Is it common place to just expect to have to replace tubes, even on almost new gear or gear that was just refurbished (supposedly?). The Winfield I bought a few weeks ago was just not sounding right and had some tube rattle issues (which I kind of fixed with tube dampeners). But, I decided to pay the expense of sending it to get thoroughly reviewed and I have a feeling the tubes (mainly the EL84's) are at fault (might be bias issues, I don't know. They were brand new JJ's <still in the original sealed box>. Today I got my refurb'd Vox AC15 handwired head and was playing it for a few hours on lower volumes. A couple of pops and clicks, nothing major. Now on the EF86 channel AND the top boost channel in pentode mode (full 15w mode) and pretty loud the volume clearly cuts out badly in and out. Also, when I switch back and forth between triode and pentode mode, sometimes it doesn't work at all :BOUNCE! Major hiss and pops and clicks abound. Tubes again??? EL84's again??? This is my second Vox AC15 handwired head (both refurb's)... maybe I'm just having bad luck with EL84's? I just feel like it's a little over the top to almost expect that you are going to have to buy all new tubes everytime you buy an amp. Thoughts? Time for Solid State ? AxeFX, take me away!!! I'm going to try and stick with the Vox though, I really dig the tones.