#1
My band has just started to gig regularly, so I was trying to come up with a list of things to have spares of for when the shit hits the fan. I have a valveking halfstack, and was thinking that tubes would be a good thing to keep handy, but I am a complete noob with this. I have no idea what tubes to get/how many, or even how to change them. Any help with this would be appreciated. Coincidentally I am also in need of a good case to transport the head in, if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Aside from the mentioned, I have plenty of picks, strings, cables, viking helmets, etc. but what else should I have spares of?
#2
As long as the tubes are of the same type, they're just a drop-in replacement. Just have to pull the old ones out and plug the new ones into the sockets.

As for the kit, always pack a few fuses with your tube amp. I also like to have another way to get my sound (my AMT DT-2) in case the amp totally dies. Consider picking up a POD or GT-8 to plug straight into the PA for when the amp is totally not an option.
AMP:
5150 combo
GSP1101 + Tech 21 PE60

GUITARS:
ESP LTD M-255 w/ SD Full Shred
Kramer Vanguard w/ JE-1000 active preamp
Douglas WF-150sn w/ GFS "Hot Lead" set

EFFECTS:
Bos SD-1 (boost)
AMT DT-2

My Youtube Vids http://youtube.com/user/mogar
#3
Quote by seethru2rocks
My band has just started to gig regularly, so I was trying to come up with a list of things to have spares of for when the shit hits the fan. I have a valveking halfstack, and was thinking that tubes would be a good thing to keep handy, but I am a complete noob with this. I have no idea what tubes to get/how many, or even how to change them. Any help with this would be appreciated. Coincidentally I am also in need of a good case to transport the head in, if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Aside from the mentioned, I have plenty of picks, strings, cables, viking helmets, etc. but what else should I have spares of?


Viking Helmets? are you in amon amarth?

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Manuel Rodriguez C Cedar Top
#4
If you're into JJs then Eurotubes sells full tube replacement sets.

https://ssl.eurotubes.com/cart/index.php?page=view_products&category_id=8&sub_category_id=158

Also, if you're using pedals and you're not using a powerblock/daisy chain then I suggest you keep an abundance of 9v batteries lying around.

Other than that, if you already have extra picks, strings, cables, etc then I think you're set.
#5
honestly, if you dont know how to change tubes then dont really bother with bringing replacements. if you dont play football with your head while waiting to get on stage, then you will be fine. just take care of the amp, and it will take care of you... oh and get those stock pieces of crap tubes replaced asap.
Well Enough Alone
#6
For my emergency kit, I usually pack: Strings (nothing fancy; a pack of D'addarios will do just fine), and extra patch cord or two, lots of picks, and lots of 9v's (for the bassist).
#8
If you do what the pros do, then you'll have several of the same amp lined up just in case. For metal, a wall of 9-18 4x12 cabs that you don't turn on... and so on...
#9
Dude, those amps aren't backups, they're just there.

Anyways, if you have another amp, it'd be good to bring that along just incase something were to go wrong. Extra picks, strings, cords ect. like you stated it good to have. Allen keys, screw driver, wire cutters ect. should probably be something to have as well. I'm guessing you already have an extra guitar you'll be playing with, so just that should be fine.

As far as a case for your amp head, I'd just suggest not buying the ones regularly seen on ebay. They're often made of cheap materials, and I know I'd rather spend a little extra on a case rather then something happening to the head itself and me needing to replace it.
#10
my emegency pack i usually carry at least three packs of string, new tubes, spare cabs, extra cables, and of course couple backup guitars just in case a string breaks or something unspeakable.
ESP LTD F-414FM
ESP LTD F-415FM
ESP LTD B5-E
Ibanez SRX355
Ibanez SRA505
Ibanez BTB775PB
SWR 750X
SWR Megoliath 8x10 Cab
#11
i've got an emergency kit. contents include:

screwdriver
super glue
extra velcro strips for pedalboard
strings
extra patch cables
capo
string winder
wire cutters
scissors
extra guitar strap
plastic strap locks
lighter
soldering iron
toothpicks
earplugs
spare AC cords for pedal power system
9V batteries
permanent marker
electrical tape
nail clippers
wrench
1/4-inch to stereo plug

some of the items seem a little odd, but they all help with guitar and amp repair, or are a playing accessory.
#12
For starters, go look at a used cheap guitar, but is still decent for gigs.

