Do new power tubes need burn-in hours to sound their best?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by soldano16, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Curious as I'm trying some new tubes. Do they need some hours of playing to "break in" and sound their best?
     
  2. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    bump
     
  3. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Not in my experience...but some seem to need to warm up 15 min-1hr to hit the sweet spot.
     
  4. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    I've been told they do need to burn in for like 20 hours or so. I don't know how true it is though.
     
  5. wec

    wec Member

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    I agree with Jack. Not in my experience either. When I was playing on the road full time, my power tubes would start to go after about 6 or 8 months of heavy use. The amp would start to sound muddy, lose clarity, definition and brightness. My tech would replace the tubes and it would instantly go back to sounding awesome again.
     
  6. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    +++1. I always show up to a gig at least an hour early, and the first thing that happens is the amp goes up on stage, get's plugged in and powered up.

    Otherwise, no, tubes do not need to be broken in.
     
  7. telks83

    telks83 Member

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    I was curious about this myself. Thanks for the info.
     
  8. jcs

    jcs Supporting Member

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    if they are brand new tubes they need a 24-48 hour burn in to stabilize current draw.

    depending on where you bought your tubes,they may or may not be burned in.

    if they drift in bias to a hotter current draw it endangers the amplifier and the power tubes themselves!! they will soon be toast if they exceed 70% dissipation..

    this is a big reason you see so many vintage amps with replaced transformers,run away current draw can and does destroy amps and tubes.
     
  9. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I've been regularly gigging with JJ 6L6's for two years now, biasing immediately upon installation, then testing bias again a month or so later. So far there hasn't been any current drift to speak of.

    I recently quit the second bias test.
     
  10. jcs

    jcs Supporting Member

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    guitar dave t, do you remember where you bought your jj tubes?

    i think the guy at eurotubes who distributes jj does burn ins..

    another reason to burn in tubes is to weed out any bad or flimsy tubes before they go into an amp..
     
  11. Unabender

    Unabender Member

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    The other reason is those amps have too small transformers to begin with. Remember those vintage Fender amps were not meant to be played so loud they distorted.

    Also, cathose biased amps like Voxes and 18 watt Marshalls to not really care about the 70% rule :)
     
  12. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    It has been my experience that power tubes need only a few hours to burn in and drift apart.:BITCH
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Most current drift will occur within 24 hours which is why some dealers burn them in for this long before matching. Few things in life are gauranteed and behavior of tubes is definitely among the ones NOT guaranteed. Sometimes shite happens.
     
  14. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    ^So then Mike, would you say it might be A gamble for me to buy those Gold Lion El84s on Ebay at 900+?
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Does this question have something to do with tube break in? :huh

    Oh, you mean that sometimes "things" happen? Everything's a gamble. X5 on Ebay. ;)
     
  16. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I buy mine through David Smith in DFW, who gets 'em through the commercial branch of AES in Tempe.
     

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