Nov 10th, 2008 // 5 Comments

Legendary gear manufacturer Groove Tubes ceased to exist as an independent entity this weekend. The company was sold to Fender in June, and after manufacturing was moved to Mexico and operations were merged into Fender, most of the company’s employees were laid off and all of its original facilities were shut down. In a solid state (and now digital) era, Groove Tubes was one of the best places to get vacuum tubes and the equipment that used them. Fender has a history of buying up revered brands and sucking the life out of them, and this is probably what will happen to GT. Tubes probably aren’t headed the way of Polaroid film or reel-to-reel tape, but you never know. [LA Times]

  1. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    Groove Tubes was always a horseshit company, anyway.

    Their business practices consisted of buying soviet tubes, removing the logos from said tubes, and re-branding them.

    Sovtek offers essentially the same product, only at a much cheaper price.

  2. chaircrusher

    … and it’s Gibson that buys and FVX0RZ companies, not Fender.

  3. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @chaircrusher: Yes yes yes, a million times yes.

    Fender might be shady, but they can’t hold a candle to the shitstorm that is Gibson.


  4. JReed

    Just wanted to chime in and say that I don’t think Fender is guilty of sucking the life out of various brands. While I don’t agree with some of the decisions Fender has made in the last several years, I think they’re still a solid manufacturer, and I think all told they cover a lot of ground fairly effectively.

    Off topic, but Fender still makes solid stuff that musicians dig. The nicest Strat I’ve ever owned is a Mexican made reissue, and I’ve owned a few custom shop Fenders. Not to say they weren’t terrific (they were), but this particular guitar is spectacular.

    Anyway- Groove Tubes were never all that great to begin with (IMO). If you want good, reliable mass-produced tubes, there are a lot of better options, including JJ.

  5. Anonymous

    Agreed with all above. GT will probably continue selling overpriced re-branded tubes anyway. Gretsch Guitars, for instance, have improved greatly since they were purchased by Fender. Apart from getting rid of the great Guild electrics, Fender has pretty much been beneficial to most of the companies they’ve become involved with.
    Unlike those consumer-rapists at Gibson.

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