketed with the brand SED in the United States and Canada and Svetlana in the rest of the world (remember that New Sensor Corporation has the exclusive right to use the name Svetlana for the United States and Canada).

This assortment of tubes can be identified uniquely by the “Winged C” logo, that’s why if you want to use a name for them you should call them SED / Svetlana “Winged C” logo. Svetlana only is confusing, because in the United States and Canada it is used by Svetlana “S” logo tubes.

On Svetlana Tubes website is possible to freely download many technical informations, like tubes data-sheets for example.

“Winged C” logo is:

Winged C logo

Electro Harmonix – Russia

Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH tube

12AX7EH tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Electro Harmonix EL34 EH tube

EL34 EH tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Electro Harmonix is a brand owned by New Sensor Corporation.

These tubes are produced by Reflector Co. facility in Saratov, Russia, together with Sovtek, Mullard New Production, Tung-Sol New Production and Svetlana “S” logo ones.

On New Sensor Corporation website is possible to freely download many technical informations, like tubes data-sheets for example.

TubeDepot on its website states that :

These tubes are considered by many to be some of the best new production tubes available.

Brand logo is:

Electro Harmonix logo

Mullard New Production – Russia

Mullard New Production MU 12AX7 tube

MU 12AX7 tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Mullard New Production MU EL34 tube

MU EL34 tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

These tubes are marketed by New Sensor Corporation.

They seems to be  faithful reproductions of the original Mullard models, and are produced by Reflector Co. facility in Saratov, Russia, together with Sovtek, Electro Harmonix, Tung-Sol New Production and Svetlana “S” logo ones.

Brand logo is:

Mullard logo

Tung-Sol New Production – Russia

Tung-Sol New Production 12AX7 tube

12AX7 tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

Tung-Sol New Production EL34B tube

EL34B tube - Courtesy of New Sensor Co.

These tubes are marketed by New Sensor Corporation.

They  are produced by Reflector Co. facility in Saratov, Russia, together with Sovtek, Electro Harmonix, Mullard New Production and Svetlana “S” logo ones.

Brand logo is:

Tung-Sol logo

SINO Chinese Tubes – China

SINO 12AX7A tube

12AX7A tube - Courtesy of SINO

SINO EL-34B tube

EL-34B tube - Courtesy of SINO

No doubt that their stronger point is price, like many others products made in China.

They are distributed among the others by TubeDepot, a reputed American distributor, that on its website states:

Sino Chinese tubes have seen vast improvements over what was available just a few years ago. The EL34-B and KT88-98 have gotten many favorable reviews and the 5881 is the most affordable 6L6 type in our entire stock. Give these puppies a try, we think you will be surprised.

I have not been able to find a website for this company.

Company logo is:

SINO Chinese Tubes logo

 

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1 Comment » to “Tubes / Valves for Guitar Amplifiers: Worldwide Brands and Manufacturers List”

  1. Pablo Diaz Says:

    Surprisingly revealing many thanks, I presume your trusty subscribers could very well want far more writing such as this continue the excellent hard work.

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