Audio Vacuum Tube Manufacturers

By Jesse Acorn

Since I could not find what I was looking for elsewhere, I have compiled a detailed list of vacuum-tube manufacturers currently operating. The list includes only those companies that make tubes suitable for audio electronics; manufacturers of industrial, medical, and display tubes such as magnetrons, klystrons, X-ray tubes, VFDs, and so on are not included unless they also produce audio tubes. Also not included are companies that merely re-brand and distribute tubes, although I may mention their connections to certain manufacturers. The list is current as of June 2024; I will update it occasionally.

For each manufacturer, I have done my best to determine and list all of the tube types that they produce. Wherever possible, these are listed as generic types to avoid confusion, considering that some manufacturers make multiple slightly different versions of the same tube; for example, Xpo-pul in Russia appears to make 13 variants of the 12AX7 under 6 different brands. As well, tube types first offered after 1990 are marked with green text, in order to indicate recent developments.

I have also separated the list into two categories: "normal" and "boutique", since there are extreme price differences, as well as general differences in types produced. Following the factory lists are some of my own observations. I hope that this page will be of value to both users and designers of tube equipment.

I. Normal Factories

  • JJ Electronic in Čadca, Slovakia

      Signal dual triodes:6SL7, 6SN7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AY7, 12BH7, 12DW7, 5751, 6386, 6922/6DJ8, ECC99
      Signal pentode:6CF8/EF86
      Power triodes:2A3, 300B
      Power beam-tetrodes & pentodes:6BQ5/EL84, 6CA7/EL34, 6L6GC, 6V6GT, 5881, 6550, 7027A*, 7591, EL844, EL509S, E34L, KT66, KT77, KT88
      Rectifiers:5AR4/GZ34, 5Y3GT, 5U4GB, 6CA4/EZ81

    • All Telefunken Elektroakustic tubes are re-branded JJ types.
    • * JJ's 7027A has maximum plate ratings of 30W and 500V, identical to the 6L6GC, whereas real 7027As are rated for 35W and 600V.

  • Noritake in Nagoya, Japan

      Signal dual triode:6P1

    • Primarily a Vacuum-Fluorescent Display (VFD) manufacturer, but also makes the Korg 6P1 "NuTube" introduced in 2016, which is a very low power directly-heated dual triode built like a VFD: rectangular and planar, with green phosphorescent anodes.

  • Psvane / Changsha Hengyang Electronics Co., Ltd. in Changsha, China

      Signal (dual) triodes:101D, WE101D-L, 6SN7, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12BH7, CV181
      Signal pentode:310A
      Power triodes:50, 205D, WE205D-L, 211, 212, 275A, 300B, 572B, 805, 811A, 812A, 845, 2A3
      Power beam-tetrodes:6BQ5/EL84, 6CA7/EL34, 6L6GB, 6L6GC, 6V6GT, 5881, 6550, KT66, KT88, KT120, KT150
      Rectifiers:274B, 5AR4/GZ34, 5U4G

    • Acquired the Foshan Nanhai Guiguang factory.
    • WE101D-L and WE205D-L have a standard UX4 base instead of UV4; the pins are longer, hence the "L" suffix.
    • Types 211, 212, 805, and 845 might actually be made by Jinzhou Huaguang; see their listing further down.

  • Shuguang in Changsha, China

      Signal (dual) triodes:101D, 6DJ8, 6SL7, 6SN7, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12BH7, CV181
      Signal pentode:310A
      Power triodes:52B, 205D, 211, 300B, 572B, 805, 810, 811, 812, 845, 2A3, 50CA10
      Power beam-tetrodes & pentodes:807, 813, 6BQ5/EL84, 6CA7/EL34, 6L6GC, 6V6GT, 5881, 6146B, 6550A, KT66, KT88, KT120
      Rectifiers:274B, 5AR4/GZ34, 5U4G

    • Frequently re-branded by major non-manufacturers such as Ruby, Groove Tubes, Tube Amp Doctor, etc.
    • Suffered a fire in August 2019 and shut down for about five years, resuming operation in a new factory around April 2024.
    • They have no real website currently active, to my knowledge; the closest thing is a Taobao store linked above. Not all products can be seen without an account, but can be viewed here using the Taobao agent ParcelUp.

