#1
so im going to get my first tube amp soon im probably gonna get either a jsx or a jcm 2000 tsl , im upgrading from a line 6 spider 4 150, so this is gonna be my first tube amp so what should I know to know how to take care of it properly and all that good stuff any help is aprciated
#2
If you're getting a head version, don't ever turn it on without a speaker hooked up and always use a speaker cable, not guitar cable to connect the head to the cab.

If you're getting a combo, ignore the above and just jam.
#3
Put it on Standby if you're taking a ~30 min or less break, turn it off otherwise. This just helps to preserve tube life.

Other than that, nothing really. Many people will tell you to leave it on Standby before you turn it all the way on. You can, but it's not necessary. I usually do for 20-30 seconds, just out of habit. You won't hurt your amp if you don't.


Keep spare 12AX7s handy. They're around $10-15 a piece. If you notice something odd about your tone straight into the amp with multiple guitars, chances are a preamp tube is starting to go. Swap V1 or V2 out with a spare, or the tube for your FX loop if your FX loop is giving you issues, and 90% of the time that'll fix whatever issue you're having.

If your amp stops putting out sound, or it only puts out buzzing/hissing/shrieking, then that's a power tube issue. You can usually replace these in pairs. Most amps have an inner two pair, and an outer two pair, but some amps have side by side pairs. Ask about your specific amp to find out.

You can bias your power tubes when you replace them for optimal tone, but most of the time it's not necessary. You can get a bias probe and do it yourself, but most people take it to a shop to do.


The transition between solid state and tube can be underwhelming at first. Don't freak out: it takes a while for the ear to develop and identify the nuances that make tube tone so vastly preferred. Expect to have to work harder for your tone. It won't just give it to you prepackaged like your Spider will, but most find that the extra work is worth it in the end for a better sound.


EDIT ^ Oh my god yes, I cannot believe I forgot that. Always match ohms. Your speaker cab input must be the same ohms as your speaker output on your amp. Your speaker cab also should be at a minimum the same amount of wattage your amp is. I reiterate, never turn on a tube amp if it's not connected to a speaker cab.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Jul 18, 2013,
#4
Quote by Grawgos
If you're getting a head version, don't ever turn it on without a speaker hooked up and always use a speaker cable, not guitar cable to connect the head to the cab.

If you're getting a combo, ignore the above and just jam.


thanks I heard tube amps are super fragile , is that true or is that like a super over protective amp thing lol
#5
They're not fragile at all in my experience, but my experience may be skewed because I've been pretty much exclusively a Peavey user my whole life.

Tube amps in general make life much easier though. If you throw around a tube amp and something ends up being wrong, you can probably fix it right away by reseating the tubes. If a SS amp is thrown around and something sounds wrong, you're pretty much ****ed and have to get a new one.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#6
Quote by Offworld92
They're not fragile at all in my experience, but my experience may be skewed because I've been pretty much exclusively a Peavey user my whole life.

Tube amps in general make life much easier though. If you throw around a tube amp and something ends up being wrong, you can probably fix it right away by reseating the tubes. If a SS amp is thrown around and something sounds wrong, you're pretty much ****ed and have to get a new one.


sweet sounds great about how much does it cost to re tube a whole amp and have it biased and how often should u do this
#7
Really depends on the amp and what kind of tubes it has.

A JSX retube is about $120
A TSL retube is about $110.

6L6s and EL34s are about $15 a piece, depending on where you go etc., so a full poweramp retube is usually around $50-60.

EL84s are dirt cheap, a full EL84 poweramp retube can run you like $40.

KT77s are about $20 a piece, but they're more of a choice than a common tube (they usually replace EL34s)

KT88s are balls expensive, about $40 a piece, but they really only show up on high end boutique amps, most likely nothing you'll need to worry about.


Preamp tubes are $10-15 a piece, and most tube amps have anywhere between 3 and 6. Generally the higher gain the amp is, the more preamp tubes it has, but this is not necessarily true - most amps share functions between tubes to cut down on cost, but some higher end amps dedicate a tube to each function of the amp, so they can get very expensive (You don't even want to look at the EVH 5150 III 100W or the Mesa Road King II).


An important thing to note is that you don't need to go around doin g full retubes often. You usually do not need to do a full retube ever, unless you really want to.

Power tubes don't really ever need to be replaced, unless they crap out on you. Tube lifespan is very variable. Depending on how much you use your amp, just plan to replace power tubes every 4 or so years. Power tubes can easily last 10-15 years though. It's really kind of random.

Preamp tubes go more often in my experience. Preamp tubes usually last about 2 years... around them you could do a tube swap and notice some tonal improvement from a new tube.

The thing you should take away is that a tube amp isn't a thing where you need to have scheduled maintenance. Basically, just replace stuff as needed. If it sounds fine, don't worry about it. They don't need to be babied.

Preamp tubes are what you'll be replacing mostly, and for the most part just one or two at a time. So really, think of it as $15 here and there, not a $120 job.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jul 18, 2013,
#8
Quote by JazzyJaymes
thanks I heard tube amps are super fragile , is that true or is that like a super over protective amp thing lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-z_qNNcVz8

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#9
Man that video makes me cringe so hard every time. But it's a really good video/point.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X