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your tube amp warm-up routine, if any

whatdisay

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,166
I play a '93 Fender '59 Bassman Reissue (which has standby mode) and a little Vox AC4HW1 (which does not).

I'm curious how long you let your tube amp "warm up" before starting to really drive it. i.e. do you turn it on, let it sit ____ minutes in stand-by, then play for a bit at low to mid volumes? do you juice it a bit to open it up?

I have always been pretty conservative/hesitant on this, but for no real reason.

Just curious what others do...
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,319
Anything longer than a minute is unnecessary. The tubes are warm and ready to go by that time and nothing changes after that first minute.
 

gldtp99

Member
Messages
4,072
Anything longer than a minute is unnecessary. The tubes are warm and ready to go by that time.
Agree--:aok----- but this is a popular "feel good" tube amp myth---- If it makes people feel better to go through odd rituals concerning their tube guitar amps I have no problem with it........................gldtp99
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,319
Agree--:aok----- but this is a popular "feel good" tube amp myth---- If it makes people feel better to go through odd rituals concerning their tube guitar amps I have no problem with it........................gldtp99

I've heard that running it for more than 8 minutes and 13.5 seconds will exorcise evil spirits! :worried:worried:worried
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
Some of you are really into warming tubes.

Did you know that as long as you're in Standby your amp does not really warm up? It just keeps the tubes ready to work, but all of the HV circuits are turned off, some of those might sound different after a few minutes.
 

Birddog

Member
Messages
3,114
I always just turn them on, grab my guitar, turn on my pedal board, and play. Always have, always will. At gigs, I turn on early enough to do sound check, turn it off between breaks (not standby) and back on again a minute or two before we play.

I used to do the 10 minute warm up thing, but it made no difference at all -- at least in my opinion.
 

SeanMc

Member
Messages
1,630
I don't have the scientific measurements and analysis. I do know that my amp sounds better, and kicks into its "special thing", when it's been on for 30+mins and the chassis is too hot to touch. Maybe it's not just the tubes that need to be "warm".
 

gldtp99

Member
Messages
4,072
Some of you are really into warming tubes.

Did you know that as long as you're in Standby your amp does not really warm up? It just keeps the tubes ready to work, but all of the HV circuits are turned off, some of those might sound different after a few minutes.
Not all tube guitar amps----- Silvertone 1484 and 1485 amps hit the cold tubes with full B+ while in Standby---- the Standby switch just shorts the inverted signal paths together post PI.
I've rebuilt several of these amps that came to me with orig output tubes in good operating condition after decades of being hit with full B+ when cold----- these amps have solid state rectifiers so there is no delay in the full B+ being applied to the tubes on cold start-up.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,437
Anywhere from 15 seconds to half an hour or so. Depends on the circumstances. At a gig I usually turn it on when I'm setting everything up just to make sure it works. At home or rehearsal, I just turn it on and go.
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
I think keeping the amp at standby for a while before turning off is more important concerning getting longer lifetime of the tubes. One or two minutes with amp on (not standby) is enough. Not that the sound changes during the evening anyway.
 

crambone

Member
Messages
18,019
The first thing I do is pop the top off of my road case and plug in my amp. Then I hit the Standby switch. I will set up my board and guitar and tune up and that's about 10 minutes total. Then I hit my amp into ON and go to town!

No more than 15 minutes for warm-up.
 

anominous

Senior Member
Messages
541
Anything longer than a minute is unnecessary. The tubes are warm and ready to go by that time and nothing changes after that first minute.

Yup. My Mesa's manual says to wait 30 seconds

I'll go with what Randall Smith thinks on the matter.
 
Last edited:

ldizzle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,470
Anything longer than a minute is unnecessary. The tubes are warm and ready to go by that time and nothing changes after that first minute.
^ from the man!

I usually flip on and standby on and keep my board muted for a few minutes to tune, setup scenes, etc etc
 




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