Can you fry an amp like this??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Miles, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I don't know why I'm asking, but a store owner here in town told me that if you run your amp too hard, you can fry some tube amps.

    For example, I was talking about using a clean boost to get my voxy amp to saturation and he told me to use caution and that with too much drive, some amps can fry.

    Is this true???

    It doesn't sound right, and perhaps I am being impressionable, but I really want to know.
     
  2. PRNDL

    PRNDL Member

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    That may be true, but an amp on 11 is where all the fun is!
     
  3. theinteriorleag

    theinteriorleag Member

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    I've read somewhere that the EH LPB is capable of doing it, but I don't know the science behind it. wish I could help more.
     
  4. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

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    quality of amp will heavily factor into this question. i think most good amp designer/builders know that the sweet spot is close to wide open and design according.
     
  5. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Yeah, I believe so, that seemed to be the message conveyed to me. For example, if you are running an AC30 ish circuit generously gained from the preamp section to begin with, then running something like a 24db clean boost and being in the danger zone.

    Now, while I wouldn't need or use that much gain, I'd still like to know because that doesn't seem like it would be practical, but I just want to know.

    Thanks
     
  6. redtoploader

    redtoploader Member

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    No. You can wear tubes faster by driving them harder longer. You can fry underpowered speakers by driving them too hard. I'm not sure that constitutes frying or not. Just use speakers that can handle the amps power and use quality tubes, and you'll be in no danger.
     
  7. drgonzoguitar

    drgonzoguitar Member

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  8. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Thanks, that is pretty much what I had thought, I mean, if the tubes can't handle it, then how does anything harmful actually reach the circuitry?

    I don't know circuits well at all, but it didn't seem to make since. However, it does make sense that you would shorten pre-amp tube life.

    Thanks,

    Miles
     
  9. bynt

    bynt Member

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    I do know that Marc Ford has a long history of frying his amps but he typically runs them all the way up, with a fuzz, AND a boost. (Not the fuzz all the time, but a boost most of the time).

    I hit the front end of my amps all the time with boosts (either clean or an od pedal) and I've never had a problem but I'm also not running them wide open for three hours a night six nights a week either.
     
  10. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    i don't really think so

    if you really want to fry it why don't you use some gasoline, i know, it is expensive, but it works!
     
  11. candh

    candh Member

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    Anyone supposedly in the know who uses the word "fry" to describe potential damage should be well... slapped... :Spank
     
  12. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Nothing like being wide open and pushing it hard to bring out every, buzz, rattle, microphonic tube noise, oscillation, etc. + generate maximum current draw, max heat and stress any marginally spec'd components....so fry? Maybe.
     
  13. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    I've got an AC-15 that I regularly crank (read: "dime") and then kick in my klon. I keep it like this for a good half hour-hour 'cause it's so much fun, and it's just the best sound ever. That said, yes, you can fry your amp :p
     
  14. elgalad

    elgalad Senior Member

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    Didn't Angus Young supposedly get Marshall to build him some 200W heads because he kept blowing up his 100W gear?
     
  15. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    Most amps mush our when fully dimed. There is a spot on most amps, usually between half way up and about 85% max that sounds right and after that is usually a mushy blur...add a lot of boost to that and you get hyper, mushy blur but if that is what makes you happy, you should definitely do it.
     
  16. Telephile

    Telephile Member

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    Who cares what a great way to go.
     
  17. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I'm laughing out loud over this.

    My kinda guy, I bet you ride bikes with the throttle on the stop as well.


    Didn't SRV run something like 9 TS-9's in series or something, into a cranked amp ? I reckon that might have had "frying" potential, but he seemed to get away with it.
    Heat dissipation is relevant though, lotsa heat will melt your PCB if ventilation is too poor.
     
  18. eru

    eru Member

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    you can, but it's hard.

    there are a few ways to do it, usually running something too hot (tubes or output transformer most likely, op amps or ICs if you have them) so that wiring actually melts.

    don't let the magic smoke out of the box and you'll be okay.

    I haven't done this with a guitar amp, but i had a friend do it with a 400W PA amp. I was just walking over to the mixer/amp because i heard some weird distortions when kick drums were hitting...saw the amp set wide open with the mixer level way too high...and that was all she wrote. the sound went from ugly/distorted to off very quickly and the amp never made sound again.

    We think we isolated the output transformer as the only part that needed to be replaced, but it was so expensive that we just bought a new one.
     

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