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Author Topic: are my tubes going old?  (Read 3796 times)

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El Chiguete

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are my tubes going old?
« on: Time Format »

How do I know that I need to change the tubes? I've never player thru a set of tubes in a piece of gear that I've own so I don't know how to know if its going microphonic or just good time to replace them? Any advises from experience?
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MarshallJMP

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Usually you will hear it when you replaced the tubes.The problem is that the decay is so slow your ears get used to it and you won't notice it untill you put in a fresh pair.
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El Chiguete

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Good point.
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Before you see the light, you must die!!!

'87 Kramer Stagemaster Custom
'81 Kramer Pacer Standard
custom made Les Paul
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Rane MPE 28
Lexicon MPX-G2
Epiphone Valve Jr. moded!!!

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MarshallJMP

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Some signs of decay are loss of bass and highs
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rnolan

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Valve Article (attached) gives some good insights.  Modern tubes don't last as long as the old ones (not pumped as much).  This suites the OEM market so they can sell you new tubes (Boogie, Marshall etc) and the OEM market is by far the biggest consumer of tubes (this is good in some ways as we can then buy some...).  As MJMP says, they go down slow so you don't notice.  For MP1 ADA recommended tube change every 2 years (BTW very dependent on use).  I found the original Chinese bottles ADA used lasted much longer that 2 years even with high gain/high use (min 5 days a week).  In the MP2 (IIRC) they recommend 6 month tube change, again I was happy for much much longer.  MJMP changes his 3TM tubes every 3 to 4 months to keep the sound how he likes it (some would say a bit pedantic, not me though, I totally understand).

So seems the MP2 chews tubes faster than the MP1 (according to ADA), again depends on how you play (high gain settings etc) and how often, in my experience, they don't tend to get more microphonic over time, just loose some definition/sparkle get a bit muddy, bit like guitar strings (but much slower), BTW some people like their tubes old/dullish.

The up side is that input tubes (e.g. 12AX7s) are not outrageously expensive (~$20) so you can afford to routinely change them out and also experiment with various offerings, BTW I just had some good feedback in another post here re these tubes (http://www.dougstubes.com/preamp-tubes/12ax7-ecc83-7025/mullard-cv4004-12ax7.html), hey MJMP, I recon these (short plate Mullards) would go well in a 3TM.
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MarshallJMP

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

thanks for the article,i enjoyed reading it.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Thanks for sharing!
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MarshallJMP

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Some signs of decay are loss of bass and highs

And also very important GAIN LOSS
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rnolan

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

thanks for the article,i enjoyed reading it.
Thanks for sharing!
  :thumb-up: Got the link from an audio file friend (we have lots of tube chats), I saved it as it was such a good/edifying read (and things can disappear from the net).
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

El Chiguete

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

The up side is that input tubes (e.g. 12AX7s) are not outrageously expensive (~$20) so you can afford to routinely change them out and also experiment with various offerings, BTW I just had some good feedback in another post here re these tubes (http://www.dougstubes.com/preamp-tubes/12ax7-ecc83-7025/mullard-cv4004-12ax7.html).

Did you used that one on both tubes?
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Before you see the light, you must die!!!

'87 Kramer Stagemaster Custom
'81 Kramer Pacer Standard
custom made Les Paul
ADA MP1
Rane MPE 28
Lexicon MPX-G2
Epiphone Valve Jr. moded!!!

AFFA
Support Your Local 81

rnolan

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Re: are my tubes going old?
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

I didn't put them in, but yes he used 2 the same (probably a matched pair).
Guys, after weeks I just test my mp1 with paired Mullards CV4004 tubes (thanks to rnolan suggestion), sounds amazing!!!!, full gain, warm and cristal clear cleans, the unit is still noisy in hi gain but it is something that I could handle using the Gmajor noise gate, thanks Richard  :thumb-up:
These are the New Sensor new release re-issue of the short plate Mullard 12AX7s, I use the re-issue Mullard long plates in my MP2s' (and love them...). I recon these short plates would go well in a 3TM also...
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s
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