Anyone transport their amp sans tubes to gigs?

lindelltodd

Member
Messages
193
Just curious. I know some folks suggest shipping tube amps with the tubes removed and packed safely in bubble wrap etc...anyone do it from home/rehearsal space to the gig?

I had a rectifier tube go south in my Bruno CT22 the other night when sound-checking at my gig. Plugged in, turned on and saw the sparkle...no sound. Damn. Wondering if the bumps in the road on the way over might have played a part.
 

Ugh

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
838
I figure that the risk of damaging tubes while removing/replacing multiple times a month is greater than that of them getting damaged in the amp on the way to and from gigs.

Plus, replacing and then removing them after the gig would be a huge PITA...

I just try to be as careful as possible.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,250
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

What he said. You're more likely to screw something up by messing with it, not only the tubes themselves but the sockets and anything around them...and then you have to have a secure place to transport the tubes. Seems like the best place is in the amp where they belong.

I never even considered it.
 

rippingrudy

Senior Member
Messages
1,126
I always let the tubes cool down and handle my amp with kid gloves after a gig. Banging around hot tubes is bad.
 

michael patrick

Loud and proud
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,882
I think I handle my amps with a bit more care than UPS or FedEx would. So no pulling tubes for me.
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,372
What everyone else said, leave them in.


Remember that tubes used to be in many, many pieces of moving equipment(planes, ships, etc) and were mostly designed to handle some movement and vibration.

Standards may have fallen for new tubes and sockets, sure, but not to the point where you can't transport the gear.
 

bgh

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,981
I always let the tubes cool down and handle my amp with kid gloves after a gig. Banging around hot tubes is bad.
This. Even when I am at home or practice, I always let them cool down to where you can touch them without discomfort; then I move the amp. If they are too hot to touch, I figure the amp is not ready to be moved yet.
 

lindelltodd

Member
Messages
193
Thanks for the replies, folks. In all the years I've been gigging it never occurred to me to yank my tubes, never had any issues before.

It sucks to lose your main amp right before a gig, perhaps the better idea is to pack up some spare tubes to take with me.

Funny side note; when I called Guitar Center (only store open at 8:30pm on a Friday night) on the off chance that they might stock a 5u4gb rectifier tube of any brand for my Fender-style amp, the accessories guy's answer was "we don't carry Mesa Boogie". Ummmm, thanks.
 

demea26

Member
Messages
1,391
Trying to line up tube pins into plates in a dark club after a couple cocktails would be a blast
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,247
Thanks for the replies, folks. In all the years I've been gigging it never occurred to me to yank my tubes, never had any issues before.

It sucks to lose your main amp right before a gig, perhaps the better idea is to pack up some spare tubes to take with me.

Funny side note; when I called Guitar Center (only store open at 8:30pm on a Friday night) on the off chance that they might stock a 5u4gb rectifier tube of any brand for my Fender-style amp, the accessories guy's answer was "we don't carry Mesa Boogie". Ummmm, thanks.
I bring a spare amp. There are things that can go wrong besides tubes, and trying to diagnose and repair a hot tube amp mid-set isn't really practical.
 

oldschoolguy

Member
Messages
2,253
All the amps I've bought and had shipped across country have come with the tubes in place. Just check to see they're seated properly and have a go. Now, one small builder sent me the tubes all wrapped up in bubble wrap with tons and tons of tape all around. Man, what a mess. I was all excited to play the thing and there I was with scissors and knives trying to undo the damn tape.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,421
No.

You're putting way too much abuse on the tube sockets.
 
Messages
826
I read in one of the old books that repeatedly plugging and unplugging can cause microscopic cracks where the pins go through the glass - eventually leading to air leaking into the vacuum.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Thanks for the replies, folks. In all the years I've been gigging it never occurred to me to yank my tubes, never had any issues before.

It sucks to lose your main amp right before a gig, perhaps the better idea is to pack up some spare tubes to take with me.

Funny side note; when I called Guitar Center (only store open at 8:30pm on a Friday night) on the off chance that they might stock a 5u4gb rectifier tube of any brand for my Fender-style amp, the accessories guy's answer was "we don't carry Mesa Boogie". Ummmm, thanks.
Yes get spares, one for each type of tube, power tubes sets already matched to bias. If you need pairs of el84 etc, buy quads, that way you have fresh exact matching set ready to go.
 

dwoverdrive

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,102
What everyone else said, leave them in.


Remember that tubes used to be in many, many pieces of moving equipment(planes, ships, etc) and were mostly designed to handle some movement and vibration.

Standards may have fallen for new tubes and sockets, sure, but not to the point where you can't transport the gear.
:agree This
 

istantodf

Member
Messages
204
I gig in europe and live in istanbul where it's nothing but cobblestones! I use a dolly to transport my amp via the metro then roll it down through backstreets to gigs, have been doing it this way for 14 months with my main amp which is an engl screamer combo and once with a dsl combo. never had a problem but always make sure you let it cool down. these things were made for rockets. but ya, be careful..
 






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