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tube warmup question

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by beninma, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. beninma

    beninma Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    880
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    OK, so my Orange amp takes maybe 30 seconds to warmup before it starts passing sound.

    I usually put it on standby, strum a few bars, tune the guitar, and then flip it over to "on" and I'm good. If you flip it to on instantly it won't make much sound initially.

    I am just curious though, to me it sounds like the sound is off a little for 5-10 minutes until the amp actually feels warm to the touch on the top.

    Anyone else notice anything like this? Am I imagining it? I would say the sound is kind of "thin" and almost has a tremolo type thing going on which goes away after a few minutes? I'm obviously warming up at the same time.

    Note it's taken me a long time to notice this.. I'm not talking about anything major.
     

  2. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

    582
    Jan 9, 2011
    Florida Keys
    It is pretty typical of tube amps for there to be a delay between turning on and optimum tone. I'd say most tube amps take 20 to 30 minutes to sound their best. The 5-10 minute window you mention is probably too soon. Play with the amp a little more and let your ears guide you.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. beninma

    beninma Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    880
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Cool. I think the key thing for me is not to go fiddling with knobs and eq and such if it doesn’t sound great right away.
     

  4. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Meister

    Age:
    41
    248
    Aug 20, 2017
    England
    Which amp do you have? AD30?

    I've heard a few people mention this about the AD30, though i haven't really noticed it with my own AD15.
     

  5. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Holic

    825
    Jan 17, 2014
    Bucks Co. PA
    My amps usually run for 15 min or so before the first set. Truthfully I don't think it takes more than 5 min to warm an amp up though.
    There are a lot of myths surrounding tube amps particularly in kids under say 45yrs. Most of it is nonsense. Back in the day we just turned them on for a minute or two and just played. The most important thing is cool down time after you play ... even then 10min is plenty ... I give it 20min because I'm to busy getting set up for last call.
     

  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    252
    Feb 2, 2018
    St. Louis
    There are threads on other forums where engineers, builders and punters are nearly coming to blows over the question of the usefullness of a standby switch. :)
     
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  7. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

    517
    Nov 13, 2008
    Wales
    Does tea or coffee taste better if the kettle is left to boil for an extra ten mins. Surely hot is hot. No?
    Just an afterthought. Maybe the speaker sounds better after a bit of a warm up. Don't see how anything else should be different though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018

  8. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World

    IMO&E, 30 sec to 1 min is sufficient but live you want to make sure the amp is not going to go FZZZZZ when you turn it on and quickly start to play.
     

  9. beninma

    beninma Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    880
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Rocker 15... I'd have to do an experiment but this behavior might be subtly dependent on the attenuator. i.e. it might take longer/less time to warm up depending on whether you select 0.5/1/7/15w.

    It was really noticeable yesterday I'd turned it on 1W mode and had the volume on the clean channel at about 3. I don't usually use much power because I have the amp up on a stand at about waist level or a bit higher and I play with the amp facing me... way too loud in the higher power modes. I also hadn't played the amp in almost a week because I'd been away from home and I'd just played my Yamaha THR all last week, which obviously doesn't have any warmup time.

    Only other thing I can think of is if there is a pedal with a warmup time in my chain that is goofing with things.. I don't think so, and it's not like I was playing with a pedal turned on.

    But again, just curiosity, no big deal. Even if it actually takes 20-30min to sound it's absolute best I can't perceive that... for me it's sounding great in 5-10. So I can easily go put it on standby and then go take care of something else before starting to play.
     

  10. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Holic

    825
    Jan 17, 2014
    Bucks Co. PA
    A nice convenience when switching guitars or something like that but totally unnecessary in a guitar amp.
     
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  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    252
    Feb 2, 2018
    St. Louis

    Not nearly in depth enough for the conversations I was referring to. I think there are very few people anymore who think they are necessary. There is a growing number of people however who think they are detrimental to tube life and amps in general.

