Mesa 400+ Retube and Resistor Replacement @ Velvetone Seattle

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SlugThrower, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. SlugThrower

    SlugThrower Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Dang! Just got the bill for a cleaning, retube, resistor replacement! $440! My 400+ is one of the older models with the attached power cable. It sounds great and was totally worth the price to get this major work done, since the last time it got the tubes changed was about 4 years ago. Jeff at Velvetone tried to find used and matched power and preamp tubes to avoid a full retube of the head, and found a pretty solid solution; but ultimately, the best fix was to replace everything with a new matched set. In addition to the tubes and resistors, he fixed my head case, too! I think the guy is probably undercharging/not logging all of his hours in his billing!

    The tube expense was a little bit more costly than my old SVT. Anyone have the same experience?

    I've had Jeff work on several of my amps before. He does great things with amps. The guy is a total nerd about his work in the best kind of way. Whenever you go in to speak with him, or if he ever calls you, he'll talk at you for an hour about everything that he's done or thinks is wrong with your amp. Guy is a treasure trove of experience.

    Anyway, just wanted to know about your Mesa tube amp experiences, or if you've ever worked with Jeff Stone in the past.
  2. timv


    Jun 7, 2000
    Chandler, AZ
    What kind of tubes did he install and what else was replaced? That sounds high to me.
    Maybe if a total recap, retube was done.
    Did he install adjustable bias?
    If it sounds good and you're happy, that's all that matters I'm just curious what else was all done.
    SlugThrower likes this.
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    You are aware that this is for a 400+ and not the 400, which uses 12 output tubes. So even at a paltry $20/tube that's $240 just in glass. Add a couple of preamp tubes and you are at $270. That leaves the tech $130 for labor and remaining parts (plus overhead). This seems pretty reasonable to me.

    When you own a tube power amp this big, the costs of ownership are significant, that's what it takes to swim in the big boy pool IME.
    BassmanPaul, JGR, rekesbass and 2 others like this.
  4. It's a good thing 6L6gc are way cheaper than the SVT tubes!
  5. timv


    Jun 7, 2000
    Chandler, AZ
    That's why I ask what else was done. I suppose I have to take into account he is in Seattle also and I'm sure the costs are a bit higher than I am used to.
  6. SlugThrower

    SlugThrower Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    The 12 power tubes (5881WXT RI) were $22 each, and the one 12AX7 Tung-Sol RI was $23. All those tubes, plus the cost of the replaced resistors, labor hours, and tax totaled to $440. Sales tax is 9% in Seattle.

    I trust the tech, though. So many of my friends have had stuff not just fixed, but improved by his work.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  7. timv


    Jun 7, 2000
    Chandler, AZ
    That price makes sense then. A good thing on the 400+ is it's fairly gentle on tubes so depending how often you use it, they'll probably last a good 5+ years.

    I liked having my Oregon id when I would visit Seattle so I didn't have to pay the sales tax.
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