How long is too long?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by grritz, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. grritz

    grritz Still 17 between the ears Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Aside from possible “wear” on the tubes, does it really matter how long I leave my amps on standby?

    Some days, it’s just not possible for me to practice more than a half-hour at a time, but I know I’ll be back at it in an hour or two. Other times, I may forget and head out for two or three hours of errands and shopping…leaving the amps turned on (but volume turned down).

    Does this in any way damage the amp itself?

    I appreciate your thoughts.
     
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  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've accidentally left amps on for a week before now.
     
  3. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I left my AC30 on for a week on standby. It ate the tubes the same. I’d only get about 4mmonths out of a set of JJ’s.
     
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  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Most Honored Senior Member

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    With the standby circuits I'm familiar with it would be much better to just leave the amp on and in play mode than to leave it in standby mode. But the tubes are probably the only thing risking damage from long term standby.

    But I don't like to leave anything turned on and unattended if it doesn't need to be. In the case of a tube amp, things can fail, and it would be better if I'm around when smoke starts coming out.

    My wife left a sewing machine plugged in and turned on in our basement. That evening we were watching TV and I heard a strange noise. I ran down and found the sewing machine running at full speed and smoke coming out of the pedal that controlled its speed. The pedal was on a rug, and if no one had been home it's possible the pedal would have set the rug on fire.
     
  5. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter Vendor Member

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    One time I went out for a burger to In N Out. Came back an hour later and there was a loud feedback my families shop........


    The whole neiborhood was just probably balking. Peavey Classic 30 into a 70/80. Miss that amp. Loud as hell and a workhorse
     
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  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Turn your amp off.

    It won't hurt it, but there's no reason to leave it in standby. All it's doing is keeping the heaters on. And they'll heat back up just fine when you turn it back on. ;)
     
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  7. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    The amount of time and brain effort contemplating and posting about standby worries could have been better spent learning and/or writing a new song, or practicing/polishing a song or skill you already know!
    Oh Wait! :oops:
    Gene
     
  8. grritz

    grritz Still 17 between the ears Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well, that’s good to know...now. ;)
     
  9. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Strat-O-Master

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    If you're not going to play for an hour or two conserve electricity and turn it off. Save yourself some $ towards something cool. You're most likely doing no real harm though and I get that "warmed up" tubes sound different than when first turned on.
     
  10. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-Talker

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    I’ve left my Quilter on with no problem, and I’ve never changed the tubes!

    hehehehe

    Bill, tgo
     
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  11. Stevem

    Stevem Senior Stratmaster

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    When your amp is not in standby all Preamp tubes are always idling ( idling in a mode called class A ) at a high rate , think of it as if your car's engine was running out of gear at 2500 rpm all the time instead of idling at 600 rpm.

    Output tubes in a single ended amp like a champ , Vox 4 water , Gibson GA5 and many others are also running in class A, but they if we us the car motor anology are idling near what would be red line for your car's motor!

    Output tubes in all amps over 15 watts in guitar amps are running / biased to be in class A/B and as such can be set to idle cool which is concidered 50% of the DC wattage they are rated to handle , or can be seat to idle as hot as 70% of max rating, with 60% concidered average / normal.

    It's interesting to note that since these output stages are class A/B they all will output a small amount of class A wattage, the more powerful the A/B stage is the more class A wattage there will be.

    Many folks have reported they did not know that one of there outout tubes had fallen out and actually liked the sound of there amp better running in class A until they drive the amp up loud enough to get into crossover distortion which made the amp sound like crap!
    This can also happen when all the outout tubes are in but the amp is biased too cold at under 40%.
     
  12. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-Talker

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    Then I guess my Quilter is like a Tesla ... no idle necessary!

    Bill, tgo