#1
I've never owned a tube amp before. I'm planning on getting one.

1) How often do you have to change the tubes?

2) How expensive is changing the tubes?

3) What is tube biasing?

4) Did I miss anything that tube amps require?
#2
Quote by i_baked_cookies
I've never owned a tube amp before. I'm planning on getting one.

1) How often do you have to change the tubes?

2) How expensive is changing the tubes?

3) What is tube biasing?

4) Did I miss anything that tube amps require?



1) Preamp tubes, which is what gets you your gain/tone/OD/whathaveyou can go quite awhile, prolly on the order of 3-4 years before needing replacement. When you replace them, they don't need to be rebiased or anything. Take out old one, put new one in, you're golden. If you get your amp and you see a bunch of tubes that have metal shields, those are it. Power amp tubes need to be repalced more often, every 1.5-2 years with heavy usage. Those do need to be biased.

2) New preamp tubes go for ~$10-15/tube. Not bad at all, considering the cost of the amp. You should be able to do that yourself. Power amp tubes are usually about $30-$40 for a matched set, depending on type/brand. Always replace all the preamp tubes at the same time or all the pwoer amp tubes at the same time.

3) Tube biasing is on the power amp tubes (the preamp tubes are biased, but in a way that's not changable)...I'd recommend google-ing it for a real description, but I'll give it a shot. Basically, when a tube is at idle, there is a certain amount of current flowing through it. This amount needs to be within a certain range for the tube to a) sound good and b) not kill itself. Unless you become very educated on this, I recommend leaving it up to an amp tech. EDIT: Tube biasing is basically setting this amount of current so the tubes work right.

4) Two main points w/ tube amps: 1) when you turn it on, turn just the power on, leaving the standby off, for about 20 seconds. You can then turn on the standby and play. Don't freak if it doesn't make sound right away, the tubes need to be hot enough in order to work. 2) If you plug it into a different cabinet, make sure you plug it into the correct resistance rating (4 ohms, 8 ohms, etc). Plugging it into the wrong one will fry your output transformer, which will make you sad on many levels.

Enjoy!!!
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Last edited by DLrocket89 at Mar 21, 2007,
#3
^ Just to add to #4 part 2, aswell as making sure your ohms on your cab and amp match up never turn your amp on without a speaker connected either and it's a good idea to let the amp sit for a while after you turn it off before you transport it.
#4
personally, i'm a cheapskate, i'd only replace tubes if they blew. There's no definite time frame in which to replace tubes (some people's time frames are a function of their wallet's contents). But if you really start to notice a change in your amp's sound (I hear it's there's a muddier quality to heavily used tubes). Then if you want to "refresh" the sound of your amp, then you could go out and buy a new set of tubes.

I say this because retubing isn't cheap. It costs ~$30-$100 USD for a full retube, depending on the number of tubes and type of tubes.