No Power

Scotty, I need more power!

I’m giving it all she’s got Captain.

Unfortunately it was not enough. My Swart AST Mk II guitar amp went dead during practice on Friday evening. This before rehearsals on Saturday morning. A dead Tung Sol 6V6GT power tube.

“No worries.” thought Mr Emergency Preparedness, “I will just replace them with backup tubes.”

And I do carry backup tubes. Lots of them. Various models of 12AX7s, EL84s, 5Y3s. Somewhere over 40 tubes in the closet. There was only one 6V6. A purist will tell you that you should always replace power tubes in pairs. Matched. A purist will say a lot of things about tube amps. More than I thought was possible.

So why did I have only one 6V6 as backup?

Maybe it was when I changed the tubes out in my 1984 Fender Super Champ.

The Super Champ is a Paul Rivera designed practice amp that puts out a pretty impressive 18-watts. Mine is all original and in brand new condition. Some folks like to swap out the 10-inch speaker to get less of a midrange sound out of the amp. But miked on a stage, this little beauty can really crank.

The Super Champ is now without two 6V6 tubes.

I was able to get my Swart back up before the rehearsal by raiding the tubes from the Super Champ. I bought two more 6V6s locally and I will order a few more.

I did panic for a little while. I had not realized the full extent to which I had fine tuned my tone to the Swart amp.

Maybe I need a second Swart as backup?

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