Engström ARNE Tube Amplifier Czech Tubes

Czech Tubes

Today's valve-amp aficionados face very real problems: in addition to the well-documented supply chain issues that are dragging at the heels of Chinese-made bottles, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent trade embargo, has put all Russian valves off-limits. Established tube producers, including Western Electric in the US, are ramping up production and expanding their portfolios but prices are high and supplies low – it's now a sellers' market.


The 300B power valves chosen by Engström as the 'standard' fitment for the ARNE are from Czech manufacturer Emission Labs, founded back in 2000 with a factory originally run by former employees of Tesla – the electronics company, not the car brand – and VAIC. With a mission of 'Saving the world from Solid-State', the company now makes its valves virtually from scratch, with not just the glass and valve bases but also the cathode wire and emission chemicals being created in-house. It also maintains substantial stocks of the materials and components it needs, insulating itself from fluctuations in supply, demand and price. That enables the company to keep a tight control on every aspect of its product, giving it a claimed defect rate of just 0.5% across its range, and on some valves a 0% rate. And that's what, since 2013, has allowed it to offer a five-year guarantee on its valves. As it says, it may not produce the cheapest valves on the market, but they are designed to be the longest-lasting.

Supplied by: Boyer Audio Ltd, UK
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