If you want a primer on tubes you might want to read the FAQ section of the Tube Asylum on Audio Asylum. Don't worry too much, just don't leave the amp on all the time.
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I'm not ashamed to admit that when I bought my first tube amp I was afraid of it, like it was going to explode or something. My advice is just forget about it. People had tube TVs and tube radios in their homes for a hundred years and nobody gave it a thought. Just set it up, make sure it's biased properly and that the tubes are in good shape. Before you can know if some other tubes are better, you need to listen to what you have for a year. Listen to every record in your collection ten times and get to know what everything sounds like. Then you can try a new tube and see if it works. Try not to get crazy and just enjoy.
It's a hobby. And a hobby with lots of snake oil, opinions that are not based in basic electronics and general B.S. So rather than get some opinion of what tube sounded good in what amp, why not start with a bit of simple, basic, theory so that you understand the parts of the various tubes and how they go about their work? It's much more painless than it sounds and you will know more when you are done than 99% of the experts out there.
The beginning, as far as I am concerned, is one of the versions of the RCA Receiving Tube Manual which was updated annually for many years. There are some reasonably priced reprints available, and original copies on ebay that are not too expensive. If you want to have a look, here is a pdf version for free:
I wish you the best of luck in the enjoyment of the hobby and your journey into valve amplification.
Watch the Youtube "Mullard factory film"...it's great. I think tubes just seem alive...and I love the way tube amps sound. Fun...they're fun, and you certainly don't need much time to tube roll...in fact starting to do that sooner than later gets you noticing tube differences, and starts you on a path of tube hoarding like the rest of us freaks.
turn amp on about a minute before listening minimum and do not play it loud for about five minutes (at least that is what I do).
If you hear any static or other noise turn the amp off, or at least turn the volume down and try to determine where the sound is coming from (and then turn it off if you suspect it is the amp).
The reason I mention this is that if a tube goes bad it could take some components of the amp with it so you have to take it easy if you suspect a bad tube.
Mark O'brien at Rogue is a good guy, call him with questions and enjoy!
Welcome aboard! I was a holdout for years,now I could never go back to solid state. Once in a blue moon you will have to replace a tube. Just remember that you have to have speakers hooked up when amp is on or else you can damage amp otherwise just set and forget! Later on you might tube roll just to change the flavor of the sound.
This is all super helpful - thank you for being patient with the novice. I am reading and learning voraciously! Can't wait for the amp to get here. Just starting from scratch, I also bought speakers today - Totem Sttaf. Impedance for this speaker says 8 ohms in literature, and Cronus can be set for 4 or 8 ohms (according to that literature). I'm assuming that's what I set it for - 8 ohms? Would it matter (dumb question, I'm sure)? Also if you have a good speaker cable suggestion for this combination, I'd be much obliged (not really wanting to spend much more than $200).