Between sets - standby or turn off the amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by soldano16, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Might seem like an odd question but my #1 amp for a decade had no standby switch.

    What's conventional wisdom on a 50 watt plexi?
     
  2. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    That's what the standby switch is for - keep the tubes warm during breaks so it comes right back on. Also it has the advantage of avoiding that "thump" that can happen when you turn an already warm amp back on.
     
  3. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    But I can turn the amp back on and let it warm up while I tune for the next set. Probably I good way to get me not to rush my tuning.

    It's just a question of what's best for the power tubes. My guess is that the total on/off is not the best thing and standby is the way to go but I await the experts.
     
  4. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Hmmmm I've played tube amps all my life (15 of those gigging), I've never known the real answer to that? Currently, I just leave it on (stand by and power). Now when I first started, I flipped it to stand by, I'm not sure when I stopped doing that? I haven't had an amp long enough to really tell if it's hard on them either. My average amp's life span before being traded off is 6 months. I did have a Dr Z Stangray for 2 years though and never put it in stand by.... I didn't see anything going wrong with the amp either.

    I'm gonna watch this post and see what I learn.

    I do know that my tubes seem to be REALLY cookin' by the end of the 3rd set.
     
  5. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    ******* Kind of an update

    I read a report somewhere by a semi famous amp builder that some amps are made now that don't have a stand by switch because they say it's hard on the Rectifier tube. He was talking about amps that use GZ34 rectifier tubes... I wonder if this goes for all amps?
     
  6. Madison

    Madison Member

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    Regarding my Clubman which is an EL-34 eater, Phil Jamison says to absolutely use the standby on breaks to extend power tube life.
     
  7. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Member

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    The GZ34 offers a slow start up for the tubes.
    Amps that have it don't depend on a standby as much.
    Turn your amp on & leave it on.
    If you have standby then use it during breaks.
    If you don't...........don't worry about it..........leave it runnin'.
    You cause more wear by starting and stopping it.
    Much pro tube equipment in broadcasting is left on 24/7.

    JJ
     
  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I'm a standby guy... I don't play that often to worry about the life span of the tubes.
     
  9. Bussman

    Bussman Member

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    I always put the amp on standby while not playing. Was taught to do it that way, forgot the reason behind it.

    Form R.G. Keen's website (geofex):
     
  10. OutterLimits

    OutterLimits Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know about the rectifier tube problem mentioned, but amps seem to have surge problems more at startup ... blown fuses, whatever ... tubes sounding microphonic ... I prefer keeping things going at a gig when I know it all sounds & works right ...
     
  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I don't do either. I just leave my amp running, ready to play.
     
  12. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    I leave it on stand by.
     
  13. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    For the most part, I use the Standby switch. But, with some tube rectified amps or Class A amps, I find that they can become overly "saggy" over the course of the night, if too much heat builds up. So, I will turn them off between sets.
     
  14. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I just leave mine on. I replace the tubes twice a year anyway, so I just don't worry about it.
     
  15. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Where are all those boutique amp builders when you need them.:D
     
  16. Telecaster62

    Telecaster62 Member

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    Both of my gig amps are class AB and have no standby switch and have solid state rectifiers. I leave them both running and turn the guitar volume to zero. By the beginning of the 2nd set they are sounding awesome.
     
  17. hathisisfunnyha

    hathisisfunnyha Supporting Member

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    why has nobody asked the simple question of how long are the breaks?

    If you have an hour break in between sets thats different from 20 minutes. If adequate time is allowed for the amp to cool down completely, I agree that just turning it off is ok, but if its a ten minute break then there is no sense is not using the standby switch if you have one
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Stanby mutes the amp, keeps the tubes in the normal temp range but cuts the high voltage load, diminishes heat output. If you have a problem with keeping it on, in standby, there is something else wrong, too. If ventilation/cooling is a problem that would be an issue.
     
  19. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    There is no standby on my amp (Blues Junior) so between sets I just leave it on and lower the master!
     
  20. afterburner

    afterburner Member

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    Same. I don't play enough to have more than one set actually.

    interesting responses...
     

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