Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

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knh6sn7
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Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by knh6sn7 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:16 pm

I was with my realtor girlfriend today to list the home of an elderly woman, and while we were being shown around the home by her younger brother-in-law(78 yrs young), we went to the basement and while looking at the electrical panel, I noticed a few small signal tube boxes. There was one box labeled GE 12AX7. Well I opened the box (box lettering seemed to be early 60's) there was a new 12AX7 marked General Electric. RCA made a ton of tubes for GE, and at first glance it looked like a gray plate RCA. Then I really looked at it, and it was marked Made in GR Brittan!!! Yes, it was a medium plate Mullard 12AX7, and the serial number began with B which indicates it was made in the original Blackburn factory. The gentleman who was taking us around, said, hey, if you can use it it is yours, and if you see any others help yourself. So now, I am trying to scope out the basement, without looking obvious!! Now, I do not care about my girlfriends listing, who cares that this is a deal, and the real estate market is in the crapper. All I can think about is finding a stash of RCA blackplate 6L6's, Tung-Sol 6550's, Telefunkens, etc....... Anyway, no such luck, but I did have the mullard, and some small 7 pin tube. But after getting home, I tried it in V1 in my MK IV, and WOW!!! I was currently using the Mesa SPAX 12AX7 (newer EH version, not Chinese) in V1. Well, the sound became warmer, fuller, and best of all, my noise level dropped noticeably. That has been my only complaint with the MK IV, is the tube noise when running in high gain settings. Some noise is unavoidable, but in a previous attempt to drop the noise level as much as possible, I put a Mesa SPAX in V1, thinking this would quiet the amp, but wow, the SPAX is not even in the same league as the Mullard. Anyway, I had to pass this story on to others who may understand, since when I told my girlfriend about what the tube did for the amp, she replied.. Thats great honey, I'm glad your happy!!!!

MrMarkIII
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by MrMarkIII » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:29 pm

Schweeeeet! :D

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thunda1216
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by thunda1216 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:42 pm

I hear you - and can relate. A couple of years ago, a friend was relocating to another state to avoid DWI charges. He gave me an old Magnatone amp head and said if I could repair it that it was mine. Upon inspection, someone had previously attempted to replaced the transformers with radio shack doorbell transformers. The up side is that there, in the preamp section, were five mullard preamp tubes.

I robbed them, smiling like a cheshire cat, and have not looked back. The tone is like no other.
When Gibsons are outlawed, only outlaws will have Gibsons

dodger916
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by dodger916 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:17 am

I've been preaching that since I had my Mark IV preamp tube revelation about three weeks ago. Vintage Tung Sols have been doing it for me, but it's about time to try a vintage Mullard.
Last edited by dodger916 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Restless Rocks
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by Restless Rocks » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:59 am

I'm currently basking in the sweet lime light of some Amperex bugle boys I discovered I had stashed away. The stuff they're making nowadays isn't in the same galaxy as the vintage stuff. The amp almost seems bigger somehow.

knh6sn7
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by knh6sn7 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:22 pm

Well; Since I put the NOS Mullard 12AX7 in V1, I figured I would experiment with the other positions. I know V1 is probabily the most critical, but I have quite a few vintage tubes, so I put the same type of short plate Mullard 12AX7's in V2, V3, and Telefunken 12ax7 in V4, and a matched section Telefunken in V5. Well, the the sound became warmer, more musical, and I think, more touch sensitive. The differences were more subtle that replacing V1, but never the less, it was a definite improvement. So I continued to experiment, so I put a JJ 12AX7 in V2, and it was good, but I find the JJ has a lot of gain, but too much top end sizzle, so I went back to the Mullard, and the musicality, warmth was better. Don't get me wrong, the JJ didn't suck, just it didn't have the finesse of the mullard. So I tried the JJ in V4, in place of the Tele, and same thing, it was a little tizzy on the top end, with a little more gain. So I replaced the Tele with another Mullard 12AX7 short plate, and again, more musicality, warmth. I replaced the V5 Tele with a JJ, and this was the lest difference, but there was still a hint of brightness that wasn't there with the Tele. V5 is a phase inverter, and shouldn't be as critical (and it isn't), but it was not un-noticeable from the Tele. So, now , I am running the NOS Mullard short plate in V1, V2,V3,V4 with Mullard short plates that I had, and tested good, and a Telefunken 12AX7 with perfectly matched halves in V5, and now I am happy. BTW, I am running Sylvania 6L6 WGT's as output tubes. These are the mid 80's production made in Emporium PA. Now my MK IV has moved up a notch or two sonically, and I am in love with it all over again!!!!!

