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How long have you gone without changing amp tubes?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by studio1087, May 20, 2014.

  1. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    My main gigging amp (so it does a gig on average every fortnight) is a 45-year-old Traynor YBA-1 tube head. I last changed the two EL34 power tubes about 15 years ago and see no need to change them in the near future. But the amp is only used for gigs, not for band rehearsals or home practice.
     
  2. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    Still using the original Sylvania 6CA7s on my 79 MusicMan 65 Reverb with 686 volts on the plates!!
     
  3. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I did! I bought two pairs of 'matched' Phillips 6V6's from Angela's Music about 12 years ago. I have had one pair in my !980 Princeton Reverb for all this time. Last month I put the other pair, still NOS, in the amp to see what t sounded like.. I couldn't really tell much difference. I will keep them in and save the used pair for spares. I don't use the amp except for home practice, and the old pair might be good enough to go another 10 years???? I feel confident with the NOS tubes..
     
  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    10 months old is a zombie thread now?
     
  5. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    My powertubes generally last 4 to 5 years no longer no shorter. My new amp I had a powertube go out in a year but it was my fault. The amp didn't blow the tube I broke it.

    Preamps I haven't actually had one go bad on me yet. I have replaced them just in case but understand I should of probably left them.
     
  6. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I ran my Standel's Groove Tube 6v6s for about 20 years before they gave me any grief... at which point I did a complete recap and retube. That was last year, so we'll see how the new ones hold up.
     
  7. Pup Tentacle

    Pup Tentacle Tele-Holic

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    My 1971 Vibroluxe Reverb has all the original tubes in it. I've gone through a few sets of JJ's in my Deluxe Reverb in the last couple of years. 2 sets of the JJ's became microphonic.
     
  8. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    My 81 Vibrolux is still running on the original RCA Power tubes and most of the original preamp, reverb tubes. This was a hard gigging amp in the 80s.

    I know I should probably change them but curiosity wants to see how long they go.
     
  9. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

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    Can someone please explain what it means when a tube goes "microphonic"? That's a term I've heard used many times but - I don't know what it means....
     
  10. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My early 1965 DR has original tubes and still sounds great after 50 years.
    I'm the 3rd owner. Longtime 2nd owner didn't play it very much.
     
  11. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphonics
     
  12. Hellmark

    Hellmark Tele-Holic

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    My Silvertone 1421 had the original tubes die last week. I figure nearly 50 years was a good life for them. Now just to get a replacement set without breaking the bank.
     
  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I belive the RCA GTA 6V6s were original in my 64 Princeton Reverb when I got it. Had the exact tubes NOS NIB sitting here so I just put them in when I serviced it.
    While back I stuck the old ones in a 67 BFDR still sounding good might as well run them till they die.
     
  14. Johnny Cache

    Johnny Cache Former Member

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    I test the tubes in may amps about once a year, sooner if I think there is a problem. Over the last 50 years or so I've probably only replaced a full set of tubes in any of my amps 4 or 5 times. That being said I have replaced individual tubes and sometimes power tube sets on some amps more than others. What I have found is phase inverters and power tubes on most my amps are the ones that usually work the hardest, so replacing them is more common. Yet by the time the PI is weak some of the other preamp tubes are showing wear. Replacing them and keeping them as backups is what I sometimes do. I test them and mark their strength on the box I put them into, so I know what value they are for later use. .
     
  15. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Tele-Meister

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    I've had lots of amps and been a full-time player all my life.
    I have changed tubes twice in 40-odd years.

    Mid-70's Orange OR 120 head, first used as a bass rig, then for guitar, also powered 2 small PA speakers for solo acoustic gigs. Mostly working 5-6 nights a week.
    One of the EL34s blew after about 3 years, so I replaced it. Couldn't see the point in buying 4 new ones. Amp worked perfectly until I sold it 8 years later.

    Fender SF Bassman 50 head, bass side modded to OD channel. I'd lost my 30ft. guitar lead, had to use a much shorter store-bought one. Plugged straight in.

    Boogie across the stage, look back in time to see the amp hit the floor, blue flash of flame, lots of broken glass, time for a break to get the backup out of the car.

    Replaced all the tubes next day, crossed fingers and fired it up. Worked perfectly for another 3 years till it got stolen.
     
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