- As I write this there are 9 Custom JHG Guitars left for purchase at $500. These guitars will be going into production and retailing at $1,499 MSRP after the last 9 are sold. I encourage you to contact us at the shop to secure your own custom guitar, with your own custom features and color, before this opportunity sells out.
- Currently, the shop is about 4 days out on turnaround times. This includes amplifier service which has increased in the last couple of weeks. We are proactively bringing in experienced help to get through our orders as promised and on time.
- This is essentially the last week that you can take advantage of our 1/2 setup special through the month of October. I highly recommend you do so before the 31st. James has made it clear that this promotion will being going away.
- We recently purchased a truckload of guitar and amp parts in June and are coming to the bottom of the barrel, although there is still a healthy selection of parts, complete’s, and projects, etc. Calling all tinkerer’s and DIY’er’s! We still have a dozen or so G12H30’s by Celestion, brand new for a third less than anywhere else online. We have hundreds of tubes like 5Y3’s and 12AX7’s and even EL84’s we’re selling for half of online. I have been proactive in selling them to our customers coming in, but you can buy them here on the website too. Bolt on Neck plates?, backplates?, Cheap single coils?. I have a boatload of them and I want you to come buy them from me for very cheap.
- As of 10/22/2016, we are the proud owners of somewhere in the neighborhood of about $60,000 in Fender Genuine Tweed Cases. They go for hundreds of dollars each. The cheap ones go for 50-60 and fall apart before you take them home, right? Well these are the nicer GG cases with compartments and locks. We’ll release at $99 Shipped tomorrow for Precision Bass and Jazz Bass models, and SHHHHHHHHH! But, I think we just bought the remainder of the Telecaster Thermometer cases! We’re gonna sell those at $150 Shipped. Wanna pick it up? Just give us a call for the final price. If you haven’t considered us for a source online for purchasing accessories and parts, start checking in with us. We beat other retail outlets hands down…
Alright, enough already! Lets talk about tubes for a second.
“When was the last time new tubes were installed?”
It’s not that I make a big comish on the tubes. It’s definitely not because I want to create more work for you and I. It’s because tubes suck. They fail often and for stupid reasons. They sit in sockets. They’re made to be replaced regularly.
‘But I’ve got an all original Fender ‘this’ or Ampeg ‘that’ Dave!’ Great – You can still replace the tubes for regular use and store the originals. I’m well aware of the secondary market and how much people actually pay for old ink on old tubes. Take advantage of that, but if you’re not selling yet, just store the originals and put new ones in to make sure the rest of your amp isn’t paying for the ‘mojo’.
Failing tubes look like functioning tubes. You Can’t see what’s going unless you have a tube tester. That’s an option, but for most of us, we’ll use it maybe 10 times in our whole lives, probably to confirm that our new tubes are working well, and matched well. Scheduling maintenance on your tube amp is a good idea. How often you should change your tubes depends on how many miles you’re putting on it. The guys that are playing a couple hundred shows a year and practicing in between on the same unit should consider swapping tubes quarterly. Yup, four times a year (I apologize to all the Mesa 400+ owners out there now). If you’re a bedroom player, your tube amp is probably going to suffer from dust and corrosion before the mileage on the tubes actually runs out. When you have another issue happen with the unit, in this case, just change the tubes then. If you’re somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios, I would suggest planning on tubes being swapped every one to two years.
Changing your tubes regularly does two things: New tubes take pressure off overperformance off of the cathode chain, assuring its longevity, and, maybe more importantly to you, provides consistency in the tone you get from your amp. A third realization would mean less time in the shop and less money out of your wallet, in the long run. I should clarify that I’m really only talking about your output tubes. The bigger ones. The smaller preamp tubes don’t see the high voltages your output tubes do, and really only need to be swapped if they go microphonic or if some other catastrophe happens. This is not always true with phase inverter tubes, which sometimes can quit early, too (PRO Tip: If one of your preamp tubes is microphonic, try swapping it with the phase inverter tube (closest to output tubes…usually) if they’re both the same spec and see if the microphonics go away after).
When you buy new tubes for your amp, make sure they’ve been matched, please. Do not pull tubes from another amp, and definitely don’t mix brands and flavors. Unmatched, used tubes can cause 10 times the damage if they’re leaky or failing and are impossible to bias (necessary, but we’ll talk about that later). You’ll end up with struggling tone and a stressed output section which can be expensive if it fails.
Finally, don’t be afraid of your tubes! When I get a new tube amp for myself, I like to pull a tube while it’s running (careful, they’re still really hot!!) to see what different failures happen and sound like when a tube fully quits to be able to diagnose later. Some tubes may just adjust tone and volume, or the reverb won’t work, or no sound at all! When one of these symptoms inevitably happens, I have some notes that I took now that I can refer to as what the issue might be, and I always start with the tubes. It’s the easiest and most likely culprit when an amplifier is regularly maintained. Check your manual or give us a call, as I refer primarily to guitar and bass units, some high end units may be more sensitive to this type of experimentation.
I’m gonna get back to work, but if you like these notes, let us know in the comments section below. If you don’t like these notes, let us know in the comments section below. If you have a topic regarding electronics you’d like me to talk about (to the best of my ability), just let us know. I’ll post again next week with new announcements and a new topic. Thanks for reading!