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Old 02-05-2015, 02:00 PM
Kasperow Kasperow is offline
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Tube Amp questions...

So, I just received my first Tube Amp ever by mail (ordered it online, got it today), and it's a real killer! 20W of pure tone, right in my music-room. However, I have a couple of questions, since I've never owned a Tube Amp before.

1: What exactly is the Effects Loop? I've noticed that my TC Corona Chorus sounds beautiful when placed in the Effects Loop, but becomes inaudible when placed before the Input jack. How come that is the case?

2: How long life span should I expect from the stock Tubes? And after that, how often should they be changed for best tone?

3: How do I tell if a Tube is about to "die"?

I realize that these may be rather basic questions, but this is the first time I own anything Tube-driven. I only know how they work, not all the actual need-to-know stuff... Any help is greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2015, 04:52 PM
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ChristopherSchlegel ChristopherSchlegel is offline
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Congrats on your new gear!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasperow
1: What exactly is the Effects Loop? I've noticed that my TC Corona Chorus sounds beautiful when placed in the Effects Loop, but becomes inaudible when placed before the Input jack. How come that is the case?

The effects loop is a way to insert a sound processor into your amp "in the middle" of the circuitry. Usually in between the pre-amp & power amp stages. As opposed to in the "front" of the amp meaning that the processor sound will travel all the way through the pre-amp & power amp stages.

Certain sound processing units have circuitry that is designed for using one approach, while others are made for the other. Usually stomp box pedals are for the front of the amp, while rack mounted processors are for the effects loop.

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Effects_Loops
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasperow
2: How long life span should I expect from the stock Tubes? And after that, how often should they be changed for best tone?

All depends upon how much you use them & how hard you drive them. Could last years if you just play at home & at low volumes. If you blast them every night at top volume or play gigs regularly, they could be ready to change in 6 months or a year.

For most people, somewhere in between those two extremes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasperow
3: How do I tell if a Tube is about to "die"?

It will sound BAD. There is usually a distinct change in the sound. Including but not limited to: lowered volume, fuzzy or altered output, fading in & out, popping, crackling, smoking, flaming, not working at all!

You can also look at the tubes & see a problem if one is not lit, or lights weaker, poorly or has discoloration.

Hope this helps! Have fun!
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:45 AM
Kasperow Kasperow is offline
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Originally Posted by CSchlegel
It will sound BAD. There is usually a distinct change in the sound. Including but not limited to: lowered volume, fuzzy or altered output, fading in & out, popping, crackling, smoking, flaming, not working at all!

You can also look at the tubes & see a problem if one is not lit, or lights weaker, poorly or has discoloration.

Hope this helps! Have fun!

Thanks a lot. It clears up most of my questions. One more thing, though. Does the change in sound when Tubes need to be changed happen overnight or does it happen gradually throughout the tube's entire life-span?
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- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
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Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
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Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
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Martin DX1K Acoustic
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:01 AM
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ChristopherSchlegel ChristopherSchlegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasperow
Thanks a lot. It clears up most of my questions. One more thing, though. Does the change in sound when Tubes need to be changed happen overnight or does it happen gradually throughout the tube's entire life-span?

It can happen both ways! Generally, there is a gradual change. But less occasionally they go quickly or all at once!

But you shouldn't spend time worrying about it. It's one of those things that happens when it happens.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:29 PM
aschleman aschleman is offline
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Different tubes have different characteristics and have different lifespans.

There are some general practices that can help get the most out of your tubes such as:

- Be sure to allow the tubes time to warm up before you start really pushing them.

- Anytime you're not using the amp, it should either be off or in standby. Try to avoid leaving the amp on for extended periods of time but don't turn it off and on if you're going to be playing it. Rapidly cooling and heating the tubes can shorten the lifespan.

Beyond that, the more you play - the shorter the lifespan will be and the quicker you will need to replace them.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:15 AM
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axe2 axe2 is offline
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Your amp should have a standby switch,some tube amps don't like my dsl15. My blackstar ht5rw tube amp has a standby switch..

When you turn on the power,make sure the standby switch is off...this gives the tubes a chance to warm up.once warmed up turn on standby switch.

When shutting down leave the power on and and turn off the standby switch first and wait a minute or so. This way you give your tubes a chance to cool down....

Hook up all time based pedals to fx loope
And all boutique pedals too.

Everything else can go in front of amp...

What kind of amp did you buy?
Enjoy!
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:37 AM
Kasperow Kasperow is offline
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Okay, so now I'm having some slightly annoying issues with my amp... First off, the Drive Channel sounds way too muddy and bassy to my liking (I've tried turning down the Bass a bit and increasing Mids and Treble, but it doesn't change the tone a lot). I've come to find that I mainly use the Drive Channel when I practice, but when I Jam or play songs, I use the Clean Channel and some Pedals. Could the muddy Drive Channel be an indicator that I need to buy new tubes?

There's also an absurdly huge amount of noise, even though I have a Noise Gate in my signal chain... I've solved this by turning up the threshold on the Gate, so there's no noise when I play my newly acquired Fender Strat, with the result that all the softly picked notes on my other guitars also get muted... Again, could the extreme amounts of noise come from the tubes needing to get replaced?

I'm hoping someone knows a solution. All pedals and amp are grounded to the same power-outlet, so there shouldn't be any Ground Loops causing the hum...
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"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...
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