  • Vacuum Components (Ryazan) in Ryazan, Russia

      Power triodes:SV572-3, SV572-10, SV572-30, SV572-160, SV811-3, SV811-10, SV811-30, SV811-160, 811, 811A, 812A

    • The above tubes with SV prefix comprise the "Svetlana" SV series sold by New Sensor, which confusingly are made neither by Svetlana JSC (in St. Petersburg) nor by New Sensor's own plant (Xpo-pul in Saratov). These are versions of the 572 and 811 power triodes without anode caps, instead moving the anode to previously-unused pin 2 on the UX4 base. The suffixes indicate amplification factor µ; e.g. the SV572-3 has µ=3.5, while SV572-160 has µ=160.
    • Also makes four high-power RF tubes not well-suited to audio purposes: ГМ-100, ГУ-81М, ГИ-8, and ГС-4В.

  • Xpo-pul / New Sensor in Saratov, Russia

      Signal (dual) triodes:6AQ8, 6CG7, 6EU7, 6SC7, 6SL7, 6SN7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AY7, 12BH7, 12DW7, 5751, 6922/6DJ8, 6Н1П, 6Н30П, 6С45П-Е, 6С52Н-В/6CW4
      Signal pentodes:6CF8/EF86, 6SJ7, EF806S
      Power triodes:300B, 2A3, 6A3, 6AS7 (dual), 6B4G, 6J5, 6N7 (dual), 6С19П, 6С33С-В, 6С41С
      Power beam-tetrodes & pentodes:6BM8 (w/ signal triode), 6BQ5/EL84, 6CA7/EL34, 6L6G, 6L6GC, 6V6GT, 5881, 6550, 6973, 7027A, 7189*, 7581A, 7591, 7868ª, KT66, KT77, KT88, KT90, KT120, KT150, KT170
      Rectifiers:5AR4/GZ34, 5U4GB, 5Y3GT, 6CA4, 6Д22С

    • Brands: Electro-Harmonix, Genalex, Mullard, Sovtek, Svetlana, and Tung-Sol.
    • The Russian factory is called Xpo-pul (previously Рефлектор / Reflector in Soviet times), and it is managed/owned (?) by New Sensor Corporation of New York, USA.
    • Note that some of the above types (especially Russian-lettered Sovtek tubes such as 6С19П, 6С52Н-В, etc.) are probably rebranded new-old-stock Soviet parts, not actually in current production. I have listed them just in case they are still produced. However, I have omitted the Svetlana SV series tubes, which are known to be produced by the Ryazan plant; see above.
    • Note also that the Svetlana brand has no connection to the original Soviet-Russian Svetlana factory, having had its name appropriated by New Sensor in 2001, forcing the real Svetlana to brand tubes as "Winged C". The name is merely used by New Sensor to take advantage of the real Svetlana's reputation for quality, which is the same reason that they also use the Genalex, Mullard, and Tung-Sol brands, which also had reputations for quality earned over decades... but at least these companies had already shut down by the time their names were taken!
    • * Tung-Sol's 7189 has the same 300V maximum plate rating as 6BQ5, according to its datasheet. Real 7189s are rated for at least 400V.
    • ª Some of Electro-Harmonix' 7868s have thicker pins than standard 7868s, and thus will cause socket stretching. However, in March 2023, a customer of mine reported his new E-H 7868s had thinner pins than usual, too thin to fit snugly in an "unstretched" socket. Perhaps they have gone too far in the other direction.

