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Author Topic: Amp Tube Snobbery  (Read 33378 times)
K2GWK
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Posts: 707


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« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2014, 05:43:04 PM »

My point has nothing to do with that.  All I am saying is that unlike most companies that will typically improve or at least maintain the quality of a device as time passes.  The Chinese on a whole are totally unpredictable, they have no long term out look on quality or pride in the product like you find with German, Japanese, American and Korean companies.  

There is no profit in refining a obsolete product for a very limited market. We have to work with what we have. As far as "German" quality, Pfaff a old german company that makes sewing machines acquired Huskvarna Viking sewing machines built in Sweden like finely jeweled watches on their top end models. Pfaff promptly sold off all old machines and moved production of them to China. Morale is Germany cuts corners and has been building VW's in Mexico for some time too.  

Only a fool would make the assertion that all German Companies cut corners. I am an Account manager for Rohde & Schwarz who is headquartered in Munich. We make some of the finest RF and Microwave Test Equipment in the world and it is all manufactured in Germany. We are know for our quality.

You should also note that Volkswagen operates 106 production plants in 19 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Every weekday, 572,800 employees worldwide produce some 39,350 vehicles which are sold in 153 countries. It seems to me they are doing something right and not cutting corners.

You really shouldn't shoot your mouth off until you know all the facts. You make yourself look like a jackass.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 05:50:57 PM by K2GWK » Logged

Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2014, 08:06:47 PM »

My point has nothing to do with that.  All I am saying is that unlike most companies that will typically improve or at least maintain the quality of a device as time passes.  The Chinese on a whole are totally unpredictable, they have no long term out look on quality or pride in the product like you find with German, Japanese, American and Korean companies.  

There is no profit in refining a obsolete product for a very limited market. We have to work with what we have. As far as "German" quality, Pfaff a old german company that makes sewing machines acquired Huskvarna Viking sewing machines built in Sweden like finely jeweled watches on their top end models. Pfaff promptly sold off all old machines and moved production of them to China. Morale is Germany cuts corners and has been building VW's in Mexico for some time too.  

Only a fool would make the assertion that all German Companies cut corners. I am an Account manager for Rohde & Schwarz who is headquartered in Munich. We make some of the finest RF and Microwave Test Equipment in the world and it is all manufactured in Germany. We are know for our quality.

You should also note that Volkswagen operates 106 production plants in 19 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Every weekday, 572,800 employees worldwide produce some 39,350 vehicles which are sold in 153 countries. It seems to me they are doing something right and not cutting corners.

You really shouldn't shoot your mouth off until you know all the facts. You make yourself look like a jackass.

Look in the mirror if you want to see a fool loosing his cool. They build in Mexico to save money just like GM. VW has lost a lot with car feel here in last 15 years. They are going for cheap mass market now and they used a low tech dated engine for base Jetta for years. BTW Toyota is a bigger employer and they cut corners too. Do not even preach that they are not cutting corners.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W3DBB
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Posts: 124




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« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2014, 05:03:08 AM »

I have a 1987 Mercedes with 200,000 miles. Keeping it running right entails not cutting corners on replacement parts. This sometimes requires a little bit of research. Some of the German companies that made the original parts have converted themselves into charitable foundations. This may have happened due to tax policy in DL. These companies have farmed out the parts manufacturing operations to other countries. It's interesting. If I run across NOS parts, they're made in Germany or if they're the age of my car, made in West Germany. But a correct Bosch ignition coil of more recent vintage is made in Slovenia. A set of correct Bosch spark plug wires with the 1K resistors built into the spark plug connectors, recently acquired, is made in Spain. The Bosch spark plugs are a variant made specifically for my car's engine and haven't been made for a long time. Finding a set of these is interesting, as I recently found out.

Even though some of these parts are not strictly original it's refreshing to find merchandise not made by slave labor. So far, so good.

As for VW I think they still suffer from brand identity. Their postwar cars were cheap cars, well-constructed for what they were but there really wasn't much to them. A proclivity to rusty floorpans. Cold in the winter and warm in the summer. A magnesium alloy engine block prone to cracking especially as the number of thermal cycles increased. An oil filter that was nothing more than a filter screen. 3000 miles between oil changes was an absolute maximum. And then there were frequent valve lash adjustments and yearly ignition point maintenance. I owned a 1972 Super Beetle up until c. 2006. Rusty strut towers, rusty floorpan, rusty body. Pennsylvania is tough on any car.

