It's been ten days and the sizzling-frying bacon-static-noise
I mentioned in my original post has mysteriously disappeared and not returned. In spite of this I went ahead with the tube swap
and after a couple of hours playing time, here are my initial impressions.Change is not dramatic:
Maybe it was the excitment of changing tubes for the first time that had me anticipating a huge difference in sound but in reality the changes were more subtle.Clean Channel:
The amp is quieter. Prior to the tube swap I had the volume at 2 and couldn't go beyond 3.5 before hearing from my wife. Now I'm at 4 and there are no complaints until I get to 10.
expecting an early breakup on the clean channel but even with the volume dimed at 12 it still sounds pretty clean. Of course before I couldn't even get anywhere near 12 so there is no basis for comparison.Drive Channel:
This is where it seems we have the greatest change. Besides being more quiet (tamer), the timbre has changed from what I would describe as harsh (some say shrill) to a sultry, raspy, more Bluesy OD. I also believe there may be more tonal possibilities with the new tubes but this is yet to be determined.
Thanks to Shimmilou and BMW2002Ti for your input and recommendations. As alway, very much appreciated.