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Big question on investment

10/26/2004 3:57 PM
Jake Big question on investment
Hi, I am considering buying a couple mullard  
12ax7 for my tweed deluxe to see what all  
the hipe is about. Any input would be appreciatted.  
10/26/2004 7:41 PM
P Howard

I think you hit it on the nailhead when you used the word HYPE.  
There is a particular tone that these tubes give. Is it worth the $$$? I don't think so. I have a couple of Mullard 12AX7's and they sound great, however I don't think they are SO SUPERIOR that I have to have them in all my amps. In fact I find that they don't have the magic in every circuit.  
Bottom line in MHO is that you'd be much better off taking the big bucks you're going to spend and try some of the cool stuff that's out there.  
In reality there are some cool tubes being made today albeit different sounding than the Mullard. Also one of the things that I've done over the years is to find and buy USED pre-amp tubes for as cheap as possible and of course you'll get a wasted one or two but usually there's lots of life left in 'em and I've scored some really great sounding tubes this way.  
Just my .02  
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10/26/2004 10:02 PM
Carl Gigun

I've got a couple mullards, not worth the money in my opinion.  
10/27/2004 3:04 AM

every single Telefunken or mullard preamp tube I bought new ( only 2 of each) sounded no better than the used ones I pulled from old radios.( 50 or so)
10/27/2004 8:07 AM
Nate Rudy

I heard that the Mullard and Tele tubes were brighter than others (maybe a bit less grainy, too) which helped alot back when carbon comp resistors and other low-tolerance components made circuits sound darker. With modern components sounding less murky, the benefits of these brighter tubes are lost.  
I really like the JJ 12AX7 and the 12AX7EH, but I have not had much experience with any other 12AX7 tubes, other than Russian and Chinese varieties.
10/28/2004 4:03 PM
The Mullard I have (cv4004) is the milltary grade 12AX7 and may not be worth the cost they fetch today, but I got mine free..another story. Anyway, in my 5E3 clone the tone changes are not worth mentioning. However in my 63 Tweed Champ I have found nothing that compares to the the sweet harmonics this tube can pruduce at any volume.
10/28/2004 7:23 PM

Also, don't rule out dumpster diving. I found an old Fisher tube amp in the trash that had 8 Fisher-labled Mullard 12AX7s in it. All worked perfectly.  
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