They've come a long way but its tough to get excited about a car with a German name designed in San Diego and built in Mexico.

It's my car snobbery. And replacement parts snobbery. I shop and buy what I think will have the highest benefit to cost ratio. Chinese 811A and 572B tubes are questionable at best but relatively-speaking, they're inexpensive. The 811A's have so many corners cut, they are only as rugged as sweep tubes now. The 572B's should have been a whole lot better but they've had so many problems. I think the Chinese are hosing us, but many of their operations exist at the behest of U.S. corporations that terminated domestic manufacturing to save money. It's all about quarterly results. The Germans seem to have a little different twist on this, but they're a sovereign nation operating under a different set of laws.

It's my vacuum tube snobbery manifesting itself again. Yeah, that's what it is. Funny thing is my snob/consumerism doesn't affect my amateur radio equipment purchases, which have dwindled to just about nothing. The stuff I own is just about all junk now. Reverse- ham radio snobbery.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 1226




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« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2014, 06:59:13 AM »

>It's all about quarterly results.<

W3DBB, you have hit the nail firmly on the head. Wall Street and the bankers are not interested in long term performance - just the last three months. I suspect that is because too many of them have never been near industry but came out of college with an MBA (which in many cases means 'Much Bigger A*****e) and figure turnover and profit like Walmart should happen everywhere. Left to people with that viewpoint, the long term view needed to build the US railroads just would not have happened - or the Pennsylvania oil fields, although they paid back somewhat faster than today's oil fields.

It's fair to say that nobody ever went bankrupt in the long term, and the short term needs watching, but these days, there is far too much 'short termism' in US industry, and it's spreading over here too.

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K8AXW
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Posts: 7036




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« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2014, 07:54:54 AM »

Peter, to solidify what you say..... just try to get anything electrical or electronic repaired in this day and age! 
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A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
K2GWK
Member

Posts: 707


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« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2014, 09:33:07 AM »

My point has nothing to do with that.  All I am saying is that unlike most companies that will typically improve or at least maintain the quality of a device as time passes.  The Chinese on a whole are totally unpredictable, they have no long term out look on quality or pride in the product like you find with German, Japanese, American and Korean companies.  

There is no profit in refining a obsolete product for a very limited market. We have to work with what we have. As far as "German" quality, Pfaff a old german company that makes sewing machines acquired Huskvarna Viking sewing machines built in Sweden like finely jeweled watches on their top end models. Pfaff promptly sold off all old machines and moved production of them to China. Morale is Germany cuts corners and has been building VW's in Mexico for some time too.  

Only a fool would make the assertion that all German Companies cut corners. I am an Account manager for Rohde & Schwarz who is headquartered in Munich. We make some of the finest RF and Microwave Test Equipment in the world and it is all manufactured in Germany. We are know for our quality.

You should also note that Volkswagen operates 106 production plants in 19 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Every weekday, 572,800 employees worldwide produce some 39,350 vehicles which are sold in 153 countries. It seems to me they are doing something right and not cutting corners.

You really shouldn't shoot your mouth off until you know all the facts. You make yourself look like a jackass.

Look in the mirror if you want to see a fool loosing his cool. They build in Mexico to save money just like GM. VW has lost a lot with car feel here in last 15 years. They are going for cheap mass market now and they used a low tech dated engine for base Jetta for years. BTW Toyota is a bigger employer and they cut corners too. Do not even preach that they are not cutting corners.

Man, I have no idea how you can stand posting to all of us when you are such an authority on anything and everything. Looking at your posts you know everything there is to know and you are never ever wrong or make a mistake. It is such a shame that the most intelligent person in the world in your own mind is one of the most despised on this forum. I guess being so smart leaves no room for being humble. Such a pity.
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Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
KK4RSV
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Posts: 78




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« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2014, 10:22:53 AM »

THIS HORSE IS DEAD!! Grin
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W6EM
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Posts: 1940




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« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2014, 07:07:31 PM »

In 1997, a Fremont, CA neighbor of mine, who had a sole-source contract to supply Acer with ribbon cables told me why he was building a factor in Shanghai.  Never mind that he was ethic Taiwanese.  In Taiwan, he paid employees $1500/month.  In CA, $3000/month.  But, in Shanghai, $150/month for a 6.5 day work week!!

