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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Tube questions - clueless person needs help

im running a 5150 head. *the power tubes have been in there for about a year, the preamp tubes for about 2 years. *how often do power tubes usually need changing? *how about preamp tubes? *and what are some of the higher-end tubes that are offered? *how much can an increase in the quality of tube increase the overall quality of the amp's sound? *thanks in advance to those who answer.....

jon
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 01:07 AM
 
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There really is no time period for changing tubes. *It all depends on how much you use the amp and how loud, etc. *I generally try and change them every year to year and 1/2... just to keep them fresh. *Most people don't have to do it that often, but if you play a lot, you may need to more often. *You'll usually notice your tone is lacking. *On the 5150 it should be easy because the normally super saturated gain will start to sound more like wimpy overdrive. *Also you may notice that your volume isn't quite as loud as it used to be. *There are many other signs, but some are subtle like cracking noises that can easily be confused for grounding issues. *

As far as tubes go, they pretty much all come from the same 3rd world communist countries (no offense) it's just a matter of tolerences. *Some companies have different standards for their tubes, different tests they put them through to check quality. *And they then seperate them by the tone range and type of tube. *As far as modern tubes something like Groove Tubes or Mesa Boogie may be to your liking. *You should have Ruby tubes in there now, which actually aren't that bad as far as quality, but sometimes the tone is not consistant. *I generally go for old tubes like Phyllips or many other American/Japanese companies. *They are more expensive and generally have more of a "vintage" sound. *It all depends on what you want. *I would recomend trying some Groove Tubes. *They are easy to find, fairly inexpensive, but should also be an improvement over what you likely have in there now.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 10:34 AM
 
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I recommend www.tubestore.com they have reviews of everything they sell for the most part. *Also, you might want to try JJ/Tesla tubes in your 5150, those seem to be the most popular replacements for your particular amp. *Also you will probably want either JJ or EH 12ax7s in your preamp, but I think the 5150 uses 5 so that will be pretty expensive.


(Edited by lgascoig at 9:35 am on Jan. 8, 2002)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 10:41 AM
 
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I put eurotubes in the 5150 and they really cleaned up the sound (i.e. reduced the hiss and made the distortion less grainy). *Call them and speak to Bob. *He can help you decide on which tubes to use.
Out,
GP
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 12:02 PM
 
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Tube questions

On the 5150 I have used Groove tubes, sovteks, RUBY and Svetlanas. I worked at a shop that specialized in amp mods and repair. Groove tubes out of the box, once put into a 5150, burned up half the amp, quite literally, the plate and filiments had somehow shorted together and burned up the circuit board. Like Jay said, it really hinges on how loud, and how often you play, the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.
AS for brands, try whatever you think will do what you want.
One suggestion I have is: in the preamp section get at least one 12AX7WXT or WXB in the 1st tube position on the preamp. The WXB or T is a low noise preamp tube which has reduced microphonics and low noise. The 1st tube is what starts the chain of preamplification, the less noise you start with, the less you'll hear on the output side.
I swear by Sovteks personally, but thats just me.
Bamm
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tube questions

thanks for all the help......i really appreciate it. *one of the main things i'd want to do would be to clean up the sound. *i want to be able to lessen the severity of the settings on my noise gate, without suffering massive feedback.

jon
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
bammbamm on 10:02 am on Jan. 8, 2002
On the 5150 I have used Groove tubes, sovteks, RUBY and Svetlanas. I worked at a shop that specialized in amp mods and repair. Groove tubes out of the box, once put into a 5150, burned up half the amp, quite literally, the plate and filiments had somehow shorted together and burned up the circuit board. Like Jay said, it really hinges on how loud, and how often you play, the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.
AS for brands, try whatever you think will do what you want.
One suggestion I have is: in the preamp section get at least one 12AX7WXT or WXB in the 1st tube position on the preamp. The WXB or T is a low noise preamp tube which has reduced microphonics and low noise. The 1st tube is what starts the chain of preamplification, the less noise you start with, the less you'll hear on the output side.
I swear by Sovteks personally, but thats just me.
Bamm
That's scary... I'm glad I didn't have my 5150 long enough to change the tubes... the ONLY thing I used back then was GT's (cheap!)
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