As the rising prices charged for vacuum tubes manufactured in China and Russia increasingly cramps audiophiles, musicians and others seeking a particular audio quality, the Western Electric factory in Rossville, Georgia is preparing to bring tube-manufacturing back to the US.

Roy Furchgott, Wired »

Whitener owns Western Electric, the last US manufacturer of vacuum tubes, those glass and metal bulbs that controlled current in electric circuits before the advent of the transistor made them largely obsolete. Tubes are still prized for high-end hi-fi equipment and by music gear companies such as Fender for their distinctive sound. But most of the world’s supply comes from manufacturers in Russia and China, which after the transistor era began in earnest in the 1960s helped sunset the US vacuum tube industry by driving down prices.

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