Author Topic: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production  (Read 22299 times)

Offline stevenvalve

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They only made the 2A3 monoplates from 1930 to 1933, for audio use, The word is they where expensive, and hard to make, and where subsequently dropped from production.  I have owned them all, and feel they are overrated, but they are a great sounding vintage tube, and still considered the holy grail of power tubes. If you are wondering about the hand around that pair of 2A3s... well,,,, it's the hand of God.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 12:35:29 AM by stevenvalve »

Offline Tuyen

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So many beautiful tubes.

I can see why you call yourself stevenvalve now!   :o

Offline stevenvalve

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Time for 12AX7- ECC83 valves,  i will do a little each night. Lets start with the cream valves in this class, The best i have heard and remember it is still so system dependent. The number one 12ax7.

The Mullard ECC83  MC1, 17 mm long plates, Goal post getter, with copper rods, made in Blackburn England, from 1955 to 1958. Great valve in every way, excellent weighty bass, with clean full pretty midrange, lovely sound a Great tube. They will have a etched MC1 followed underneath by the B, meaning Blackburn followed by year then month. Here are some pictures of the holly grail valve. Look at the second picture you can see the etched MC1 and the factory dates B7 meaning Blackburn 1957,Look at the getter you can see the goal post one on top of the other, also the copper rods plus the plates are 17mm instead of the later 14mm. The evacuation mark usually only covers half of the top part of the glass, they can also have wrinkled glass. The only problem with these is they go for a bit of money, and finding new ones is extremely hard.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 12:20:31 AM by stevenvalve »

Offline hedalfa2

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They only made the 2A3 monoplates from 1930 to 1933, for audio use, The word is they where expensive, and hard to make, and where subsequently dropped from production.  I have owned them all, and feel they are overrated, but they are a great sounding vintage tube, and still considered the holy grail of power tubes. If you are wondering about the hand around that pair of 2A3s... well,,,, it's the hand of God.

Yes the God of tubes. :o :o :o

Offline stevenvalve

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Mullard 17mm Long Plate, copper rod, Dual Post, Ring getter, F91, around 1958-59, Nice valve full fat with lots of liquidity and big soundstage, great for a CD based system, really different sounding to the MC1 but has that house sound. If you are lucky you can find a goal post getter F91 made between change over from MC1 to F91 and they sound exactly like the famous MC1 and for about half the price. In the picture you can see the F91 Followed underneath by B8 and then month. The F92 1959-60 long plate is similar in sound to the standard F91. Next will be the Mullard 14mm short plate 1960+.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 11:44:09 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Let's talk about a mullard 12ax7, 14mm short plate 1960s plus, these are very good sounding valves, and the one to get has copper rods, they are much harder to find than the non copper variety. These 12AX7s usually sell for half the price (or less) than the long plate versions. Again look for the Mullard Blackburn code on the glass and as you can see in the 3rd picture these 2 non copper versions are dated Blackburn 1969, These mullards copper and non copper are a very good all round 12ax7 and well worth the money.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 07:22:36 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline kajak12

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    • http://killerdac.com/forum/index.php
Let's talk about a mullard 12ax7, 14mm short plate 1960s plus, these are very good sounding valves, and the one to get has copper rods, they are much harder to find than the non copper variety. These 12AX7s usually sell for half the price (or less) than the long plate versions. Again look for the Mullard Blackburn code on the glass and as you can see in the 3rd picture these 2 non copper versions are dated Blackburn 1969, These mullards copper and non copper are a very good all round 12ax7 and well worth the money.
i must look in my shed i think i have some  8)
still discovering the link between electronics and audio reproduction.so much to learn and so little time

Offline stevenvalve

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Telefunken 12AX7.  They have a reputation and the price to match, but i find in general these valves overrated, the smooth plates 12AX7 have the typical telefunken house sound, pretty, sweet,  light, clean, and airy, and in the right place beautiful, but lacking a little in body and warmth and most importantly timbre, apparently they say the rib plate is fuller with more body than the smooth plate, and they sell a little cheaper. Because they have a very distinctive sound they can be very handy in tuning a system. I found they worked brilliantly in my old Convergent audio technology (CAT) mark 2 preamp, just by putting in a single smooth plate 12AX7 in one of the CATs 10 valve positions, without it the preamp was ordinary, that valve just had the correct flavor in the CAT. The rule is you cannot use a full house of telefunkens in any superbly tuned system as with all valve brands, it's always a mix and match scenario. I own telefunken 12AX7s because they are important in my tuning arsenal but generally keep away from buying too many, problem is you must own them to understand them, and that is the key to use them in the right place. Picture of a smooth, then a rib plate Telefunken 12AX7. Always look for the diamond logo between the pins before buying.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 02:13:26 PM by stevenvalve »