Replaced stock McIntosh 12ax7a with gold lion ecc8

I replaced the stock tubes in my c500t which are about 2 years old with new Gold lion ECC83's and I noticed that the tubes are not lighting up hardly at all compared with the stock tube. could this be a Bias issue? The sound is different as I would expect. Bass is more round, maybee a little heavier (good for my system) Imaging is more diffuse not as spot on as I have had. They are new so some break-in is needed. Any thoughts or experiences?
The filament in your new tubes is hidden behind the plates more than the ones that came with your amp. This in turn makes it (the glow) harder to see. If you see anything you know its heating and doing it's job.
I forgot to mention that if your plates are glowing, that's a bad thing and means your bias of off. You can see that if there's a glowing vertical line down the length of the tube.
Did you get matched quad?
Matched do the same thing. It doesn't matter. They're all a little different because they're basically handmade. No filament or plate or getter is the same. They all differ a little bit. How much gas and air is sucked out of them and how much gas the getter can take out makes a difference. Tubes are complicated uncomplicated things. Manufacturers just bang them out and if you need a matched set, your dealer handles it. Did you know the longest lasting on record was in an LA studio and it lasted 10 years - 80,000 hours? Tubes that generate less heat obviously last a lot longer (12AX7).
Thanks for your responses - It's starting to sound better, I did not get a matched set, I was not sure I wanted to switch permantly, now I am convinced to switch. Most of my music sounds more involving, which is amazing! The only trade off so far is some of my program gets "Busy" where the stock tubes perhaps has more micro detail with a very dry presentation. I am going through all my music collection and having a blast listening which is a very good sign. Thanks for the info on hidden plates.
Matching preamp tubes is NOT essential, only when it comes to power tubes. but guess what?? ALL tubes drift so its "never" really matched (except at the beginning) but its always a good starting point.
Don't worry about the glow--it's pretty much irrelevant. What you're hearing is the difference in sound character from stock Mac tubes, which tend to be bright and edgy, IME. The Golden Lions are richer in the mids and bass. They'll open up more in the treble and become more focused as they break in, but some people find them to be a bit rolled in the highs. Give them 100 hours or so, then you'll be able to tell if you like their sound.