Delivery difficulties? – Not at BTB!
Due to the shutdown in 2019 caused by a fire at Shuguang (the largest Chinese state-owned tube company), our industry was shaken up heavily. Stocks at Shuguang collapsed. Especially the OEM’s of the tube industry, i.e. the amplifier manufacturers helped themselves to this mass producer.
The consequence was the shift of demand to the producers JJ-Electronic and Reflector in Russia (Sovtek factory). Since these could not crank up their capacities to the same extent as Shuguang despite 3-shift operation, a shortage had to follow. Even the still young company PSVANE (a management buy-out of Shuguang) experienced overload at some point, especially with the introduction of double triodes like 12AX7 or pentodes like EL34. The situation was further amplified by the Corona crisis in 2020 and 2021 and the related border closures, supply problems and staff shortages.
In the current year 2021, material bottlenecks were then added due to supply chain problems and booming mass markets in other industries. The consequences can be seen in delivery times. For JJ-tubes, this means around six to eight months of delivery time in mid-2021 and around three to four months for Russian tube production.
As the tube manufacturers are currently all fabricating “on the edge”, quality is naturally also suffering. Of course, we at BTB Elektronik recognized all these evil tidings promptly. We are therefore to a much greater extent directly in active contact with the tube manufacturers and catch these “irregularities” to such a point that they will see the effects only selectively.
All tube types will therefore mostly be available in BTB’s usual excellent audio quality in commercially available quantities. As we are currently receiving more and more inquiries from OEMs overseas, we are nevertheless focusing on the well-known customers and markets with the available tubes.
If you, as a manufacturer, get into the situation of shortages and if you are not yet a BTB customer, please send us your request anyway, as we are happy to help you with some types. However, please avoid multiplying your known demand to several suppliers, as this would lead to distortions in demand and create unnecessary swings in supply and demand. The consequence would be unnecessary price increases and further shortages.
All these messages also have something good: Quality check at BTB Elektronik has been expanded, more measuring stations have been set up – our team has been strengthened and of course we have ordered – especially for you!
We at BTB Elektronik remain able to deliver and, as usual, at attractive prices.
Michael Kaim and the BTB team