Emission Labs Tube Warranty Problems

Has anyone else had difficulty with EML tube warranty? I purchased a pair of their 300b 2.5 tubes (around $700) in late 2019. After about 6 months I started noticing an intermittent problem with one tube that exhibits a low level sputtering sound. The tubes were purchased through RAM Tubes one of their authorized dealers. When I reported it to the dealer I was told I needed to report it to EML directly. It turned that is impossible. Finally, I was told I needed to talk with the only distributor - JAC Music. So, I did. First I was told that I did not register for the warranty because it wasn't in their system. I did in fact go online and register but I expected an email confirmation but didn't get one. JAC refused to acknowledge that their registration system might have had a problem. Instead they treated me as if I was a lying cheat trying to get away with something. That was when I discovered there is no way to actually contact anyone at EML. At Jag's request I emailed a photo of the tube and gave him the details of my purchase. He denied I registered, that the serial number was not in their registration base but did contact RAM to confirm that I purchased from an authorized dealer. After that he sent me an email in September of last year (2020) that the tube should not have gone bad so soon and they would replace it BUT they had none in stock and I would have to wait for a new tube to be produced. And, that is the end of any further correspondence from JAC. Since then I have emailed him once a month, finally giving up in February. He has never responded to any subsequent emails. I actually had a moment of guilt thinking maybe COVID got him while I was fretting over my tube. But, no - I contacted RAM and they are still receiving their orders of EML tubes and so are other dealers. They all say the same thing - you need to contact Jac.  As you all know, a matched set of tubes is worthless when one is bad. I just wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience. I've simply given up and accepted that I was screwed out of $700. Frankly, they are very good tubes. I own others and have never had any problems with any of them - thank God. But, if anyone is considering buying their tubes, I suggest you ask the dealer what happens if you get a bad tube. I presume they will tell you, how have to contact JAC. Well, now you know how that worked out for one customer. I just had to get this off my chest. I'm so incredibly frustrated. 
Ag insider logo xs@2xbigsecret
Thanks for revealing their negligence. I hope that it costs them future business. At very least, they may see this post and be shamed into making you whole.
Good Luck.
bigsecret... i feel bad for you, such a big company, with bad business.  I was thinking about purchasing a pair of EML 5u4 rectifier, after reading your post, i will think twice, really appreciate the awareness!  Hope all will turn out the best on your behalf.  
There are European manufacturers of 300B tubes that cost less and might be more reliable: JJ, EH, Svetlana. Avoid the Chinese ones!
He was probably BS-Ing you when he said they were waiting for more to be made. Looks like he ghosted you. Some distributors are real jerks.
I read their warranty claim information. It pretty much says you only get coverage if you jump through all the right hoops at the right time using the right equipment during a blue moon. They don't want to honor their warranty or they would have. 

The REAL St. Petersburg, Russia Svetlana plant met its end in 2012.

Their 300B's were the best sounding and most unreliable 300B's that I ever used in an early production Audion Silver Night stereo DH/SET amplifier.

I much preferred them to WE's (screened logo on base) and everything else I tried @ the time, which was early on this century.

Out of 4 pairs only one pair made it past 500 hours without failing (sold that pair with the amp).

A few other users with super slow start up power supplies (Border Patrol comes to mind) had much better results, but also failures as well.

Not a vintage tube that I would seek out unless you have super slow start up and only listen a few hours a day.

I have had the same problem with vintage (engraved base) Visseaux 2A3's in that out of 3 matched pairs I am now down to one pair.

I'm saving the last pair for (at a minimum) a 5ar4 rectified 2A3 amplifier.

I recall other online forum complaints about JAC or JAX, but not the details.

That's lame service and poor professionalism on the part of the distributor.  I always assumed they were reputable, but your experience proves otherwise.  
Thanks for your comments, guys (and gals?). I can't say anything bad about their tubes. I think they are first class, sound great and I accept you get a dud every now and then. It's the way this was handled - or actually not handled. Great tubes - not so great distributor. I hope this will spare others from a similar experience.
I guess I should emphasize that no matter where you buy EML tubes, if you have a problem you have to go through JAC. Ugh. 
I had a similar experience buying a pair KR Audio T100 tubes. They come with a 6 month warranty and started getting noisy after 5 months. They wouldn’t return a call or email.
Today I received an email from Anthony at Music Reference/RAM Tubeworks where I purchased the tubes. Anthony went above and beyond trying to help me though there was little he could do. He is a first class guy and would recommend to anyone. But, I digress.

He heard from Jac and who told him he was sending me a new tube tomorrow and could take a few weeks to get here. Jac also told Anthony they are not making the solid plate 300B 2.5 anymore but they will send me one that has a different plate but shouldn't sound any different (so much for the matched pair I purchased).

The clincher is that he can't possibly be sending me a tube tomorrow -  he doesn't have my address and wouldn't know where to send it. I'm afraid that angered me to the point where I replied to Anthony that he could tell Jac to f**k off. I accept I got screwed and I'm tired of either being completely ignored (for 9 mos and numerous emails) or lied to now. 