sparklesmcgraw
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by sparklesmcgraw » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:47 am

That's great dude,

As long as you're happy

Lol, Congrats on the find

fishyfishfish
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by fishyfishfish » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:31 pm

I keep thinking that somewhere downtown there is a huge stash of old tubes waiting to be discovered. When I used my Recto for my Top Forty band NOS preamp tubes and low gain were the only thing that kept my sanity.
Tastes like Condor.

mrd
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by mrd » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:16 am

Cool story dude. A similar thing happened to me a while ago. A buddy of mine is an audiophile and collects/builds tube amplifiers so he always has lots of tubes kickin' around. When he found out I played guitar, he offered me a spare NOS Mullard 12AX7 for free and I stuck it in the V1 of my MKIV as well. What a difference! Sounds awesome now. I'm not sure of the exact make of it, I didn't look and I wouldn't really know what to look for. But I do know that the tone became even better, something that I wasn't sure was even possible.

krsmusic
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by krsmusic » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:21 am

Anyone know where to find the NOS Mullard tubes ?

treedroppings
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by treedroppings » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:08 am

try ebay.co.uk

go to lots of estate sales you'll prob'ly find old ge's sylvania's if diligent
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Music: from blues to thrash and back! (allman bros, exodus, saxon, tcf, robert johnson)

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dwsabianguy
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by dwsabianguy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:57 pm

Wow, you've just convinced me to drop by as many estate sales as I can!
1991 Mark IVA, a modified Trainwreck clone, and a whole bunch of non-Mesa cabs

treedroppings
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Re: Tube Find!!! NOS Mullard 12AX7 now in V1

Post by treedroppings » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:44 am

f%&# A' dude Fall of 2003

I found a killer Packard bELL stereo 2 blocks from mom and dad's and it said $70.

the auction people let me have it for 35 because it is the last day of the sale

it was a 1965 packard bell,

the tubes are packard bell relabeled... :D f%&#' Amperex Bugle Boys

these tubes are expensive wine-style tubes! amperex was a factory in holland and

I had 2 phase inverter 7025's
and 4 el 84s they sounded awesome in my Sovtek MiG60 (you know the one that's better than newer Marshalls)
The sovTek had ok tubes before , now I was smiling ear-ear because it had the Bugle Boy in V1!!

I still have the amplifier and the cabinet is solid Maple(2" by 1.5" by 18" strips of Maple all glued together) . 2 old-school 12" speakers and 2 mid-tweeters.

When I get $$$ that cabinet will get an upgrade or something. Its got mojo and the amplifier will prob'ly get a bottle rocket in front for boogie-ing sounds! Needs a vintage turntable and some radio parts too, but when it worked it sounded chime-y like rory's vox, I played the calling card album thru and it sounded good!

yeah Estate sales can be nice and 3 el 84s surviverd although I did drop one when i got some beers in me one night. Maybe the philco el84 will work with the other 3 !
2006 Fender Lite Ash Strat
2012 US Gibson Firebird V
1990 Boogie Mark 1 Reissue
2-12 Sapele Cab

Music: from blues to thrash and back! (allman bros, exodus, saxon, tcf, robert johnson)

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