#1
Hey y'all!

I have a Blues Jr which is my first tube amp ever. I have a few questions :

- What can harm a tube amp ? (feedback, pluging & unpluging jack, temperatures... ?)
- How long do tubes last normally ? (1h30/2h of playing per day)
- How do you know when it's time to change tubes ?
- What does the biggest difference in tone : speaker or tubes ?

Thanks !!!!
#2
1- shockwaves, impacts, using them without them heating up
2- tubes can die out when ever they want man, SOVTEK tubes could die out easily within a month, Mullard tubes aren't as sissy as sovtek tubes
3- you'd know when it happens
4- what's more important, an F1's engine or aerodynamics?
#3
thanks for your answer.

How come that tubes can die whenever they want ? That doesn't sound nice...
Are the stock tubes in the Blues Jr any good ?
#4
They rarely go out with a couple hours of use, but they can. The ratio is low, chances are you're gonna get a month or two out of modern made tubes.

I can't tell, you have to look inside and give us a name. My blackheart came with JJs, a guy named Gabe on this forum said his came with Sovtek
#5
"chances are you're gonna get a month or two out of modern made tubes."

?? ! Do you mean the tubes are going to last only a month or two ? Jesus christ that's outrageous!!!! the amp alone already cost me a fortune! I thought I would be good for a YEAR or two!
#6
Depends on the tubes and how you use them and how frequent you use them. Save up, get NOS Panasonic/Telefunken/Valvo/Mullard tubes and those would last you a lot.

Driving the amp to it's limits will kill your tubes faster, playing clean would preserve them
#7
Quote by stykerwolf
They rarely go out with a couple hours of use, but they can. The ratio is low, chances are you're gonna get a month or two out of modern made tubes.

Funny, I get years out of the tubes I buy, and they are certainly modern manufacture.
#8
you'll probably get a few months on the tubes that came with your amp.

a new set of tubes should last a year or 2 maybe on average?

let's see....don't throw your amp in the pool. don't cover it in icecream. don't shake it like a baby.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#9
Quote by alans056
- What can harm a tube amp ? (feedback, pluging & unpluging jack, temperatures... ?)


mismatching speaker impedance to the speaker out, not having a speaker plugged in. fire. using it as a sub woofer. spilled beer. smoke. leaving it out in the sun or rain. kryptonite.

that's it

Quote by alans056
- How long do tubes last normally ? (1h30/2h of playing per day)


that is similar to asking how long a light bulb lasts. depends on a number of factors. i have tubes in some of my amps that are 50+ years old. i have also needed to change tube in a year or so. i have gotten tubes right out the box that were bad.

Quote by alans056
- How do you know when it's time to change tubes ?


when they stop glowing, when you signal fades in an out. when you post a thread asking if your tubes are going bad.

Quote by alans056
- What does the biggest difference in tone : speaker or tubes ?


subjective question. though i must say that the circuit the tubes are wired in has for more impact on 'tone' than the brand of tube. also, what type of tube used in the circuit will have more impact on the brand of tube.

the output transformer has a big impact on an amp's tone, more than a brand of tube imo.

i'd upgrade your amp's speaker with one of those cheap weber speakers for a nice upgrade though.

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/asig12r.htm

that will sound substantially better than the stock speaker
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#10
thanks everyone, and last question, how much is a set of good tubes for a Blues Jr ?
#11
Have a look here for an idea:
https://ssl.eurotubes.com/cart/index.php?page=view_submenu&category_id=7

or:
http://thetubestore.com/

Look around on that first site. Has some useful info regarding tubes and particular amps.
They have Blues Jr. Info.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jul 9, 2011,
#12
thanks for the website!

So as can see, 60 united states dollar should be enough for a good retube ?
#13
You can get two NOS EL84 output tubes for 60 bucks off Ebay

might be hard to find Mullard, but there are other brands like Panasonic, Telefunken, Valvo, RCA...
Last edited by stykerwolf at Jul 9, 2011,
#14
and thoes "NOS mullard tubes" are very good quality right ?

What about the 3 other tubes, are they less important so I can get cheaper ones?

EDIT: I don't care about clean headroom, if that's any help.
#15
NOS Mullard is the best you can get without paying an arm and leg. The other brands are just as good, people just know the name Mullard more (well maybe not more then Panasonic because they are still around)

Hold on

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=NOS+el84&_sacat=0&_odkw=valvo+el84&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=NOS+12ax7&_sacat=0&_odkw=NOS+el84&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

expensive, but better for the long run
Last edited by stykerwolf at Jul 9, 2011,
#16
my stock tubes are "groove tubes" are they any good ? Can I get the same ? (I like the sound).

I just need something affordable. I don't care about super awesome tone, I love the sound of the stock tubes.

I have like 60 USD.
#17
Okay thanks!

I am looking for RELIABILITY. I would like the tubes to last at least one year. I never play very loud (3/12 gain).

So I need 3 12AX7 tubes and 2 EL84 right ?

Is Philips a good brand ?
#18
Phillips are an excellent tube. Phillips owned Mullard.
Be aware current production Mullards are not true Mullards. They are made in Russia by New Sensor like Sovteks, they just bought the name. Real Mullards are British but they did make them all over the world. I have some Indian ones (BEL) that are over 20 years old and still going strong. Tungsram are Mullards made in Belgium. They also made them in Australia.

Some Groove tube are excellent and some are just Chinese things. What is the full model number on yours?
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jul 9, 2011,
#19
Quote by alans056
my stock tubes are "groove tubes" are they any good ? Can I get the same ? (I like the sound).