If anyone is considering EML tubes just keep in mind that if you buy from one of the few distributors, they will tell you (or should tell you) that any warranty problems must be directed to EML and that means Jac. There is no alternative. And you certainly shouldn't have any confidence in their warranty. I wouldn't trust that guy to tell me what time it is. 
Had an email from Jac this morning that my tube was shipping. I don't know where he was shipping it to. If to the address on my email - it is an office that has been shut down during pandemic and not yet opened. No one to receive mail or packages.

I told Jac to keep his tube. I want nothing more to do with EML. In my opinion, responding to a warranty issue after ignoring me for 9 months, is not worth much. I didn't have use of the tubes for that time, the tube that he is offering as a replacement is somehow internally different than the other. I already accepted my loss and I sure don't want to let him off the hook at this point. EML's definition of warranty conflicts with what most of us would expect.

Same experience here when a 300 tube failed. Jac went after Mick Maloney at Supratek claiming his design is faulty and caused the tube to fail. He wanted me to take pics of the inside of my amp, measure heater voltage, and other crap to prove his point. He really angered Mick and embarrassed me in the process. He is talking about Mick here, a guy who has been building preamps for 35 years. So, EML tubes are great when they work and I think very few fail. When they do fail don't expect to see a replacement, whether you registered for the extra 5 year warranty or not. I finally asked him to stop bothering Mick and withdrew my claim as it was clear he would never honor the warranty. Very sad business practice, but I guess he gets to keep a few more $$ in the process without any regard for the customers. 

Hi guys
Another pissed customer from EML.

I've got a defective EML 300B XLS and factory (Jac) denied the warranty claiming that my amp had a lower that recommended heater voltage ("3%" lower than the minimum recommended).

Every valve amp designer and valve distributor have told me that this lower voltage won't hurt the tubes at all and, as a proof, I have a pair of Shuguangs 300B WE Replica that have been working flawlessly since four years ago.

I bought EML as they offer a 5 year warranty, but they don't fulfill it claiming any excuse. Even if they were right, wich is not, they could have offered me another tube at a fraction of the cost and could have a satisfied customer on the forums.

Now I have a good working EML 300B XLS tube, with about 10 hs of use on a box, if anyone is willing to buy it with a 50% discount!  😁

First EML 300B failures I've heard of, and I've been observing for a long time.


@plga Lower heater voltage is NOT cause of that tube failure.  I lowered the heater voltage on my Coincident Statement pre based on recommendation of owner/designer of Coincident. I had multiple failures of various 101D tubes, not a single peep of noise, or failure since install of new heater resistors. The lower heater voltage should decrease plate voltage which should give you better 300B life. I'd go back to EML with information you've gleaned from the sources you mentioned and demand they honor warranty.


These warranty issues with EML will certainly impact my choice of 300B if I ever need replacments for my amp.

Thanks @sns for the answer, but I've tried as hard as I could and they denied it.

In fact, Jac did not like at all when I stated that other experts told me the same thing you are saying and not to mention when I said that my Shuguangs 300B have been working fine for years.

My advice, look somewhere else.

Maybe I won’t be able to recover any money and I will end up with just one working tube, if I cannot sell it at a lower price, but I will do my best to warn other people about EML warranty policies.

I think they are being far from clever making this stupid decision.

Let’s assume, even for a moment, that they were right and my amp broke the tube. I’ve paid more than a thousand dollars for the pair considering shipping and import taxes. How much does a new tube cost them on materials and labor? a very small fraction of what I spent for sure. If they had offered me to pay them that cost plus shipping the new tube, I would have done it happily and they would have a happy customer at zero cost. 

Even if they were right, wich is not true regarding several experts opinions, not mine, they could have made a much smarter decision.

Don’t buy from them. Other brands have much better warranty cover.

While sound quality of tubes of critical importance, who you purchase them from is also of critical importance. When I was having issues with 101D tubes, took risk and purchased some top echelon tubes from China based seller, twice I had issues with bad tubes, getting warranty resolution wasn't worth the effort or expense, I ate  the still rather stiff price I paid. The small discount in price vs sellers who stand behind these tubes wasn't worth it. I now only purchase from well regarded sellers, peace of mind worth the extra cost.


With these EML 300B failures I've now seen failures with every single premium 300B tube. I've been told by various sources tube quality has diminished since inception of pandemic. Wonder if this due to difficulties in procuring skilled workers?

Thanks for the heads up on EML. Was thinking of buying their 274b and type 80  but I can't support an outfit with apparently such bad customer service .   Thanks for the heads up

The Supratech design IS the problem.

from EML:

SUPRATECH Grange DHT Linestage

Oct 2022.

The heater voltage of 300B in this amplifier is chosen 4.9V instead of 5V, by the designer. According to Mike from Supratech we are no tube specialists at all, and 4.9V is no problem.

Well I said, it is as follows: If you exceed a critical parameter, guarantee voids. Everybody knows that. But in the same way, if you choose maximum deviation of a life time determining parameter, we still guarantee the minimum lifetime of the tube. That is just basics.

With that particular amplifier, if you go "somewhere below" normal heater voltage, but within specifications, you get "somewhat" less lifetime, within specifications.

I’ve had multiple problems with the their 45 mesh and solid plates in a push pull configuration.  They blamed the amps.  Despite Sophia, full music, now bottle and globes having no issues what so ever.  This was 10 years ago.  Considering the price they are now I won’t go near them.   But they are the best sounding 45 I have ever heard by a very long shot.  Game changers for real.