Vintage Nos

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How much does it cost to repair tube amps?

Well, I've had this amp for a couple months and am just now starting to use it. It's a '76 Fender Champ tube amp. I am feeling as though I'm "over-using" it. I feel like this will be my main amp but fear it will go out on me sometime. Does playing a lot make the tubes go bad faster? If so, about how much does it cost to have new ones installed?

BQ: Is this amp better than a 125w Fender Princeton Chorus?

Hello there,

Thumbs up to fhe first answer. Pretty good.

Tubes do not last forever. Power tubes burn out faster than preamp tubes. Under heavy use, you can expect to replace the power tube (you have only one power tube in the silver face Champ) in a year or so. Depends on how hard you crank it. The preamp tube might last for years.

One other factor to keep in mind is the caps. Unless you have electronics experience, don't try to change the caps yourself. They hold a dangerous level of charge long after the amp is unplugged. Caps begin to disintergrate over time. It usualy takes years. But silver face amps may need new caps installed. That is less of a matter of playing hours than just how many years old the caps are. Also it is a good idea to change the electric cord from a 2 prong to a 3 prong plug if that has not already been done. Power tubes are not expensive. You can safely install those. A sngle power tube amp is not as vital to bias as those with multiple power tubes. How much a power tube costs depends on what you buy. A Groove Tube is pretty cheap. A JJ or Ruby is more expensive. Buying vintage NOS American tubes, like RCA or Rayethon can be expensive. I have seen NOS Rayethon tubes sell for $50 or more. $10 should get you a new power tube that is more than adequate.

With care and maintenance, the old Fender tube amps last a very long time.

BQ? The Princeton Chorus is a solid state amp. Does not have the legendary Fender tube sound. Just a typical 80s 90s solid state sound. I would don't care for them. I like my tube amps.


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