Would I benefit from using a Mullard?

mike80

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2,664
I've been debating on dropping the coin on a Mullard or a Telefunken...or some sort of NOS tube. I see that most people think it's like some sort of ecstacy when they put one in their amp.

The thing that worries me is that it's not going to be worth the money I spend on it in my case. I play mostly high gain rock and since I don't have any experience with the old tubes, I don't know what to expect. I don't recall many people using a Mullard in a high gain amp, so I'm a little skeptical.

I'm using a 9th gen Shuguang in V1 and JJ ECC83s in the rest of the amp. With that combination I'm very happy with my tone. The reason I want to experiment is because I'm wondering if it may be some sort of aural nirvana that I'm missing out on.

Any ideas/suggestions?
 

fierce_carrot

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1,880
If you play mostly high gain rock then I'd recommend you not spending your money on these kinds of tubes. I run Mullards in my 18watt GDS and in my Ceriatone liverpool trainwreck and the tubes were far less aggressive than current production tubes, which is exactly what I was after. The tone is smoother and more pleasing to my ears as well.
 

Broken Cord

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1,449
The NOS stuff sounds great to be sure. I just re tubed my 65 Amps London 18 with Telefunkens from the 50's, the sound difference is dramatic. However, this is not a high gain amp. The NOS stuff is does cost quite a bit more but for me it's been worth the cost.

I think for high gain I would save some coin and look into some of the reissue stuff that's out. There are some good Russian and Chinese tubes that are putting out some good high gain sound that will cost far less than the NOS.
 

riffmeister

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16,597
I see that most people think it's like some sort of ecstacy when they put one in their amp.
It's not. There may be some subtle differences, but once you're up at volume playing in a band, no one will know.

For a high gain amp, try a low gain tube like a 5771 type and move it around the various positions in your amp, you might find you like the extra bit of clarity.
 

Jammin'John

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331
Not worth it in a high gain amp.
Stupid money for Tele's & Mullards.
Let the Hi Fi Dweebs have 'em.
Not worth it in a guitar amp.
Old american ones are worth looking for.
They are in organs & pa's from years gone by.

JJ
 

rockon1

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12,592
Not worth it for high gain? I disagree. Its just as worth it to me and I play mostly medium to high gain stuff.Another one I hear a lot is that less complicated amps benifit more than pcb multichannel amps-again I disagree. Ive collected a noahs ark worth of old stock pre amp tubes(at least a few of every one ever made)and done extensive swapping between them and new production. Ive yet to settle on new production. Since pre's dont wear out nearly as fast as power tubes used old stock pre's make them affordable too....... Nothing sounds like a long plate Mullard in the later gain stages of a high gain amp! Bob
 

Timbre Wolf

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Any ideas/suggestions?
I don't generally recommend the more common short-plate Mullard 12AX7A, nor do I recommend Telefunken smooth plate ECC83. I've tried 'em in many, many positions, many amps, and have not liked either as much as I like other choices from '50s US production. Raytheon, Tung-Sol, Ken-Rad, Sylvania, and GE long-plates are all superb tubes.

For higher gain, I would recommend a 1957 Sylvania short gray-plate/square-getter 12AX7: it breaks up earlier, is more articulate than an RFT, and is less microphonics-prone than long-plate 12AX7s. Of course, I'd probably go for long-plate choices, myself, due to the increased clarity.

My opinion: you'll pay a lot less, and get a lot more if you buy early US tubes.

- Thom
 

rockon1

Supporting Member
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12,592
For higher gain, I would recommend a 1957 Sylvania short gray-plate/square-getter 12AX7: it breaks up earlier, is more articulate than an RFT, and is less microphonics-prone than long-plate 12AX7s.
- Thom
As would I ;) Of coarse we have our differences of opinion on the SP Mullards which I find warm and pleasing in high gain apps. Bob
 

mike80

Member
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2,664
Thanks for the replies. Looks like pretty mixed opinions.


There's only one way to find out.
The thing is - I'm kinda scared to drop the money on one just to find out.

I think for high gain I would save some coin and look into some of the reissue stuff that's out. There are some good Russian and Chinese tubes that are putting out some good high gain sound that will cost far less than the NOS.
That's been another option I've been tossing around.


Looks like I may just have to bite the bullet and give it a shot.
 

rockon1

Supporting Member
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12,592
Find a dealer that sells used old stock pre's. Many are not much more than the price of new stuff. Bob
 




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