Some Noob-Type Tube Amp Questions - Jemsite
Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic Gear, Equipment, and Recording discussed here. Amps, pedals, whatever.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 328
Some Noob-Type Tube Amp Questions

Hi Folks,

I bought a Peavey Valve King 112 (50 watt) about a month ago... and I'm loving the thing. I have a few basic, tube-amp questions since this is my first tube-amp, and I'm starting to think about the longitivity of the tubes.

My playing scenario: I live in a small apartment and never really put the volume over 2 (the gain is set at about %75, with an internal gain-boost on). Sometimes I use a Boss Blues-Driver, and a Line 6 Uber Metal (never at the same time...LOL) on the clean channel. I use the amp about 3-4 hours a week (I still use solid-state/digital stuff for various other things).


Questions (please don't laugh too hard):

a) Because of the fact that I'm barely pushing the amp, is it safe to assume that I will be able to use this amp for several years without changing a single-tube (barring a faulty tube, or something else stupid happening)? I've done some research, and from what I've read, pre-amp tubes can last decades, while power tubes should be changed once every two years under normal use (whatever "normal" is). Is that correct, based on your first hand experience?

b). What is the difference between the lead and clean channel in terms of pre-amp and power-amp tube operation? I'm trying to properly conceptualize this. What makes the gain channel a gain channel, etc....?

c). Will my pedals, particularly the Uber-Metal, *dramatically* shorten the life of the pre-amp tubes since they are being pushed that much harder?

Thanks in advance. Cheers.
Big Red is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 04:58 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South West UK
Posts: 953
Re: Some Noob-Type Tube Amp Questions

a) This is a bit like the how often should I change my strings question. Valves or Tubes age during use and will eventually fail even without shocks or impacts (the vacuum is not perfect and some air diffuses in through the hot glass over time). However some people think that used tubes sound better than new ones so only change tubes when needed, others change them regularly.
I almost always change my power tubes (EL34) before I notice a problem with them probably about every 12 months or so. The pre-amp tubes (12AX7) I only change if I notice a problem with them so they last years (although I did do a full re-valve recently!)
My Laney amp has a high gain channel and I do change the pre-amp tubes in that channel more often than the others but only if I notice it is noisy or microphonic. In terms of use, I have band practices every week and gig about twice a month.
b) Most multi channel amps use the same power amp tube configuration for all channels. The diffference is usually in the number of gain stages in the pre-amp for each of the channels. This approximately corresponde to the number of tubes. For example my Laney has 2 tubes in the clean channel and 3 tubes in the drive channel pre-amps.
c) I guess most of the distortion when you use your stomp boxes comes from the boxes themselves. The only thing which would drive the pre-amp tubes more would be if you turned the output level of the stomp box way up. You *may* want to do this so you get a combination of stomp box and pre-amp tube distortion. I guess this would shorten the life of the tubes a bit, but they're pretty reliable electrically (just not mechanically) and I doubt any stomp box manufacturer would allow you to set a level so high it would cause damage.
Jim
'98 Jem7VWH
'91 Jem77BFP with GK-3
RG470FMR
Charvel EVH Art Series (red/white/black)
Burns Brian May
Epiphone G-1275 double neck
Epiphone Sheraton II

Laney VH100R
Boss GT-8
Roland GR-30
Roland VG-88
etc. etc....
Vim Fuego is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 328
Re: Some Noob-Type Tube Amp Questions

Thank-you for the thorough response Vim. That helps me a lot.


Cheers
Big Red is offline  
Reply

Tags
charvel evh , charvel evh art , charvel evh art series , double neck , evh art series , peavey valve king , power amp , stomp box , tube distortion , uber metal , valve king

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
tube screamers? FloridaNative Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 17 04-16-2007 01:34 PM
Does everyone here use tube amps? Armando Cordero Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 50 01-01-2007 10:38 PM
how do you turn on a tube amp? SandmaN211 Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 33 08-15-2006 11:57 PM
3 EL34 Tube Heads... Carvin/Hughes & Kettner/Mesa Robotechnology Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 2 03-28-2006 12:58 PM
Tube questions - clueless person needs help Metal7000 Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 6 01-08-2002 01:12 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome