#144628  by strummingturtle
 Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:58 am
Looking for suggestions on finding a good place to buy these tubes?
Also in a power amp rack head like a mesa 50/50 or carvin ts100 how much does the smaller tubes effect tone?
Thanks in advance guys!
 #144630  by TI4-1009
 Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:22 am
Try any of the usual suspects (tubeworld, thetubestore, tubes-r-us, etc.) for 6L6s.

The big power tubes mainly amplify the signal coming from the preamp. They sort of set the general "attitude" of the amp- Fenders used 6L6 or 6V6 a lot, Vox used the EL84 a lot.

The "little tubes" are mainly in the preamp section where a lot of the tone shaping of the amp happens.

Quick overview here from MesaBoogie:

http://www.mesaboogie.com/media/Files/tube-guide.pdf
 #144662  by tatittle
 Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:18 pm
You can keep your eye out for OEM branded tubes with the tell stop sign etching. I have some Ruby's that actually sound pretty good RCA like. JJ's are okay. GE's for vintage. You need to have a matched set (mA) for amps with 2 or 4 power tubes of course.
 #144663  by Smolder
 Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:26 am
Here's my take... If you choose not to buy NOS from a guy like Greg, or Mike at KCAnostubes... You won't really know if they are NOS. There really isn't a way to test a power tube in a way that tells you how much life is still there. You can only test to see if it's working at the time tested. I've bought old stock on eBay, through CL, and old ham radio guys... I've been luck with dome that are still working ten years later... Some that work for months, and others that became weak and failed shortly after.

I'll rarely pay more than 25 cents on the dollar on eBay, and only from a trusted name. There are several old tube hucksters in Michigan that change their eBay ID regularly... So be careful. RCA black or grey plates are fairly well known, and frankly... Sell for beyond their real worth IMHO.