Western Electric 396aPhils
I'd recommend getting matched codes Western Electrics. Different codes and different years have different sounds. There are 3 pairs of same codes in my collection and each pair has sound that are not alike contrary to what you may have read. 3 number codes are all pre-1956. In 1956 codes went to 4 numbers. I believe Western Electrics started in 1946. So 226 would be 26th week of 1952 and 413 would be 1954. Hope this helps you. In my system Western Electrics sound a bit thin in the treble.. verging on shrill. Also a bit hooty. Best of the 3 pairs I have is 652. And I mate it on my EL84 amp with a Sylvania, the least favorite of my EL84's, which I find a bit dry but detailed. Sylvania EL84's are revealing for listening to the inner workings of piano music on my audio amp (not guitar) but ultimately not romantic but clinical. So I'm probably going to sell all my Western Electrics and the Sylvania blackplates. I have quite a few 5670's and 2c51's. Anyone interested in comparing Bendix 5670 to Bendix 2c51 (don't have them).