I was going to put this post in the Mesa Walkabout "potential megathread"(that I've read...at least twice) , but there's some things going on in there currently that I don't want to highjack, so I'll start a new thread, hoping that some (or all) of the extremely helpful people in that thread might chime in here. (Or anybody else that has one)! Anyways, I just picked up a used Walkabout Scout 12" version, damn thing sounds awesome, but I have at least 149 questions, but I'll start slow . First off, this is my first amp w/ tubes, and from what I can tell (assumption)the original tubes are still in there (Mesa branded 12ax7's), called Mesa with the serial number and was told the mfg. date was March 2004. How long do these pre amp tubes usually last? I'm getting a little more finger noise from this amp than from others I've used. Which brings me to question #2. I've read Tombowlus' blog on pre amp tubes, and read other reviews on replacement tubes. I was ready to pull the trigger on some JJ ECC803's untill I saw a review that stated that these are not good for combo amps where the "tubes are close to the speaker". I think this isn't the case with the Scout,(nice, thick birch wood separating the tubes from the speaker), and I found a review that stated the JJ EC83-S (same one I think that TomBowlus recommended) would be better. Opinions? Now for the stupid part. The Walkabout manual stresses that you should put any effects/pedals in the effects loop and not before the amp. Thw two pedals I've been using with my other amps (Ampeg, Ashdown combos) are a Tech 21 Bass Compactor (compressor pedal), and a Sansamp Bass driver. The Compactor sounds like crap in the effects loop, but works very well before the amp, with my passive Fender Jazz. Any other recomendations on compressor pedals that may work better than the Tech 21 with the Scout? (don't wanna start the weekly "which compressor is better" thread). Also, the SABDDI, among all the other wonderful things it does, is a tube emulator. Since I now have tubes, I plan on using this amp w/o it. This seems to make sense. Anyone still use one with this amp? Damn, this thing got long. I have more questions (looking to address the fan thing, fx loop mod), but I'll let it ride for now. If the mods think this should go in the potential megathread, than by all means do so. Also, thanks to Vic, Tombowlus, Zac, and the rest of the contributors in that thread for some great info on a fantastic sounding amp.