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How often do you change tubes on your tube-gear?
Old 2nd March 2019
Gear Head

How often do you change tubes on your tube-gear?

hi there,

I know it depends all on in what frequency we use out gear.
but I am interested in knowing how often you change the valves of your gear?
I have quite some bits and pieces from Thermionic and would like to know in what intervals I should consider to replace valves with new ones.

is there any rule of thumb?

Old 3rd March 2019
Lives for gear
avare's Avatar

This is too easy. Every time a tube stops working properly.
Old 3rd March 2019
Gear Head

Old 5th March 2019
Lives for gear
emrr's Avatar
I've got 7 channels of Gates preamps I rebuilt 17ish years ago, which I use constantly. I recently burned in a new set of tubes and then compared response, gain, and noise. The old tubes were almost exactly the same as the new, all specs the same. I marked the new as being burned in and ready as spares, and put the old ones back in. Of course, it'll depend on the particular equipment in question. Power tubes and power output stages in small signal equipment may go faster than preamp stages. But.....I also have a Fender Bassman I rebuilt in 1998, and have gigged heavily with, on top of it seeing regular studio use. I put output tubes in it that had already done service in Altec PA amps for decades, and they are still strong and sound great.'s not like changing oil in a car.....or throwing out old milk.....
Old 5th March 2019
I like that when the nuclear winter is upon us and states start setting of EMP weapons everywhere that my tube gear will still work.
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