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Amplifiers have been a staple in the world of music for almost a hundred years, and since their beginnings, there have always been tubes. They're not the only option on the scene anymore since the invention of solid-state hardware, but plenty of musicians still swear by the classic preamp tube to deliver just the right sound. Changing your preamp tubes is a great way to customize the tones of your sound system. If you're playing classic rock, a tube with a smooth, bold sound will help you achieve the old-school warmth that characterized the rock anthems of the '70s and '80s. For punk and alternative, you may prefer tubes with a tighter, firm tone that keeps your chords clean and sharp. The sonic profile of each tube is different. Tungsol's 12AX7, for example, is a high-gain preamp tube with a full and melodic sound. Conversely, the Ruby Tubes ECC83 delivers low gain with a rich, robust tone. It's a good idea to try a few different tubes to find the one with the exact sound you want, or even to have a few on hand so that you can swap them out to tailor your preamp for each venue that you play. Apart from swapping to change the tone of your sound, it's also a good idea to have spares on hand while you're on the road so that you're prepared to make emergency replacements. Reliability is a great thing to have during a busy tour schedule. Changes are a routine part of owning a tube preamp. Whether you're changing your tubes to fine-tune your sound, stocking spares to have ready when you need them or if it's simply time to replace those stock tubes, a quick browse through the various preamp tubes available will help you find the perfect type for your tastes.