Matchless confidential...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rob Sharer, Jan 19, 2008.


  1. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

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    O.K., confession time: I've owned my 1994 Matchless H/C-30 since 1996, and I've never changed so much as a preamp tube. Some are NOS (GE rectifiers), all seem to be little glass bottles with glowing wires in them. Sad to say, but my ignorance really is that profound. I know they're in there, and every time I turn the amp on, they light up and commence to do their job. I've never given them another thought.

    Now, I'm not one to sit around worrying that the sky is going to fall on my head, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing something. The amp sounds so good, I'm not sure I'd notice an incremental decrease in tone quality. Catastrophic failures aside, what would be the symptoms of tubes that are just plain too old? I'm sure if I allow myself to think about this too much, I'll get paranoid and have to do something, whether there's a problem or not. Might already be starting down that road. Cheers,

    Rob

    p.s. Any other lazy sods out there who can't be arsed to change their tubes?
     
  2. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    muddy bass, shrill highs, lack of touch sensitivity... lack of depth and punch.


    basically just sounds like your amp isn't giving it 100%
     
  3. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    You can't hurt anything by trying new tubes. Just put the old ones back in if there is no improvement. You would probably benefit from a new quad of EL84's if you have gigged it for 12 years. If it is a bedroom amp that rarely gets played the tubes are probably fine.
     
  4. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

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    I go through phases of playing it quite a bit, then it sits (professionally, I mostly play acoustic music, but I've been getting the Led out again lately). That shrill highs comment kind of hits home alright. Maybe I'll start with some new EL-84s and see if that helps.

    rob
     
  5. philbarnes

    philbarnes Member

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    Your amp is about to explode likely causing hair loss, ozone depletion, catastrophic fire and other dire results. Please ship it to me ASAP and I shall dispose of it safely pursuant to the TGP Dangerous Amp Protocol and all applicable federal and state laws.

    Not to worry, it will be clear when a really tube goes. The longevity is not surprising, those things were built specifically to be a durable AC30. One idea is to pull and preserve all the original tubes and replace with NOS stuff if it gives you peace of mind. Just email KCA NOS and you will get what you need.
     
  6. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Try some new power tubes for sure. Matchless amps are typically biased hot and EL84s are not known for their longevity. Worst case, you've got some spares.
     
  7. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

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    Damn, is that what's going on up there? Should've changed those tubes sooner....

    Rob
     
  8. Lamont

    Lamont Member

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    Amp paranoiaDa is a good , tubes hittin the 10-12 yr mark might be just fine(if you played that amp only 40-100 hrs or so . Amps are to the pro player a too;l that needs to be maintained and let the player have that GIG confidence in his rig (Matchless !!) But knowing your tubes are fresh and amp is serviced leaves you to just Playin,and just dat! Like a vintage Porsche, if im gonna take it on a major roadie,,its a goin to a major Porsche tech and gone through.Sometimes , ya gotta pay for the ride and how good that ride is.How much time you thionk you got? I got a Toyota too!!:D:Devil
     
  9. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

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    Funny, I got a wild hair last night and pulled a power tube, just to see where it came from. Guess what? No markings whatsoever. Bizarre.

    Rob
     

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