Electro-Harmonix says export ban on Russian tubes has been lifted, warns of tariffs, higher prices and shortages

(Image credit: Electro-Harmonix)

Electro-Harmonix has confirmed that the export ban on Russian-made vacuum tubes has been lifted, with the New York firm now accepting new wholesale orders.

In a statement released by EHX founder Mike Matthews, the company were prioritising existing orders, and hope to resume shipping in April. But Matthews warned of price rises, tariffs on exports, and inevitable tube shortages further down the line. 

“Considering various economic pressures, we must raise our wholesale prices,” wrote Matthews. “This price increase will apply to all back and new orders. Also, the EU, Japan, UK and other countries are expected to implement heightened tariffs against Russian goods, akin to the 35 per cent tariff rate imposed by Canada.”

The guitar amp industry has been facing a supply crisis for some time now, and the export ban placed on Russian-made tubes following the invasion of Ukraine brought the future of the tube amp into question. 

Over the weekend, Matthews revealed that seven brands of tube made at his New Sensor factory in Saratov, Russia, were affected by the export ban, temporarily taking Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix, EH Gold, Genalex Gold Lion, Mullard, Svetlana and Sovtek tubes off the market.

While the export ban looks to be resolved for now, Matthews cautions against cancelling any wholesale orders because the underlying supply problems affecting the industry have not gone away, and could be further complicated by inflation and an unpredictable legal landscape.

“You can cancel any backorder, but we do not recommend this,” he wrote. “There is a tremendous shortage of tubes.”

See EHX for a full list of Electro-Harmonix vacuum tubes.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.