Newbie Standby Switch Questions

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by brunsje, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. brunsje

    brunsje Member

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    Please comment on how I use my standby switch on my Divided by 13 CCC 9/15 Amp:

    I turn the standby switch ON

    After waiting about 1 minute, I turn the Power switch ON

    There I play the Amp with both switches ON.

    When I am finished playing guitar, I turn off the Power switch, then quickly turn off the Standby switch.

    Is this correct?

    Thanks, JohnnyB
     
  2. brunsje

    brunsje Member

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    After reading the four articles;

    I understand when powering down to simply turn both the standby and power switches OFF.

    I remain confused on the powering up process:

    Which switch provides warm-up power to the tubes? STBY or POWER?

    Thanks, JohnnyB
     
  3. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    Power on first. Then after a few minutes, turn standby on. But many people have different ways, including just leaving standby on, and letting the rectifier do all the work.
     
  4. brunsje

    brunsje Member

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    I got it now, Thank You.
     
  5. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

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    Turning POWEER on and waiting a minute before engaging the STANDBY switch allows the tubes to warm up before subjecting them to an onrush of high voltage. This will extend yout tube life! Save money! Impress your friends! :)
     
  6. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    I just wanted to clarify that when shutting down the amplifier its a good idea to go from Run back to Standby. Then wait 30 seconds before shutting off Power.

    I can explain why this is a good idea if anyone interested.
     
  7. JimGtr

    JimGtr Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd love to hear the explanation behind this, donny. Inquiring minds want to know ;) thx
     
  8. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    Pretty sure it has to do with draining the caps etc of dangerous voltages?
     
  9. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I like this way best:

    Powering up:

    Turn on the power.
    Wait 3 minutes.
    Then turn on the standby and play.



    Powering down:

    Turn off the standby.
    Wait 3 minutes.
    Then turn off the power.


    The above method seems to help your tubes last their longest.

    And it's best to do all of this with the volume turned all the way down. As this can help protect your speakers from various pops etc.
     
  10. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    3 minutes!!! That's a lot of time sitting around waiting.

    It has been tested and proven that Standby's don't increase tube life. In a lab test, tubes have been tested with power cycled on and off every way imaginable and all the tubes in the test last the relative length of time. Standby switches are unique to musician amps; the reason guitar amps have standbys and old tube radios and old and new tube hi-fi's don't, so you can turn the sound off inbetween gigs. Everything else that has been taught is a myth, a wives tale that made enough common sense that it stuck. You'll never find a professional tube manual by RCA, Western Elec., the military or even and old Fender amp manual that supports it. Where you will find it is in all of those half-accurate, most subjective guitar amp books written by amp techs/builders with more opinions than engineering background.

    Standby switches are musician-centric...not tube-centric.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  11. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    If there is one power switch and one standby switch the best way to turn the amp off is to just turn the power switch off, but leave the amps standby in the play position. This will allow the caps to drain off, rather than to just retain their voltages.

    Best way to turn it on is to turn the power switch on. The standby switch does nothing to affect the best or worst way to turn it on. Its purely up to the user. Leaving the amp in standby for 30 seconds or 30 minutes doesn't make the amp run any better or worse.
     
  12. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Wyatt, don't hold back. Let us know how you really feel. ;)

    I'm pretty sure that the thermal stress of turning a filament on and off will shorten the life of any vacuum tube. Granted, the filaments are very tough and aren't heating up to lightbulb temperature levels (at least in the tubes we use) so the difference may be more slight than profound I do admit.

    As for waiting in Standby for a minute before shutting off the Mains.... If you don't you'll be subjecting the output tubes to heavy conduction as the bias filter capacitors discharge much faster than the HT power supply capacitors. With cooled cathodes it exacerbates the problem.

    (it also explains why some amp's, particuarly Marshall, blow the fuse when there's a power cut)
     
  13. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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  14. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    I deleted two previous posts shortly after typing each because I didn't want to let myself get dragged in.

    Ultimately tubes are consumable, even if I were to entertain the idea of the "slow warm up", if someone is so worried about buying new tubes that they feel they have to jump through hoops to squeeze a few more hours past the 1000+ operational hours of a tube, despite the fact that the average tube performance is reduced long for they die...then they can't afford to own tube amp. But I doubt anyone here is in that predicament, so they need to ask themselves...what exactly am I trying to avoid?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  15. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Why not improve the life of something? I'm sure amp mfgr's don't like adding extra hardware for the fun of it. Also, tube life is added by putting it on standby when taking a break. Heating/cooling cycles of filaments shorten their life also. I especially like the idea of preserving NOS tubes as long as possible. When there are so many different opinions on the subject, I'll take the easy way and give the tubes the benefit of the doubt.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  16. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Running an amp on standby or not on standby does nothing for prolonging the life of tubes though. Standby's are a great way to leave an amp ready to play at a moments notice, but that is about it. No lifetime improvement. Manufacturers either use them because they don't know any better (no I am not kidding) or because their customers can't fathom not having them. Amps without them will have tubes that last equally as long.
     
  17. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    I did a search and found this "TECHNIQUES TO EXTEND THE SERVICE LIFE OF HIGH POWER VACUUM TUBES" explaining the effect of current hitting cold filaments and on/off cycles. I'll continue to use the standby switch. http://www.burle.com/cgi/byteserver.pl/pdf/voa.pdf
     
  18. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    Apples to watermelons. If I dealing with a 100,000-watt radio transmitter, this paper may be relevant.

    Cathode-stripping and filament issues are a known factor in large broadcast tubes such as he is referring to. Home audio tubes are at zero risk for either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  19. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    We are not talking about high power tubes. They are using an example in that article of a cathode draw hitting 482 AMPS! Very different than we are talking about.

    I mean no disrespect, but this, as well as a few other articles like it, are pulled out to use as evidence about guitar amplifier tube standby situations. This has nothing to do with what guitar amps use, nor do most people even understand the entire article or what they are proving. In massve kilovolt or kilowatt applications, then yes, there are very specific things to do to ensure miximum tube life. In guitar amp applications, it is purely a convenience at best.
     

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