Mullard Shmullard

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by jaymanaa, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. jaymanaa

    jaymanaa AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Got an odd tube here. Four EL84s, out of a low hour, all original tube (others labelled Dynaco) SCA35. Everything is just like one would expect, except for the International C branding on these output tubes. They are however also chalked Mullard, EL84, and Great Britain. They also have the 4 seems on the top, BUT, they don't have any acid etched codes. They have the same amount of dirt as the other tubes, and they all measure exactly the same micromhos on the Hickok 800. I would bet that they are the original tubes, but has anyone else seen a Mullard branded International C? And even then, original in a Dynaco amp? The sockets in this one are riveted, and the boards are also riveted, but the wiring looks like a good amateur job. Did they maybe come with the boards installed? Anyway, what's the verdict on the tubes, Mullard, or Shmullard?
     

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  2. jaymanaa

    jaymanaa AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Dang, messed up, here's another picture. Thanks Fellas.
     

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  3. 2526

    2526 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Had some of those in a Lafayette integrated that I pssed along. Sounded ok to me.
     
  4. golana

    golana analog Subscriber

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    My bet is, made in Japan. With mullard equipment.
     
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  5. jaymanaa

    jaymanaa AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Dang, the Dynaco branded RCA 7199s tested identical to each other too, 3k on the pentode, 1.5 on the triode. Also found a tin foil type sticker on the rear panel that said factory wired and had a serial number, so that shoots down my amateur idea. It had another tin foil type sticker that said Balanced by Hillcrest HiFi, Hillcrest LA 1973, which might shoot down the low hours idea as well. I didn't notice before, but the back panel has a little bow to it, just enough that it will need to be removed for straightening. Ugh, I think it's hard to make any money by rebuilding this stuff? I guess if you sold all the tubes out of it separately; 4 Mullard? EL84s (replace with Sovteks), 2 black plate RCA 7199s (replace with 6BL8s), and the phono Tele smooth plate 12AX7s (replace with Sovtek LPS). Then do just the lytics, coupling caps, and bad resistors, and you might be able to make a buck? I've noticed that tubes, and tube HiFi go up and down a lot. I've never tried to make money, I was just thinking about how tough it would be.
    I was thinking maybe Japanese on Mullard tooling as well, but it seems like I notice that the Japanese stuff only has two seems on top. Ever notice that, or maybe it's in my head? I just don't know why real Mullards wouldn't have the acid etchings, right? Plus, the real Mullard EL84s I've seen from this time have that dark, nasty looking brown crud inside. It just kills me that they chalk label them Mullard and Made in Great Britain, that was illegal I'd think?
     
  6. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    I've seen IEC Mullard tubes before. Have a bunch of IEC Mullard boxes for assorted useless tubes too.

    Those look more like Valvo tubes to me, but those should also have etched codes.
     
  7. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    Would you be so kind as to ship those to me so that I can get a better idea of exactly what they are? I'll send them back your way.........eventually. :p
     
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  8. arts

    arts Super Member

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    Wasn't Mullard sourcing tubes from Philips (or whoever it was had top seams) at one time?
     
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  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Mullard was owned by Phillips I believe. Seems you could get any of the Phillips family brands on any Phillips-produced tubes.
     
  10. jaymanaa

    jaymanaa AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yeh, I think I have some Siemens EL34s that are branded Mullard too, and maybe some that are branded Telefunken. Were the slimmy EL34s Siemens or Phillips? I'll get some better light and a magnifier to check for the etchings again. This tube set is pretty incredible. The Tele 12AX7s tested very balanced as well; both at 10.5T1 and 11.0T2. I think I'd make sure whomever ends up with this uses a turntable before I leave those Teles in. What's the consensus on 6BL8 VS 7199 as far as sound. I'm thinking may as well do the pin out change due to the high price of 7199s unless they are way superior in this circuit?
     
  11. GordonW

    GordonW Speakerfixer Subscriber

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    I'm with this guess. Matsushita had tube manufacturing equipment from Philips. Many of their tubes looked exactly like Mullard/Amperex, but didn't have the etched codes.

    FWIW, they usually sound like their European brethren, too, to my ears.

    Regards,
    Gordon.
     
  12. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Aggie! Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    BEL, in India, was an OEM for Mullard/Siemens/Phillips. You might have these, as my examples of that tube have a slot in the middle of the plate, same as yours. Every UK Mullard tube I have has a round hole in the plate.

    My "Indian Mullards" sound more like Siemens than Mullards, even though they say Mullard.

    I just checked my Matsushitas, in my almarro, and they have the same plate. I would want to check the top architecture to decide whether yours are Matsus, or BELs.

    Either way, they are as good as the genuine article. Truth be told, I prefer both the MIJ and the Indian ones, to the UK Mullards, all except the early 50s Blackburns, that are megabucks. A few years ago, I got to try a pair from Kegger, God rest his soul, but I gave them back to him. Too much money for the very slight difference, compared to the Matsus, which I run.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  13. GordonW

    GordonW Speakerfixer Subscriber

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    Ernie, I think you're right about the Mullards pretty much having round-hole plates- but I've got quite a few Amperex EL84 tubes with slot-hole plates. Some Amperex are round-hole, but a significant number have the slot.

    Regards,
    Gordon.
     
  14. Junk Audio

    Junk Audio Active Member

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    Those tubes are Japanese Amperex, Most Amperex EL84's are Japanese. They have to be pretty early to be actually made in Holland. same goes for amperex 12ax7's
    Not that that's a bad thing..... Japanese Amperex are nice tubes....
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  15. kcline

    kcline Tube Audio Collector Subscriber

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    IEC had the rights in the USA to use the name Mullard. They were the legal importers of Mullard tubes. They could mark any tube they sold as Mullard. I had 6AC7 metal tubes marked Mullard, bases were stamped GE these were not marked as made in GB. Of course they were not supposed to mark all Mullards they sold as made in GB but as they were not the most honest dealers they seemed to have marked lots mostly audio types as made in GB anyway
     
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  16. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Amperex was part of the stable as well. The dark silver/brown getters are sort of a hallmark on some of their EL84s. Without seeing a better shot of the plates I'd guess those.
     
  17. crispycircuit

    crispycircuit AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I better brush up on my tube ID. Thx for the pixs
     
  18. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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  19. Leland47

    Leland47 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I like the Mullards with the mold/soot.
    Always set those aside to collect!
     
  20. primosounds

    primosounds Single ended KT66/KT88 with 6SL7 or 6SN7 driver Subscriber

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    I have a quad of Hammond that are "Japanese Mullards". You can make out the seams on the top of the tubes. They look exactly like that. They sound killer too. I have them in this stereo amp.
    Mullard's el84 went from "sandy glass" rX1 , to smooth glass rX2 all with a circular locating hole in the center of the plate. I am not sure if the rX3 or rX4 they switched to the rectangular hole in the plate. Which looks exactly like the tubes in your Dyna. Sorry, i don't have a close up on the hammond el84s. DSC05535.JPG
     

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