We’re delighted to announce that we now carry limited stocks of genuine NOS and vintage Brimar tubes (valves) for our pedals. Typically our larger effects pedals, such as the Blackbird™ and Delta-Trem™ are fitted with JJ tubes. JJ make pretty good tubes, however Brimar tubes were manufactured in an era when tube expertise and materials were at their zenith—they’re truly exceptional in terms of quality and reliability. In fact, back in the 1960s Brimar undertook an exhaustive research and development program to improve the reliability, variability and quality (microphony and electrical noise) of their thermionic valves. The result of their engineering efforts were ‘Trustworthy’ triode tubes, marked with the letter ‘T’ indicating exceptional quality.
Further, all our Brimar tubes undergo stringent quality acceptance criteria here in our laboratory. Tubes are visually inspected for cracks in the glass and for oxidised, damaged or bent pins and where necessary these are carefully straightened and hand-polished so they look as good as new. The next stage is to test the gain factor and electron emission of the tube with a calibrated tube tester. This gives a quantitative indication of how closely matched the two amplifier stages within the tube are and, more importantly the condition of the cathodes. Finally, all our tubes undergo audio testing to access qualitative factors such as excessive self-noise (flicker, pink and shot noise, which may be indicative of poor spot welds and irregularities in the cathode coatings), sensitivity to external hum pickup (aka electromagnetic interference) and microphony (cage rattle, getter vibration and other types of inter-electrode movement). Note: we never employ cryogenic treatment in an attempt to correct such defects as there’s no scientific evidence to support claims that it influences the characteristics of vacuum tubes in any real, beneficial way.
Brimar tubes can be ordered separately, as sets or pre-installed in our pedals. To find out more contact us direct. There really has never been a better time to “Brimarize” your Effectrode pedal!