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The amp I want is a 5150 combo... what should I check for when I try it out before I buy it?

I'm coming from a Fender Princeton 65 that I got a new, so the 5150 will be my first used amp and also my first tube amp.

Assuming I get a really old one (10 years?) and I get a full retube kit from like eurotubes, how comparible could it be to when it was brand new?

Is there anything else I should know about buying used tube amps in general?
 

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^^ What Archaic Guitar said about getting the amp biased when the tubes get put in is very important. If you get an older ones, you may need new filter caps as well. They dry out over time of not being used and that will hurt the sound a lot. If you get your filter caps checked and get it biased, it will sound as good as it did new (and from the way Peavey biases their new 5150/6505s, it very well may sound better). Bob at Eurotubes sells JJs. I personally think the SED Winged Cs and the Groove Tubes 6L6 (the only Groove Tube actually made by Groove Tubes) are much better tubes, but JJs are the next best new tubes on the market. New it would probably have Sovteks which sound very harsh so that will make up for a sound difference right there!

Other than that, make sure you like the way the amp sounds. I personally find the 5150s to have loads of gain but no balls but if you are fairly unfamiliar with them, go try it out and be sure to crank it up to make the tubes work and play with various settings on it.
 

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the 5150 is set bias, you just put tubes in and go. I love mine, they are great amps.

you can get your 5150 modded so that the bias can be adjusted, i am seriously thinking about doing this. 5150 tubes pull about 18 ma a peice where they should pull from 30 to about 37 depending on tubes. So the bias is set really cold and cant be changed with out a mod

http://www.torresengineering.com/dualrecpeav5.html

there are a few places that mod 5150s, all that i have seen seem to do really good work.

http://fjamods.com/AmpMods.html

my 5150 is from 96 and i think it has had the same tubes in it the entire time, it still sounds really good because the tubes running colder increases tube life, however there is a sacrfice with the tone.

As far as how it sounds stock. It is full thick and chuncky. the highs are rounded off and the bass remains pretty clear and defined . Cleans despite what some say are useable . They are no worse then a marshall to me. The amp goes from clean to classic marshall style crunch to good rock tone on the rythem and the lead goes from good overdrive to metal.
 
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