How to switch on my amp.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by WingedWords, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This is probably a daft question, but treat me kindly. I know nothing about electrics.

    I've had a much loved Wem Westminster IX amp from new in around 1974. It had a good overhaul a couple of years ago and I want to keep it happy for as long as possible.

    The treble control doubles as an on/off switch and I've always just used that. I'm a little concerned that the switch is probably getting a bit tired and wonder if there's any advantage in leaving that switch alone and switching on and off at the wall socket. