#1
Hey

Since I'm soon getting a tube amp, I want to know some tricks of the trade, on tube amps. Any tips on getting good sound, making the tubes last longer, how to treat the tube amp well? Anyone? Anything?

P.S. I'm gonna post your tips in a quote box up here, for later use/reads.

Quote by CodeMonk
Let the tubes cool down a few minutes after playing before moving the amp.
Refrain from tossing your amp down a flight of stairs.
Most tubes that come in a new amp are less than ideal. May want to look into a better set after playing your amp for awhile.
There many more, but I'm a bit tired ATM.

Quote by barden1069
Let your tubes warm up for 30 seconds to a minute before switching it out of standby. Make sure to bias your power tubes correctly upon replacing them (or have a tech do it, but it's pretty simple). Unless your amp is specifically designed to take different types of power tubes, do NOT put other types in unless you have performed the necessary mods. You are a little safer switching around preamp tubes, however. Also, make sure that you have a speaker of the correct impedance plugged in before turning your amp on. Not having one plugged in or having one of a different impedance can blow your OT.


Links:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/taking_care_of_your_tube_amp__ii.html
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=278232
ROCK ON! \m/

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Last edited by Ginge93 at Mar 18, 2011,
#4
Let the tubes cool down a few minutes after playing before moving the amp.
Refrain from tossing your amp down a flight of stairs.
Most tubes that come in a new amp are less than ideal. May want to look into a better set after playing your amp for awhile.
There many more, but I'm a bit tired ATM.
#5
Let your tubes warm up for 30 seconds to a minute before switching it out of standby. Make sure to bias your power tubes correctly upon replacing them (or have a tech do it, but it's pretty simple). Unless your amp is specifically designed to take different types of power tubes, do NOT put other types in unless you have performed the necessary mods. You are a little safer switching around preamp tubes, however. Also, make sure that you have a speaker of the correct impedance plugged in before turning your amp on. Not having one plugged in or having one of a different impedance can blow your OT.
Gear
Highway One Tele (w/Custom Shop 51 Nocaster pickups)
Standard Tele (modded to Nashville specs)
Reverend Roundhouse

Orange Rockerverb 50 MKI
Vox AC4c1
Jet City JCA20H

And pedals!



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...to make sure I don't get too far"
#6
Avoid putting drinks on top of the amp, allow some time for the amp to cool down before loading out as the difference in temp from inside a rehearsal room or club/pub and outside can be quite a large especially in winter.... don't run the amp on 11, never turn the amp on without it connected to a speaker, and don't piss on it hehe

*point to remember liquids and electricity don't mix
Last edited by Talon64 at Mar 18, 2011,
#7
Use NOS preamp tubes and they'll last you 20 years or more.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#8
A 5751 tube can be swapped for any of the 12AX7's (V1 or V2 usually). This will give more clean headroom.
The cleans will stay really fat sounding. Stevie Ray was reported to do this in his Fenders.


The 12AX7 is so widely used in guitar amps, I thought I would throw this up to help explain I the different variants.
I am a big proponent of NOS tubes but they are risky buys at times and you better be able to test them.
They have made a significant audible improvement in EVERY amp I have put them in.

A Tube marked ECC83 is exactly the same tube as a 12AX7. It is simply the way the were marked in Europe.

A 7025 marked tube is a low noise industrial version of the 12AX7.

A 5751 is a U.S. military spec 12AX7, and has about 30 percent less gain typically. You can beat the hell out of them though.

A 6681 is another industrial tube, and a step up from a standard 12AX7.

Tubes marked ECC803S, E83CC, E803CC are premium versions of the ECC83.

Telefunken, Siemans and occasionally Mullards will be seen. S stands for special. Screened for low noise.

You will also hear about Longplates (17mm) and Shortplates (14mm). The longplates are considered more desirable and are much rarer and more expensive.
Between Smoothplates and Ladderplates, Smoothplates are generally considered to have more definition and detail.

I hope this helps some of you, it was confusing as hell to me at first.


Here's some General Guidelines on tube gain. The tubes being produced today have very inconsistent gain, from tube to tube.
The only real way to know for sure, is have them tested. It really is a crapshoot...

12AX7 = 100% or the standard 12AX7 spec. (1.2 mA at 250 volts with a -2 volt bias.) That reference spec also applies to 12AX7 / ECC83 / 7025 tubes.
12AT7 = Has 70% of the gain of a 12AX7.
12AY7 = Has 44% of the gain of a 12AX7.
12AU7 = Has 17% of the gain of a 12AX7.
I don't know the number for 12BH7 but it is very low.


Gold pins on tubes will stop the corrosion on the surface of the pins on tubes sitting on shelves in storage. Once the pins are in contact with a socket that is not gold plated there will still be corrosion on the socket. Two dis-similar metals will generally corrode when they contact each other.


The Rectifier tube is the amp's high voltage generator, and is responsible for the tightness and power of the amp.
It can affect both the amp's tone, and feel... It however, is not located directly in the signal path.