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Marshall Tubes by Yukio Miyamoto
It is generally received wisdom that thermionic tubes or valves deliver higher quality amplification than transistors - the sound warmer, more harmonious and natural. We have not spoken to a musician for example who thinks otherwise.
The concept of amplification using thermionic diodes, triodes, tetrodes and pentodes stemmed from the observation by Edison that the filaments in incandescent light bulbs always failed at the cathode end of the filament. In considering why this was so Englishman John Ambrose Fleming, previously an employee of Edison, conceived the thermionic diode and how this could be applied to amplifying signals in cables used for long distance telecommunications.
Until the 1960s and the ongoing development of transistors, that did a similar job more efficiently and more cheaply than valves, the World's largest valve manufacturer was Mullard in Blackburn Lancs. In 1970 to mark Mullard's 50th anniversary the company had a rose developed and bred by Sam McGredy. All employees received a Mullard Jubilee Electron rose bush.
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