Tag Archives: vacuum tubes

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Made in USA

There is a city in Japan that is located on the small island of Kyushu in the Ōita Prefecture. Its name is Usa. Decades ago, when America was obsessed with xenophobic urges to keep out foreign-made products, it was said the Japanese so named this city to get around the Made in USA requirements of the Federal Trade Commission. That story is completely false. The hysteria surrounding it was real.

The original idea behind the labeling system was to identify products wholly manufactured in another country because a few bad actors made a habit of buying offshore goods and slapping a homemade label on them. No one likes to get fooled.

We all appreciate supporting local economies and jobs.

Which is why PS Audio makes a point of buying local whenever we can. For example, we use our local economies for our chassis, paint, circuit boards, fasteners, sub-assemblies, packaging, etc. In fact, with few exceptions, everything we make (other than Sprout) is mostly made in the USA. The few components we buy overseas, like our top covers and heat sinks, are simply unavailable in the US.

The one big elephant in the room I haven’t mentioned are the audio and video electronics themselves: semiconductors, vacuum tubes, capacitors, resistors, integrated circuits. These are, with few exceptions, no longer made in the States—which means any company using electronics can never label their products as made in the USA.

All this is fine by me because I believe a global economy is good for everyone. However, I also think companies like PS Audio, who support local economies for the majority of their product’s build costs, should be able to proudly let the world know of their commitment to supporting jobs. Instead, we’re forced to print “Assembled in Boulder with globally sourced components”.

I understand the thought process behind the FTC restrictions on labeling, however, I believe they are behind the times and restrictive to the point of being counter-productive.

That should change.

End of rant.


Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Tube time

As I look out my office window I see tufts of melted snow, bare trees, a busy highway of squirrel traffic gathering whatever it is they store for the winter, and our cute, red, neighborhood fox keeping those same squirrels from overrunning the place.

It is fall and soon to be winter.

That’s the perfect time for me to run through Music Room Two and Three and change out all the tubes in the BHK amps and preamps. I use the cold of fall as a reminder to swap out the year-old vacuum tubes for new fresh ones.

Over time, vacuum tubes tend to lose some of their life, vim, and vigor. It’s a slow loss, one you don’t notice until a year has passed.

The fun of upgrading the tubes comes with the first listen. Wow! Time to go through all that new music you accumulated over the summer and relisten with the new fire bottles in place.

If you have tubes in your equipment, it might be worth thinking about changing them out for a fresh pair.

Fall is Tube Time!