blew a tube


Hey y'all. I'm 17 and i'm really fairly new to playing electirc guitar with nicer legit gear and I blew my first tube! I'm playin a hot rod deluxe with two 6l groove tubes. It makes a really squashed compressed tone that crackles slightly when i play through and one of the tubes isn't lighting up. In the do i prevent this from happening/what causes this? Thanks guys. This is where i come to learn things about things!


Well you could just have a bad tube. If you put in a new tube and it kills that one off quickly, then you need to take the amp to a tech and get it looked at... But you definitely need to buy a replacement pair of 6L6s!!! But first I would check your current tubes to see what they are.. I know the stamp says GT, but there should be an actual manufacturers stamp visible somewhere.. The GT 6L6s in my Hot Rod Deville are actually Sovtek 5881 WXTs! But if you like the sound of the tubes you had, buy em again.. And if you don't like the tone, make sure to stay away from that one!

Good Luck


Platinum Supporting Member
The GT 6L6s in my Hot Rod Deville are actually Sovtek 5881 WXTs!
Good Luck

Thats because they are virtually indestructable. Cant remember ever having one die on me! Thats good for manufacturers since thier are less warranty issues. They are not a true 5881 by any stretch of the imagination either. Much closer to a 6L6 really being able to handle much higher voltages than any true 5881. Bob


Silver Supporting Member
The quality of new production tubes is nowhere near the quality of "back in the day" NOS type tubes. So they can go bad without any warning, at any time, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it beyond keeping the output tube's bias setting within their spec. Preamp tubes are "plug & play" and pray for the best. You could get anywhere from weeks to months out of new production tubes whereas NOS type tubes could last for years...nature of the beast ;).


we can bitch about the tube quality being what it is. Most of my tubes are pretty old, though I have several amps, getting 10 years from a set of tubes for me is not hard.

a few points,

1) turning a tube amp on and off is going to shorten the life of the tubes, I try to turn the amp on and off as little as possible.

2) have the amp in stand by when you turn the amp on, mesa recommends leaving the amp in standby for 5 minutes before playing, I find 5 minutes hard to do when I am in the room but I do give it a few minutes when I turn the amp on.

3) Turning off the amp, the standby does not matter, but I do have mine in stand by when I turn it off, just so I wont turn it on out of standby, that is pretty rough on the tubes.

4) leaving the amp on in standby when I leave for a few minutes, I find the tube amps really sound better the longer they are on, 1 hour, three hours, seems to improve the tone of the tube amps, so I try to keep the amp on as long as I can. I left my mark iv on over night by mistake, the tone the next morning was just incredible from that amp.

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