II. Boutique Factories

  • Deutsche Elektronenröhren Manufaktur GmbH (ELROG) in Lindau, Germany

      Power triodes:50, 211, ER242, ER284, 300B, ER300B-Mo, TM300B, 801A, 845, ER887, ER888
      Rectifiers:274A, 274B, 5U4G, 5Z3

    • Founded in 2016.
    • The only manufacturer besides LINLAI making tubes with molybdenum plates: ER242, ER284, ER300B-Mo, and ER888. The first three are moly-plate versions of the 211, 845, and 300B respectively, and the fourth is a moly-plate version of the newly-designed ER887 (a directly-heated thoriated-tungsten triode with relatively high gain, for use as a driver). Molybdenum has the 6th highest melting point of any element (2617°C), and thus such plates can safely operate at higher temperature than conventional nickel plates—red-plating can happen without damage! The ER888 even has laser-cut slots in the molybdenum plate, so that the glow of the thoriated tungsten filaments can shine through.
    • To emphasize price differences between boutique and normal manufacturers: a matched pair of ELROG 300Bs is about $1,450 USD, compared to $125 USD for ordinary Psvane 300Bs!

  • Emission Labs in Czech Republic

      Power triodes:12B, 20A, 20B, 20B-V4, 30A, 45, 45-V4, 45B, 50, 300B, 300B-25, 300B-XLS, 300B-XLS-V4, 320B-XLS, 520B-V2, 520B-V3, 520B-V4, 2A3, 2A3-V4, 1605, 1605-V4, AD1, AD1-UX4, PX4, PX25
      Rectifiers:80, 81, 274A, 274B, 5U4G, 5Z3, AZ4, RGN2504

    • Tubes with suffix "-V4" have a center-tapped filament, and an octal base instead of the standard UX4.

  • European Audio Team in Prague, Czech Republic

      Power triode:300B
      Power beam-tetrode:KT88

    • The factory was formed from part of the original TESLA tube factory in Prague.

  • Tienjin Quanzhen Electron Tube Technology (Fullmusic) in Tienjin, China

      Signal (dual) triodes:101D, 102D, 6SL7, 6SN7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12BH7
      Power triodes:45, 50, 2A3, 205D, 206, 211, 300B, 300B/+, 805, 845, PX4, PX25, PX25/5v
      Power beam-tetrode:KT88
      Rectifiers:274A, 274A/+, 274B, 274B/+

    • "Northern Electric" tubes (KT88, 6SL7, 6SN7, and 12AX7) sold by are re-branded Fullmusic tubes. Despite their misleading descriptions about Northern Electric being a great Canadian manufacturer (which it was), these tubes are made in China, and appear no different in construction than standard Fullmusic types.
    • Sophia Electric tubes are mostly re-branded Fullmusic types.
    • Fullmusic falls somewhere between normal and boutique, for reasons of some "normal" types made and relatively low prices.

  • Jinzhou Huaguang Electron Tube in Jinzhou, China

      Power triodes:211, 212, 845

    • Type PL9740-105 in their online store appears to be equivalent to 212.
    • Might be the manufacturer of Psvane's 211, 212, 805, and 845 types, though none of Psvane's are quite the same in construction as compared to the normal Huaguang versions. I would appreciate more information.
    • Also makes various high-power tubes not well-suited to audio purposes, e.g. 3-500Z, FU-33, and 5868.

  • KR Audio in Prague, Czech Republic

      Signal triode:Marconi R
      Power triodes:211, 300B, 300BXLS, 842VHD, 845, 2A3, KRT100, KRT1610, PX4, PX25
      Power beam-tetrode:KT88

  • LINLAI Global in Changsha, China

      Signal (dual) triodes:101D, 6SL7, 6SN7
      Power Triodes:211, 300B, 805, 811A, 845, 2A3
      Power beam-tetrode:KT88
      Rectifier:274B, 5U4G

    • Founded in 2019.
    • Some "E-series" tubes are available in true globe envelopes (i.e. with electrode structure free at the top).
    • "D-series" tubes feature unusual egg-shaped envelopes.
    • Some tubes use unusual materials, such as molybdenum or titanium-alloy plates, and gold grids.

