#1
Hi. If you seen any of my previous posts then you probably know I've got a Marshall AVT150 . Don't bother telling me how s*it is is coz I already know and am aiming to offload it A.S.A.P.

So, I'll be buying a tube amp soon and basically want sum maintainence tips on looking after them properly (having never owned one b4 - No matter how much Marshall try and convince you the tube in the AVT is actually doing something).

One thing I've heard is don't power it on with no speakers hooked up - I take it it's cool if you just have the 1 cab hooked up tho?

Appreciate any info on looking after/maintaining and basically just treating tube amps properly.

Cheers.
#2
Quote by youngangus69
Hi. If you seen any of my previous posts then you probably know I've got a Marshall AVT150 . Don't bother telling me how s*it is is coz I already know and am aiming to offload it A.S.A.P.

So, I'll be buying a tube amp soon and basically want sum maintainence tips on looking after them properly (having never owned one b4 - No matter how much Marshall try and convince you the tube in the AVT is actually doing something).

One thing I've heard is don't power it on with no speakers hooked up - I take it it's cool if you just have the 1 cab hooked up tho?

Appreciate any info on looking after/maintaining and basically just treating tube amps properly.

Cheers.


As opposed the two cabs?
Dissonance is Bliss


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#4
A half stack is fine. In fact it is what most people (who have stacks) use. What amp are you getting?
Do NOT look behind you.
#5
Thinking of a TSL at the moment (JCM-800 a bit to pricy rite now lol). People say don't power on with no cabs connected - just wondered if it was ok with a half-stack (with it obviously leaving an output unconnected).
#6
top tip, keep it on standby for at least 30 seconds before playing to keep the tubes happy and try not to use any extreme settings on the gain or eq so the peramps are happy too.

not that tubes have feelings....
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#7
Quote by _xo_
top tip, keep it on standby for at least 30 seconds before playing to keep the tubes happy and try not to use any extreme settings on the gain or eq so the peramps are happy too.

not that tubes have feelings....



I heard that putting it in standby before powering on is a must do? Also, is it wise to leave it in standby for a minute or so before turning the power off?
#8
Quote by _xo_
top tip, keep it on standby for at least 30 seconds before playing to keep the tubes happy and try not to use any extreme settings on the gain or eq so the peramps are happy too.

not that tubes have feelings....



LIES! LIES! LIES!

You need to crank tube amps a bit to get there true sound and even if you play teh br00t4lz metalz you still want a bit of power tube saturation, unless you don't like it of course.
#9
Quote by youngangus69
I heard that putting it in standby before powering on is a must do? Also, is it wise to leave it in standby for a minute or so before turning the power off?

Yes you must do it if you want your tubes to last for a long time. Yes you also have to leave it for a minute before turning it off.
#10
Thanks. Another thing someone mentioned was taking spare tubes to gigs. Isn't changing tubes something u shud have done by a pro? Or do most people change their own tubes?
#11
Changing tubes are no more difficult that changin a light bolt... You just drag them out of their spot, and stick the new ones in the same holes... its real simple..
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#12
Quote by Sl4Sh_Jr.
Changing tubes are no more difficult that changin a light bolt... You just drag them out of their spot, and stick the new ones in the same holes... its real simple..



Thanks. Just didn't have clue when people start mentioning "re-biasing" etc (I have no idea) and things like that.

Appreciate the info.
#13
now biasing the tubes is a little more complicated, but not impossible... im no expert on the area, but you'll need a multimeter to measure the current running through your tubes..

Here check this out, see if you can get an idea of what its all about:

http://www.eurotubes.com/euro-Marshall-DSLTSLV.htm

Edit: I have only changed power tubes once, and i have never gotten to the point of biasing them... but its very wise to do so... Remember; its just POWER tubes that need biasing, not the preamp tubes
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Takamine G Series 6&12 string accoustics

Marshall JCM 800 50w 1987 (4 input)
Marshall 1936 Cab

Jim Dunlop CryBaby
MXR 10 band EQ

R n'fn' R!
Last edited by Sl4Sh_Jr. at Jul 21, 2008,
#14
Any other things I should know on looking after them? Or is it basically just about using common sense and respecting the fact that the thing is fragile?
#15
Quote by Sl4Sh_Jr.
now biasing the tubes is a little more complicated, but not impossible... im no expert on the area, but you'll need a multimeter to measure the current running through your tubes..

Here check this out, see if you can get an idea of what its all about:

http://www.eurotubes.com/euro-Marshall-DSLTSLV.htm


So do all new tubes have to be biased?
#16
Quote by youngangus69
Any other things I should know on looking after them? Or is it basically just about using common sense and respecting the fact that the thing is fragile?


Yeah its mostly just common sense... But remember that if you leave your amp on forever (like 5-6 houres ++) the tubes will get damaged, or burn up.. So just remember to turn it of when you leave, and dont leave it on standby when you leave the house either
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Takamine G Series 6&12 string accoustics

Marshall JCM 800 50w 1987 (4 input)
Marshall 1936 Cab

Jim Dunlop CryBaby
MXR 10 band EQ

R n'fn' R!
#17
Quote by youngangus69
So do all new tubes have to be biased?

as far as i know, all new POWER tubes need to be biased
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Takamine G Series 6&12 string accoustics

Marshall JCM 800 50w 1987 (4 input)
Marshall 1936 Cab

Jim Dunlop CryBaby
MXR 10 band EQ

R n'fn' R!
#18
The standby switch is pretty much optional when you turn the amp on. The only reason to use it when you turn the amp off is so it's in the right position when you turn it on again and so the loud pop that amps make when they turn off doesn't damage your speaker.

