Originally Posted by Oskari
That should be the case. Valvo was Philips Germany, so to speak.
The Belgian manufacturer was MBLE. Their own tube brand was Adzam. MBLE-made tubes should also have the Philips codes.
Originally Posted by gibosi
Tracking down the origins of the various Siemens EH90 is proving to be an interesting puzzle. I have learned that at least some of Siemens EH90 with smooth plates and squarish holes were made by Mullard in their Blackburn factory. If you have a pair of these, check on the side of the glass, near the bottom, for a sequence of three or four alphanumeric characters, beginning with the letter B. For example, my smooth plate Siemens EH90 have the following code: B9F, which indicates the Blackburn factory, June, 1959. In the two samples I am aware of, these codes are very faint, so it may take some patience and a good magnifying glass to find them.
But I have also learned that smooth-plated Siemens EH90 with "Made in Germany" printed on the glass exist! .....So we still have much to learn before the mysteries of the Siemens EH90 are finally revealed to us.... :)
OK, this Siemens puzzle is getting more and more complicated lol...
I just got my "Siemens" EH90 tubes, 3 tubes (playing it safe from now on), and also a pair of "Pope" "Made in Holland" EH90.
Let's start with the Siemens tubes. First, some pictures:
The two identical Siemens tubes, Siemens logo, 3-digit number on top, factory code LOA.
One of the two tubes above on the left, on the third Siemens on the right. They look identical, but they are not. The tube on the right is factory coded B4F3, and has grid 2 and 4 soldered to same pin at the base, whereas the tube on the left has g2 and g4 tied together by a metal plate at the top. Getter flash and nub are also different, and they are a few extra minute differences if you look closely. Oh, and of course, you can't miss the "Made in Germany" sign on the right tube.
The same tubes, different angle, still different. See that metal plate that ties g2 and g4 towards the top on the left tube, and lack thereof on the right tube?
The tube boxes. The two left ones are from the LOA codes tubes, the last one on the right is from the B4F3 coded tube. That last box has a different tag on it; you can't see it here, but it says "hexode" where the others say "heptode". Because the two screen grids aren't tied the same way? Who knows...
Same order, different angle. Last box looks like it has a slightly different "shine" to it, but it just doesn't seem that relevant at this point.
Basically, the "L" coded pair is a M.B.L.E Mazda, Brussels Belgium, manufactured pair, and the "B" coded tube is a typical Mullard Blackburn manufactured tube (come on, you saw that coming, right? Those tubes screamed Mullard the second I saw them. The Mazda Belgium are a bit a of surprise though).
So, essentially Siemens labeled but Philips group production. The plot thickens yet again. I think I saw a "B" on at least one of Hypnos' tubes as well -and no metal sheet at the top- so I'm curious whether anyone else ended up getting the same Mazda Belgium tubes I got (which you could probably find labeled Adzam much more easily btw).
From the 5 minutes I took to test the Belgian tubes, I can say they sound dramatically different from the supposedly genuine Siemens EK90 I have. If I were to grade them on the Euro-Tubiness Continuum (copyright gibosi and me lol), I would put them way over towards the UK-Mullard end. These are warm and tubey all right, but not in the usual Mullard way. It's weird, I need some more testing to get better impressions, obviously. What I can say is that these tubes immediately transported me in what seemed like a separate musical dimension the second I lit them up and put my headphones on. You like ambiance? You'd find these interesting. I'll wait a few hours to give more objective impressions; after all you know the saying: all heptodes sound good. (except the Brimar perhaps)
Next, and yet untested, the Pope EH90. OK, I'll cut to the chase: these are not "Made in Holland"... The Mullard Blackburn factory codes kind of leap at you really, it's almost sad... At least, I'll be able to compare these, Mullards, to the, M.B.L.E. Mazda, Siemens.
The standard boxes these came in, labeled with the same shameless lie that is written on the tubes.
There is one element that strikes me here; it is that three out of five of these tubes claim to be made somewhere but are evidently not! Now, I do have to ask myself if it really is a bold lie in each case, or if the factory codes only show where a part of the manufacturing process was conducted, and not where the tubes were necessarily assembled (if I recall, Philips codes, and perhaps all codes, only tell you where the "pumping process" occurred; so tube A and B could both have Blackburn codes, but one could have been assembled in factory XYZ and "pumped" in Blackburn, while the other could have been assembled and pumped out in Blackburn...? Or not. But I'd be curious to know.).
Interestingly, I could swear I'd read something about Pope tubes being Philips Holland; and I found this, quoted below:
"Very unusual label I found on a tube in Holland. Pope means "Productie Overschot Philips Eindhoven" = surplus production from Eindhoven."