Trigon valves

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Daviedawg
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Trigon valves

Postby Daviedawg » Mon 01/02/12 3:21 am

I recently bought a NoS Trigon ECC83 from 1950s on eBay. Does anyone know the origins of this make? One website I found seemed to link it with Tungsram. Another had manufacture in E Germany. The box says London England.

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Postby tubeswell » Tue 01/03/12 11:35 pm

I've used a few Trigon valves here and there - quite nice (the ones I've picked up anyhow). I think they were a UK brand. Trigon used to sell that cling-wrap stuff too BTW.
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Postby Daviedawg » Wed 01/04/12 3:19 am

I have installed the Trigon as the PI valve in my 18watt trem.

It has changed the output noticeably in a way I think is for the better. The tone I now have from two NoS valves in the trem channel is beautiful crystal clear clean moving into classic soft overdrive and is very musical throughout. The tremelo is not quite instant to start but then operates consistently.

It seems to me that the tone of the Trigon PI suffers much earlier than the JJ 12AX7 with voltage reduction on the VVR, giving farty bass distortion which then disappears as I reduce voltage to be replaced with harsh distortion. But I have yet to really explore that and to swap valves round to investigate.

I now have three NoS ECC83s and two current production JJ EL84s installed. I am delighted with the tone and low noise level at moderate volumes. The VVR issue needs investigation since I use it a lot.

Just awaiting the arrival of another make of NoS ECC83 to try.

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Postby Daviedawg » Thu 01/05/12 8:51 am

Further to the Trigon ECC83 and VVR effects, I swapped the Trigon with a Brimar which was in the trem channel. The Brimar is fine on the VVR with no undesirable noise right down to the same voltage level as the JJs.
I have not lost any of the classic tone either.

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Postby tubeswell » Mon 01/09/12 12:45 pm

It may've just been that tube. Some individual tubes are just bad - and it can show up in the PI tube where heater-cathode voltages are higher (result of breakdown in h-k insulation)
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Postby dotfret » Tue 05/01/12 11:45 pm

I saw some Trigon 12AX7 on eBay a few months ago that looked like Ei ! The box is no guide to origin - London on the box was to inspire customer confidence.
Although the major English manufacturers were reasonably scrupulous about indicating origin of their wares, there was no legal obligation to mark it on valves. Some of the relabellers were as economical with the truth as possible.

There's also the interesting point that Mullard would mark Siemens and Halske production as "foreign made", to avoid offending people with anti-German sensibilities in the years following WWII.
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Postby Daviedawg » Wed 05/02/12 1:39 am

As noted in another post I have three Trigon labelled ECC83s in the 18 watt. They all look the same construction and sound much the same as far as I can detect. Again for a few pennies they are delivering great tone with sparkle.

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Postby Phil_S » Wed 05/02/12 5:22 pm

It's my understanding that Trigon just rebranded other tubes and didn't manufacture. Seems across the top is likely a Mullard. Other good Euro brands could have been used, too.
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Postby Daviedawg » Thu 05/03/12 1:53 am

Yes indeed. During the passage of time since my earlier posts I also bought some Zaerix EL84s. I tried to find their origins as I knew they were not UK made. This started me down a trail. I discovered that there were quite a few rebadging companies some of whom were big retailers, some electronics manufacturers and a few like these who bought surplus stock and sold them under a UK name. I suppose it let Mullard and Brimar dispose of stock without devaluing their main sales. Also it would have been an inexpensive source if bought from east European and Soviet sources to sell at UK prices.

The manufacturing origin is pot luck to some degree. But so far I have had very good buys apart from one Trigon ECC83 which would not maintain performance when hot.

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Re: Trigon valves

Postby dotfret » Sat 07/27/13 10:10 pm

There were a lot of re-labellers in the UK, but you should be aware that a lot of them sold Mullard on "big quantity" valves.

Apart from being the biggest UK manufacturer, Mullard were also the cheapest. They were defeated at several BVA meetings from lowering the prices, because the other manufacturers could not compete with Mullard on price.

For bulk unlabelled valve prices, Mullard were world beaters, but they could only sell such valves into the "replacement" market. They sold plenty of great valves to anyone who could afford their minimum order levels, and one of their buyers was Zaerix. You can see Blackburn and Mitcham codes on many Zaerix valves (and RCA and Realistic valves, too).

I am biased, because I used to deal with Zaerix 30-ish years ago and Ziggy got me out of a hole a couple of times, but my experiences of Zaerix were very positive - no rubbish and good advice.

A lot of the other relabellers, like Admiral and Trigon, came across as selling whatever they could get hold of - and in those days, a lot of "foreign" sources were considered dubious.

Zaerix didn't sell anything dubious, and when they hadn't got what I wanted Ziggy told me where to get it, without me getting heavy (I could have done, the company I worked for were indirectly his landlords at the time, but I never had to use that info, and he didn't know it).

Rant over - but take it from me, Zaerix was a mark of quality.
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Daviedawg
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Re: Trigon valves

Postby Daviedawg » Sun 07/28/13 2:40 am

It is quite a while since my last post on this thread. Since then I have come to rely on the Trigon ECC83s and Zaerix EL84s in my 18 watt. And various others including a Zaerix ECF82/6U8 and a "Bentley" ECF82 in different amps. I only have one Mullard in use which is a 6AQ5/EL90 and one Silvania 6AQ5. All my modern JJs etc are in their boxes. This could be pure bias in favour of "old". But since I have been through the swap out stages on all the amps I am running I suspect it my ears are playing some part.
The Zaerix 6U8 was described in the sale as Tungsram. But I do not know if that was hype or fact. In any case 99p was a a no brainer price. And it is a reliable good sounding valve.

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Re: Trigon valves

Postby dotfret » Sun 08/25/13 4:47 pm

Re: "Bentley" valve.

I've seen the odd one passing by on eBay.
Memory says that Bentley sold pianos for their main biz. Whether they made them or the name is an "import marque", I don't know, but they also sold electronic organs under the same name, which I understand were made in Italy by somebody like Farfisa. I've always assumed that they had valves re-labelled for organ maintenance purposes, like the big US organ makers did.
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