Experts talk about the global crisis of shortage of vacuum tubes for musical equipment

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Electro-Harmonix CEO Mike Matthews in an interview with Guitar.com spoke about the industrial crisis and the “near panic” associated with a shortage of tubes for musical equipment.

According to the founder of EHX, the recent closure and relocation of several Chinese supplier plants has had a significant impact on the operations of a number of companies. In particular, we are talking about the New Sensor company, owned by Matthews himself, as well as the Slovak company JJ Electronic, which now fulfills orders with a long delay (up to six months).

According to Mike Matthews, his factories are “overwhelmed” with orders, so they have to work hard, but there are still not enough components. Matthews, one of the leading experts in the guitar equipment industry, said that over the years, manufacturers of lamps and accessories for them are dwindling.

The situation has developed so that tubes for guitar amplifiers and pedals have become almost exclusive products. One of the main problems is that many manufacturers of tubes work for several brands at once – and there is not enough for all. For example, the Groove Tubes in Fender amps are third-party products, including the New Sensor.

Matthews paid special attention to the closure of the Chinese plant in the city of Shuguang. The factory moved and most of the production lines were redesigned for “modern technologies”.

Experts from the aforementioned JJ Electronic also took care of the situation. Guitar.com reporters contacted the company: representatives of the company explained that there was literally no panic, but a number of serious problems were still present. According to JJ Electronic, the fact is that it is very difficult for companies to make plans and create new products due to the fact that only a few companies in the world deal with lamps.

JJ Electronic specialists compared the situation with vinyl records: there are many labels and artists, but there are not enough factories for all of them. Nevertheless, both JJ Electronic and Electro-Harmonix are not going to stop production yet – the demand for tube music equipment is not falling.