When the shop was on fire last year, we lost our whole stock of tubes. That whole situation was a real bummer. As we prepared to reopen, we started making lists of inventory to purchase, then, just as we were about to order tubes…Russia invades Ukraine.
Why does this matter? Well EHX, Sovtek, Tung-Sol (Reissue), Mullard (Reissue), Genalex, and Svetlana tubes are all made in Russia. In fact, they are made at the same factory. So all those are just no longer available. JJ tubes are made in the Slovak Republic, but they sold out immediately and the supply chain to restock was disrupted. As for Groove Tubes and Ruby Tubes (and Fender Tubes, and…) those are just rebrands of the Russian or the Slovak tubes.
So for months there were no new stock tubes available at all. Now there’s some available but they are about double the former price. When we reopened, we bought a bunch of NOS tubes from some fellas in Florida, and, as long as prices remain comparable, and they don’t run out, we’ll probably continue stocking those.
What’s your favorite tubes?