Give Your Amp a Boost with Mullard Vacuum Tubes
Nestled within guitar amps is a complicated array of capacitors, resistors, and tubes. This technology has allowed musicians to create some of the most memorable songs of all time, but the essential components dont last forever. If your guitar amp is producing a muddy tone or unusual noises, it may be time to invest in new Mullard vacuum tubes.What is the function of the vacuum tube?
Within the structure of the amplifier circuit, the vacuum tube is responsible for controlling the electrons flowing through the circuit. Inside the tube is the cathode, a component with a slightly positive charge that releases electrons when exposed to heat. Also inside the tubing is a plate that attracts /negative electrons released by the cathode.
If the tubing just housed the cathode and the plate, the electrons would simply stream towards the plate. Thats why the circuit also needs a grid that controls the electrons and that amplifies the signal sent from the guitar. This process needs to occur in a vacuum tube because in vacuums, which lack air and matter, the standard flow of particles can be diverted by a magnetic field or grid.How can you decipher the names of tubing products?
When you shop for vacuum tubes youll notice that their names are strings of letters and numbers. The most common notation follows the form numbers-letters-numbers. These notations have specific meanings:
- Numbers: Refers to the filament voltage
- Letters: Refers to the specific model
- Numbers: Refers to how many internal elements the vacuum tube contains
NOS means "New Old Stock.” Most NOS tubes were manufactured years ago and are no no longer being produced. This makes them the vintage finds of the tubing world. NOS products have never been used, however. There are many NOS tubes available; some are very scarce and very valuable, and others are relatively easy to find.What are matched tubes, and why is matching important?
Inside preamp tubing there are two identical sections called triodes. Their electrical performance characteristics need to be equal for optimal amplifier performance. If you select vacuum tubes labeled matched, it means that they contain matched, balanced triodes. While some guitarists wont be impacted by unmatched tubing, others will notice a change in their sound quality. Matched triode sections are especially important for guitarists who use amps with a phase splitter or phase inverter.Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Mullard.