How long will tubes last?

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Tube Life Span

The lifespan of a tube can be a bit tough to predict but the following may provide a bit of a guideline. If you play at moderate levels, 10-15 hours a week...

    • Preamp Tubes are generally at their best 2 - 3 years.
    • Power Tubes are generally at their best 1 - 1.5 years.
    • Rectifier Tubes are generally at their best 3 - 5+ years.

 

Signs of Wear

Preamp Tubes:

    • Hissing, 'shooshing'
    • Sputtering, 'grumbling'
    • Microphonic squealing (feedback type sound)
    • Loss in signal in one or more modes of the amp (channel, reverb, fx-loop)

Power Tubes:

    • Low end response is not as clear and distorts earlier.
    • You turn your amp’s master volume up to hear the level that you are used to hearing.
    • Blowing fuses
    • Hearing 'crackling' 'popping' sounds, often accompanied by:
      • 'Swelling' volume levels
      • Buzzing

Rectifier Tubes

    • Loss of Output in any channel where a vacuum tube rectifier is selected.
    • Blowing fuses

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