A simple answer is to test your tubes to see what condition they are in. Modern tubes seem not to last as long as some NOS. Depending on the circuit NOS may be a better alternative. I had an brand new 12AX7 tube simply go bad in less than 3 months. I've also had some NOS that got noisey in less than 6 months time. I always try and keep or obtain a couple NOS and recent manufactured tubes to swap out when I need to trobleshoot. Some circuits actually run tubes at a much higher bias than need to. Some recordings also are recorded at a much lower volume too. Which are you experiencing?
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