How much effect do tubes have on tone compared to the rest of the circuitry on tube amps?
I went down to GC today and played the valveking, and it sounded like shit. i sat there for like a half hour thinking i was setting it up wrong but just couldnt get a good sound. i also played on a eqnator tourmaster and peavey 50/212 that sounded awesome, but are much more expensive. what im getting to is, can i get a good sound if i buy a valveking then swap out the tubes? i dont want to invest in one then change the tubes and still end up with a sound i dont like.
also, the tourmaster had wattage control, how much effect does that have on the overall lifespan of the tubes? i practice 2-4 hours a day, sometimes way more. i dont need that much power all the time.
It'll not be a complete tonal shift with tube changes, more of a refinement of the current tone. You'll find that characteristics of the amp will change, but it'll still have its original voicing. Think of it like changing the pickups on a guitar, it'll change the tone to a point, but its still the same hunk of wood its attached to.
If the Valveking sounded like shit to you, you are unlikely to change it drastically with tube changes.