Thanks so much mate, I really appreciate your comments. I hope you get yours to try soon and then we can hear what others think. I have had PM's from other owners saying how much they are enjoying theirs so I don't think it is just my hearing or feelings but it is good to get them either validated or contradicted as it gives a clearer picture either way for folks thinking of taking the plunge!
Now, on to the Marconi's!
The great thing about this community is that there are some really great members out there who care enough to send pm's if they have information that may help with a posting, Andy (Smial1966) is one such member and through his help and his friend Steve at the excellent Mullard Magic.. http://www.mullardmagic.co.uk/mullard/default.aspx
There seems to be some light being shone on the mysterious Marconi's!
So, to get everyone up to speed, Andy contacted Steve to see if he could get him a set after my comments about them. Steve replied that the Valves were not all they seemed as it was a practice a few years ago to soak off the pretty Marconi decals and re-place them on newer tubes. The decals you see are from the 1930's and those tubes are far more collectable!
i decided to send Andy some better pictures so that he could show Steve as looking at the tubes it seemed the decals to be original to them, everything looked right to my admittedly untrained eyes and more importantly why would someone go to all that trouble with a low value, low demand valve, surely their time would be better spent on a tube worth a couple of hundred rather than under $20?
So Andy kindly sent the photo's to Steve and Steve got back right away with some excellent news though the whole story is still not clear it makes more sense. This is what Steve wrote in response to Andy..
"Hi Andy, the valves are definitely DL92. These are really strange as they carry an Osram style cartouche with a 1950 manufacture date. The marking between the pins on the envelope base suggests either RFT or Siemens or Fivre manufacture. These are definitely re-badged items BUT I don't think they're modern. It may be that these are genuine valves in that Marconi re-labeled them. Don't forget that Marconi, GEC, Osram were all a part of the same group. The cartouche is undoubtedly Osram, so is the box style, the decal is Marconi but a 1930's style. All very strange!".
So, my thoughts. Well, as I said to Andy in a PM. Britain, along with Europe was going through some really austere times back then (it would make what is happening now look like a walk in the park!). There was rationing of everything (except sex, they needed to repopulate!) and as I said to Andy here is my take on things.
There were Marconi/Osram with this tube, they needed to show it was from their stable but printing and raw materials were at a premium and costs and materials had to be saved but they still wanted this valve to stand out from all the others on the shelves (I am old enough to remember Tubes/Valves being sold at petrol stations, they were everywhere!).
Then some tweed suited, pipe smoking chap exclaims! I say chaps, we have a box of old decals in stores, lets use them!
Well, that is how I like to think of how it went!
So, these are part of the Marconi/Osram/Gec group, as a Vauxhall is a GM is an Opel is a Cadillac is a Chevy.. You get the picture. They would have been made by one of the companies in the group, Maybe Genalex which was part of the same group. But who knows, if you find a pair then grab them for whatever their heritage they sound sublime, It will be interesting to hear what the Telefunken's (they too are very early models) will sound like in comparison once they arrive!
I will end with this link which gives information about this companies history.
I love this Valve thing, not only can you tune an amp to your liking really easily you also end up learning some history.. Try that with Solid State!
Once again, thank you Andy for your invaluable help with this, I am really grateful to you.Edited by ianmedium - 4/19/13 at 8:08am