Sovtek made ICs?
November 19, 2007 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I recently came into possession of a Sovtek-branded 7474 IC, listed as having been made in the USSR in October 1988. While it's a standard 7474, I can't find any information about Sovtek having ever made ICs. Have any of you ever heard of this?

Last week a coworker gave me his old box of electronics from when he took classes at ITT Tech in the mid 90s. Going through these I came across the aforementioned Sovtek-branded 7474s and 7410s. While the parts and their function is pretty standard, the Sovtek label surprised me. As far as I was aware, Sovtek was just a label on Russian (and possibly formerly Soviet?) manufactured audio gear.

I'm trying to find any info that may be available on Sovtek ICs, but the standard oracles aren't turning up any results. Anything with 'Sovtek' in it only seems to have info about tubes.

So, if I may ask, do any of you know anything about these? Maybe what company actually manufactured them, possible shared lineage with Sovtek audio kit, etc?

Thanks very much!
posted by c0nsumer to Technology (9 answers total)
Here's a Usenet post from 1996 mentioning Sovtek 74xx series ICs.
posted by zsazsa at 10:15 AM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, zsazsa. That's now the only mention I've seen of them online.
posted by c0nsumer at 10:41 AM on November 19, 2007

Yeah. I don't quite follow the poster. Is he saying that Radio Shack was selling these?
posted by zsazsa at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: That's the way I read it... The post seems to me to be a series of complaints about Radio Shack, and mentioned off-handedly that RS sold Sovtek chips. At least that's a bit more info than I had before. I know the person that I got the box from regularly resupplied himself with RS parts, so maybe he got them there...
posted by c0nsumer at 11:09 AM on November 19, 2007

I'd guess that, for whatever reason, Sovtek (the American company that makes amps and EH pedals) had someone make some private label TTL chips. The part numbers are inconsistent with Soviet/Russian IC part numbers and the Soviets/Russians were all about renumbering/renaming everything with their own name.
posted by jdfan at 12:59 PM on November 19, 2007

Btw, I'm still lovin the x0xb0x overlay you did.
posted by jdfan at 1:04 PM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: jdfan: Thank you. :)

For what it's worth, I tried to contact Sovtek about it, but the initial email bounced.

(They have a form one fills out, and it apparently just sends mail to with the from: set as the submitter's email address. The receiving box uses SPF, and since my published records only allow mail to come from the server or my house, it bounced.)

I re-sent the message by hand directly to the info@ address, but haven't received a reply yet.

Hopefully there will be something soon...
posted by c0nsumer at 1:39 PM on November 19, 2007

Best answer: Back when I used to have a passing interest in old Eastern-bloc electronics, I used to occasionally see Sovtek-branded ICs in Tandy (the local arm of RS) & was curious. As far as I've been able to gather, the story is something like this:

Mike Matthews, of Electro-Harmonix fame, went bust in the mid 80's. Sick of the audio game, he turned to a few contacts he'd made dealing with the Soviet Ministry of Electronics in the late 70's / early 80's, and started exporting Russian-made ICs under a couple of brand names, including Sovtek. Later, he got back into the valve audio market by selling valves made in ex-military factories. Eventually he decided to concentrate again on audio gear, bought one of the Russian valve factories, and regained control of the Electro-Harmonix brand name.

At some point there, the Sovtek brand was revived and applied exclusively to his Russian made vacuum tubes.

Sorry, no references - it's basically something I remember from 10~20 years ago when I was interested in such things.
posted by Pinback at 2:09 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Pinback: Thanks very much. That there is more info than I've been able to come by thus far. I'll be sure to post more here if I actually hear something back from sovtek.
posted by c0nsumer at 2:11 PM on November 19, 2007

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