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How often should you play your amps?

davess23

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,545
I've got 3 tube amps. I'm not gigging these days, so I want to make sure that they get played enough to keep their tubes, circuits and speakers healthy and happy. I try to play each of them at least an hour or two a week. Sometimes they'll sit for up to a couple of weeks, though, since I travel on business now and then.

Any expert advice would be appreciated.
 

Mickey Shane

apolitical
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,682
If they are stored in a climate controlled room, they will be just fine waiting to get fired up. Using an amplifier actually wears out components. Having it sit will do no harm. On the other hand, gas combustion engines need to be run periodically.
 

sleewell

Senior Member
Messages
10,590
i play my main amp daily and my backup weekly, tubes in both seem to last a very long time.
 

oinkbanana

Member
Messages
491
once a month for a few hours keeps the caps happy.
there's no technical research behind this, but one a month is sure better then once a year or every few years. caps do dry out if they're not juiced once in a while.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
You guys ever hear of NOS tubes ? Means New In Box tubes that were made years ago like 40, 50, 60, years ago. Now think about it.
Tubes will last forever WITHOUT being played. USING a tube wears it out.

Now electroltic caps are another story they dry out inside when they don't get used. How much they need to be used I don't think any one knows for sure.
E caps are about the only part that nonuse hurts but they go bad an amps that get played alot too so don't worry about much. Sooner or later you'll need new ones.
 

Rockerduck

Member
Messages
3,254
I've gigged those 40 yrs old Fenders and Peavey's. Never had to change a tube. Most of the time the Capacitors wore out first. Buy and old amp today and everyone one will tell you to recap and nobody says you need new tubes. I have a 75 year old Philco radio that have tubes that are still good but the capicitors need replacing.
 






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