Then buy a multieffects pedal to hook up to the PA if your amp dies.

Then buy a few cables and youre set.
#13
Can't believe nobody mentioned a torch. Absolutely essential if you're thinking of an emergency kit. No point in carrying the strings if you can't see what you're doing to change them
#14
Relevant screwdrivers/allan keys/spanners for every piece of equipment you take.
Spare guitar, strings, fuses and tubes.
I personally always have at least two spare instrument cables and a spare kettle lead.
A soldering iron and solder.
ALWAYS take your own surge-protected extension. I also like to make sure that if worst comes to worse, I can run ALL my equipment from ONE SINGLE power outlet.
#15
My "show toolkit" for when I do theatre shows has pretty much everything covered:
screwdrivers of different types/sizes
pliers
wire cutters
pencils
4 different colours of sharpies
pad of paper
multimeter
thick permenant markers
2" gaffer tape (black and white)
0.5" gaffer tape (luminous orange for stage marking)
2" silver duct tape
board marking tape
many rolls of electrical tape for taping up cables
cable ties
allen keys for every thing
soldering iron + solder + accessories
cable tester
blue-tack
spare cables (IEC, jack to jack and xlr)
head torch
leatherman multitool
tipp-ex
power extensions (assume you will have to run everything off a single 13A socket thats upstairs in the managers office)
spare pre-amp tubes of many different kinds
spare strings of most common gauges
spare fuses for amps
pocket pod for guitars
bass di
drum sticks
drum key
drum hi hat clutch
spare plectums and capo
spare batteries and power adaptors
assorted connectors and componants for repair

some of its not relevant since I use this for theatre, where I pretty much move in to a venue for a week at a time, so have to have everything there and ready.

drum items are because drummers are notorious for not bringing sticks, drum keys and clutches. the same goes for the plectrums and capo.

Gaffer tape is better to use than duct tape, because it leaves little residue on whatever you stick with it. however, it is expensive, so thats why i keep a roll of duct tape handy - for things that dont matter if they get sticky.

also handy, if you don't smoke is to get a lighter and a cheap pack of cigarettes in the depths of the toolkit. its amazing how easy it is to break up a fight with the offer of a smoke.

and finally - painkillers. get the kind that dissolves in water so you can throw them in a bottle of water and drink it. that helps to stop sore throats.

edit: what sizes of venues are you playing? are you touring? to be honest, there is little point of getting a roadcase/flightcase unless you are doing some serious touring. I'm going to guess that since you say you have just started gigging recently, you are playing local venues. i'm also going to guess that you dont have the amp bouncing around in the back of a van or being moved in and out of venues by a crew. if this is the case, then you really dont need a roadcase. most of the time, they jsut add weight and bulk, making the amp more difficult to transport.
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 Oct 22, 2008,
#17
As long as the tubes are of the same type, they're just a drop-in replacement. Just have to pull the old ones out and plug the new ones into the sockets.
/QUOTE]

Ummm...unless valvekings are self-biasing, the tubes will need to be rebiased pretty much immediately unless you want to destroy them...which gets expensive. Doesn't matter if they're the same brand or not.
#18
I believe the valveking is self-biasing.

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#19
Quote by mogar
As long as the tubes are of the same type, they're just a drop-in replacement. Just have to pull the old ones out and plug the new ones into the sockets.
/QUOTE]

Ummm...unless valvekings are self-biasing, the tubes will need to be rebiased pretty much immediately unless you want to destroy them...which gets expensive. Doesn't matter if they're the same brand or not.


