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Tubelab Inc is ceasing operations as of the end of 2023

Sorry to hear you’re shutting down. Been following your work for years, haven’t have time to build anything in ages, and now that I’m retired I find I nearly missed out! PayPal inbound for a TSE-II.

Thank you for all your contributions over the years, and good luck on your future endeavors.
Hey George keep us posted on what boards you have left. Still enjoying my SSE from a few years ago. Finally thinking of another build and would like it to be a tubelab! Thanks for sharing your love of quality tube amplifiers with us!
Not sure about the whole year yet as the other half of this corporation still wants it gone. It does appear that I will be selling boards well into this year as I just ordered a small batch of SSEs, TSE-IIs and SPPs.
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The mailman dropped a box on my front porch this morning. It had a lot of green and gold things in it.

Note that the actual color is the same as all of my previous boards. The ambient LED lighting and plastic overwrap make them look pale.


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So why the extra expense for gold plating in THT? I order the default Sn/PB even for smt. I hand solder smt as it is.
I think sometimes I get Sn/Pb plate over Au, which to me is a loss for the fab, no gain for me but if everyone wants Au.

For something that gets hot like tube designs, I think I would spend the extra $ on higher Tg pcb material unless you did that as well.
When I solder gold pins I see the Au sputtering off, little specs cover the pcb area, its simply sparkly.

Happy soldering, I am back at it again, got the day off yesterday for yet another scope of my guts, all good :) I think i'd rather be soldering
We plan to hire our grandaugther to solder and learn assembly, just like the ole Motorola days, in the basement

have fun
If I get boards made for personal projects, or test boards, and they will be populated within a few weeks or months of arrival I specify HASL, Hot Air Solder Leveling. This is just good old solder made flat with a hot air process. The original TSE board and the first batch of SSE's (25 or 50 boards) were the only HASL boards I sold. There are two reasons that I pay the ($1 to $2 per board) cost adder for ENIG, the Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold coating on the boards I sell.

Even a good quality HASL board will grow a thin oxide layer on the shiny parts over time. It may take a year or more, but I know that I have seen issues when trying to solder a 5+ year old board or repair a dead board that was built 10+ years ago. This makes the board harder to solder and increases the likelihood of a cold or "dry" solder joint that will become brittle over time. It's one of the main reasons that guitar amp guys hate PC boards.

Gold has an affinity for solder, just ask any of the operators that ran the wave solder machines at Motorola (or anywhere else) in the 70's what happened to their shiny gold jewelry. Just from working near a running machine lots of those fancy disco era gold chains turned grey over time. Eventually a row of lockers were installed near the machines. Many builders of my boards have not ever soldered on a PC board before, ENIG on oversized pads makes them easier to build.
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Due to low volumes and uncertainty, I have been ordering boards in lots of 20 at a time. ENIG adds $25 to the lot cost for a $1.25 per board adder. I believe that it's worth the added expense for an average board builder.

How can I order an SPP and/or SSE board before they are all gone?
Link please?
I do not have a shopping cart page. I have both boards in stock, and they can be ordered by sending payment via Paypal to tech@tubelab.com

Put the board name (SSE, SPP etc) and the qty of each in the comments box. Make sure that Paypal has your current shipping address or include it in the comments box as well. The SSE, SPP, and TSE-II boards are $35 each, the UD boards are $25, and the UNSET power head (output stage only) is $20. There are no more UNSET amp boards. Flat rate shipping is $8 to a US address and $15 internationally. Boards are typically mailed out the business day after receipt of payment.
I had to pay quite a lot of surcharges for my last delivery of boards. Sweden is always enforces the VAT addition, then charges another $8 for admin. If all of us European consumers had been coordinated we could have arranged to have a lot of boards shipped to somebody in Germany, for instance, and then distributed from there.

I did not have to pay so much money to have a top plate cut with water jets for my Baby Huey build. I think a board plus a matching top plate would only be about twice the price and would bring a whole new audience.