#1
Before you say utfse, ive had a browse and cant find an answer,

I have a mini recto, and its about 2 years old, never had a tube change, just played at bedroom volumes mainly. Ive also got an old Randall RG120R (2x12 120w combo)

When I first got the recto, i couldnt believe how much better it sounded than the Randall, but now i find the Randall to sound much better.

Having said that, there are no obvious signs that my tubes are worn in the mesa, no quadraphonics, no high pitches squeeling, just seems to have lost a bit of meat that it used to have, but i dont know if im just imaging it or not,

Basically my question is, to tube amps just sound worse and worse over time until you hear an obvious malfunction in them? Or do they pretty much sound the same and then one day you blow a tube or get quadraphonics and know its time for a tube change.

I got a fresh pair of tubes sitting here, just debating on whether to put them in or not.

Any advice would be great, thanks.
RG's & Mesa's
#2
You're creating a problem that doesn't exist:
you already have new tubes, so try the new ones.

If the thing sounds better than keep the new ones, and if they don't put the other ones back.

Power tubes and tubes in amps in general aren't used to sound worse with time, they usually decide it's time to break and they start to either make the thing sound obviously broken or funny at least, like buzzing consistently.
Or they could just stop working.
Name's Luca.

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#3
My experience - YMMV

Preamp tubes dying alter your sound and tone, and die gradually, which can make you unsure if your tone has changed or not. Can also cause buzzing/microphonics.

Power tubes dying alter your volume output capacity, can make your volume jump and fall dramatically, but can also "deaden" your tone or make buzzing. These more often tend to die dramatically, and can be asymptomatic for a long time.

Preamp tubes are a lot cheaper and a lot easier to swap - you should always have a handful of these on hand as a tube amp owner regardless. Just swap some around, note the differences. Feel free to take notes as well, and mark down what is where originally in case you want to go back.
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#4
nevermind i changed over the powertubes and im pretty sure it sounds much much much better

hard to have a bunch of tubes hanging around when mesa charges $130US for a matched set here in Australia, and they dont allow US retailers to export them, I get mine from the UK for 35 bucks plus 20 shipping so its not to bad. Id rather stick to the mesa brand
RG's & Mesa's
Last edited by e32lover at Apr 18, 2014,
#5
Can you get JJ tubes over there for cheaper?

That's all you really need. For most amps.

Mesa is just rebranded. **** rebrands.
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 e32lover
nevermind i changed over the powertubes and im pretty sure it sounds much much much better

hard to have a bunch of tubes hanging around when mesa charges $130US for a matched set here in Australia, and they dont allow US retailers to export them, I get mine from the UK for 35 bucks plus 20 shipping so its not to bad. Id rather stick to the mesa brand

just so you know, Mesa does not make tubes. They simply rebrand what ever they get, so your paying a premium for a name and nothing more.

JJ make the best new production EL84 that I know of.
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2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
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MXR Smart Gate
#7
Have a look at your local electronics shop.
Generic electronic components, not guitars or anything.

There I've found the best tubes for the money.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#8
yeah i know, its like with your car, if you had a BMW youd prob pay 200 bucks for OEM brake pads made by xyz company but with a BMW badge on them, or you could pay 50 for the exact same pads made in the same factory without the badge, in that case id go aftermarket, but when its a saving of like 25 bucks i may as well go with the original mesa tubes and not have to wonder if my amp would have sounded better with the "mesa" tubes (even though i wouldnt be surprised if it sounds better with another brand of tubes)

That said, i read somewhere that power tubes deteriorate like guitar strings, so gradually that you will not notice the change. Im as sure as i can be that my mesa sounds better with these fresh tubes.

I buy all my guitars from the US, its always cheaper, even buying amps and having them shipped over is cheaper than buying them here. My mini recto RRP was $2000US, the cheapest i found was US1800, i got mine for 1600 cos i knew someone at the music store, but u guys get them for 1k over there, wtf. And the smart arse corps are moving away from switchable power supplies so you have to buy the rip off local version. (240v)
RG's & Mesa's
Last edited by e32lover at Apr 18, 2014,
#9
^Not really the same thing, considering you could get a better product, that would be more valuable to most guitarists, for cheaper, by buying JJs
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I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#10
Yeah Mesa has rebranded JJs haven't they? TS, you literally are paying for the name, and perhaps extra testing, but you can buy that from most tube retailers and still it comes out cheaper than Mesa tubes.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#11
It's mostly Sovteks now I think. If you can post a clear photo of them from a couple of angles I can probably tell you what they are.
The only modern EL84's I'll use are JJ, even with the QC scare of last year.

As for buying tubes in Australia, I have one thing to say - ebay.
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#12
Bought it new, should I replace the tubes with MESA brand or look into another brand? I don't use diode rectification, so I'd need to replace the SU4s.

I need to figure out which tubes are used in 50 watt mode so I can switch them out. The internet is being pretty useless for thess