I just need something affordable. I don't care about super awesome tone, I love the sound of the stock tubes.(


Groove Tubes are good quality in my book. I have 6L6 tubes of them in my Laney and I really like the sound of them! Should last you a fair amount of time, but considering you play for almost 2 hours each day they'll burn up faster.

It all depends on how much you use them, I use my Laney only at rehearsals and my tubes will probably last for two years (4 hours a week). I use a Pod when playing at home.

Remember that you need to bias your powertubes if you retube your amp. 60 bucks can get you new tubes, but if somebody has to put them in for you and bias them they'll probably want to get payed for it.
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
Last edited by von gelb at Jul 9, 2011,
#20
I see thanks!

So my playing is like 1h/day (not 2 sorry my mistake), not loud at all. 3/12 gain and 3/12 volume.

Can Groove Tube last me 1 year ?
#21
I play 208 hours a year, so that's 416 in two years. You play 365 hours a year, so they should last you a year or so.

Then again, like with everything we buy, sometimes they break down in a shorter amount of time. In that case, bad production quality batch or bad luck.

In my experience, preamp tubes die faster than power tubes. Preamp tubes are cheaper and you can replace them yourself. I always have a spare preamp tube with me when I play, just in case one of them goes out.
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#22
Quote by von gelb
I play 208 hours a year, so that's 416 in two years. You play 365 hours a year, so they should last you a year or so.

Then again, like with everything we buy, sometimes they break down in a shorter amount of time. In that case, bad production quality batch or bad luck.

In my experience, preamp tubes die faster than power tubes. Preamp tubes are cheaper and you can replace them yourself. I always have a spare preamp tube with me when I play, just in case one of them goes out.


two hours a day? that's 365x2 a year mate
#24
Quote by Woffelz
All this confusion is why I stick with solid state.

Yeah, but dont you get bored with just your 15x? That's why I got the rp355. I'm going to get a tube amp in about a year, not sure which one though.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#25
Quote by stykerwolf
two hours a day? that's 365x2 a year mate


Read again, later he says:

So my playing is like 1h/day (not 2 sorry my mistake)
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#27
Your tubes should last fairly long. Probably a couple of years for the power tubes, and longer for the preamp.

Preamp tubes (the small ones) as a general rule usually last longer than power tubes (the big ones), provided there is no early failure. Any tube is liable to fail at any time - I had the original pair of 6L6's in my 6505 die within a few months of me buying it, though I get the feeling Peavey used really utterly shit tubes in it.


As far as brands I like, I like JJ's and Tung-Sols along with the NOS stuff like JAN Phillips, GE, Mullard, etc.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jul 9, 2011,
#28
Quote by von gelb
In my experience, preamp tubes die faster than power tubes.

Do you live in Bizaaro world?

Quote by Woffelz
All this confusion is why I stick with solid state.

So you are too stupid to learn anything?


I just woke up from a nap and the looneys are running the asylum.
Gilchrist custom
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Marshall 18W clone
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#29
jeebuz.


preamp tubes can last a lifetime, especially old ones. not all do, but a lot can. i have a bag of them and half are older than me. and i'm old.

jj el84s are a solid cheap power tube. you can't really go wrong there and to get anything better costs more than most people find it to be worth in the end anyway.

preamp tubes are another story. i've found a few chinese 12ax7s that i like over some nos stuff. it's personal preference there.

my advice is when the power tubes die, throw a matched pair of jj 84s in there. shop around on ebay and tubedepot for some different 12ax7s to try. some sound better in different positions and you wont hurt anything swapping them around at whim.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#30
a lot of things can harm a tube amp. C4, for example.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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#31
Quote by Cathbard
Do you live in Bizaaro world?


Just my personal experience, I had a few preamp tubes that became microphonic within months... Just bad luck I guess ?
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
Last edited by von gelb at Jul 10, 2011,
#32
Quote by von gelb
Just my personal experience, I had a few preamp tubes that became microphonic within months... Just bad luck I guess ?

Yep. They were Sovteks, weren't they?
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
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#33
Quote by Cathbard
Yep. They were Sovteks, weren't they?


Yes, they were Sovteks... Is that a common failure with Sovtek tubes?
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#34
Sovteks are just junk, that's all. Let me guess; the first one to go was the cathode follower in the tone stack, followed by the phase inverter?
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
#35
Damn, those were the ones that went out. Can't remember which one went first, but you're probably right. I'm thinking of putting TAD preamp tubes in my Laney, are they any good? I heard they give a nice thick overdrive sound.
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#36
TAD are Sovteks too iirc. Start haunting Ebay. Look for tubes made in Germany (Telefunken, Siemens, RFT), Holland (Amperex/Bugle Boy), Britain (Brimar, Mullard), Belgium (Tungsram), Australia (Phillips/Miniwatt, Mullard) or the US (Phillips, RCA, GE, TungSol, Raytheon) - in that order of quality more or less.
You should be able to score some for around the $20 mark (except for the Telefunkens - they are the Rolls Royce of valves and cost accordingly). They should last for 20 years or more so even ANOS ones should outlast a modern valve by 5 to 10 times as long.

Edit: Be wary of TungSol and Mullard. New Sensor (the guys that make Sovtek) bought the name. Make sure you look at WHERE they were made. If they are Russian pass them over.
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
Last edited by Cathbard at Jul 10, 2011,
#37
Thanks for the advice, any of the regular brands (not NOS) that are any good?
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#38
Yeah, JJ and SED are the best.
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
#39
Thanks again! I feel like we're hijacking this thread now, so I'm out to walk the dog.
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe