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Re: pre NS Mullards?

9/25/2004 4:27 PM
SpeedRacer Re: pre NS Mullards?
Couple things - the whole mfr chain is a *chain* - so think about the logistics. Mullard stops making tubes.. the company that makes the special alloys for the plates stops.. the place that makes the mica spacers stops.. the folks that make the molybdenum wire for the screens move on to other things, and so on. (these are not the best examples, but illustrate the point I think..) this is not just bc Mullard stops, but so does GEC, and the others. And each had their own witches brew for the metals and processes - hardly standard stuff. Fast forward 30" years and now try to make them in another country with a different labor pool and completely different suppliers. Some stuff is probably available, some stuff not. So you do the best you can with what you can get.. FWIW this is the same thing we did with the trannies. Found wire that was close, iron that was close, etc and mixed and matched until we were happy. I could not go to the same vendors and buy the same stuff. Often times it simply does not exist anymore. The whole "M" numbering system is not about something being exactly This or That - all an M grade steel has to be is "this good or better" in certain measurable areas. Buying M19 does not mean you get M19 - it just means this stuff is at least that good in the areas that count. The chemistry could be way off what you think you got.. Now think about tubes and it's 100 times worse bc not only were the metals (plates esp IIRC) special formulas, but the folks who made the stuff, the tools that stamped it, the chemists that worked out the various treatments - much of that is probably lost. And where the original recipe may exist, the labor pool that actually knows how to do this the particular way is dying off. It's becoming a lost art, at least in the west.  
affordable issue - 1 - labor was cheaper then (much), no concern about polution (!), tubes are made in huge batches and then inventoried / stockpiled.. It may take several years to sell out a batch from what I was told. There was much more demand so prices were lower (you could make more, sell more, the cash cycle is shorter, materials were bought in larger Q, etc)  
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9/25/2004 8:19 PM
Greg Simon
Speedracer pretty much summed it up, but I'll add my 2 cents here. Back in the day as you say, they used tubes in a LOT more than just audio applications so since they made them in bulk, they were a lot cheaper overall. Moreover, the competition was fierce and many times a tube maker would sell stuff extremely cheap to beat the competition. Since they were trying to beat the competition in every way, they also made sure they built the best product they could for the price, so the metal used for the plates was superior to todays stuff....they would make a tube with a better vacuum so it would last longer....but that involves keeping a tube on the vacuum machines for 1 to 2 hours each, and people just don't do that nowadays. For some really good reading on this subject, (and many others about tubes) get a subscription to Vacuum Tube Valley magazine, and get the back issues. Its my favorite publication and has LOTS of great info in it.  
9/25/2004 9:23 PM
Tim c.
I pulled out a set of Svet's and a set of EH's. After closer examination I have to say they look more like Svetlana's. The element stabilizer at the bottom of the tube is exactly like my Svet's. Doesn't it seem wierd to just relabel Svet's as Mullard's though?  
Tim C.
9/26/2004 7:45 AM

As everyone else I love the older tubes but we have to stop living in the past and accept changes that are out of our least we still have tubes!  
I have a Z jr that I almost sold because of its harshness and too much high I took out all the NOS (which are now Used) tubes and stuck in cheap Sovtek pre-amp tubes and some GT re-labled EL84's that came with the amp when I got thing I know the amp sounded smoother and not so much high end ..well we all know that the Sovtek 12AX7 sound a bit dull..well they work awesome with this circuit.. still a bit harsh on the ODrive for my "blues" taste so I put a 12AT7 (chinese GT labeled) in the PI slot and now we're talkin more control and fatter tone..  
Bottom line is that you still have to tweek your tone to taste by mixing and matching different tubes to acheive the sound you on my amp others may want more drive or more high end.  
This is not a perfect world and we can live in the past all we want to but ultimately the past is gone and we have what is here today. My amp sounds steller with less than stellar old Fender's still sound better with the older tubes but I do use newer tube in them with great results..once you're making music and not comparing A to B on the amp tone the difference is nickles and dimes .02  
9/26/2004 9:43 AM
I heard that if I put these new tubes in my marshall non master amp the amp will sound better just having the words "Mullard" on the power tubes.  
Must be true as I put purple tolex on that Marshall and it sounded emediatly ;)  
9/26/2004 10:18 AM
There is only one possibility. Yes, it will!  
Logos are everything, just ask any proud recent-year "Park" amp owner.  
9/27/2004 9:57 PM
bob p
"Logos are everything, just ask any proud recent-year "Park" amp owner."

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