Powering down tube amps...how long should you wait after turning off the standby...

Messages
144
before turning off the power?
You can safely drop both simultaneously.

You give tubes time to warm the tube heaters/filaments up before applying high voltage when you turn on the amp - this prevents cathode stripping and extends tube life. But there is no value in keeping the filaments warm while removing the high voltage.
 

bilbal

Member
Messages
8,485
Through the years, I got into the habit of letting my amps sit idle on standby for a few minutes before turning them completely off. When I was gigging regularly, I use to put them in standby, load up my pedalboard(s), break the remainder of my gear down, and then lastly power off the amps and load them. It's just something that I started doing years ago and I have never had one ounce of trouble with any tube amps. I don't know know if it's necessary or not but I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. I'm not gonna change now. I know it's doesn't hurt anything to do it.

b
 

jmckeown88

Member
Messages
788
Dude I do the exact same thing, as soon as the set is over I reach back and put the amp on standby, then power it down after everything else is packed up!
 

~Naylor38~

Member
Messages
64
Please correct me if I am wrong on this one....I was once told by an amp tech to cut the power first (when powering down) then after maybe 20-30 seconds, turn off the standby. This was to help ease the high voltage storage and stress on the caps. Anyone else heard of this ??
 

Dave

Member
Messages
3,550
I just turn it off. To me it needs the cooling time before I move it.
I've been told by a tech that tubes are more fragile when they're hot, so that makes sense.
Please correct me if I am wrong on this one....I was once told by an amp tech to cut the power first (when powering down) then after maybe 20-30 seconds, turn off the standby. This was to help ease the high voltage storage and stress on the caps. Anyone else heard of this ??
Correct me if I'm wrong (and I am, often :p), but the only difference between the amp being in standby and being turned off is the tubes are getting heater current in standby, so I don't understand how that procedure could have any benefit.
 

SW33THAND5

Member
Messages
5,082
i have played tube amps for 20 years


i always just flip them on and off like a light. never had a problem. i always thought this was way overrated.


thats just my .02
 

bilbal

Member
Messages
8,485
Yeah I'd like to know what the proper way to power off is. As I said, the way I do it more out of habit than necessity. That said, if in fact setting the amp to standby for 20 seconds prior to full power off, is bad for the tubes, I would like to know. Also, as I mentioned, my "method" has never proved to harm anything in all the years I have done it.

Interesting...hey you amp gurus, mind chiming in on this one?

b
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,687
Please correct me if I am wrong on this one....I was once told by an amp tech to cut the power first (when powering down) then after maybe 20-30 seconds, turn off the standby. This was to help ease the high voltage storage and stress on the caps. Anyone else heard of this ??
This is true, and what you want to do before pulling tubes etc.

I always flick the power a couple of seconds before flicking off the standby to let the internal capacitor voltages drop down to a safer level. You can't be too safe with these things, and you never know when someone's going to try to stick their finger into an open tube socket. ;)
 

Unabender

Member
Messages
684
Standby switches in tube amps are pretty much not needed. Audio range tubes are designed to take the current inrush, no cathode stripping etc.

Maybe someone can correct me, but none of tube amplifier radios had a standby switch. I guess they would have known better.
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,344
Through the years, I got into the habit of letting my amps sit idle on standby for a few minutes before turning them completely off. When I was gigging regularly, I use to put them in standby, load up my pedalboard(s), break the remainder of my gear down, and then lastly power off the amps and load them. It's just something that I started doing years ago and I have never had one ounce of trouble with any tube amps. I don't know know if it's necessary or not but I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. I'm not gonna change now. I know it's doesn't hurt anything to do it.

b
That's what I've been doing for the past five years or so. I think I read somewhere that's the way it should be done.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,943
Even though leaving standby on (this is confusing as some amp manufacturers call "on" "off"...meaning stanby ON no sound, but I mean it in the opposite way, standby ON meaning sound out of the amp) and turning off power supposedly goes a long way to draining the caps, etc...I don't do it.

For one thing, it is way more likely to "pop" which is an unpleasant sound, and for the other, too often I forget then to turn standby off again, so the next time I hit power, effectively I am not using standby...

So for me, unless I plan on opening up the amp and working in it, when I power up I turn on power, wait at least a minute, usually setting up my pedalboard, etc. takes longer anyway, shoot the breeze with the band guys, then turn stanby on (sound comes out of the speakers)...

When I am done for the night, I turn stanby off, no sound....wait a secong or two, then turn power off.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,819
I turn standby on, power off one right after the other. I see no benefit to leaving the power on and there probably is some merit to letting the tubes cool before moving the amp.
 

fullerplast

Senior Member
Messages
6,781
I always power down the mains first for two reasons:

First, to reduce arcing wear on the standby switch. The standby switch lives a much harder life than the main power switch, as it is switching 400+ volts DC while the mains is only switching 120VAC. The arcing at DC is the main cause of eventual standby switch failure as the DC ratings of the switches are often marginal at best.

The second reason is to simply allow the filter caps to discharge. When you switch the standby off first, the caps stay charged longer than if you switch the mains off first. Not a big deal, but a bit safer than carrying around a 400V charge should a tube break or some other mishap occur during transport.
 

deeval

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,148
I was to understand that if you are storing Vintage amps and dont use them for several months or a year,its best to turn off power switch first leaving stand by sw. on for a few moments,to keep the capacitors charged during storage,anyone heard of this?
 

Blue Strat

Senior Member
Messages
30,151
There's absolutely no advantage to any of these methods over any other except the one that lets the tubes cool before moving the amp.

The only time the standby switch comes into play is on power up. It's best to let the tube heaters warm up in standby before applying full power by taking the amp out of standby.
 

Mickey Shane

apolitical
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,418
I have always flipped both switches off at the same time. I can't see any electronic advantage to doing it any other way.
 




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