Some Noob-Type Tube Amp Questions
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.