  • P&C Electronic (Kurashima Amplification) in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

    • Makes handmade large power triodes in globe envelopes (without type designation), as well as many types of tube amplifiers. See this fascinating video of tubes being made.
    • Only manufacturer of tubes with pure tungsten filaments (rather than thoriated tungsten, giving the most lightbulbs-esque tubes, especially with mesh plates), platinum grids and plates, and diamonds attached to the plates!
    • Not clear if still making tubes.

  • Takatsuki Electric Industry Co. in Kumiyama, Kyoto, Japan

      Power triodes:300B, 2A3
      Rectifiers:274A, 274B

  • Western Electric in Rossville, Georgia, USA

      Power triode:300B

    • Reissued the Western Electric 300B power triode in March 2021.
    • This is a new company using the Western Electric brand name; Rossville was never the site of an original WE plant. However, they do apparently have some original tooling and documentation, according to this video.

III. Observations

Firstly, in terms of what tubes are made, some patterns can be noted:

  • Normal factories mostly produce standard octal and miniature types first introduced in the 1940s and 50s, such as the 12AX7, 6BQ5, 6SN7, 6L6GC, 5Y3, and so on. For the most part, these are either low-power ("small-signal" or just "signal") dual triodes, power pentodes, or power beam-tetrodes, all of which have indirectly-heated cathodes with 6.3V or 12.6V heaters. These tubes are especially common in guitar amplifiers, but are also used in many hi-fi amps and studio effects.

  • Boutique factories mostly produce directly-heated power triodes and rectifier tubes first offered in the 1920s and 30s, such as the 300B, 2A3, 211, 845, 274A (with UX4 base) and 274B (with octal base). These decades were the time of the most beautiful tubes, before smaller cylindrical-envelope octal and miniature types became the norm in the 1940s onwards. Indeed, the boutique manufacturers make the most beautiful tubes of all, and these tubes are almost exclusively used in hi-fi amplifiers, rather than those for guitar.

In total, I count 143 distinct tube types made across all manufacturers. Again, this is counting only generic types where possible, e.g. all of the many 12AX7s count as one type of signal dual triode, and all 300Bs (excluding the significantly modified versions like the 300B/+, ER300B-Mo, etc.) count as one power triode. It is quite interesting to count how many types are in each category:

    Signal (dual) triodes:26
    Signal pentodes:4
    Power triodes:67
    Power beam-tetrodes & pentodes:26

Remarkably, there are only five fewer power triodes as there are all other types combined. Although this variety is quite adequate for modern applications in guitar and hi-fi amps, it should be noted that only a small subset of all tubes offered in the past are currently produced. This can be understood by looking at a typical tube tester's chart, which has roughly 4,000 types listed, yet it is incomplete. I estimate that less than 1% of past tube types are still made. You might think that most are unsuitable for audio circuits, but I argue the opposite: the vast majority of tubes can be used for some purpose in audio electronics, either in amplification, distortion, oscillation, or power supply rectification and regulation. Here are the main areas of deficiency that I have noticed:

