Valve madness

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rabski

Everything in moderation
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Dec 2, 2006
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Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
'Trying it on', is the phrase that comes to mind. There are thousands of 1950s Mullard ECC83 black plates around, and unless I've missed a rapid change, values are nowhere near that figure.

 
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rabski

Everything in moderation
Staff member
Dec 2, 2006
32,127
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Kettering
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Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've just realised that's an auction, and there are 39 bids already.

Right. I'll be busy for a while. I need to dig out the Avo and see exactly how many 1950s Mullards I have. In future, please direct all questions to my newly-acquired holiday home in Barbados.

 

Rockchild

Formerly Radiant Red 🎶
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2011
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Jonathan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've just realised that's an auction, and there are 39 bids already.

Right. I'll be busy for a while. I need to dig out the Avo and see exactly how many 1950s Mullards I have. In future, please direct all questions to my newly-acquired holiday home in Barbados.
Or a Bartok 😊

 

enrae8

Wammer
Wammer
Sep 8, 2012
1,024
156
83
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've just realised that's an auction, and there are 39 bids already.

Right. I'll be busy for a while. I need to dig out the Avo and see exactly how many 1950s Mullards I have. In future, please direct all questions to my newly-acquired holiday home in Barbados.
I have 50s Brimar,Fivre and  Mullard all long plates not exactly the same as the welded sq getter - how much better is the one in the auction?

 

rabski

Everything in moderation
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Dec 2, 2006
32,127
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Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I have 50s Brimar,Fivre and  Mullard all long plates not exactly the same as the welded sq getter - how much better is the one in the auction?
About as much 'better' as the difference between virtually all 1950s variants of the same basic type. In other words, incredibly little.

We're not into sonic quaity territory here, we're into rareness and the collector market. But even then, I can't understand this. It isn't even NOS or boxed and it looks far less than pristine. 'Tests NOS' is meaningless. I've got hundreds of valves that test better than NOS figures.

 

Lawrence001

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Jul 21, 2015
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Lawrence
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Must get my 2 mullards out to see what type they are. Suspect they're nothing rare but looking at his listings they are still £80 a pop!

 

rabski

Everything in moderation
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Dec 2, 2006
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Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It's now over £900.

Either someone knows something I don't, or the world has truly gone insane. I've got piles of Mullard 9-pins from the 1950s. They're not at all bad, but £900? There is no circuit in the universe that will produce wonders from it, because no matter what you do, it's still an ECC83.

 
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rabski

Everything in moderation
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Dec 2, 2006
32,127
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173
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Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Time to get some of yours on eBay?
I've been letting a few of the retirement fund go, mainly to US collectors. Frankly, because I've been too embrarassed by the prices of some.

It seems certainly time to start going through some of the things I'll never use though.

 

StingRay

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Apr 27, 2016
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Ray
HiFi Trade?
  1. No

rabski

Everything in moderation
Staff member
Dec 2, 2006
32,127
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173
Kettering
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Are these as good, I know they are not so rare and 60s but sound wise: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154806800315?hash=item240b344fbb:g:rrUAAOSwjwph6sgi
Grey plate, so apparently not as valuable to collectors.

Will they sound better? Night and day mate. Not only will your wife hear the difference, but the neighbours will be banging on the windows demanding to know what you've changed in the system. Random strangers will come up to you in the street to worship you, etc. etc.

Basically, the differences will be minute at best, in other words.

I've still got a few Telefunken ECC803S (and most of those a 'real' NOS). Widely reckoned to be the Holy Grail of ECC83 varieties. In a decently implemented circuit, most people would be hard pressed to tell them apart from a JJ Gold Pin. I sold a few to US collectors last year, so that's this year's holiday sorted.

 
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StingRay

Legend Wammer
Wammer
Apr 27, 2016
8,821
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Suffolk, UK
AKA
Ray
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Grey plate, so apparently not as valuable to collectors.

Will they sound better? Night and day mate. Not only will your wife hear the difference, but the neighbours will be banging on the woindows demanding to know what you've changed in the system. Random strangers will come up to you in the street to worship you, etc. etc.

Basically, the differences will be minute at best, in other words.

I've still got a few Telefunken ECC803S (and most of those a 'real' NOS). Widely reckoned to be the Holy Grail of ECC83 varieties. In a decently implemented circuit, most people would be hard pressed to tell them apart from a JJ Gold Pin. I sold a few to US collectors last year, so that's this year's holiday sorted.
I don’t have a wife but get your point. 

 
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Lawrence001

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 21, 2015
3,569
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London
AKA
Lawrence
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
About as much 'better' as the difference between virtually all 1950s variants of the same basic type. In other words, incredibly little.
We're not into sonic quaity territory here, we're into rareness and the collector market. But even then, I can't understand this. It isn't even NOS or boxed and it looks far less than pristine. 'Tests NOS' is meaningless. I've got hundreds of valves that test better than NOS figures.
Do signal valves tend to decline slowly in measurement terms? Ie. If they measure high do they have plenty of life left in them, or if they're well used can they suddenly decline quickly?
 

antonio66

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Aug 12, 2018
1,052
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Grimsby/Phnom Penh
AKA
David
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Grey plate, so apparently not as valuable to collectors.

Will they sound better? Night and day mate. Not only will your wife hear the difference, but the neighbours will be banging on the windows demanding to know what you've changed in the system. Random strangers will come up to you in the street to worship you, etc. etc.

Basically, the differences will be minute at best, in other words.

I've still got a few Telefunken ECC803S (and most of those a 'real' NOS). Widely reckoned to be the Holy Grail of ECC83 varieties. In a decently implemented circuit, most people would be hard pressed to tell them apart from a JJ Gold Pin. I sold a few to US collectors last year, so that's this year's holiday sorted.
Reading your posts Mr Rabski, would it be fair to think the ECC83/12AX7's are not your favourite pre amp tubes? If so what do you consider to be the best, if not the best at least well up there, I know it's a personal view but am willing to accept yours, being a newbie to valve amps.
 

Firebottle

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 13, 2020
311
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The Black Country
AKA
Alan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I'm with Rabski in not worshiping at the ECC83 altar. The main benefit is low noise but there are more linear valves and I much prefer a circuit that has a decent amount of current flow.
It's like having a 6.5 litre engine in a Rolls, you don't need it but it's good that it is there for peaks in performance.

The ECC88 or E88CC are commonly used for good reason.