You have a pretty good handle on the situation it seems to me. Your trick of comparing old to new tubes is what I do too. Can never predict life any more than you can predict spectacular fireworks. 2-3 years sounds about right to me. With a wall timer you might stretch that out to 5-10.
8 responses Add your response
MC-- Thanks. I thought about the wall timer, but that doesn't seem worth the bother and I was afraid the very suggestion of introducing such a thing might lead to vilification here! 2-3 years is about the time I get antsy and begin wondering how a set set of tubes would sound anyway. So all's good. I won't worry about it.
many power tubes last 10,000 hours
7 minute video from psaudio about tube life
Those were great videos, particularly the second (for many many reasons!). Thanks.
I don't 'push' my system at all--small room, apartment, etc. Putting all these together, yeah, I'll stay with my present, completely unscientific!, way of dealing with them: every couple of years, I'll see if re-tubing helps what I'm hearing. (Of course I could up-grade--but why? I can't imagine things sounding significantly better than they do now.)