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Posted by STEVE M on

From this quaint photograph from 1928, you will see that valve damping to reduce microphonics is nothing new.   In this example, a pioneering radio enthusiast decided to apply his damping using Plasticine.  As we all know from our childhood, Plasticine, is the proprietary name for a rubbery mixture formed when  calcium stearate, petroleum jelly, palmitic and stearic acids and a dash of colour  and mixed together with the application of heat.  It has all sorts of uses from making Wallace's "wrong trousers" and many childhood models, some rude(!) as well as it seems of damping microphonics and protecting the glass envelope of B4 2 & 4V triodes.


Moving forward to more recent times, the audio fraternity chose all sorts of polymer coated lead rings, silicon seals, PTFE rings, split curtain rings fitted with grommets, copper olives and brass rings to place over the envelopes of audio valves to imbue these devices with a hitherto unfound sonic purity through the damping of vibration and conduction of heat - isn't it amazing that these refugees from the hardware store can give such wonderful results without the inconvenience and (limited) expense of using a valve screening can and screened valve base - I like the IERC type myself as shown below: -

I paraphrase one such advert's claims: -

....."Just 1/4 inch wide (THIS SHOWS THAT SIZE DOESN'T MATTER) and gently tapered, this gleaming ring of solid brass slips onto any miniature glass tube and a special internal cushion pulls the opposite side of the ring into intimate contact with the glass, where the metal wicks away the heat and radiates it away from the tube. Our listening tests have shows it opens up recorded music, and surrounds each instrument with air in a wide and deep soundstage.  Only metal tube dampers have the mass to halt vibration, being metal, it may extend the lifespan of your valuable tubes......."  

Pretty good huh!  I have also heard that a "special internal cushion" may pull ones ring and also alleviate the prurient unpleasantness of haemorrhoids as well and whilst we are on this subject, the more sceptical amongst my readers may recall the hoary old joke of the sufferer whom returned to their doctor complaining that the suppositories they had been prescribed were of such limited use that "they might as well have stuffed them up their back passage."#@!&...  a bit like  special tube dampers really , anyhow, I digress so back to sonic improvement....

I of course, completely agree with such claims and now, moving bang up to date, we, at Mullard Magic have introduced the new and exciting Mullard Magic Valve-O-Dob, Mullard Magic Toob-Tickler and finally Mullard Magic Acoustithrill-O-Rib which are  a revolutionary new simultaneous cooler and damper range which contain no metal.   These are only available from us and I think you will like them, here's what they look like:-

As you can see they take the form of a proprietary polymer sheath which is so flexible that they will cover any valve whether miniature or massive.  They are covered by an internal  thixotropic substance that allows them to slip over any glass envelope and this substance also conducts heat away from the glass surface allowing it to be secondarily radiated at a lower frequency from the high surface area polymer layer which prevents harmonic interference from polyphonic eigentones.

Both the sheath and the substance also prevents the atmosphere and more importantly oxygen getting to the glass envelope hence preventing FREE RADICALS from attacking the glass which can produce permeable quantum tunnels which will negatively effect valve emission, heck, if these sheaths were foods they would be SUPERFOODS and twice as nice as cauliflower rice or organic kale custard.

As well as being superlatively effective, these sheaths have superb aesthetics too and will be a talking point with your visitors and you will be able to proudly expound during dinner parties as to how the coloured ribs, spikes and buttons serve to conduct away secondary emission thermo electron products which can be responsible for smearing the soundstage imbuing such treated valves with properties of transparency that provide a glissando-esque sheen to your James Last albums that everyone will be envious of..  

The differing colours and orientations of the geometrically optimised and micron accurate protrusions have been chosen to complement the specific sonic signature of certain valve types and their characteristic and specific electrode cage dimensions so please, do get in touch if you wish to discover which would be best for your application.

After one such consultation and anticipatory purchase, one of our reviewers and ultra-satisfied customers likened the listening experience through his Mullard Magic Valve-O-Dob treated valves to be " As exquisite as riding bareback through Palm Springs while listening to  the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing La Cucaracha in the moonlight."  High praise indeed and lyrical waxing, especially as he lives in a retirement home behind the old gas works in Clacton.  

On the basis of this testimonial, I am confident that you will agree so please, form an orderly queue and we look forward to taking your orders for these astonishing new products.   PS. we also sell Plasticine and other sonic enhancement products are available from here 

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