Bad baising isn't nearly as bad as one would picture it to be. Either your amp is going to sound too distorted or too cold and shrill. You can have tubes biased poorly for quite a while, long enough to play a show definately.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

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Ibanez RG2228
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and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#20
Quote by Necrophagist777
I believe the valveking is self-biasing.

It's fixed bias, if I remember. OR at least the head is.
#21
Quote by imgooley
It's fixed bias, if I remember. OR at least the head is.


All i did was google it, so i could be wrong.

Fractal Axe-Fx Ultra
EBMM JP7 Dargies Delight II
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#22
If I were to get a set of replacement tubes and install them, would I be able to keep the stock tubes as emergency replacements, or would it be a bad idea to mix JJ's with stock tubes?
#24
I did a guitar emergency kit for my design & technology assignment last term. These are what I included:

• 9v batteries
• String Winder
• Spare Strings
• Cable Ties
• Duct Tape
• Amp Fuses
• Patch Cables
• Hex Keys
• Needle Nose Pliers
• Extension Power Cable
• Drum Key
• Cloth
#25
Quote by mogar
As long as the tubes are of the same type, they're just a drop-in replacement. Just have to pull the old ones out and plug the new ones into the sockets.
/QUOTE]

Ummm...unless valvekings are self-biasing, the tubes will need to be rebiased pretty much immediately unless you want to destroy them...which gets expensive. Doesn't matter if they're the same brand or not.

Irrelevant. Your amp can survive half a gig on unbiased tubes. Just get it looked at before ou do another gig.
#26
Quote by th3yn3v3rsl33p

Irrelevant. Your amp can survive half a gig on unbiased tubes. Just get it looked at before ou do another gig.


Mesa's can finish a gig with a tube pulled if it blown. High quality amps.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#27
Quote by seethru2rocks
If I were to get a set of replacement tubes and install them, would I be able to keep the stock tubes as emergency replacements, or would it be a bad idea to mix JJ's with stock tubes?


You want power tubes to be matched in most cases (there are exceptions with Mesa's and such as 'MESA' noted above -- even mixing types of power tubes), but having a mis-match of preamp is absolutely fine, and generally better to have the right tone (preference) from each slot on the preamp. On my Mk IV I've got Tung Sol in V1, JJ high gain in V2, V3, and V5 (balanced), Mesa AT7 in V4.
#28
VKs are fixed bias. All of them. But, as long as you have matching tubes you can pull the old (once cooled) and pop the new ones in on your own. So they have a 'Cathode like' feature which means you don't have to bias unless you are changing the spec.

MESA or IP - does that sound right or did I botch that up?
#29
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
VKs are fixed bias. All of them. But, as long as you have matching tubes you can pull the old (once cooled) and pop the new ones in on your own. So they have a 'Cathode like' feature which means you don't have to bias unless you are changing the spec.

MESA or IP - does that sound right or did I botch that up?

I'm not to sure exactly. It might adjust the bias per tube given that you're not installing different types of tubes, or it might adjust the bias per set such as when you buy a set of matched tubes. I'm not well educated on biasing, the only amp's I've ever changed tubes in have been Mesa Boogies


Quote by 4regt4
You want power tubes to be matched in most cases (there are exceptions with Mesa's and such as 'MESA' noted above -- even mixing types of power tubes), but having a mis-match of preamp is absolutely fine, and generally better to have the right tone (preference) from each slot on the preamp. On my Mk IV I've got Tung Sol in V1, JJ high gain in V2, V3, and V5 (balanced), Mesa AT7 in V4.


About the mixing of power tubes, on amps that allow it, if you're going to blend 6L6's and EL-34's they must be in the correct positions. On the Mark IV, for instance, you have to have it El34, 6L6, 6L6, EL34.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#30
Even power tubes from the same manufacturer can vary vastly. Hell the stock EL34's in my marshall had their bias set too low out of the factory.
Gear:

07 Gibson LP Vintage Mahogany
90-91 Fender MIJ '62 Reissue Strat
Fender Acoustic/Electric
Marshall TSL601 Combo
Crybaby Wah
Ibanez TS-9
Boss Tu-2