#1
still kinda new to this...
but found out that the tubes in tube amps need to be replaced every so often...
what i want to know is how often do you have to change it and is it easy to change or do you have to lug your amp down to your guitar tech and have him/her change it for you?
also, i know that alot (if not all) of people prefer tube over solid state, but are there some solid state that are moderately priced (around 3-400) that sound good or are all solid state crap?
#3
Ive never owned a tube amp, but I understand that you need to change tubes every 1-2 years, but it depends on how much you play. I think gain/volume may also play a factor in the degradation of tubes.

I would recommend taking the amp and having a professional do the change. They know what they are doing, thats why they are professionals. However if you're feeling ballsy you are certainly capable of doing it yourself. Read up on the how to first though.
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#4
Quote by laggerbomber
still kinda new to this...
but found out that the tubes in tube amps need to be replaced every so often...
what i want to know is how often do you have to change it and is it easy to change or do you have to lug your amp down to your guitar tech and have him/her change it for you?
also, i know that alot (if not all) of people prefer tube over solid state, but are there some solid state that are moderately priced (around 3-400) that sound good or are all solid state crap?


The answer to your questions depends entirely on 1) the amp 2) the tubes 3) your usage.

Good preamp tubes if taken care of can last for years. Power tubes don't last as long, its impossible to predict how long they're last as there are many factors that affect their life span. How hard are you pushing your amp? How hot are your power tubes biased? The general quality of the tubes themselves.

In general, you'll probably want to take it to a tech to change the tubes. Swapping tubes is a small matter, but for someone who doesn't know what they are doing, it can be dangerous. In most cases, power tubes need to be biased (setting the current that goes to the plates), generally, this requires going into the chassis which holds lethal voltages, so for someone who doesn't know what to do, its best to take it to a tech.

And as for tube vs. solid state, I prefer tube, but there are definitely times that calls for solid state amps. Also, there is a real tube amp bandwagon amongst guitarists. I've heard many players bashing solid state amps who have no idea why they're even using tube amps, and their playing certainly isn't taking advantage of the dynamic qualities of a tube amp. Regardless, solid state amps are definitely not crap. Its just that most solid state amps are lower end. There are many great sounding solid state amps out there, although not many great ones in the price range you're looking at.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 10, 2008,
#5
tubes are very easy to change. just pull the tube out and put in a new one. the hard part is biasing. if the amp is fixed-bias, you dont need to bias it. if it isnt, you have to to get the best sound and efficiency out of tubes. you can read online about how to do it yourself but it is kinda dangerous if you dont know what your are doing
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#6
Quote by InanezGuitars44
tubes are very easy to change. just pull the tube out and put in a new one. the hard part is biasing. if the amp is fixed-bias, you dont need to bias it. if it isnt, you have to to get the best sound and efficiency out of tubes. you can read online about how to do it yourself but it is kinda dangerous if you dont know what your are doing

Actually, if it's fixed bias, you do have to bias it. It's when you have cathode bias then you do not need to bias.
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#7
Quote by Jestersage
Actually, if it's fixed bias, you do have to bias it. It's when you have cathode bias then you do not need to bias.


are you sure?
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#8
what's bias, cathode bias and fixed bias?
and from my understanding, a tube amp has several tubes
if you were to replace the tubes could you mix and match different tubes on one amp or do you have to replace the tubes with all the same tubes for the amp
Last edited by laggerbomber at Aug 10, 2008,
#9
Quote by laggerbomber
what's bias, cathode bias and fixed bias?
and from my understanding, a tube amp has several tubes
if you were to replace the tubes could you mix and match different tubes on one amp or do you have to replace the tubes with all the same tubes for the amp


The bias is the set current that goes through a device, this case your tubes.

There are stages in your amp, a preamp stage and an output stage. The preamp stage "shapes" the sound and feeds the signal into the output stage. In an all tube amp, there are tubes in both stage. Some amps have a tube rectifier as well, which is part of the power supply circuit.

The simple explanation.

Preamp tubes are self biasing, but the bias for output tubes needs to be set. Some amps are auto-biasing (cathode bias) and others, one needs to be manually set by changing a variable resistance (fixed bias). If you have a cathode bias you don't need to worry about biasing, but need to be careful about changing tube types in the output amp as different types of tubes have different operating points in terms of how much current they should have on their plates.

Preamp tubes can be mixed and matched, power amp tubes should not. Technically, power tubes should be "matched" meaning that they should all technically have the same current on their plates, but they never do, so buying matched sets is often not really that necessary.
#10
^to expand, the matching thing with power tubes generally means that they at least need to be the same type, and generally the same brand is recommended. However, a couple amps can support multiple types:
Mesa/Boogie Road King
Brunetti Pirata
Brunetti 059
anything made by THD
#11
so how do you know which amps are what (cathode bias, fixed bias)? and if you are using a cathode bias amp how do you "be careful of what tubes" you are putting in? do you use something to check or what? and how do you bias? i have so many questions!!!!
anyways, thnx for the answers that are already given. ppreciate it
#12
Quote by laggerbomber
so how do you know which amps are what (cathode bias, fixed bias)? and if you are using a cathode bias amp how do you "be careful of what tubes" you are putting in? do you use something to check or what? and how do you bias? i have so many questions!!!!
anyways, thnx for the answers that are already given. ppreciate it


For the cathode bias, fixed bias thing, you can check the specs of the amp, otherwise, you'll have to look at the bias circuit directly.

Your best bet is to just run the same type of tubes that come stock in your amp. Thats usually the safest method. This is what most people do.
#13
TS, this is a disaster in the making, please take it to someone and read up on how to change tubes for next time =]


thats what im doing bro so noooo hard feelings lol
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#14
Quote by ilovemySG
TS, this is a disaster in the making, please take it to someone and read up on how to change tubes for next time =]


thats what im doing bro so noooo hard feelings lol


The TS is simply asking a few questions about tubes and general maintenance. Of course he should still take it to a tech for service, but it can't hurt to know the basics that all tube amp owners should know.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 11, 2008,
#15
Quote by al112987
The TS is simply asking a few questions about tubes and general maintenance. Of course he should still take it to a tech for service, but it can't hurt to know the basics that all tube amp owners should know.


i couldnt agree more thats why i said give it to someone to do for you this time, so by the next time they need to be changed you know your stuff.
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#16
Quote by ilovemySG
i couldnt agree more thats why i said give it to someone to do for you this time, so by the next time they need to be changed you know your stuff.


Oh yeah definitely, I would in no way condone the user to go and try this stuff out himself. I don't even feel safe pulling the chassis and rebiasing my own amp. And I'm the one who built it!
#17
but i mean.. there's no need to bias them if you are replacing the same tubes as the ones you are trying to replace right?
#18
no, you should rebias any time you change power tubes, no tubes are exactly the same (even different ones of the same type and brand).