Biasing is pretty easy, especially if you've found the instructions for your specific amp on the web.

Don't be lured by the marshall name, you can find amps that sound better than marshalls for less money. If you want the marshall tone then a ycv50 blue is a great choice. I'd take one of those over a new marshall any day.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
Last edited by Kevin Saale at Jul 21, 2008,
#19
Thanks. Concerning re-biasing, I'm still unsure of what it really is but I guess it means that if you blow a tube at a gig then ur pretty much f*cked?

Or could a tube be replaced and re-biased quite quickly?
#20
Quote by GeorgeWFletcher
Yes you must do it if you want your tubes to last for a long time. Yes you also have to leave it for a minute before turning it off.


nonsense. there is no need to leave it in standby for any length of time before switching off. the reason for switching an amp into standby before turning off is so that when you turn it back on again, its already in standby. helps make sure you dont forget to let them warm up first.
when you think about the electronics of it, turning it into standyby is only going to cut the signal running through the tubes, so they're not going to cool down any before you hit the power switch. If anything, leaving an amp in standby for a minute or so before powering down will cause more wear on tubes over time, as they are powered for a greater length of time overall.

Also, some people will tell you to never touch the glass of the tube with your bare hand, as the oils from your skin can react with the glass of the tube when they become hot, causing the tube to fail over time. This is rubbish. As someone who changes tubes on an almost daily basis due to where I work i can assure you that this has no effect on the length of life.

Something that does have an effect is moving the amp whilst it is hot. Moving whilst warm is ok, but its not too healthy to move it as soon as you stop playing that 2 hour gig...

Thanks. Concerning re-biasing, I'm still unsure of what it really is but I guess it means that if you blow a tube at a gig then ur pretty much f*cked?


not at all. rebiasing on some amps is a skoosh. some dont even need rebiasing.

in a gig situation, if you blew a tube(s), then (assuming you replaced the offending tube with an equivalent) you could continue the gig without having to get the multimeter out. I would recommend sorting it properly ASAP after the gig.

finally, find out what fuses the amp takes (easily found out from manuals or even on the back of most amps) and buy some replacements and keep them everywhere. stick some to the back of the amp, some in your guitar case, some at home, some in that car etc etc. but bear in mind that a fuse usually blows to save a more expensive part of the amp from being damaged. dont keep on replacing them without getting the amp checked out by someone who knows what they're doing.
Quote by Dave_Mc
how do those marshall handles compare tonewise to, say, mesa handles?

Owns a Blackheart Little Giant...
Last edited by AndyPandy at Jul 21, 2008,
#21
nonsense. there is no need to leave it in standby for any length of time before switching off. the reason for switching an amp into standby before turning off is so that when you turn it back on again, its already in standby. helps make sure you dont forget to let them warm up first.
when you think about the electronics of it, turning it into standyby is only going to cut the signal running through the tubes, so they're not going to cool down any before you hit the power switch. If anything, leaving an amp in standby for a minute or so before powering down will cause more wear on tubes over time, as they are powered for a greater length of time overall.

Also, some people will tell you to never touch the glass of the tube with your bare hand, as the oils from your skin can react with the glass of the tube when they become hot, causing the tube to fail over time. This is rubbish. As someone who changes tubes on an almost daily basis due to where I work i can assure you that this has no effect on the length of life.

Something that does have an effect is moving the amp whilst it is hot. Moving whilst warm is ok, but its not too healthy to move it as soon as you stop playing that 2 hour gig...[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the advice - it's really appreciated.
#22
Can anyone tell me? Is biasing something that can be done relatively quickly - like I mentioned, if you blew a tube at a gig?

Cheers.
#23
depends entierly on the amp. with some, its a case of turning a pot with a scewdriver until an led tells you you hit the right spot.

with others, it involves a multimeter and a screwdriver. again, turning the pot until you hit the right voltage on the multimeter.

it can be dont in 5 mins or less if you know what your doing. i would never attempt it for the first time at a gig, but it can be done, and i've seen it done on stage before.

I wouldnt worry about biasing. Its one of those things that people worry about and even get put off buying a tube amp because of it. It shouldnt though, its a very simple thing to do with some basic guidance, which can be easily gained through instruction manuals or online if you want more guidance. as I said before though, it depends on which amp cos all amps are different. If you have an idea which amp you might get, we could give you an idea on the complexity of biasing it.
Quote by Dave_Mc
how do those marshall handles compare tonewise to, say, mesa handles?

Owns a Blackheart Little Giant...
#24
Thanks. That really helped. Like I said, gonna be my first tube amp and I know they take a lot of looking after but I know ur never gonna get a tone anywhere as near as good with a SS - so at the end of the day it's all worth it.

Really appreciate the biasing advice. Just seen a few vids on youtube and know what you mean about make/model etc. I'm after a TSL so guess I could track down the manual on the Marshall website to know how to do it myself.