Do amps change their tone with time?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by katarzis, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. katarzis

    katarzis Member

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    if they do i can't find the reason why...
    i'm not talking about 30 years old amps.
    i'm talking about new amps with months of use.
    I had several new amps that their tone got better with time... i think :).
    what do you think?
     
  2. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Maybe dem speakers broke in a bit.
    Also, ya slowly tweak things to an optimum position.

    Also the little goblins inside settle in and feel more at home after a few months.
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I think they do, my Carol-Ann has really opened up, very noticable.
     
  4. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    Tubes sure do......
     
  5. kimock

    kimock Member

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    They break in, absolutely yes. Eventually they wear out!
    All the while they seem to change relative to the player, who's also breaking in and wearing out. . .:)

    peace
     
  6. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    So that's what's happening to me! :AOK
     
  7. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I vote for speakers as the culprit, especially on a new amp.

    Also, some amps change dramatically from the beginning to the end of a club set of hard playing, especially amps with carbon composite resistors with high temperature coeficients. These resistors change in value according to degree and duration of heat they're exposed too, which is compounded since resistors slow down current by converting it too and dissipating heat.
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Amps definetely break in over time...Transformers have a break in period, and of course speakers...Guitars do as well
     
  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    If you take the big view....amps change their tone THROUGHOUT their life.
    Seriously. Even discounting that the player changes guitar, pedal, styles, or gets better (or worse if not playing much :jo), forget about that, as objective as one could be...would have to say amps are constantly changing.

    When new, as pointed out, there is speaker break-in. That will change the tone a lot over fairly short time I think. On top of that, components, especially tubes, are changing all the time. The caps change over time.

    You play an amp a lot and the power tubes start degenerating maybe...over time, then you change them for new tubes but the new tubes are not exactly like the old ones, so you aren't back "where you started" either. Components change their values, drift, especially caps, but even resistors. Heat over time does this. The connections get worse..etc.etc.

    But the funny thing is, the core sound remains.

    Usually.

    Think of guys trying out 3 or 4 of the same OD, or fuzzes for that one that shines a little over the others....they may sound really similar, but so do the same amp models usually, but there are always small differences.
     
  10. gregc

    gregc Member

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    Electronics components specs drift, including tubes; speakers break-in, then at some point start heading South..... just like our ears........
     
  11. billstets

    billstets Member

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    I think the main thing with new tube amps will be speaker and tone capacitor break in. You always hear about speakers needing to be broken in. Well the caps need to as well. There's a little article about this on the Sozo site:

    http://www.sozoamplification.com/break_in.html


    I have experienced it first hand and it is very significant. I built a Metro JTM45 kit about a month ago. After I completed it and fired it up, it sounded ok. Then I pulled the power tubes, plugged my 5-disc CD changer into it and ran it for about 20 hours with the controls dimed. When I fired it up after this initial break-in, the difference was dramatic. Too bad I didn't do before and after recordings, but it was very significant. It sounds great now, but the guys on the Metro forum say they take about 100 hours to really break in.
     
  12. mitch236

    mitch236 Member

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    Back in the day when tubes ruled the audiophile world, you would definately "burn in" a new amp. It took about 20-50 hours. It was a beautiful glow!
     
  13. go7

    go7 Member

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    Speakers for sure have a break in time. After putting a Mercury Magnetics OT and Sozo coupling caps in my 5E3 both suppliers said 40 hours of hard playing to break in OT and caps. I found this to be true.Tone just kept getting better.
     
  14. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. As a rule I don't pay too much attention to what my new amps sudn liek nuance wise until they have some gigs on them and the components are settled in.
     
  15. JimH

    JimH Member

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    speakers and tubes change pretty quick.

    ...your strings???
     
  16. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    The documentation with my latest kit build says you need 20 hours or so for the trannys, caps wo break in.

    Acoustic guitars are said to have a break in period while the wood responds to the vobrations. Why would cabinets be the same way?
     

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