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Tube Amp Maintenance??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Usul, Apr 17, 2001.


  1. Hi all,

    I am a novice when it comes to amps.Often I read the tube vs. ss amp threads and see the pros and cons of both sides.The only thing I don`t understand is when people say how high maintenance tube amps/heads are.Certainly they are more fragile and heavier than their ss counterparts but where does the maintenance part come in?Do they mean preventive maintenance?i.e.tube testing,trouble shooting? or just the general hassle of finding/replacing spent tubes?I will probably never have a tube amp/head but like to be able to understand/comment intelligently when the need arises/

    Thanx!

    p.s.tube amps/heads really don`t come into their own until they are cranked up to higher volumes,right?"Warmer" tone and all that....?
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Valves 'need' replacing. Mags and many tech types say 18 months for power valves and 3 years for preamp ones. I had a cheap head for 9 years and it died before the valves failed. I still have the oe Mullard ECC83's as spares. So change em when they die. If observing the correct start up, shut down and cooling down before transportation is high maintenance then ok point taken. Do this and valves should last ages. Some amps from all designs have faults from time to time. Everyone can get a lemon. Some amps need the bias adjusting on valve replacement. And valve amps can kill, no joke. The capacitors can dry out on old amps and need a 'cap job'. The other hazzards are when a vintage amp is repaired or overhauled to supply retro bits for another amp or a vintage amp is sold needing an overhaul, such unscrupulous behaviour does exit.

    I have two bass amps; one valve and one ss, and I bought them cos I liked the sound each one makes not the circuitry in them.
     
  3. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    re your ps cranked valve amps distorted in a musical gradual way but I run mine mostly clean, call me perverse but I prefer bass amps clean.