tube amps

PRS Guitars and David Grissom unveil the PRS DGT 15 amp and matching 1x12 cab. This low-watt, all-tube amplifier is full of Texas tone and packed with tone-sculpting features.

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Our much-loved former columnist Jeff Bober returns to explain how to check and reset the bias of your amp’s output tubes—and delivers some potentially shocking warnings about a few common but dangerous techniques.

Hello again, Premier Guitar readers! It’s your old bud Jeff here, author of the once popular Ask Amp Man column. Editorial Director Ted Drozdowski asked me if I would be interested in writing about bias, and, of course, I said, “Sure, I know a thing or two about that!” So here I am, temporarily returning to these pages. Now, let’s get started.

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Illustration by Kate Koenig

Relief for the tube shortage is ahead, but it’s happened before and could happen again. Here’s the practical—and geopolitical—long view.

“Think about the American and British rock bands trying to get into the Cold War Soviet Union to play rock music that Soviets had never heard—through their British tube amps, with tubes manufactured in Russia.”

That quote, from Sweetwater Senior Category Manager for Amps and Effects Darren Monroe, sums up how much culture and politics can impact every note you play. And that’s especially true regarding tubes. Let’s start with some deep background.

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