  • No "series string" tubes.
    • These have 150, 300, 450, or 600 mA indirect heaters at strange voltages such as 4, 5, 7, 8, 19, 23, 35, 50 V, etc. Common types include the 7AU7 dual triode (a 7-volt version of the 12AU7), 35W4 half-wave rectifier, and 50C5 beam tetrode.
    • Designed for stringing all tube heaters in a television or radio in series across the AC line, thus not requiring a power transformer, thus greatly reducing cost.
    • Used in many millions of power-transformerless devices from the 1930s—70s.
  • No Compactrons.
    • Besides the Shuguang 50CA10, which is a large power triode, not representative of Compactrons in general.
    • Introduced by GE in 1961 to compete with transistors by housing many elements in a single envelope.
    • Common in televisions of the 1960s—70s, often alongside transistors and ICs.
    • Some types are found in classic guitar amplifiers, such as 6BK11 and 6C10 used by Ampeg and Fender, which are now quite expensive.
  • No Nuvistors or other subminature tubes.
    • Besides the Sovtek 6С52Н-В/6CW4, which is probably rebranded Soviet production.
    • The very smallest tubes.
    • Quite applicable to audio preamp circuits, especially for portable equipment. The AKG C12A microphone uses a 7586 nuvistor, for instance.
  • No metal-envelope tubes.
    • Besides the Sovtek 6SJ7, again probably rebranded Soviet production.
    • Common in radios, TVs, and amplifiers of the late 1930s—mid 1950s.
    • Especially common audio types include the 6SC7 dual triode, 6SJ7 sharp-cutoff pentode, 6SK7 remote-cutoff pentode, and 6SQ7 triode - dual diode.
    • Arguably the ugliest tubes, since the electrode structures cannot be seen—they don't even glow.
  • No low-power thyratrons
    • Gas-filled tubes, mostly triodes and tetrodes.
    • Although not useful for audio amplification, they are excellent for relaxation oscillators. In the past, these mostly found use in oscilloscope and television sweep circuits, but they can also be used for audio oscillators in musical instruments.
  • No gas-filled voltage regulators.
    • Such as the 0*2 (miniature) and 0*3 (octal) series.
    • Essential for making precisely regulated power supplies without the use of semiconductor devices.
    • Can be especially beautiful as a result of the gas-discharge glow.
  • No pentagrid converters.
    • Such as the 6A7 and 12SA7.
    • Used by millions of tube radios for the oscillator-mixer stage.
  • Very few small-signal pentodes.
    • Missing common types such as the 6AU6, 6BA6, 6BH6, 6SJ7, and 6SK7.
    • Sharp-cutoff types are useful for high-gain preamplifiers.
    • Remote-cutoff types are uniquely suited to voltage-controlled amplifiers, such as in "vari-mu" dynamic range compressors.
  • Very few battery-powered tubes.
    • These are the most efficient vacuum tubes ever made, since they use oxide-coated directly-heated filaments operated at low power. Often the filament temperature is so low that the tubes hardly glow.
    • Warm-up time is extremely short.
    • Common examples include the 1G4 signal triode (1.4V @ 50mA filament) and 1F5 "power" pentode (2V @ 120mA, yet capable of 1.25W output in class AB push-pull!)

As noted, many of these missing types can be quite useful, especially for making all-tube audio electronics besides the usual amplifiers and effects. It should be noted, however, that even if not currently produced, most vacuum tubes can be easily and cheaply purchased online at the moment. Perhaps (and hopefully) as this situation changes, manufacturers will step in and add some of these missing types to their production.

In terms of where tubes are made, 7 of the 16 factories are in Europe (3 in Czech Republic, 1 in Germany, 2 in Russia, and 1 in Slovakia), 5 are in China, 3 are in Japan, and 1 is in the USA. In other words, Europe has the most tube factories, especially the central and eastern portions. China comes in second place. What is most striking is the near-complete absence of North and South America, and especially the USA, which once was the epicenter of electronics. GE, RCA, Raytheon, Sylvania, Western Electric, Westinghouse, and many others not only dominated production in the heyday, but also designed the majority of tubes. Now, all that is left is a company under the Western Electric name that has struggled to re-create just one of WE's 1930s designs. I wish them luck, and I hope that more follow in their footsteps!

Click to show change log

Changes as of 6/20/2024:

  • As of around April 2024, Shuguang has resumed operation. They have been re-added to the article, with other sections updated appropriately. Only two of their tube types were not already produced by other manufacturers: the 50CA10 power triode and the 6146B beam tetrode. Note that the website mentioned in the last update is defunct, and they do not appear to have any online presence other than a Taobao store.

Changes as of 2/20/2024:

  • Several changes to Emission Labs' offerings, including addition of the newly designed 12B power triode, and the classic PX25 power triode and RGN2504 rectifier. Changed 320B to 320B-XLS, and split 520B into its three variants. Removed the 5Z4 rectifier.
  • Added 811A to Linlai's list.
  • Shuguang has moved to a new factory and has a very dysfunctional new website. However, according to the same source that reported the move, they have not resumed production of tubes yet due to a lack of skilled workers. Thus, they have not been re-added to my list.
  • Various small corrections and changes in phrasing throughout.

