I've got a big EL84 valve, and I'm not afraid to use it...

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by tungsol, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys,

    I bought a vintage EL84 Mazda valve from ebay last week.

    It is marked in white:

    Mazda
    Valve
    EL84
    Foreign
    BVA

    On the base it is marked '13' and what looks like a large upsidedown 'U'.

    The bottle is much bigger than a normal EL84. The wire valve holder won't fit over it, for instance.

    The sound is fantastic. I have it in a Vox AC4TV and I can't really get it to distort too much at all - I know! Huge headroom with this valve. Really bright punchy sound.

    I can't find any info on the web about a similar physically 'too big' valve like this anywhere. Can you help?

    Cheers,

    Michael.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  2. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    I have several Japanese old amps w original tubes and they do sound good. Tending toward bright just as you say. I tried getting the tubes data also, but no go. Good luck.
     
  3. Mezzamort

    Mezzamort TDPRI Member

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    Mazda are great tubes copy from mullard they set them up in the day so enjoy!!!
     
  4. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    I don't think Mazda made valves, but rebranded. I have two - one is a Brimar and is marked Made in England. BVA and the other is an RFT marked Foreign. BVA. I'm sure they had other suppliers as well so anyone's guess what you have. Pic would be nice. Bottom line is that your happy with it. That's what really matters.

    Just dug mine out and the RFT is taller than any other of my tubes so heres a pic

    http://www.tubemongerlib.com/galler...4+1970s+Halo+Getter+2+-+East+Germany.jpg.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  5. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    I'll post a picture of the valve alongside a 'normal' vintage Mazda EL84 valve I already have, you'll see the difference. I have never heard of a vintage el84 being made supersized, ever. It's a real surprize! A bonus that it sounds so Amazing. I have a Vox ac4tv which is basically a 4 watt amp masquerading as a distortion pedal really, and with this valve in I can hardly dial in any distortion at all, even at full tilt!! Anyone who has this amp will know how unusual this is...! I'm so interested now to see if I can find out more about this valve...
     
  6. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    Ps. It's as loud as billy-oh!!!
     
  7. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    :lol: I had to look up "billy-oh". Here in Oklahoma we would say "It's as loud as all get out!"
    Congrats. I love the sound of a good EL-84!
     
  8. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    Here's a pic....
     

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  9. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    You need to install a replacement volume knob that goes to "11" to get the most out of that tube. :p
     
    robrob likes this.
  10. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    HAHAHAHA! I know...
     
  11. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a handful of NOS RFT el84's. They are definitely bigger than any of my other brands of el84's. The bottle is both taller and slightly larger in diameter than any of the others.
     
  12. tungsol

    tungsol TDPRI Member

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    Dan40 thanks for your reply. Regarding your NOS RFT el84's, when you get a chance, would you mind looking at the base of the tubes to see if they have similar markings to the marks on the base of my tube? My partner is younger and she has better eyes than me - she reckons the marks on the base are actually:

    A larger 'U' shape on top.

    Underneath is a '7' shape except reversed, followed by a '1' symbol.

    BTW, I have a NOS RFT (east german) ECC83 valve and it distorts really easy and well, while this EL84 does NOT distort hardly at all. I don't know if you can extrapolate distortion qualities and characteristics across different types of valves by the same company, but hey ho....thought i would mention it.
     
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