Tube care

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tgriley62, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    OK, first I am not a gigging bassist, yet and some of you guys that do might have better idea's than this. I recently changed out the pre-amp tube in my Hartke LH500 & I am getting a gig bag ready with things I think I might need so, I did not know what to do with the old tube but, I wanted to keep it as a spare since its still in good shape. What I found was an old hard shell eye glass case I had and the tube fits in it fine. Seems to be a secure way to store the old tube in a gig bag
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Stuff it with foam or similar and it should work fine.
  3. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    I keep the old tube in the box the new one came in, wrapped in tissue. The whole box fits in the eye glass case with no problems
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Ya, it'll be fine.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Lick it clean before you store it. That way it will remain shiny and good sounding later on when you need it.
  6. Just remember: More saliva = better tone, especially if given a couple years to permeate the tube
    BurningSkies likes this.
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  8. friendlybass

    friendlybass Guest

    Jul 19, 2012
    Put chicken grease on the pins. When the heater plate sizzles, that's the secret.

  9. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    What a bunch of comedians! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  10. CGremlin


    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    And be sure to eat a couple of habaneros beforehand. Gives the tone more sparkle.
  11. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    When I don't have a tube box, I get a cardboard roll that kitchen aluminum foil or something similar comes with and cut it down to a bit bigger than tube size. I tape the ends closed. Write on the tube what's inside. You can do the same with a small plastic bottle.
  12. Can I ask why you replaced it originally? A preamp valve, depending on conditions, can last a very long time.
  13. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    Good to read this. With my new V4B, it's first all tube amp I've owned since the late 70's so I started thinking about tube issues after reading up on tube amps here. 'Course, I've been using tube preamp'ed SS amps and never carried spare tubes. I don't own any to carry anyway. But I always carry a spare amp, mostly a MB F1 that was so easy to carry as a spare.

    But the F1 is sold off now, my next smallest amp is my GB 12.2 head. So should I buy extra pre/power tubes to carry about? Or is it not a quick fix, at the gig kinda fix that grabbing my spare amp is still a better idea? I never replaced any tubes in that Bassman 135 I owned for many years back then.
  14. I can only go off my experience. I have always carried some sort of spare amp option with me (usually the PA - turn around a 12" EV wedge and run the bass through that) with whatever amp I ever had solid state or valve. I haven't ever had a preamp valve go in any guitar or bass amp. All faults have been traced to other components. I have only once had issues with a power amp valve and it still wouldn't cause me to carry spare valves rather than a spare amp option.

    A preamp valve should last 10 plus years and I wouldn't replace them unless they had issues.
    ErnieD likes this.
  15. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    I started to get some crackling/odd noise from the head. The noise staid the same no matter what the volume was set to. Did some research & found that a bad tube could be the problem & that someone said the tubes used in the LH500 were not the best. Long story short, I changed the tube but, still have the crackling noise. I took the amp/cab to a friends house & got no noise. I have concluded that since my house is older it is in the electrical system & not the head. Now I have a better tube in the head & a spare one
  16. I've never had a preamp tube fail on me. That said, swapping them can yield some differences in the overall sound of an amp. With my Orange TB500, I found that putting a 5751 tube in V1 tamed the amp in a nice way; the gain knob has more room before reaching overdrive, and the actual OD character is a little smoother. A preamp tube swap won't make your amp sound totally different, but it can sometimes serve a tonal purpose
  17. best way to determine tube performance - go to Youtube and search "Uncle Fester" and "light bulb"
    Follow instructions
    works with all preamp tubes and output tubes up to 6L6. Not recommended for the larger output tubes (6550, kt88, etc.) as you may go blind.
  18. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    I wrap tubes in bubble wrap....the old tube boxes are crap really, you can easily break the tip off of a preamp tube.......for me, bubble wrap taped up, then into a box.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    But seriously, they last longer if you lick them.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    In all the years I played full tube amps I never carried spare tubes to a gig, or a spare amp either.