How long do tube amps last?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by arbitrary, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    So, I enjoy my amp now, but I love like the way the 400+ sounds. I'm a little weary though about how long the tubes last and how much they cost to be replaced. I'm sure one of you fine looking bass players out there know. Also, what kind of O.D is the 400+ capable of?
  2. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    To sum up what you will find if you use the wonderful, handy dandy SEARCH function:

    The tubes will last 6 months. Or forever, depending on the post you're reading.

    It will cost in the neighborhood of $200 to retube, not much debate on that.

    Capable of great overdrive. Or no overdrive. Again depending on the post you're reading.

    My opinions as a former 400+ owner:

    The power tubes last a LONG time. Get it checked out periodically if you like. I had tubes last 7 years, then it started to sound different, not quite as good. Changed the tubes then, and it sounded better. Those replacement tubes lasted 3 years before one of them went bad, making the amp act like it had a serious problem. Turned out to need tubes again.

    IMO capable of some of the worst overdrive ever. Crank the channel volumes and keep the Master low. Really, really bad and terrible sounding. It's a great CLEAN amp.

    You will find TONS of info and opinion on this amp by searching the AMP forums.
  3. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Whew! Well put. thank you thank you :)
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Yup. Pretty right on. Length of tube life is dependent upon how you treat them and how you hear.

    I think the 400+ is a better clean than dirty amp, and I've heard more than a few people complain that they couldn't git much distortion out of it. Lots of guys use a pedal or sansamp for the grind.
  5. 1973 SVT was running on the original tubes up until 3 1/2 years ago. Still sounded very good.

    Replaced all six of the 6550s and some of the preamp tubes and it has shown no sign of weakness even though I run it at least 20 hours a week.

    Of course, this is in an SVT which is, as I'm sure everyone knows, simply unequalled.

    I have other tube amps but my SVT is the one I've had in action the longest.