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A question for all you gigging tube amp players

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  • A question for all you gigging tube amp players

    ... alright, I've heard the statement when playing at gigs with a tube amp always bring spare tubes and fuses, well if one of your tubes dies at a gig or this has happened to you before what exactly would you do, would you bias your amp right then?? Its hard enough for me to have an extra tube or fuse as it is. plus my amps back is mounted on with so many screws by the time I got it open and back on the gig would be most likely over. I'm thinkin the best way is to buy a used line 6 POD and if I have amp problems I'll just use the POD thru the PA.

  • #2
    Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

    Test your spare power tubes and you'll know you have a match. I've always carried a spare head, only needed it once.

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    • #3
      Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

      Change all the tubes in your amp once a year, and carry the previous set along with you to gigs. A spare head or POD isn't a bad idea, although admittedly, I've only done that for about 25% of the gigs I've played, and that was usually because I had a stereo setup. Moving gear is such a pain as it is. Moving more kind of scares me.
      Originally posted by Boogie Bill
      I've got 60 guitars...but 49 trumpets is just...INSANITY! WTF!

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      • #4
        Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

        Originally posted by Gearjoneser
        Change all the tubes in your amp once a year, and carry the previous set along with you to gigs.
        this is a man who knows. i re-tube my recto once a year, and the only problem i've encontered was a microphonic preamp tube. ever since then, i've carried spare tubes and fuses with me, but i've never actually had to stop a show to fix any problems. as long as you do as GJ says, you should be in business.
        gear:

        '05 gibson les paul studio vintage mahogany (DiMarzio Super Distortion/ SD Jazz)
        '04 gibson SG standard (BurstBucker Pro's)
        mesa/boogie 2-channel dual rectifier (with EL34's)
        marshall 1960A 4x12
        and a few pedals

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        • #5
          Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

          i have yet to have a tube die on me. but it is always good to carry spares. you needn't worry about biasing it on the spot. running it for the short amount of time you will (probably 30 minutes maybe?) isn't gonna hurt it.

          but do service your amps. i play all vintage and keep them in tip top shape. but parts do wear out. so get them serviced once a year or so.
          i started out on burgundy, but soon hit the harder stuff.

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          • #6
            Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

            If my tubes ever crapped out on me, I'd change them right after the song was over. I have incredibly easy access to them (Mesa Boogie 20/20), so why not?

            If you guys ever try to do this, make sure you're wearing a glove, or at the very least have some kind of rag over your hands. If not, try taking the tube out with your tongue.

            phear teh guitar pissing kitty of DEWM!!!

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            • #7
              Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

              I've only had my head die on me once, and I always have my JCM800 on hand just in case ...
              Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
              My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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              • #8
                Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

                Exactly as said before. Do exactly as Gearjoneser told you.

                My tube heads never abandoned me. Anyway, I run two simultaneously and a little 80W Solidstate Marshall combo bypassed. If there is a problem with any of the tube heads, I just click "standby" on the bad one and finish the show with the other. It's like flying a 2-engine aeroplane: no matters if one of the engines stop, you can still land with one engine. It is not probable that both fries but who knows - there enters the lil' Marshall parachute into the picture. I just have to stomp on the "RESCUE" stamped A/B box. 2 seconds. Sure, the tone isn't the same but it is better to do this way than stop the show nad begin to fiddle and fix the trouble onstage.

                Gearjoneser is right (again) about moving the stuff. The best thing you can do is to get made or buy some bullet-proof flight case for your amp. There is no worse for electronics than road abuse. Vibration is the #1 enemy: it destroys soldering and all non-solid components (trannies etc), For the ultra-punk way you can always wrap your tube amp into some plastic bubble foil when carrying.
                NecroPolo
                Ultimate Tone Slacker
                Last edited by NecroPolo; 08-10-2004, 11:16 AM.
                Wackor
                Ørdøg
                NecroPolo
                Diabolus in Musica
                SIDrip Alliance
                Book of Shadows
                RKH

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                • #9
                  Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

                  ive only had a tube go on me once at a gig. it was a small room and one of the russian el84's died. i turned off the amp, waited till the end of the song and popped a new tube in. other than pulling a hot tube it wasnt bad at all. ive done a gig with my mesa v twin into the pa before, not much fun

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                  • #10
                    Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

                    OK I am not proud of this story I am about to tell you, but I think it will be a good learning experience. I was 15 years old(a long time ago) playing with my first band at a high school dance. I was playing my SG through a '65 Vibrolux and I blew the fuse halfway through the second set. I did not have a spare fuse so I stuffed the fuse socket with tin foil from my cigarette pack. About 2 minutes later I could smell the transformers burning and smoke rising from one of the best amps I ever had. I borrowed an amp to finish the Gig (Who would loan an amp to a bonehead that would do that!!!!). The moral of the story is be properly prpared for anything that can go wrong. I had to buy a new Amp and just stuck the Vibrolux in Mom's basement. About 15 years ago I went back looking for it and Mom told me she threw it in the Trash!!!! Some learning experiences just keep teaching us!
                    "So you will never have to listen to Surf music again" James Marshall Hendrix
                    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace."-Jimi Hendrix

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                    • #11
                      Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

                      My advice: Just know when to replace your tubes. If you've been over a year w/o any retubing, then look into buying some - ahead of gig dates. That way you got a fresh batch.

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                      • #12
                        Re: A question for all you gigging tube amp players

                        I can't argue with the "be prepared" arguements in here... But in 15 years of playing tube amps, I have never had a tube spontaneously shyte out on me.

                        They have always given me plenty of warning beforehand when they are ready to go.

                        For the record, I bring along the JCM 800 to big shows... Out of paranoia I guess.

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