Saturday, October 13, 2012

6l6 replacement

First time having to re-tube an amp was a learning experience. I just got a Peavey 6505+ off eBay  I prepared for the worst (the tubes might be dead). Most new guitarist learn how great tube amps sound but don't realize that tubes have to be changed out fairly often if you crank the amp a lot. They can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. I dream of having a tube stereo in my living room one day. They just sound too damn good! The Peavey 6505+ combo amp comes with Ruby 6l6gc power tubes. The original owner claims he bought the amp new, 2 years ago. When I got the amp it produced this nasty BLAT sound when you played hard and loud. The notes sounded overly compressed and indistinguishable for a second then level out and sound normal. Everything online told me it likely needed to be re-tubed. Some tubes glow completely blue when going out. Ruby 6l6gc's I have learned have a blue and orange glow normally. I have to assume the original owner wouldn't change the biasing from the factory setting, you never know with some people though (tech support has taught me this).

When getting a tube amp it's a good assumption that the previous user cranked it all the time and burned up the tubes. You would do the same. Tubes only sound better (warm analog sound, like record player quality) as you crank them. I replaced the 2 power tubes and one preamp tube. Problem solved! The overly compressed sound went away. Amp sounds more responsive! I have 5 preamp tubes and 2 power tubes. I bought 2 power tubes and 3 preamp tubes, all for about $130. Worth it. I replaced these tubes (pictured below).

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