    For the record, all my amps that have a stand by switch are bass amps ( SVTs). I use the SB when turning the amp on or when going to break in between sets.
     

  12. Mistercharlie

    Mistercharlie Tele-Holic

    742
    Apr 28, 2015
    Germany
    Tea will taste a lot worse. Boiling the water for too long, or re-boiling it after cooling, will give you a flat-tasting brew. Something to do with knocking out oxygen, I believe, but even if not, the difference is quite clear.
     

  13. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    '
    I too started to notice something similar to this a few years ago...

    Soon after turning on one of my tube amps I'd start fiddling with the knobs because it didn't sound quite as good as when I played it last, but about 10-20 minutes later it sounded awesome where it was originally set before.

    I'm fairly certain it wasn't my imagination since I didn't consciously look for it but repeatedly noticed it over and over since then, so I think there is something to it.

    As for the standby switch, I use it as it was originally designed to be used and if it's a waste of time then so be it...

    '
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018

  14. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Meister

    278
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    I've seen posts resembling thesis papers on the subject of the standby switch. My take is that it is not named correctly. To me standby means pause. It seems like its actual purpose is similar to a choke on a lawn mower.
     

  15. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    I'm a DIY tube amp builder and do put a standby in all my builds. I play in a Church Band and sometimes there is several instances of getting up to play and sitting down in the congregation, so a standby and instant amp on/mute is handy in my case.

    I think a standby is not necessary especially on tube amps with tube rectifiers because the second you turn it on the rectifier starts warming up building up DC voltage(DCV) gradually, plus the heaters now on are warming up the tubes gradually to full potential naturally in 15 to 30 seconds in which amp should be functioning pretty normal at that point. Yes I would agree the hotter the tubes get the better it sounds.

    On amps with solid state rectification there is no gradual build up of high voltage DCV. The second the on switch is turned on full DCV is hitting the tubes. Any delay in operation is from the tube heaters getting hot enough for the tubes to start functioning.

    The argument is that without a standby switch to let the heaters warm the tube up before hitting the tube with high DCV cold all at once decreases the life of a tube as opposed to letting the heater warm them up before hitting them with high DCV. I'm not sure myself rather it really shortens the tube life enough to matter???? The argument is blazing out there in the tube amp world!

    It may not make one bit of difference but this is what I do:

    1-With the standby switch on turn the power switch on
    2-Wait about 30 seconds and flip the standby off
    3-On shut down when my playing session is finished I turn my standby on first. This is so my standby will already be on when I fire my amp on next time.
    4-Immediatly after turning the standby on, turn power switch off.
    5-Now you are already setup to start step #1 next time.
    Platefire
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Not unusual at all.

    FWIW very few techs I know ever use a standby switch, and despite their installation manufacturers like Fender didn't use standby switches when first turning amps on. There are very, very few proven/significant cases of "cathode stripping", the best known reason for using them.
     
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  17. Salsg

    Salsg Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    125
    Apr 12, 2018
    SoCal
    I never use the standby switch on my AC30CC1
     

  18. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    It's what ever you like and feel good about! I don't think it makes a hairs worth of difference either way. I got in a habit of using a standby in my traveling band days and it's hard to turn it off now:>)

    However Jamming here at home I have my amp, effects, PA on a single Block Multi Outlet to wall socket, and I just turn it all on from the block all at once(standby off) including my tube amp---no problem!
    Platefire
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 9:16 AM

  19. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Holic

    825
    Jan 17, 2014
    Bucks Co. PA
    Cathode stripping is something that you will see in high energy, high voltage RF circuitry. In all of my life I have never once seen it in an audio amp of any kind. I'm not saying it can't happen but I and no one I know has ever experienced it with a guitar amp.
     
    Silverface likes this.

  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Exactly. Never in the countless amps I've serviced, and it's never happened to any of the local techs (full time shop operators, semi-pro "hobbyists" or retired part-timers) I know - or any of their...or my...customers.
     

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