#1
Been wondering this for awhile.

I don't play electric guitar often, at all. None of the tubes in my Delta Blues are busted, they all light up or whatever.

How do I know when to change them? Do I just ride them out until some stop working? I've had them for a long time but they don't get a lot of use; will new tubes improve anything?

Many thanks
My God, it's full of stars!
#3
depends on how much you're using it, and how loud. people who use them a lot at high volume might change them regularly (like will said), before they go bad and maybe take something else out with them, but i'm not sure that's the best plan if you're only playing the thing rarely like you are, you're just spending money for the sake of it.

if it sounds the way it usually does they're probably ok.

though wait until some of the amp gurus check in to confirm what i said is ok
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.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#4
you can also install a different Brand of tubes to change the sound of the amp to suit your needs

I have some old amps that the tubes are it least 25 years old and still sound beautiful
#5
The way to do it is to have a spare preamp tube. If you think your amp is starting to sound a bit iffy, you roll it through each position to find the culprit.
You can do the same thing with power tubes too, albeit that you need a full set and you may need to rebias them.
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
#6
Given that you don't gig and generally play at moderate volumes, your tubes will last a very, very long time. I'd buy a matched quad of power tubes and keep them around for when you retire.

But you may be able to change the tone of your amp with a few different preamp tubes and they are relatively inexpensive.

As for when you should change tubes, short of an obvious failure only when you feel like it.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#8
When I was working heavily with tube amps, I'd try to retube them at about the one-year mark. <*listens for the sound of people fainting dead away*>

I said, "Try to..." Most of the time they actually got retubed at a year and a half or two years. I didn't like to wait much longer than that, because I almost always noticed a difference between the old and new tubes. Very often a set of tubes will subtly fade on you, and you may not even notice because it's so gradual.

In one case, I bought a used amp that I *knew* sounded better than what it was giving me. Turned out that the guy had never changed the tubes since new. Ten years. So the old tubes were tossed, new matched JJ's went in, we replaced a shorting ribbon cable, cleaned the pots, replaced the knobs and more. When I was done, he came to visit (and to tell me what he'd purchased as a replacement). We cranked up his old amp, and his jaw bounced off the floor. "Seriously? What did you do to it?"
#9
^ Lol
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.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
Quote by dspellman
When I was working heavily with tube amps, I'd try to retube them at about the one-year mark. <*listens for the sound of people fainting dead away*>

I said, "Try to..." Most of the time they actually got retubed at a year and a half or two years. I didn't like to wait much longer than that, because I almost always noticed a difference between the old and new tubes. Very often a set of tubes will subtly fade on you, and you may not even notice because it's so gradual.

In one case, I bought a used amp that I *knew* sounded better than what it was giving me. Turned out that the guy had never changed the tubes since new. Ten years. So the old tubes were tossed, new matched JJ's went in, we replaced a shorting ribbon cable, cleaned the pots, replaced the knobs and more. When I was done, he came to visit (and to tell me what he'd purchased as a replacement). We cranked up his old amp, and his jaw bounced off the floor. "Seriously? What did you do to it?"


I bet you change oil every 3000 miles too.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin