Review the links shown below to buy matched sets of replacement guitar amplifier valves and tune up, or repair, your valve guitar amplifier. These high quality guitar amplifier valves, or tubes, are supplied by manufacturers around the world and can be used in most makes of tube amp. Matched guitar amplifier valves are typically used in the power output section of push pull valve guitar amplifiers. Buying matched guitar amp valves for your guitar amplifier means the valves have been individually tested by the seller for the same bias current under identical conditions of plate voltage and grid bias voltage. By having matched characteristics the guitar amplifier will perform correctly, both pushing and pulling the speaker in equal amounts and cancelling out noise and hum.
Review the text below to read about how matched valves work and if you are unsure about changing the valves in your guitar amplifier then read you can also read guide to replacing guitar amp valves.
Matched Guitar Amp Valves Explained
Most Valve Guitar Amplifiers, especially push-pull designs, require matched output tubes. These can be in a matched pair (x 2), matched quad (x 4) or matched sextet (x 6) depending on the guitar amplifier design and the output power of the amplifier. The general rule being more valves then there will be more power. In a push-pull guitar amplifier design one valve is pushing the speaker cone and one is pulling it. As the sound generated by the speaker is reliant on a clean signal it is important that the valves push and pull in equal measure.
Why Buy Matched Guitar Amplifier Valves?
If you have a tube guitar amplifier that requires matched valves (read the manufacturers instructions on changing valves) it can be a false economy buying single guitar amp valves and then inserting them into the power circuit of the guitar amp just to get it working again. If unmatched valves are used it is highly likely that the output sound will be poor and using the guitar amplifier like this will probably lead to expensive damage to other parts of the amplifier circuit. When the amplifier is idle eg not being played, both valves will draw a small amount of current.
If both valves are matched and drawing the same current, and have the same amount of gain, they will do a good job of cancelling out any mains hum and other noise inside the amplifier circuit. If the output valves are not balanced (or matched) more hum will be present in the speaker. Also, it is likely that there will be a mismatch in the current draw, resulting in one valve getting hotter than the other valves in the amplifier. This may be severe enough to cause the valve to glow red which will reduce the life of the valve and overall reliability.
Matched Sets of 12AX7 ECC83 Amplifier Tubes
- 12AX7 Matched Pair (2 x Tubes)
- 12AX7 Matched Triplet (3 x Tubes)
- 12AX7 Matched Quad (4 x Tubes)
- 12AX7 Matched Quintet (5 x Tubes)
- 12AX7 Matched Sextet (6 x Tubes)
Matched Sets of EL34 6CA7 Amplifier Tubes
Matched Sets of EL84 6BQ5 Amplifier Tubes
Matched Sets of 6L6-GC Amplifier Tubes
Matched Sets of 5881 Amplifier Tubes
Matched Sets of KT77 Amplifier Tubes
Matched Sets of 6550 Amplifier Tubes
- 6550 Matched Pair Power Valves (2 x Tubes)
- 6550 Matched Quad Power Valves (4 x Tubes)
- 6550 Matched Sextet Power Valves (6 x Tubes)
More Guitar Amplifier Valve Links
- Buy Single Guitar Amp Tubes (buy valves as single items)
- Buy Full Guitar Amp Tube Sets (a full kit to replace all the valves in the amp)
- Look Up Your Valve Guitar Amplifier (search for your guitar amplifier kit)
Tips for Changing Guitar Amplifier Tubes
We have included some guidance on selecting the best new tubes for your guitar valve amplifier. Changing the valves periodically can have a massive effect on the quality of the sound generated by the guitar amplifier and also reduce hum. Read our guide to Amplifier Tube Maintenance and Care
Once you have changed the valves in your amplifier make a note of the date. This can be by adding a sticker to the back of the amplifier. This will allow you to decide when is best to change them in the future. Amplifier valves (or tubes) will operate under normal conditions for up to 1000 hours. After this they will start to degrade.
Guitar Valve Amplifier Technology Explained
We have written a number of pages to explain the guitar valve amplifier technology and some of the work that is behind valve guitar amplifier design, components used in the manufacturing process and how to care and maintain your valve amplifier in top condition. Our articles explains guitar valve amplifier technology starts with some basic explanations of the different types of guitar amplifier.
Valve Amplifier Circuits.
Within our guitar valve amplifier technical guides we have included some circuit diagrams of classic tube amplifier designs from the 50’s and 60’s. An example is shown of the Fender 5C3 circuit as used in the Fender Deluxe Valve Amplifier.
- Valve Amplifier Single Ended Output Stage Explained
- Valve Amplifier Push Pull Output Stage
- Guitar Amplifier Tubes Explained
- Guitar Valve Amplifier – Output Tubes Explained
- Guitar Valve Amplifier – Preamp Tubes Explained
- Guitar Amplifier Pre-Amplifier Valves Compared