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The Return Of The Legend


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Enough to make your eyes water.....:ph34r:

This is a very happy start of the year 2018!



It is my distinct pleasure to announce that the WE 300B electron tube will re-enter production this year, in time for its 80th Anniversary. The famous triode was developed at Bell Labs in 1933 in the form of its predecessor, the 300A, which was modified, patented, and then produced at many historic works facilities beginning in 1938. The 300B has journeyed from the original New York tube shops, to the legendary Hawthorne Works, Allentown Works, Kansas City Works, then the Huntsville Works. The sparkling new tubes that will roll off the line this September will be assembled here in Rossville, Georgia at a new and reimagined electron tube works facility. Furthering our commitment to manufacturing excellence, we are installing new hydrogen reduction ovens, automated cathode cleaning lines, new laser welding systems, a state-of-the-art water deionization plant, and an updated testing system with improved accuracy. However, the 300B will still be manufactured from its original tooling and assembly specification standards.

Although we’ve invested in a modernized production line, many of its aspects will of course remain true to tradition. For example, the core material, the so-called “secret sauce” embedded in each cathode is derived from an original Hawthorne Works 1963 melt. Western Electric’s attention to each delicate detail and historic promise of quality place the WE 300B in a category of its own.

The new 300B’s will be priced at a reasonable rate of $1299 per matched pair or $599 for a single. They will also be available in quads and octets. Each tube ships with our peerless 5-year limited warranty starting September 1, 2018. By internal estimates, this is a conservative timeframe we can easily achieve, barring any unforeseen setbacks. A complex process like this involves many moving parts—literally—and we appreciate your patience.

In addition to announcing the availability of the 300B, I’d like to share some of our adventures in product development. Continuing our 80th anniversary celebration of the 300B, we are unveiling a new single-ended amplifier called the 91E, as an homage to its famous predecessor the 91A, first introduced in 1936. The 91E embodies a new proprietary Class A2 parallel feed current source topology (patent pending), combined with toroidal output transformers, and microprocessor controlled automatic bias. It will achieve in excess of twenty watts per channel—a never before realized level of performance for the 300B in a single-ended circuit.

Be on the lookout for a limited edition monoblock set of this amp topology called the 91C Metropolis. Only 500 of these beautifully designed 300B amplifiers will be available!

Western Electric has been working hard to give our followers big things to look forward to in 2018. This is just the beginning! The best way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to our exclusive 300B mailing list and by following our newly launched social accounts. Or maybe we’ll see you at the shows, starting this April at Axpona.

Stay tuned!

Charles Whitener | President, Western Electric

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I thought some of the old guys who made tubes back in the day said the new ones will not sound the same because some of the chemicals and production methods are not be allowed today. I have and will always avoid some amps that make use of specific tube types because the prices for "good" variations of the tubes are just too ridiculously high.

Edited by SeaWolf
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i've looked into having a custom tube made, might do it someday, maybe, probably not...

the part where it got expensive was that if you're going to sell an elite tube, you have to cherry pick the best ones

10 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

I didn't interrogate eBay, but I caught sight of $6k per tube for NOS as I was googling trying to find out how much they cost in the 50's. I failed miserably to find that out. But they were originally designed for telephone system amplifiers, so they must have been pretty cheap.

i would guess that with inflation the original price is probably around $300 per tube

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6 hours ago, Whitigir said:

I can’t even stand XF2 quad which is flying at 1k...now a quad of these legendaries will be $2400 ? Legendary pricing, I can give you that

They are more like modern reissues, not in the same league as vintage WE300Bs.

I bought a MP for $900 back in the 1990s when they first started remaking them. Several friends in The Oregon Triode Society were using 1940s-60s manufactured WE300Bs and the new ones were not comparable in side by side listening tests. Some folks attributed the SQ difference to the new tubes having a higher vacuum, but IDK. I ended up with some Chinese TJ Meshplates that sounded better in my amp and sold the WE300Bs. There is a lot better selection of 300B type tubes these days, better sounding than the new WE300Bs and  at a much cheaper cost. 



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