Mullard Long Plate...is it REALLY worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by pfrischmann, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    Hi guys,
    I've got this Marshall homebrew that I'm just about to finish. I've been messing with tubes and that of course brings me to the Mullard thing.

    It looks like NOS Long plate. Halo getter Mullards are going for about $100 bucks or so. Brimars for like 70-80 etc....

    I thought I'd get one really good tube for V1 as it makes a huge difference in the tone....as the Japanese Matsushita/Mullard standard plate has shown me....Hell even the used RFT sounds better than the new stuff I have and even I remember when people would consider RFT's marginal tubes..


    So,
    Is this one of those things where nothing sounds like a Mullard long plate. If you want a marshall to live up to it's potential...just get one?

    Is it really worth all this stuff?
     
  2. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes!


    Especially when you're recording.

    Here's another angle: if you're losing sleep because you're so curious about how good one of these is, then $100 is cheap for peace of mind. And you don't even have to spend $100 - I've gotten a couple from a dealer for less than half that (and eBay for less than 1/5 that). You needn't necessarily get NOS, as those that are used and (well) tested as-new are going to last you a good, long time.

    But there are other, excellent 12AX7s to be had for less money, as well. They'll have different tonal qualities and characteristics, so which you choose is a matter of taste. Here are a few of my favorites: RCA long black-plate/square-getter 12AX7, RCA long gray-plate/square-getter 12AX7, Raytheon long black-plate/halo-getter 12AX7A, GE 6681, RFT ECC83, Tungsram ECC83.

    - T
     
  3. pm81

    pm81 Member

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    That's a very informative link - Thanks!
     
  4. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    Only your hair dresser knows for sure.
     
  5. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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  6. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    +:D
     
  7. jrigg

    jrigg Gold Supporting Member

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    Old tubes are really worth it. I've got a lot of old tubes that I have tried in my '74 50 watt Marshall and 18 watt Marshall clone. The long plate Mullards sound very good but I much prefer the following: Tesla ECC803s, Mullard or Amperex short plate ECC83 (early 60's vintage), Tesla E83CC in V1. I always tend to use an Amperex ECC83 in the V2 position. In V3 either a Mullard ECC81 or the Tesla E83CC. If you haven't heard the old Teslas, check them out. They are copies of a very expensive Telefunken and really clean up a lot of the garbage distortion leaving the good stuff. Hard to explain but very noticeable on listening. Also to confuse things, every tube will sound different - even from the same maunfacturer. This is very evident when you have a lot of tubes to try out so unfortunately, buying 1 is prbably not going to end the quest. I personally do not like to plug tubes in and out for sessions/practice/gigs, because I find that the longer they are in an amp, the more burned in they get and they sound better to me. I readily admit that it may just me getting used to their tone and making the necessary adjustments in my attack etc. to maximize the tone but I do find it to be true. I suggest getting in touch with Tube Tramp and communicate what you want. I believe he is a member here and a great guitar player who knows his stuff about tubes and sells them at very good prices. If you can't find his address, email me and I'll get it to you. I also have some NOS Mullards, including long plates, Teslas, and Amperex that I could be talked into selling.
     

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