I used to lay awake nights worried about America’s future.  Finally had to get some rest and began to think the only way was going to be Chinese inflation and the high cost of transportation (and the widely-known practice of payola to get goods out of China).  And, now that the Chinese standard of living and labor costs there have rallied, US companies are repatriating.

Eitel and McCullough’s tubes may indeed have better grade materials and wider performance tolerances.  However, there still is no question that making something in San Carlos, CA is more expensive than Shanghai, but that may eventually change some more in our favor.  CPII, who now owns Eimac, could make them at lower cost in the Southeastern US, but perhaps the processes are automated to the extent that labor costs aren’t that important.  Although, I suspect other cost elements such as the facility, property, income taxes, utilities and material costs are likely way more in San Carlos than they would be here in central Alabama.  Not sure about corporate income taxes for the state, but personal rates in CA are about 10%.  Personal rates in AL are about half that.

So, CA is a very expensive place to live and do business and is part of the reason for the Eimac premium.

73.

 
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KX2T
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Posts: 1043




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« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2014, 07:45:19 PM »

Sorry but I don't buy that, Eimac/CPI has contracts with the medical industry to fill orders and they pay top dollar, the only thing for that industry is the QC is at closer tolerances. Even the broadcast industry which most are going to solid state and only need the huge tubes for really big power have started to use the imports tubes. The medical side's newer machines are starting to go SS but there are tons of machine in use that many hospitals are still using that use tubes and CPI will gladly sell them tubes at there inflated prices. I know ham's don't wanna here this but the marketplace for the tubes we use is very small.
Jim
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K6AER
Member

Posts: 5694




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« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2014, 07:55:05 AM »

With the exception of X-Ray tubes, RF power tubes have not been used in the medical industry for over 15 years.  All RF applications in medicine have been solid state for a long time. There are no more medicals pulls. Not here or in other countries.  Cheap high power tubes are a thing of the past.

The application of 500 to 2500 watts tubes is almost exclusive to the amateur radio market. All the amateur radio amplifiers being manufactured and repaired is barely a two week production run. 

AM Radio stations us class E solid state transmitters. The amplifier blocks are about 5 KW and are hot swappable. Some FM stations use high power tubes but they tend to be in the 10 KW or higher region.

This brings us down to the future of amateur radio amplifiers. We as a product user base, do not command enough market to ensure our own parts survivability. Each and every amplifier design is based on what is available to the commercial RF market. Our designs are piggybacked on what components are available in the market or being used in a military application.  This holds true for solid state designs as well.

Hams have a habit of using gear for 30 years but think nothing of buying a new car every 5 years.  We are funny creatures. Thank god the Chinese think there is a market for tubes.
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KH6DC
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Posts: 771




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« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2014, 06:29:42 PM »

It's called globalization.

My 1993 Toyota 4x4 p/u 22RE 4 cyl truck was made in Japan and I am the original owner who did my own repairs and maintenance.  I still found some Fram, A/C Delco and Bosch parts orginally installed back then .  My 2014 Toyota Tacoma says assembled in Baja California, Mexico from 60% Japanese, 39% USA pars and 1% other.  Actually the label says 60% Japanese, 40% USA and 1 % other which makes it over 100%.

I had both Svetlana and Chinese made 811As on an amp I sold and they both worked well.  The orginal 811As were chinese made and worked fine, just the anode cap rusted and fell off after 16 years of ownership.  I replaced them with Svetlana 572Bs and they're built like a tank.  I just wished they came back into the tube business.

Globalization means finding ways to reduce costs in manufacturing and the stock holder demands it.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KX2T
Member

Posts: 1043




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« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2014, 06:34:42 PM »

I don't know about the west coast but I have two friends who work for Phillips Medical and yes the newer machines are solid state but they both have said there's a whole lot of machines out there in Hospitals or Medical labs that still use the good ole tubes. To a less of extent you don't find the smaller tubes any more like 3CPX800's but many of the still running machines use a pair of 3CPX1500 for the head and 3CPX5000's for the body. There will be a time soon were most of the tubes will be phased out but they seem to think that's gonna take at least 5 years. The cost of Eimac tube's are just outa sight for most ham's but the Chinese seem to be doing ok with the ole 8877 but for some reason will not try designing any of the Russian tubes yet.
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KK5DR
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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2014, 04:06:39 PM »

EIMAC only here. If you got that, you got great power tubes.

Matt KK5DR (All EIMAC, all the time)
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