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How much SHOULD Tubes/Valves glow?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by merseymale, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. merseymale

    merseymale Tele-Meister

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    image.jpeg I'm usually more 'into' guitars than amps until I got my Fender Vaporizer which just seems to fascinate me, for some reason!

    Maybe I'm TOO fascinated cos I've started really looking into it & ive noticed the tubes REALLY glowing.

    Am I just being paranoid?

    The amp sounds good.
    The glow is consistent; not flickering& gives off heat.
    It's orange NOT red but it DOES seem to glow from top to bottom.

    They are 'Ruby Tubes' & they behave the same now that I've done some speaker change mods etc as they did when the amp was stock.

    I don't have another valve amp with me to compare it to so any advice or reassurance gratefully received & apologies for cellphone photo quality:)
     

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  2. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    Some tubes glow a bit more than others. But the metal plates inside the tubs should not show red "hot spots" or glow red; that's called redplating. I don't see anything bad
     
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  3. merseymale

    merseymale Tele-Meister

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    Phew!
    Thanks :)
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Merseymale, that glow you see there is the glow from the heater filaments. The redplating that abutwangy mentions occurs on the long dark metal plates that run lengthwise in the tube. These plates...the anodes..."should always remain that color. If there is a red glow coming from the plates, shut the amp down. There is excessive current flowing through the tube, and it will live a short life.
    If you are interested, here is an introduction to vacuum tubes....

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_tube
     
  5. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is one of the reasons many people do NOT like metal case power tubes.
    You cannot see IF they are read plating.
    Plus, they will burn you like a hot frying pan if you grab one that's running.
    .

    Steve
     
  6. jazzguitar

    jazzguitar Tele-Afflicted

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    With the amp off and cold, there is a large gray, black, sometimes shiny metal structure inside any tube directly under the glass, usually between two whithish/gray layers (the mica spacers).

    These are the plates, and should never glow. If they do the tube(s) will die within minutes!

    What you see is the filament/cathodes, in the center of the tube intestines, and in operation this will glow, bright orange with some tubes, almost dark and low with other tubes.
     
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  7. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    When I was a kid we had an old tube radio that my brother and I used to turn around so we could look in the back and stare at the glowing tubes while we listened to Wolfman Jack. I've been hooked ever since.

    Keep watching them, they will inspire you and, eventually, they will completely take over your mind. Resistance is futile.
     
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  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    John, someone should have "slapped you upside your head with a little brown..."!!! LOL...
    Those were the days, eh???? In the '60's at least....big wattage coming from right across the border to contaminate the minds of American youth!!
     
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  9. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    I loved looking into the back of our tube TVs radios and console phonographs and watching the reassuring glow. The smell of warm tube circuitry can be quite pleasant.

    However, there were exceptions. My brother's radio was stored for 4 years in a barn before I got it. It gave off a smell of barn dust with a hint of manure.
     
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  10. merseymale

    merseymale Tele-Meister

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    "...a smell of barn dust with a hint of manure"

    That's exactly what my audience say they smell when I play!

    -even when using Solid State amps!
    ;-p
     
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  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    It depends completely on the tube. Some glow brightly, especially at power up (Mullards are a good example) - some barely glow at all.

    Red plating of power tubes is generally the only glow to be concerned with.
     
  12. djangomango

    djangomango Tele-Holic

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    I'd say replace the tubes if the light switch in the room becomes redundant [emoji1]
     
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  13. TurtleFang

    TurtleFang Tele-Meister

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    Here is a nice shot I got of a 6L6 in my Bugera 6262 during a stress test I put it through.

    The glowing blue gas was truly mesmerizing to watch dancing about.

    BugeraTubeCookinInStressTest.jpg
     
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