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Electro-Harmonix resolves export issues for Russian tubes – but prices will go up

Guitar amp tubes
(Image credit: Getty)

Electro-Harmonix has told its tube customers that it has resolved issues that led to a ban on the export of Russian vacuum tubes “for now” and aims to resume shipping next month.

In an update issued across EHX’s tube product pages (opens in new tab), the firm informed customers that they will now accept new orders. 

The statement reads:

The situation preventing the importing of Russian vacuum tubes has been resolved for now. As a result, we are accepting new orders, processing backorders, and hoping to resume shipping in April 2022. 

Considering the various economic pressures mentioned in our last announcement, we will be forced to raise our wholesale prices on these tubes. This price increase, which will be announced separately, will apply to all new orders and backorders. 

Also, there will likely be a further price increase imposed on shipments received after the U.S. government, following Canada’s lead (of imposing 35% tariffs), implements its own heightened tariffs. 

You can cancel any backorder if you wish, but we do not recommend this, as there is a tremendous shortage of tubes. 

It was only a few days ago that founder Mike Matthews told customers he had confirmed the firm’s seven Russian-made tube brands would be subject to a Russian export ban.

The decision from Russian authorities was made in response to the international sanctions that resulted from its invasion of Ukraine. As such, Matthews initially declared EHX would “not be receiving further inventory” and would have to stop accepting tube orders. 

Vacuum tubes are crucial components in guitar amps and specialist analog pedals, and EHX supplies many US manufacturers – its factory produces brands including Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix, EH Gold, Genalex Gold Lion, Mullard, Svetlana and Sovtek. The export ban was therefore likely to lead to considerable logistical challenges for the industry, and ultimately rising prices for guitarists.

However, while the supply situation has improved, there are still problems on the horizon. As detailed in the statement, vacuum tubes nonetheless remain in short supply, EHX is due to announce increased wholesale prices and there are incoming tariffs on Russian-made goods (in order to limit Russia’s ability to fund the invasion of Ukraine).

The likelihood is that manufacturers will still have little choice but to raise product prices to cover their increasing costs.

Keep an eye on EHX’s tube store (opens in new tab) for further information about prices and availability.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.