Other Amps

Re-tubing lucky find


Having just remodelled my Fender Twin into a separate head cabinet, I've been playing it with the 2x12s just sitting in their baffle board, propped up firmly under my work bench. About a week ago I noticed a nasty hissing static coming out. It was out of both speakers, so I figured it was the amp. I did a bit of checking and traced the problem to probably being one of the preamp tubes. Here's the good bit, though. I read a bit about the six preamp tubes and what each does, and got the advice that positions V2 and V4 were going to be most important for me, as I always play through the vibrato channel. I thought I was up for an expensive re-tube and visit to the tech, when I remembered that I had once had some preamp tubes form about twenty years ago when I last replaced all the tubes after buying the amp. I went and checked and found I did, indeed, have a box of six preamp tubes. Three Mesa 12AX7s, a "Radiotron" 12AT7, some other weird 12AT7, and.... a Mullard 12AX7! With the Mullard in V2, I powered up, and no static hiss, and lovely warm, round clean tone. Happy tube day!:D


Yeah, I almost felt like I'd figured out something about how that loud box I plug my guitar into works, for a moment there.... ;-)


Sweet! I've been wanting to give the new production Mullards a try, wonder how they stand up to the vintage ones.


Those old Mullards are great.And they will last a lifetime compared to new production.Pretty much all old stock preamp tubes will last forever.I have an old Ampeg from the '60's with the original Amperex pre's in it and they are still as good as any of ther NOS I have in my collection,and I have over 100.No need to change them.As to how well the re-issue stand up to the old Mullards...they dont.They arent re-issues,they are made in russia,if I'm not mistaken,by Mike matthews.How do you "re-issue" what you didnt issue to begin with?Its a gimmick.Now I admit,I'm a NOS tube snob,but I have seen a lot of current production tubes in amps I work on and I wouldnt put them in any amp I own.The new Mullards may be a notch better than the run of the mill russian tubes,but they aint close to a real Mullard.


I love NOS tubes. You can get lucky, though. I got my Traynor re-tubed and capped in 94, and those Sovteks are still going strong. I'd replace them, but why mess with it... Congrats on the excellent find!


I also agree that the new production Mullard tubes aren't that great. I just gae the new tung-sol 12ax7 tubes a run in my Twin Reverb as well and these were a lot more pleasant to my discriminating ears.


I believe the Tung-sol re-issues are also Mike Matthews,he bought the names and calls them re-issues.But if you like them,thats all that matters,right?


Yeah, the new production Tung-Sols are New Sensor/Mike Matthews. I dig em. I have a few 12ax7s in my Bassman and a pair of 5881s too.


Very lucky find :D I only have one with a Mullard label which is a bit dark, but occasionally am surprised and get a relabeled one when buying ecc83s... not wild about them in a Vox (where most seem to prefer them) , but love them in the first channel of a Fender which I usually have voiced a little bit more middy for less clean more hair....

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