How do you power down you amps?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by lgehrig4, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    ...Is it better to put it on standby or turn it off first? I think I read somewhere that it is better to turn off the amp first so that you can drain the capacitors.
     
  2. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    State of Denial
    I turn the power switch off, play the guitar til the sound goes away, then flip the standby switch so I don't have to remember to do that the next time I power up.

    --chiba
     
  3. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    central Illinois
    It make no difference.Your just turning the power off.It makes no difference how it goes off.
    I don't understand the comment about flipping the standby so you don't have to remember when you turn the amp on?
     
  4. brad347

    brad347 Member

    Messages:
    4,811
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I understand that cutting power (both switches) and playing til the sound goes away drains most of the juice from the filter caps.

    Is this true or a myth?
     
  5. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    This is why I asked because I remember reading something to the effect that doing it this way is better for your filter caps.

    Tonezoneonline, Do you have anything to back your comments or are these just your opinions? I couldn't say whether it benefits your amp your not, but there is definitely a difference. When you flip power switch before the standbye and strum the guitar you can hear it fade off. If you turn off the standby first that juice remains in the filter caps.
     
  6. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    State of Denial
    Turn amp on:
    1) Flip power switch to 'on' position.
    2) Wait.
    3) Flip standby switch to 'on' position.
    4) Play noisily.

    Turn amp off:
    1) Flip power switch to 'off' position.
    2) Play noisily until sound has faded away.
    3) Flip standby switch to 'standby' position.

    If I skip step #3 when I turn it off, then I have to remember to flip it before I turn the amp on next time, that's all. Nothing heavy.

    The standby switch either completes or breaks the circuit in your amp, that's why you either hear sound or don't depending on where it is. If you break the circuit BEFORE turning the power switch off, everything inside the juiced parts of your amp - caps, tubes, etc. - stays hot, live, 'on' - however you want to put it. If you FORGET this before the next time you touch something INSIDE your amp, you can get heartily electrocuted.

    If, on the other hand, you just play and flip the power switch to 'off' and keep playing, as the electricity drains from your amp (caps, tubes, etc.) you hear the sound fade away. Once you can't hear anything, MOST (i.e. not 'all') of the electricity has gone out of those parts. That way, next time you reach in there, you might get jolted but theoretically not enough to kill you.

    Having said that, though, you should never put your hands inside an amp (at the same time) without discharging the filter caps. Not only can they store high amounts of electricity, but they can develop a 'memory' and magically recharge themselves to lethal levels even AFTER being played out or discharged.

    --chiba
     
  7. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

    Messages:
    12,379
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    This is what my Marshall manual says to do:

    Powering up...

    turn on power
    wait three minutes then
    turn on standby.


    Powering down:

    turn off standby
    wait a little while (I wait three minutes) then
    turn off power.
     
  8. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    central Illinois
    Most of you who have stated one way or another of turning off an amp stated so regarding working on the amp .I thought the original question was just about the correct way to shut the amp down?Of course you can hear the amp if you strum it while the caps are draining.So what?What does it hurt if the "juice "leaves the amp now or in a few minutes?Capacitors are made to store electricity.
    Shutting both switches off at the same time has worked in every amp I've owned or built since 1969.You must really be "old" tele man:)
    Who can tell me why electronically one way is better than the other?Disregarding working on the amp.I don't see it.
     
  9. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    This thread seems to bother you. If so, why don't you just ignore it? My original question wasn't "what is the correct way to turn off am amp". I simply wanted to know if it really improved the life of your filter caps by draining them first. Rechargeable batteries are designed to store electricity too, but there are certain guidelines to follow in regards to charging and discharging to help improve their life. Why couldn't that be the same with caps?

    Oh, and if the charge leaves the caps "in a few minutes" then why do you have to worry about working on amps that haven't been used in a while? Shouldn't you be safe after about an hour or so after turning off the amp?
     
  10. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    central Illinois
    This thread does not bother me at all.I would simply like to know "why" .
    That's just my nature.
    And yes,we should always be safe working on amp and check for voltage before performing any work.As John explained some have bleed resistors some don't.Most of the ones that don't still lose their charge in a matter of minutes but some don't,some will recharge.Some will hold a charge for days.
    This is a discussion ,is it wrong in a discussion to ask why?What's the point of it if we get 25 opinions and not data to back them up?
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

    Messages:
    4,811
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    lots of amps, popular models included, will hold a charge for days. My deluxe will still pop you after being off for a few days.
     
  12. uberpict

    uberpict Member

    Messages:
    503
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    This is what I follow, I've read that it's better for the tube's. Powering down from the high voltage first let's the plates cool slowly down to heater temps at which point the amp can be turned off and the plates cool slowly to room temps. Just my $.02 not sure if it's true or not and it may depend on the tube type.
     

Share This Page