Tubes are the heart and soul of your amp and your tone. They affect your amps clarity, tone, volume, overdrive, gain, punch, and balance….everything that has to do with the sound.
The preamp tubes provide gain, drive, balance, EQ,, and overall noise levels. Rectifier tubes provide the amp with power to run on, affecting volume and compression. Reverb tubes provide the tone, richness, and noise level for the reverb. Power tubes drive the speakers, setting the amps overall volume, clarity, tone and compression. These tubes have a lifespan, and must be maintained, much like changing the oil and doing routine maintenance on a car. It’s part of owning a tube amp.
Some of the signs that your amp may need be serviced or have the tubes replaced are weak and fading volume, poor tone with a loss of tone and clarity, noise, excessive hum and ringing tones. This can be a gradual process, like your strings going dead, and often you don’t realize what a huge improvement in tone that new tubes can make until we replace them and properly setup your amp.
Some amps need to have the tubes replaced once a year to keep that great tone and reliability. Others can last 2-3 years on a fresh set of tubes. Some lower powered, Class A type amps will actually burn thru tubes faster than higher powered amps and may need new tubes every few months. (That’s the way Class A amps operate, running the tubes very hot, all the time ). Some amps can see a huge improvement in tone and reliability by having the poor quality tubes that came from the factory replaced and upgraded. ( There is a reason why some tube amps are cheaper than others…..)
I have been servicing tube amps for over 35 years now. I have worked on amps from companies that have come and gone, as well as tried tubes from every company that has ever existed. I have consulted with tube manufacturers and amplifier companies. There are many types an brands of tubes available, and the information about them can be confusing, and often inaccurate.
Thesis Audio Service goes thru hundreds of tubes every month, and we know which type and brand works best in each amp.
There are some tube types (mostly online) that I simply do not use, as I see amps with problems and even damage to them from these tubes. Knowing which type of tube to use is very important to insure the best tone and reliability from your amp. Each brand has their best type, and not all brands or tube types work well in all amps. We know the combinations that sound best, and last the longest in your particular amp. We can recommend several options of tube brands and types to choose from to get the best performance and tone that you want from your amp.
We have the experience and equipment to properly calibrate and setup your amp with the new set of tubes. Proper calibration of the bias and other settings are critical to get the best tone and longest life from your new tube sets. We do these adjustments during the burn-in, power and tone tests.
We offer a variety of tube amp services, advice, and setups, and we can usually have your amp back to you within 1-3 days.
Let us bring out the best in your amps TONE!