Changes as of 11/25/2022:

  • Removed Shuguang's listing entirely (from "Normal" section), since there are no known plans for factory re-opening. The only tube type lost because of this is the 6146B beam tetrode.
  • Moved Psvane into "Normal" section, since they are now a major producer of common inexpensive tubes (12A*7s, 6BQ5s, etc.), and their "boutique" types are remarkably cheap.
  • Added notes about deficiencies of JJ 7027A, Electro-Harmonix 7868, and Tung-Sol 7189 tubes.
  • New tube type introduced:
    • KT170, an enormous octal beam tetrode from New Sensor's Tung-Sol brand.
  • Standard tube types newly offered:
    • 5Z3 from ELROG.
    • 2A3 from Takatsuki.
    • 6SL7 and KT88 from Linlai.
    • 572B, 811A, 812A, 6550, 5AR4, 6V6GT, 6L6GB, 6L6GC, 12BH7, KT66, KT120, and KT150 from Psvane, as shown on their September 2022 RoHS certificate listing all types produced. Note that 6922, EL156, and KT170 were left off my list, since I could not find evidence that these have actually been released yet.
    • 212 from Huaguang.
  • Various small corrections and changes in phrasing throughout.

Changes as of 8/2/2021:

  • Added new boutique manufacturer: LINLAI Global of Changsha, China, established in 2019.
  • ELROG introduced their version of the 5U4 rectifier, the ER5U4G.
  • Corrected location of Psvane to Changsha.

Changes as of 3/9/2021:

  • Shuguang's production is still suspended, but an acquaintance from Tube Depot has estimated a return to production in late 2021.
  • ELROG introduced two new tubes, the ER300B-Mo and TM300B. The former is a molybdenum-plate version of the 300B and is available to the general public. The latter is a "300B-compatible" version of the 46, and initially will only be available for Thomas Mayer's amplifiers.
  • Changed Psvane's company name to Changsha Hengyang Electronics Co. from Foshan Nanhai Guiguang. From what I can find, the latter company was purchased by Changsha Hengyang in 2011, becoming their main facility.
  • Added 211, 212, 805, and 845 to Psvane's list, since it is no longer clear who produces these tubes.
  • Removed 212 power triode from Jinzhou Huaguang's list, since it no longer appears for sale on their own store.
  • The owner of P&C Electronic developed cancer, and may not be producing his own tubes anymore. I will leave the listing in place for now.
  • Western Electric has finally reissued their 300B power triode, and new orders are being accepted as of 3/9/2021.
  • Small revisions to Observations section.

Changes as of 3/15/2020 (since June 2019):

  • Supposedly, the Shuguang factory suffered a fire in August of 2019, and production has ceased for now. See here, here, and here. Their old website,, is now defunct. I have left their tube listings in place, with the expectation that they will resume production soon enough.
  • The website of Foshan Nanhai Guiguang is now defunct, and no other official site appears to exist.
  • The website of Jinzhou Huaguang Electron Tube is now defunct. I have replaced it with a link to their Alibaba Page, in absence of better alternatives.
  • The website of KR Audio has been redone (in a simpler, mostly text-based style), adding the KT88, and removing the 5U4G, KR05, and KR45. I have thus removed these from the company's list.
  • New Sensor's website has changed from to, with completely revised styling, and the primary brand-name changing to Electro-Harmonix. However, it appears that the same selection of New Sensor tubes are still available — Electro-Harmonix, Tung-Sol, Mullard, Genalex, Svetlana, Sovtek, and so on.
  • ELROG introduced two entirely new tubes (with no old-production equivalents), the ER887 and ER888. These are directly heated triodes designed with large amplification factor for large plate voltage swing, for the purpose of driving 845 output tubes. As of this writing, they are only available for the designer's (Thomas Mayer's) amplifiers.
  • Western Electric has not reissued the 300B power triode at some point in 2019 as they planned, and preorders are no longer accepted. Presumably, they are still working on it.
If you notice any errors or have additional information that you would like to add, please contact me!

First Published: 06/29/2019