#1
So im thinking about a Mesa boogie Mark III combo from 1988 .the amp is 21 years old ita a big investment ( around 1000 $ ) so i would expect it to last for years . im mostly bedroom paying / small practice so ill get an attenuator if i buy it .

is it safe to buy a used tube amp ??? can i expect it to last for a couple of years ( like 5 years ) or i should go for a more recent model like a dual rectifier from 2000 + ???

does output transformer have a life lenght ???

Does tube amp really have reliability problem compring to solid state ????


anyone one a MArk III or MArk series form the 80s ??? any reliability issue ???

i can afford small repair .. i just dont want an amp that will "die" 1 years after investing 1000 $ on it .

Thx
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
#2
it's lasted 21 years so it should be prettty reliable. if it's been well looked after which it sounds like it has by the asking price it should be a good investment. tube amps are just as reliable as solid state although the valves blow and need replacing whilst you don't have to do that with solid states.
#3
Quote by Skysc
is it safe to buy a used tube amp ??? can i expect it to last for a couple of years ( like 5 years ) or i should go for a more recent model like a dual rectifier from 2000 + ???


Yes it's safe to buy used tube amps. As for the tube life of a used amp, it can vary. Chances are the person who is selling it is doing so just before the need to replace the tubes. It shouldn't matter how long the tubes last you in a used amp as long as the price you get it for reflects this.

E.g. You ask how old the tubes are and the seller says 5 years. You take this into consideration and deduct the value of the cost of new tubes from the price you expect to pay.

After all at one point your going to have to replace the valves sometime.
#4
Don't worry; the only things with any kind of lifespan in a tube amp are easily replaceable - and that's just the tubes, really. If you play real loud real often you might blow a few speakers (also easily replaceable) but in general, it's no more risky than buying a new tube amp would be so long as the product's in reasonable condition anyway.
Reliability is only a problem with cheap, rubbish tube amps (nothing like the Mesa), and in truth, cheap solid states aren't going to be much better.
#5
-Yes, it's safe to buy a used amp. More use in an amp doesn't really make it any less reliable, unless it has been neglected.

-A well-made amp like a Mark III should last forever. A little maintenance will be necessary every 5 years or so, but aside from that an amp of that caliber won't "expire." A good preventative measure would be to get the filter caps changed out in five years or so, which is not a terribly expensive procedure.

-Transformers will eventually die, yes. However, two things: 1. Transformers usually last a very, very long time, often in excess of 40 years, and 2. Even when a transformer dies on you, it's worth the expense to have a new one installed on an amp like that.

-Tube amps are ever so slightly less reliable than solid state, but they're also easier to fix.

And, my advice for you:
There's no guarantee that your output transformer won't die next year. However, this can happen with any amp, and it's not like it can't be fixed. There's just as much chance that the transformers will last longer than you will. The thing about tube amps, especially nice ones like your Mark III, is that they don't ever "die," they just need new parts. I know it feels like if something goes wrong you're going to have to throw the leftovers in the trash and buy another amp, but that's simply not the case.
I know it's scary dropping a large chunk of hard-earned money on something you've heard can have issues, but don't let that stop you. Buying a good amp like that is an investment in your playing, and it's a milestone in your musical career. Do it.
#6
I wouldn't advise you to spend *all* your money on a 21 yr old tube amp. The likelihood of needing a repair is higher and you may need to spend several hundred dollars to have work done on it. Tube amps are like classic cars. Everything is fixable and they have basically infinite lifetimes. But you need to budget in repairs, so leave yourself some cushion in the cash dept.
#7
My cousin purchased a a Mark IIC+... and it works like a dream.

Came with the original tubes... and the tubes are still in excellent condition.
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#8
Quote by Rock Pig
Don't worry; the only things with any kind of lifespan in a tube amp are easily replaceable - and that's just the tubes, really. If you play real loud real often you might blow a few speakers (also easily replaceable) but in general, it's no more risky than buying a new tube amp would be so long as the product's in reasonable condition anyway.
Reliability is only a problem with cheap, rubbish tube amps (nothing like the Mesa), and in truth, cheap solid states aren't going to be much better.



since when? That is probably the least of his worries. TS - ask the seller some more about it's tube and repair history. You may need to take it to a tech for a once over if you don't get a warm and fuzzy from seller.

Big fat plus one to Colin's post too.
#9
I have a 35 year old tube amp (Fender Bassman 50) and it still works great. Never had any repairs to it or anything and everything is still in perfect working order. Doesn't have the original tubes in it but the tubes are at least 20 years old and they still sound great.
#10
If you do not know the seller or if he is reputable, you might ask to take it to a tech before buying. That is an excellent amp, an attenuator is a must for bedroom playing, so factor in the couple-few hundred for that into your budget.
#12
You're right, that's very clean for its age. I'd have a tech check it out if you can, just for leaks in the filter caps, but if it works fine and you like how it sounds, it looks good to me.
#14
i still havent made up my mind for a couple of reason .. they very rare to pop out here in montreal .. its like a bad timing for a couple of reason ( my playing level , bedroom use mostly ( at least for a couple of time ) , lost my job , going back to school .. big investment etc..

but on the other hand .. im kinda tired of spending money 100 + on pedals stuff etc... searching for the tone and my dream distortion . This amp sound amazing .



im still thinking . thx for the info everyone .

greatly appreciated.
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Oct 29, 2009,
#15
If you take good care of them, tube amplifiers can last almost forever. They can certainly outlast their owners. Look how many vintage amplifiers from the fifties and sixties are still going strong - and commanding prices that look more like the down payment on a new house. As long as it hasn't been abused or badly modified, you won't likely encounter any major problems. Tubes and capacitors can be easily replaced. And an amplifier from the 1980s isn't going to present any electrical safety concerns, as some dinosaurs from the 1950s do.
#16
Ou could probably talk him down to $1100 or even less. I would go for it. Mesa makes/made some of the most reliable tube amps out there.

-Gibson LP VM
-Silvertone Kentucky Blue
-MXR CC Delay
-Ibanez TS-9
-Egnater Rebel 20
-Avatar 1x12

My rig is simple
Haha. UG's Chuck just said chuck. haha
You're not truly playing guitar unless you know theory.
#17
My JCM800 is an 81' model and still going strong.

Besides, and electrical work is tops 50 dollars... less you blow capacitors or transformers.
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
Gibson RD Artist
Fender American Standard Telecaster

Amps:

Framus Cobra
Marshall JCM800 2203 - 1960A

Pedals:

Crybaby 535Q
Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive