Loading... Please wait...

How To Tell If A Tube In Your Tube Amplifier Is Bad


At Fryette Amplification, we’re proud to offer some of the highest quality vacuum tube amplifiers, power amps, heads, cabinets and studio equipment available on the market today. If you’ve ever done a soundcheck at a gig with your guitar tube amplifier, and out of nowhere things start to sound funky, it can be frustrating trying to pinpoint the problem in a timely fashion. Below we’ll discuss some of the telltale signs that it may be time to get your tube amplifier checked out by a guitar professional.

Check The Individual Glow Of The Tubes

One of the first things to look for when your tube amplifier starts to sound off is the filament heater of each tube. When the filament heater is properly working, it will have a warm orange glow. While some of the tubes may be brighter than others, as long as they are all glowing to some degree, your tubes are likely safe.

Check The Condition Of The Getter

If your tube’s getters have a white coating at the top of them, this can be a clear indication that something is wrong with your guitar amplifier tubes. In a healthy and working state, your getter’s should have a grey to black coating. When a vacuum tube has a small crack or air leak, the getter will change from grey to white.

Listen For Unusual Sounds From Your Amplifier

While vacuum tube amplifiers are known to make small noises to some degree, if you start to hear noises like hissing, popping, or sputtering, it can be hard to tell which tube is causing the problem. If you have a spare tube at home, we recommend substituting the replacement tube with each of the tubes in your amplifier, to listen for any audible differences. Once you have discovered which tube is causing the problem, fixing it is as simple as a switch-out. The next time your tube amplifier begins to make funny sounds, remember these tips to tell if your tubes need professional repair or replacement.

At Fryette Amplification, our talented technicians are continuously inspired by guitarists to create innovative vacuum tube amplifiers that deliver superior sound and performance. Our Aether Guitar Amplifier raises the bar for amplifier personality and behavior, contributing to each and every note of your artistic expression. More than just an accessory to your guitar, its single channel tone will work effortlessly with you and your guitar to enhance your overall playing experience.