Many guitar players rely on tube amplifiers to create their tone — there’s just something about the organic sound that glowing tubes make; how they respond to touch; how they break up. Of course, all that wonderful tone is dependent on the quality of the tubes in your amp and their condition. Getting good tubes and knowing when they need to be replaced are the keys to keeping your amp operating at its best.
But evaluating the quality or condition of a tube is not easy. In fact, for most guitarists, it’s a fairly random thing; when an amp’s tone or feel changes, it’s time to replace the tubes. Likewise, finding one bad tube in an amp is pretty much trial and error.
Until now! With the VT-1000, you can check on the condition of both preamp and power tubes — just about every variety of tube is supported. Plug it in, insert the tube, press a button or two, and the VT-1000 runs a battery of tests on the tube. A minute or two later, you get an LED read out telling you if the tube is good, worn, or bad. Also, a “matching” number allows you to create matched sets of power tubes and evaluate how well matched the sides of a preamp tube are, which is helpful when deciding the position where the tube will perform best in an amp.
How does it work? Like a charm! Not only was I able to quickly and easily check out the tubes in all my amps, but when one of the amps started misbehaving, I was able to immediately tell which tube was at fault (a 12AU7 reverb driver had gone bad).
If you’re a guitarist using a tube amp, then you need the VT-1000. It takes all the guess work out of choosing and using tubes!