Tube Amp Myths

For fun, or in all seriousness, let's see what's out there.

Here's mine: You don't need to wear a hazmat suit to pull tubes. Nor any kind of gloves to protect the tubes from 'skin-oil'. Washing hands is enough, and is even likely unnecessary, unless you just finished a 'meat-lover's slice' or were working o a greasy engine.
 
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NorlinBlackBeauty

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So, NOS, then :D
I can only see a sig on my phone in landscape position.
I am unable to find when the last tubes were US made except that there are high end audio tubes still made for about $200 each.
A set of four 6L6GC US made NOS power tubes would be quite spendy.

I have not made these Sylvania tubes work hard since the early 80s. They will likely outlive me.

IMG8481s.jpg


 

CB91710

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British amps sound darker and American amps sound brighter.

What started this? People comparing an Orange to a Soldano? Makes no sense.
And Blackstar has built it into the "ISF" control on their amps that don't have separate bass/mid/treble controls.
It's the one feature I don't like about my Fly-3.
On full "American", it's a bit too shrill for the Strat, tolerable for the Lester.
On full "British", it's a muffled, muddy mess no matter what I have plugged in.

American amps don't sound "brighter"... it's just that the stereotypical American amp is the Silverface (and maybe Blackface) Fenders, which have enough clean headroom to make Mr. Clean cringe.
Ya... crank them and they're bright.

But more classic rock & roll was made with the Fender 5E3 than British.
 

Mockbel

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“Tube distortion is always better than pedal”
I have been supporting this myth for ages... it is not true at all... unless you have one of those 100 watt beasts with high volume, pedals would serve better in achieving a full saturated tone at low volumes
 
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northernguitarguy

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Yes.
Enthusiastic amateurs on the internet are the best source of knowledge - everyone knows that - especially if they have acquired their collective knowledge from marketing material spread by snake oil salesmen :D
Where do you get your superior knowledge?
 
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Big John

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In our current age of youtube heros and guitar forum experts, I truly believe that one of the biggest myths today is the ability for all of us players to judge a tube amp's tone based on just online demos and reviews.
 

CerebralGasket

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“Tube distortion is always better than pedal”
I have been supporting this myth for ages... it is not true at all... unless you have one of those 100 watt beasts with high volume, pedals would serve better in achieving a full saturated tone at low volumes
Or set the preamp volume (gain) high and the master volume low.
 

The Ballzz

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Yes.
Enthusiastic amateurs on the internet are the best source of knowledge - everyone knows that - especially if they have acquired their collective knowledge from marketing material spread by snake oil salesmen :D

Well now,

If "snake oil" is made from snakes and "olive oil" is made from olives, what is "baby oil" made from? :facepalm:
Just Curious? :dude:
Gene
 

grumphh

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Where do you get your superior knowledge?
Books.
And this old fashioned concept called critical reading and thinking.

Essentially all you need for critical thinking in the realm of guitar tone is that you need to know that if someone uses diffuse and unquantifyable descriptors such as "rich", "silky", "fat" (insert your own) or phrases like "crystalline highs", "detailed mids" etc. etc. you (general you) know they want to sell you something and what they say is presumably at best founded in a vivid imagination combined with pseudo science and a good grasp on marketing rethorics.

This way you can sort out the marketing fluff that poses as "information" pretty quickly, and you will be left with a few sources that you presumably can trust far more than the salesmen :)
 

northernguitarguy

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NOS tubes are always better than current production.
I agree when it comes to 'tone'. Too much gets made of tubes profoundly changing the sound of the same amp.

However, and this is my experience only, old glass lasts a helluva long time by comparison. If the price isn't stupid-high, they can be worth it for longevity alone. For example, old Soviet 6P14P-EV tubes are spec'd for 5000-10 000 hours. JJ EL84's by comparison are 500-1000 hours.
 

efstop

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I agree when it comes to 'tone'. Too much gets made of tubes profoundly changing the sound of the same amp.

However, and this is my experience only, old glass lasts a helluva long time by comparison. If the price isn't stupid-high, they can be worth it for longevity alone. For example, old Soviet 6P14P-EV tubes are spec'd for 5000-10 000 hours. JJ EL84's by comparison are 500-1000 hours.
A friend of mine is sitting on thousands of NOS tubes from his late dad's business. They have life spans longer than than we will ever need.
 


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