Thread: Valve Life
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Old 17th September 2019, 10:24 PM
Richard Richard is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Default 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
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