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Cycleallday 17th September 2019 10:12 AM

Valve Life
Could somebody give me the estimated life of each valve type (hrs) in my WD amps as follows:

2 x Mullard ECF80s
4 x eL84/Russian 6P14Ps

Phono 3
3 x ECC83/12AX7s

Just planning to get a spare set or two to see me out as prices seem to be rising s they get rarer.


bob orbell 17th September 2019 05:18 PM

Re: Valve Life
Depends on two things Mel, how often the amp is used and how loud you use it, you only need to bother about the power valve's, the small signal valve's may last a life time or more, but if you plan on keeping the amp it won't hurt to buy now but keep the new valves safe and dry. Bob

Richard 17th September 2019 10:24 PM

Re: Valve Life
Hi Mel,

EL84 are run quite hard and tend to run hot so 2-3000 hours. ECF80 probably 10-20000 hours and ECC83 in Phono 3 are only running at 1mA so probably 50000+ hours.

3000 hours is only a few months if running continuously. Remember a class A amp runs them near max dissipation regardless of playing music or idling. When I was working at home and running valve amps continuously during daytime hours I got through a set of 6550 in under 2 years and bought 3 sets at a time. Switching off between using for a few hours in the evenings may well see them lasting 10 years.

Similar applies to your small valves, a couple of years continuously may wear them out (I have tested many small ex-equipment military valves which are worn out) but a few hours a day will see them last a very long time :thumbsup:

Cycleallday 18th September 2019 11:18 AM

Re: Valve Life
Thanks a lot Richard thats just the information I needed.


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