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Old 4th May 2012, 02:26 PM   #11
nazaroo is offline nazaroo  Canada
Join Date: Feb 2012
One would do well also to heed this posting:

Re: *****Fake Mullard Advisery*****

Click the image to open in full johnnysavant on Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:59 pm
Thanx, TubeGetter for your insights. After some empirical testing with several dozen tubes (83s, 82s, and 81s), I have to take issue with a couple things, your expertise not withstanding.

I checked a whole bunch of tubes I know to be real Mullards and found:

1) Generally, the single seam line holds true MOST of time, but not all. I have a few that are cross-hatched BUT, the second seam is much fainter. I also checked my Holland Bugle Boys. They are all cross-hatched exactly like the MIJ Matsus, but I'm sure everyone knows that already.

2) The semi-circle in the plate of ALL my Mullards and Bugle Boys is exactly as you describe. Not one of my tubes deviates from this.

3) Most of my single-support Mullard halos have the outside weld, but a couple have inside welds, yet have single seams and the proper semi-circle in the plates.
I also have a couple of with double support getters that are welded on the inside.

From these observations, I conclude that the only reliable indicator is the semi-circle configuration. For all the tubes I checked, this was consistently true 100% of the time. A Mullard (or Bugle Boy) will not have the semi circle on the inside of the plate. Some of the other characteristics may generally be true, but not 100% foolproof. I bring this up in case someone is tempted to trash, sell or trade away a good tube because it doesn't meet ALL of the criteria. Based on my testing, if it meets the semi-circle test, it's the real deal.

But I would like to hear from others who happen to own a whole bunch of Mullards and other Phillips dual triodes.

One more observation. ALL of my Mullards with mid-60s date codes do indeed meet ALL of the criteria to the letter. The deviants are from later runs.
A Final Observation on the Getter Supports.

The Double-Supported Getter is neither 'inside' nor 'outside' the getter circle.

In fact, a single bar rises, bends at a right angle, and bends again to go down to the plate. The Getter is welded ON TOP of the double-support style Getter.

This is the trademark of the EARLY Mullards (i.e., 1957-1960s), and no fake 'Mullard' of any kind has surfaced that mimicks this difficult and rarely noticed feature.

Finally, Another person has observed that Mullard and Philips indeed swapped part-inserts, as these are the 'expensive' and difficult to manufacture component, which requires skilled labour to assemble, and also the typical problem with all runs was guessing (or second-guessing) demand. Both Mullard and Philips were often inaccurate as to adequate run-sizes and internal part-sourcing (such as semi-precious metals).

Contrary to what one may think, part-swapping ensured consistency and quality for both companies, rather than ad-hoc hiring of temporary workers which would have required special training, and given mixed results.

'Crew-lending' is still a common modern practice.

The double-getter supports also authenticate my tubes as Mullard (made in the Blackburn plant), and early.
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Old 4th May 2012, 02:28 PM   #12
nazaroo is offline nazaroo  Canada
Join Date: Feb 2012
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I am richer than I thought!
you are indeed, if you have mistaken real Mullards in the past as fakes,
and still kept them.

If I had to guess, ...
I'd say if you have to guess, you don't know what you're doing.

God knows there's plenty of paranoia in regard to tubes, and tube-fakes.

But as many have pointed out,
the real world is much less exciting than the James Bond version.

There are lots of tubes that people have only imagined were 'fakes'.

The sharing of part-sourcing and stock between Philips and Mullard is a great example.
Real tubes aren't serial-numbered or provided with accompanying diplomas of dedigree,
like inbred horses or dogs (and its likely that more pedigrees have been faked than tubes...)

What makes a good Mullard in the first place is trained assemblers, quality material sourcing,
and consistent testing standards. Those were all in place when Philips and Mullard cooperated,
and exchanged shelf-components and stock to fill demand orders.

A Mullard with innards supplied by Philips is not a 'fake',
nor is a Philips with innards supplied by Mullard.
nor is even a Mullard rebranded for Philips or Amperex.

If you think the Blackburn plant produced higher quality than the Philips plant,
you are mistaken. What makes quality is standards and testing.
The same quality-control standards were used by both companies,
and the same technology was behind both the manufacture and the testing.

A 'collector' may rightly insist in only purchasing Blackburn tubes,
or pre-1965 stock, or both, but he has no business telling those
who buy them to actually use them that such a fetish is scientifically based.

Such 'lore' belongs instead to the art-gallery and the subjectivism of speculating on 'futures' in antiques.

Last edited by nazaroo; 4th May 2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 4th May 2012, 02:47 PM   #13
DF96 is online now DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
I guess the big question is what is a Mullard? Does it have to be made in Blackburn (or Mitcham etc.)? Could it have been made in Holland, using identical parts, machinery and techniques? Or India? Could it have been bought in from RFT and then marked by Mullard and put in a Mullard box (like some EL34 were). I have Mazdas marked as Mullard and vice versa, yet these are not fakes as the marking was done by or for the company concerned. Is a Tungsram made in Blackburn really a Mullard in disguise (yet apparently still cheaper)?

We must be careful about circular logic: "Genuine Mullards always have feature X", "I know it is genuine because it has feature X" - yet without any original evidence confirming that feature X was always used by Mullard and never by anyone else. Most of the people who made these valves are now retired (or dead), and documentation is either lost or unobtainable (possibly hidden away in some vast Philips archive store?).
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:30 PM   #14
nazaroo is offline nazaroo  Canada
Join Date: Feb 2012
Well this is all great, but muddies the waters.

My ECC82 is simply a real Mullard, made in Britain in the Blackburn factory, prior to 1965.

It has all the features, both required and desired, and expected.
Mystery solved.

I can't speak for other ECC82s out there, but mine's not only 'legal',
and 'technically' a Mullard; its the one people want.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by nazaroo; 4th May 2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 5th May 2012, 02:49 AM   #15
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
diyAudio Member
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Originally Posted by nazaroo View Post
I sold my last pair of ECC83s for about $250.00 AM,
which most people thought was low, and the buyer (bidder)
thought was a bargain.

I wasn't out to gouge anyone or make a lot of money.
I just wanted to pass them on to someone who knew what they were.
Wow, I had no idea, I paid 10 dollars for the pair, still never used them.
If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish he will buy an ugly hat. And if you talk about fish to a starving man then you are a consultant. Dilbert
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Old 5th May 2012, 02:03 PM   #16
DF96 is online now DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
The cheapest way to buy 'Mullards', if you really want them, is to find Blackburn-made valves carrying other brand markings. For some reason, some people will pay more if it says Mullard on the outside (even when it isn't Mullard on the inside) and less if it doesn't (even if it is Mullard on the inside).
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