- Dec 28, 2020
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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.