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  • Tube Amp myths...

    perhaps someone has a view...on two statements i've seen A tube amp should always be plugged into a guitar when warming up (seems unlikely) ...and if you put a tube amp in storage..not use it for weeks or months, something will 'pop' when you come to switch on again...any truth in that ?

  • #2
    1. Myth. If an amplifier doesn't have an input signal, then it's simply not working. It won't hurt it. Probably the theory of having it already plugged in is for people too dumb to turn the amp volume down when plugging in.

    2. Possible, but not guaranteed, and not always an indication of a serious problem, but could be. Could be an arc across the dust that's collected, or a component or connection that's gone bad.

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    • #3
      As far as question A and I could be wrong, Ive always powered up my Marshall on and left the standby off (unlit) till the tubes warm up. There may or may not be a guitar plugged in yet, but I always have one plugged in when I flip the standby switch

      Ive never paid attention to the popping noise as Im in the midst of cueing up music, strapping the guitar or, etc but yeah I may have heard a pop on a rare occassion when I start my amp.
      1994 Ibanez IC500 Iceman reissue
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      • #4
        a tube amp needs to be connected to a speaker when turned on. it doesnt need a guitar plugged in. if you put any electronics in storage for a while and there is moisture present, it can be an issue. as long as the amp is dry you should be fine. there might be an audible pop when you flip it off stand by but thats not uncommon and shouldnt hurt anything.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jeremy View Post
          a tube amp needs to be connected to a speaker when turned on. it doesnt need a guitar plugged in. if you put any electronics in storage for a while and there is moisture present, it can be an issue. as long as the amp is dry you should be fine. there might be an audible pop when you flip it off stand by but thats not uncommon and shouldnt hurt anything.
          And rats nesting
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          • #6
            if you have rats in your amp, that will be an issue

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            • #7
              How about hundreds of German cockroaches?

              I've seen it.

              I'VE SMELT IT.


              An amp came into the shop I worked at, with complaints of intermittent dropouts. The tech unscrewed the back panel AND THEY JUST CAME POURING OUT.
              ---------------------------
              The most popular thread I've ever made was 1) a joke and 2) based around literally the most inane/mundane question I could think of. That says something about me, or all of you, or both.

              https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...or-for-a-Strat

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              • #8
                There is little real need to warm the vast majority of tube amps, and no reason at all to use the standby switch. :P
                Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by St_Genesius View Post
                  How about hundreds of German cockroaches?

                  I've seen it.

                  I'VE SMELT IT.


                  An amp came into the shop I worked at, with complaints of intermittent dropouts. The tech unscrewed the back panel AND THEY JUST CAME POURING OUT.
                  That sucks.

                  Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    What they all said.

                    Almost ALL guitar amps short the input when nothing is plugged in. It's electrically identical to a guitar plugged in with the volume pot on zero.

                    Myth two reminds me of the car battery myth, that if you store a car battery on a cement floor, it will drain it. Not true. Your cement floor is probably your garage or basement. Both, where moisture might be. It's the moisture across the terminals, not the cement floor, that drains it.

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                    • #11
                      This feels a little Ali G, doesn’t it?

                      Well for number 1, as others have said it’s a misunderstanding of needing to have a load connected when powered on.

                      For number two, as caps and tubes age, the chances of them “popping” is statistically more likely when it’s powered up than when it’s not, right? It’s not surprising that the inrush of current may cause failure, but what are you going to do? Unless the working theory is that amplifiers that are used daily are less likely to fail catastrophically? Eventually tubes and caps and other things will fail. On that note, it’s good to be aware when things are going downhill. You might be able to shut it down before damage to other components like the output transformer occurs.
                      Oh no.....


                      Oh Yeah!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by St_Genesius View Post
                        How about hundreds of German cockroaches?

                        I've seen it.

                        I'VE SMELT IT.


                        An amp came into the shop I worked at, with complaints of intermittent dropouts. The tech unscrewed the back panel AND THEY JUST CAME POURING OUT.
                        That is literally my nightmare.
                        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                        • #13
                          The tech barfed. It was that bad.

                          Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                          That is literally my nightmare.
                          ---------------------------
                          The most popular thread I've ever made was 1) a joke and 2) based around literally the most inane/mundane question I could think of. That says something about me, or all of you, or both.

                          https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...or-for-a-Strat

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                          • #14
                            You can plug a tube amp with no input on it with no problem.... ever.

                            Without an output though? (speaker) eventually if not quickly big big problems....
                            “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
                              This feels a little Ali G, doesn’t it?

                              Well for number 1, as others have said it’s a misunderstanding of needing to have a load connected when powered on.

                              For number two, as caps and tubes age, the chances of them “popping” is statistically more likely when it’s powered up than when it’s not, right? It’s not surprising that the inrush of current may cause failure, but what are you going to do? Unless the working theory is that amplifiers that are used daily are less likely to fail catastrophically? Eventually tubes and caps and other things will fail. On that note, it’s good to be aware when things are going downhill. You might be able to shut it down before damage to other components like the output transformer occurs.
                              Shut down anytime you smell something electrical burning.
                              Immediately.
                              Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk


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