Best way to keep amps that get little use?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Rex Nomad, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Rex Nomad

    Rex Nomad Member

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    I've got a few amps I only play once or twice a year. I've heard that I should turn them on and leave them running every so often so the caps stay healthy. Any truth to this? And if so how often and for how long? Can I just turn the power on and let them sit for a while on standby or should I play through them? Any info would be helpful - thanks.
     
  2. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL Member

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    I'm glad you posted this as well. I have some amps that don't get used regularly. I try to turn them on periodically and maybe use them!

    Looking forward to hearing from the pros!

    Johnny
     
  3. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Capacitors have a characteristic in common with batteries in that they store and release charge through chemical means. Like the battery in your car, if left without a charge for long periods of time, they can begin to perform this task less efficiently. For this reason it is best to keep their juices flowing now and again, just as it is best to crank a car that's in storage once in awhile to keep its battery healthy. It's best to take the amp off 'standby' and let it run, if not play through it, because in 'standby' mode nothing is going through the cathode bypass caps, and less current is being drawn through the filter caps. Might as well just open 'er up for a few minutes in 'play' mode.

    I suppose my question would be "why own amps that you play only once or twice a year" but I guess the answer would be that it's none of my business ;)
     
  4. Rex Nomad

    Rex Nomad Member

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    I've been playing for about 25 years and my needs have changed a few times over that period. I'm lucky that I didn't always have to sell my amps to buy other ones. I've held onto a few that I've really liked as they have served me well and I am fond of them even though I don't really play them anymore. I still have the first real amp I bought when I was 16 years old - a hot-rodded Fender Dual Showman. Thanks for your response and advice for keeping them going.
     
  5. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    I've got too many to do that. I'll just have to take my chances.
     
  6. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I don't turn all mine on every week. I have 5 vintage tube amps and a vintage fender reverb unit, and they don't all get turned on once a week. They all see action at least once a month though! If they don't I sell 'em so that they will! ;)

    but with monthly gigging or recording action they all stay healthy JUST FINE.
     
  7. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

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    I own a lot of amps I rarely use, too. This is a really good question. I don't have an informed answer, but I try to use each of my amps for an hour or so, about once a month minimum. No clue if that's the way to go or not, but it's served me well so far.
     
  8. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Used regularly it's possible that the electrolytic caps can last indefinitely. I'm just hanging on to most of my old amps to let them appreciate until I want to sell them for needed cash when I'm retired. It won't make difference value wise at that point, just so long as they work.
     

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