Why Change Guitar Amp Valves?

Why should you change guitar amp valves?Why should you change guitar amp valves?

If your guitar valve amplifier is not sounding quite so good as the day you bought it,  change amp valves to restore that beautiful sweet tone in no time at all.  When you first bought your valve amplifier you were probably delighted with the sound. In valve amplifier reviews and when you demoed it in the your local music shop it had punch, resonance, clarity and a gorgeous tone. But as time has gone by, do you feel your amp has lost its edge? Perhaps it’s sounding a bit flat, thin and lacking in oomph? Change amp valves on a regular basis if you want to keep your amp sounding its very best.

How do I know if I need to change amplifier valves?

One or more of the following signs indicate that you may need to change guitar amp valves:

  1. Lack of amplifier power.
  2. Hisses and squeals.
  3. Irregular popping or hissing.
  4. Fizzy crackling sounds.

Valves don’t usually ‘fail’; they just get weaker and weaker. Trouble is, from gig to gig or practice to practice, you barely notice the difference. The actual age of the valve/tube is not important. It’s how much it has been played. If you play your amp regularly and it’s been a year or more since you had a valve change, it’s almost certainly time to treat yourself to a new set of valves. Change amp valves now! You will be staggered by the difference! Don’t forget to buy our “matched output” valves. This is really important. Our matched valves have been carefully selected to be a close match both in gain and bias current. If you’re going to change amp valves always choose ‘matched quads’ if you have four output tubes (the big ones!) or ‘matched pairs’ if you only have two.

Other signs that you may need to change amplifier valves

If you notice a loss in bottom-end and power, it’s most likely your power valves (also known as output valves) need replacing. Maybe it’s time to change guitar amp valves. If you’re getting strange sounds coming from your amplifier, first turn your gain section up, and slowly turn the master volume down. If the noises continue after the master volume has been turned down, it’s most likely a power valve. If you turn the master volume down, and the noises disappear, it’s most likely a pre-amp valve (also known as an input valve). If you want to change amp valves we always recommend changing the whole set while you are at. It only costs a little more and you know that everything is as it should be.

How long do Amplifier Valves Last?

valves for Boogie ampWhen is the best time to change amplifier valves? This is not an easy question. It’s the same as asking “How long does a set of car tyres last?”


  • It depends how you drive and how often.
  • The rate at which a valve wears out is determined by how many hours it has been on and how hard (loud) it has been played.

There is also a mechanical component; if the amp has been bashed around a lot, the valves will not last as long and you will need to change amplifier valves more frequently.

Still, everyone wants a figure and so 500-1,000 playing hours is a good ballpark figure for the life of a valve. Like car engines, valves don’t always pack up altogether, they just gradually get worse. So if your amp is pushing 1,000 hours and it doesn’t sound like it used to, chances are if you change guitar amp valves on your amplifier it will make an incredible difference. Our valve amp kits allow you to change all the required valve components to get your amp back to sounding its best.

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