#1
Well, I'm going to Guitar Center today to look for tube amps, hopefully I can find one I can afford. Anyways, my dad is hell-bent on changing my mind into getting a solid state. He say's that all of the tubes are expencive - bull**** - and that they would go out faster than I'm expecting them to. I'm expecting AT LEAST a year. It seems like it would be more because I'm getting this tube amp as an upgrade from my Marshall MG and I'm not in a band yet so it won't be cranked very much.

So, how long do these tubes last?

P.S. For what it's worth, I'm trying to find a Peavey Classic 30 Combo amp.
#2
atleast 6 months..
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
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#3
depends how you treat them.
look after your amp, ages.

if you don't, not long.
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#5
Quote by Hoodoo Child
depends how you treat them.
look after your amp, ages.

if you don't, not long.


Define looking after them?

I'm getting a tube amp soon and don't know alot about precedures to take care of them..
#6
Don't bash it into walls. Don't stand on it. Don't crank volume on all tens.
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#7
The tubes on my Rivera are around 8 years old because the previous owner took care of them and it's a 100Watt tube amp for home practice mainly(lul) that barely goes above 2-3 in the master knob at the gigs I've been. The tubes feel and sound like new.
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#8
It depends on MANY, MANY factors.

If the amp is a combo amp then the power tubes will last a shorter time as opposed to being in a head unit. This is due to the tubes being acoustically coupled to the speaker cabinet and receiving more rattling around - this is why many combo amps are prone to microphonics in their tubes, and by extension since many combos use EL84s many seem to think that EL84s are microphonic-prone.

Bias is also an issue. Bias is like setting the idle in a car - it indicates how much electricity the tubes draw when idling. If the bias is too hot then the tubes will burn up more quickly. Analogously, if the volume is being cranked and the tubes are being pushed into breakup on a highly regular basis, then they will last a shorter time as well.

In terms of everyday maintenance, you should always let the tubes warm up for a few minutes first by way of the standby switch. When you turn a tube amp off, it's alright to just shut the power off immediately after turning off the standby, but you should wait some time for the tubes to cool down before moving the amplifier.

The reliability of the tubes themselves also comes into question. Some tubes will last a longer or shorter time because of the plate structure and thickness of the glass - ruggedized "military" versions of many tubes are available. If the amplifier itself does not have sufficient ventilation, then the tubes can also overheat and fail sooner.

What this all means is that there's really no way to accurately gauge tube life. My friend recently got a 30 year old Ampeg V-4B serviced, and it had ALL ORIGINAL tubes that were still kickin' just fine because they were biased so cold... on the other hand, my combo starts to sound like balls after about a year on the same set of tubes.

The general rule of thumb is between one and two years for the power tubes, and the preamp tubes whenever you want a different sound.
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#9
It works together
The more you look after them the longer they last. But you can get through them like no tomorow.
#10
I've had my Orange valve amp for about 1.5 years and the valves are fine. There's no reason why they won't last a few years if you treat them well. Then changing them isn't expensive either really.
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#11
Tell him that all Solid States try to emulate the sound of tubes, so there's no point going for an imitator if you can get the real thing...even if that does mean replacing the tubes once every few years or so.
#13
It's worth noting that just because tubes work does not mean that they sound good... tubes will last FAR longer than the point at which they start to sound bad.
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#14
I switch out my tubes every 1-2 years, closer to 2 years. You'll be able to tell when to switch them, because you'll be wondering if your amp has always sounded like crap. A friend of my family has a 1970's twin that he has NEVER switched the tubes out of. It sounds pretty bad but he doesn't care since he hardly ever plays anymore and when he does it's only practice.
#15
Preamp tubes can last a long long time. And power amp tubes depends on how much and how you you use em. If you crank it every day figure year or less on power tubes. But Ive had the same power tubes in an amp 3 years and sold it and they were still fine. An old ampeg had the same tubes for 10 years. Also tell your dad at least tube stuff can be fixed. When SS amps go on the fritz you throw it away and buy another one.
#16
Quote by Mo Jiggity
It depends on MANY, MANY factors.

In terms of everyday maintenance, you should always let the tubes warm up for a few minutes first by way of the standby switch. When you turn a tube amp off, it's alright to just shut the power off immediately after turning off the standby, but you should wait some time for the tubes to cool down before moving the amplifier.

what if there's no standby button?
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
#17
My Champ has had the same tubes since I bought it in July, and it seems fine. It was a floor model too, so I'm guessing it got some use before I even had it.

It doesn't have a standby, so I just turn it on and give it a few minutes to warm up before I play.
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#18
I bought my classic 30 used and the tubes on their lasted a good year. I just replaced them with JJ's for around 70 dollars and they should last another year. Classic 30's don't need to be serviced by a technician either, so you can just put in the tubes on your own. Don't let your dad mess this up for you. Get the classic 30.
#19
Quote by nowa90
what if there's no standby button?


Then you should never turn the amp on at all to avoid damage to the tubes.
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#20
Quote by Mo Jiggity
Then you should never turn the amp on at all to avoid damage to the tubes.
....
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
#22
my dads Marshall JCM800 tubes lasted 14 year before they blew a week ago but my dad never cranked it above 5 at gigs.
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