Tube life


Wondering if my tubes or my hearing’s going. Feeling my system should sound better. Bought  Vandersteen Quatros 2 months ago and believe I've got them dialed in fairly well. I include this because I don't have years of listening to them to compare back to. Have to turn my CJ Premier 16 pre to about 43 to get a decent amount of sound. These Quatros replaced Tannoy Kensingtons that only needed a volume setting of 32 for a decent amount of sound.

System is:  

• Pre:   Conrad Johnson Premier 16LS
• Pwr:   Conrad Johnson Premier 12 Mono Blocks
• Pwr Condtnr: Shunyata Hydra
• Speakers: Vandersteen Quatros
• Cabeling: Stealth PGS IC’s, Vandenhull Bi-wire Speaker wiring
• Sources: Conrad Johnson DV-2B CD Player, SOTA Star w/SME arm w/Benz cart, Magnum Dynalab Tube Tun
• Music:   Classic Rock, Easy listening, Female Jazz singers, Classical
• Room:   Big (25 X 30) w/cathedral ceiling. Harwood floors/ceiling and big glass windows. Rugs and furniture

Replaced all unit's tubes 5 years ago and bought them all from Conrad Johnson. Play the system about 10 hours a week so that would be about 2600 hours of play.

Think the tubes have seen their better days? My hearing? I'm 56...

Thank you!

I have a local guitar/ amp tech who is also into tube hifi who will test tubes for free.   I went on his recommendation of Mullard repop EL34 and they sound great.   Guys like him sometimes have some really good NOS tubes too.  

For around $320 you can get a 8 matched Tung-sol reproduction 6550's from Upscale Audio. That's where I buy my tubes these days excellent quality and reliability and good service. What brand is c-j offering these days?
$1500 for an octet of EH 6550's seems excessive to the point of gouging. Even if that includes the smaller signal tubes it's still very excessive. I would buy my tubes from any of the vendors mentioned above before giving c-j another dime for tubes.