Greetings from Western Electric
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!
President, Western Electric
P.S. See you at the shows, starting this April at Axpona.
Western Electric has been working hard to give followers big things to look forward to in 2018. This is just the beginning!
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