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Our new webshop is opening soon and  has been in development for many  months and now it is ready for launch. The first products on the shop are somewhat ” retro”. It is yesterday’s technology tomorrow!

The shop’s first products are thermionic valves ( called “tubes” in North America).  It is old technology.  Valves have seen a great resurgence in audio applications over the last decade.  LP vinyl discs have made a big come back too with sales in 2014 being the highest is a decade. Many people prefer analogue music played through original amplifiers from the valve era.

The best guitar amps have been using valves since the 1950’s . The best manufacturers are still using valves and Chinese manufacturers have entered this growing market  with budget amplifiers based on classic designs.

You might ask why valves?  Of course it is all down to personal taste, but my own experience is that valves introduce harmonic distortion in a way that makes for a much richer tone.  Solid state amplifiers represent the sound accurately but the result is a rather “brittle” sound.

We chose JJ Electronic who manufacture the classic valves in Europe in Slovakia.   I have used them in my own amps over the years and they have proved to be sweet sounding and have a long reliable life. I have also fitted them to many types of amps and the owners have been extremely pleased with the sound.

Vintage amplifiers  have valve full wave rectifiers. these bring an unintended effect into play which is called ” sag”. When a loud note is played then the internal resistance of the full wave rectifier reduces the HT voltage and the voltage rises as the amplitude of the sound dissipates. This is effectively compression of the sound and most guitar players love this sound.

We have invested in a digital valve tester for audio valves.  Valves are moving into the digital age! The big advantage of our tester is that is fully automated and leaves no room for operator interpretation of the readings or errors in operator set up. The original old testers did require careful set up and reading of analogue meters and making a judgement.

The tester can match valves.  This is useful for matching the two triodes in a double triode pre-amp and the key application here is making sure that the phase splitter which drives the push pull output is evenly driving the output stage . This ensures a nice balanced output which means nice sound ! Of course you need to ensure the bias is set up on your output stage to take advantage of matched valves. We offer matched triodes and pair of matched output valves using the Name ” Supermatch”

We are selling new valves from JJ Electronic and in the first stages the popular pre-amp , output and rectifier valves are for sale. In the first stages, we are selling only in the UK so we make sure the webshop is fully functioning.  We will then roll out to the EEC as a next step.

The downside is that valves have a shorter life than semiconductors.  They do wear out. We give a market leading 120 day warranty on the valves we sell ( see shop for more details).


We now are working with Adesto Technology