#1
I found a couple of good deals on ebay, My question is......

#. Will the amp head sound without a speaker/cabinet? If so will it be loud enough for home use?

Tube question....

#. How often do you have to replace tubes?
#. How will I know if it needs replacing?

I am an amp noob :P


Thanks
#2
Quote by MaddMann274
I found a couple of good deals on ebay, My question is......

#. Will the amp head sound without a speaker/cabinet? If so will it be loud enough for home use?


No. It will blow up if you put the power on without plugging it into a cabinet.
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Blackstar HT-50
Framus 2x12 Cab
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#3
Amp heads have no speakers, therefore they make no sound without a speaker. Except possibly the sound of the output transformer exploding.

Tubes generally need replacing every 2-3 years, but it obviously depends on how much the amp is being used - the amp usually starts to sound funny if the tube are going.
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#4
1. No it won't. You need a cab and you shouldn't turn it on as long as there's no cab connected to the amp. Otherwise you will blow your amp (tubeamp).


There's no rule how long you can use your tubes. That depends on how often you use your amp etc.
You'll hear it when you have to replace the tubes. The amp starts to sound muddy and you'll hear random noise from your cab. Then it's time to replace the tubes...

Usually you'll be fine with one set of tubes for a couple of years.
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#5
1) Nope. You need a speaker cabinet. I wondered the same thing when I was about 14, no worries

And in fact, NEVER turn on a tube head without a cabinet/load attached. You can blow the output transformer which isn't exactly a cheap fix.

2) Tube replacement depends on a few factors. As a rule, power amp tubes (the big ones) need to be replaced more often (I've seen between 1-5 years), and preamp tubes require less maintenance (I've seen about 3-10 years). NOS (new old stock) preamp tubes can last for quite a bit longer, I've heard numbers in the range of 30-40 years.

Then it also depends on how often, you use the amp, and how hard you are driving it. Allowing the tubes to warm up on standby for a little while, and proper biasing of the power tubes will increase tube life.

You'll hear it when they start to give out. If a tube glows red, it is red plating. You want to turn the amp off immediately and switch it out. If you see some kind of white dust/frost inside the tube, it has lost vacuum, again it needs to be replaced.

If you are getting some weird noises, try tapping the tubes with a pencil one by one with the amp on. If you hear the tapping through the speaker, you have a microphonic tube, and it needs to be replaced.

Sometimes a tube (usually preamp) will fail without any of these telltale signs. In that case, swap in a spare slot by slot, and see which one is the culprit.

Preamp tubes can be replaced individually, for power amp tubes you want a full set (or have a tech that can match one in perfectly).

Hope that helps
#6
Yeah, the amp head will sound without a cabinet. You'll get an explosive sound out of it. =-P

Seriously, don't run a head without a load. XD
#7
If you are tapping on the tube (very gently) you should hear the tapping. It's the ringing (microphonic) or noises (crackling, popping) that signify tube replacements.
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#8
Will that apply for combo amps as well? :S

Specifically the Blackstar HT-20 o.O

^^ I heard it got tubes o.o'
I'm plannin on buying that, but no point if it's gonna blow up :P

Thanks
#9
Well if it's a combo it has an internal speaker attached. It won't blow. If you attach a cab it just mutes the internal.

The HT-20 should be fine.
#10
Quote by Hypetreme
No. It will blow up if you put the power on without plugging it into a cabinet.


technically it might make sound then

EDIT: damn you mark for getting in there first
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#11
Quote by baumaxx1
Well if it's a combo it has an internal speaker attached. It won't blow. If you attach a cab it just mutes the internal.

The HT-20 should be fine.


Alrite man, thx.. Just one last question...

Should I get the Blackstar HT-20 or the HT-40?
Or anythin better for under $600 which is good for metal.
#12
HT-40 gives you more gain. Worth saving a bit more for it.

As for anything under $600... Well you can always look used. A Peavey 6505+ 112 combo, and Vypyr Tube, Carvin V3m (Probably stretching it) off the top of my head are similar to the HT40 in price. I'm sure there's more, but that's just the ones I've looked into. The Blackstars are hard to beat at that price point though.