NOS Tubes

playloud

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I would love to find some long plate Mullard ECC83s in the wild - mC1 or f91. Those are my holy grail, for sure.

I've got an mC1, which I'm currently using in V1 of my Super Bass. The longplate Mullards aren't necessarily "better" than the later shortplates though. They're more prone to microphonics, with a higher noise floor.

One alternative to look out for is the Valvos with "45° getters". I've got one of those too (with a Telefunken logo), and it does a similar thing. I'm not 100% committed to the "NOS glass" allure, but I picked this one out of a whole bunch of NOS tubes during a "tube rolling" session with an audiophile friend (who was happy to amuse a neanderthal guitarist!) and it wasn't particularly subtle.

To get started with NOS tubes, I would recommend learning a little about factory codes and getters (for when the factory code is missing). The silk-screened logos mean almost nothing. I've noticed that, despite all the information available online, the best way to find affordable Mullards is to look for alternative labels. If you search for "Philips/Hammond I63", for example, you can often find "B" factory code examples (i.e. Blackburn Mullard) with excellent test profiles ("NOS testing" or whatever) for around US$50.
 

StingRay85

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Indeed. When you look at Europe, there are few big names:

Philips: producing in Heerlen (NL, triangle code), Blackburn (UK - aka Mullard, B code), Hamburg (DE, D code). You have transition from long plate (mCX) to big ring getter small plate, to small ring getter, and finally a small disc. The I6X codes change a bit where they were made)
RFT: East-German production. Very popular for Marshall
Telefunken: ribbed plate and smooth plate. EI in Yugoslavia made a copy of the smooth plate later on
Siemens: High quality high gain tubes from Germany.
Tungsram: Made in Hungary
Brimar: UK production

I have currently have about 200 tubes of these
 

FleshOnGear

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I've got an mC1, which I'm currently using in V1 of my Super Bass. The longplate Mullards aren't necessarily "better" than the later shortplates though. They're more prone to microphonics, with a higher noise floor.

One alternative to look out for is the Valvos with "45° getters". I've got one of those too (with a Telefunken logo), and it does a similar thing. I'm not 100% committed to the "NOS glass" allure, but I picked this one out of a whole bunch of NOS tubes during a "tube rolling" session with an audiophile friend (who was happy to amuse a neanderthal guitarist!) and it wasn't particularly subtle.

To get started with NOS tubes, I would recommend learning a little about factory codes and getters (for when the factory code is missing). The silk-screened logos mean almost nothing. I've noticed that, despite all the information available online, the best way to find affordable Mullards is to look for alternative labels. If you search for "Philips/Hammond I63", for example, you can often find "B" factory code examples (i.e. Blackburn Mullard) with excellent test profiles ("NOS testing" or whatever) for around US$50.
No, they’re not necessarily better, but I have some I63 Mullards, and I can hear a real difference between those and my mC1 and f91. But my older long plates are slightly microphonic - it’s a fact that they’re prone to that issue. I have to use tube dampeners with them.
 

playloud

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Absolutely there's a difference. This reminds me - I should put together a reamp box and record some comparisons. Would also be interesting to look at the spectral differences between tubes.
 

Dogs of Doom

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Just wanted to add, be careful with old radios and console stereos. Some don’t have a power transformer and run off wall voltage using series filaments. You’ll notice this by really strange tube numbers, like 35W4, 50C5, 25L6, etc. You might get lucky and find a single 12AX7 in some of those but if you’re planning on using one as the guitar amp, don't. They don’t call them widowmamers for nothing.
when I was a kid, w/o any knowledge (still don't have much), I fashioned a couple small watt radios.

I forget what happened to the 1st one, I think it was just so little & didn't sound good, so I discarded it. The other one started shocking me, until one last time it shocked me good & I threw it away, enough was enough. I probably muttered something like, "this thing's going to kill me", not knowing how possibly true it was...
 

Trelwheen

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Tube Radios, Reel to Reel machines, Organs with an amplifier inside, I'm sure there many more odds and ends but I believe these are the most common to come across thrifting etc.

Talkie home movie projectors are also a great find, no one wants them so they sell cheap and the tubes usually have very few hours on them.
 

StingRay85

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Same for small reel-to-reel recorders between roughly 58 and 64. Philips, Telefunken, Grundig,.. They typically have a EF86, ECC83, ECL82 and EZ80. This way I have collected 25+ mCX long plate Philips tubes
 

Maggot Brain

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Same for small reel-to-reel recorders between roughly 58 and 64. Philips, Telefunken, Grundig,.. They typically have a EF86, ECC83, ECL82 and EZ80. This way I have collected 25+ mCX long plate Philips tubes
I used to see these reel to reels all the time at the thrift stores and swap meets prior to being educated on robbing them of tubes. Now every time I see a reel to reel it's solid state, really annoying haha.
 

drgordonfreeman

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Same for small reel-to-reel recorders between roughly 58 and 64. Philips, Telefunken, Grundig,.. They typically have a EF86, ECC83, ECL82 and EZ80. This way I have collected 25+ mCX long plate Philips tubes


Are EF86 tubes substitutes for 12ax7/ECC83?


I used to see these reel to reels all the time at the thrift stores and swap meets prior to being educated on robbing them of tubes. Now every time I see a reel to reel it's solid state, really annoying haha.

Don't you love it? This is how things usually work: a bunch of woulda, coulda, shoulda.
 

Dogs of Doom

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I used to see these reel to reels all the time at the thrift stores and swap meets prior to being educated on robbing them of tubes. Now every time I see a reel to reel it's solid state, really annoying haha.
either that, or the tubes have been robbed already...

That's probably how you got those tubes in the dish/bin...
 

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