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Effectrode is the last word in Tone! - Guitar effects pedals crafted using handselected
miniature or N.O.S. subminiature vacuum tubes and finest audio-grade components.

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Aerial View of the Mullard Blackburn Site

Aerial view of the Mullard Blackburn site

Here’s a photograph (provided by LET for use in the Cotton Town digitisation project) showing a superb aerial view of the entire 46 acre Mullard Blackburn site (probably taken in the 1960s). The glass and wire factories and chemical manufacturing plants can clearly be seen. The wire factory was built to produce high-grade tungsten and molybdenum wire used in the construction of tubes. Ribble House – administration department Glenfield House … Read More →

Quality Guitar Cable Made in the U.S.A

Death Valley Guitar Cable

In the coming weeks I’ll be writing a review of these beautiful handmade cables from Death Valley Cable Company in U.S.A. I had recently discovered G&H Industries copper core jack plugs and was determined to find an excellent quality instrument cable to partner with them. After searching the internet I stumbled upon Death Valley Cable Company who appear to be exactly what I was looking for – artisans who are … Read More →

The Mullard Purchasing Department and How to Freak Out a Security Guard

Glenfiled House, Mullard, Blackburn

The photograph above shows the main entrance to the Mullard Blackburn site and ‘Glenfield House’ – a modern office block that was erected in 1961 for the purchasing and personnel departments. I was quite pleased with the composition of this picture which I cheekily snapped while the site security guard was hovering just a few feet from me on the phone to his boss. This part of the once mighty … Read More →

Tube enthusiast: know your tube codes.

Mullard Blackburn ECC83 tube code

My recent visit to the Mullard Blackburn factory got me interested in identifying the origin of the few Mullard tubes I own. The factory, date of manufacture and revision of a particular tube can be determined from a code that was etched into the side of the glass envelope. Looking at the photograph of the Mullard ECC83 it can be seen that the code is written in two lines. The … Read More →

Binson Echorec Repainting

Test panel for Binson Echorec paint job

This photograph shows a test panel paint job for a customer who wanted their Binson Echorec echo-delay machine to be restored to ‘as new’ condition. To achieve this beautiful finish two coats are applied to the bare metal. A metallic silver base coat is applied first and then this is overcoated with a translucent gold. There’s a huge amount of depth to the finish and variability in the gold second … Read More →

Mullard Blackburn Chemical Workshop

Mullard Blackburn chemical plant

This derelict workshop was part of the Mullard Blackburn chemical plant built in 1959 to produce the large quantities of laboratory-grade chemicals required in the manufacture of vacuum tubes. Mullard were one of the leaders amongst a worldwide empire of tube manufacturing expertise that supplied tubes for audio reproduction equipment, that is radios, phonograms, hi-fi and guitar amplifiers, professional studio gear, mixers, microphone preamps, equalisers and compressors. However audio was … Read More →

Ribble House, Mullard Still Stands Proud


Here’s a photograph of ‘Ribble House’ (named after the river Ribble that flows through Lancashire) situated towards the North-West corner the Mullard Blackburn site. This elegant building, erected in the the late 1950s/early 1960s, still stands bold and optimistic. Ribble House was not a factory but was utilised for administration purposes. If you take a moment and have a discerning eye you’ll see the clean, minimalist styling, eggshell-blue panelling and … Read More →

Effectrode Investigates: Whatever happened to Mullard?


Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting pictures and some little stories about a nostalgic day out to visit the site of the Mullard tube manufacturing works in Blackburn, Lancashire. Mullard manufactured some the finest tubes by anyone at any time in history and I very much wanted to see the Blackburn site and find out what, if anything remained of this once prestigious and magnificent chapter of British Industry. … Read More →

The Triad Transformer in the Blackbird Tube Preamp


The Blackbird vacuum tube preamp has a dedicated output especially for direct recording. This output is fully isolated and balanced using a 600Ω miniature Triad output transformer driven by a class AB circuit – just like a real tube amp. This imparts some additional sweetness and harmonic overtones to the Blackbird’s tube circuitry. The tone quality is so natural and pleasing to the ear that speaker emulation often isn’t even … Read More →

The Mullard Blackburn Works


If you’re already an enthusiast for N.O.S. (new old stock) vintage vacuum tubes or curious about whether they will improve the tone of your guitar amp then you’ll certainly want to take a look the following article that was originally published in 1954. The article gives a fascinating and nostalgic insight into what really went on Mullard’s largest and finest research and manufacture facility – the Mullard Blackburn works in … Read More →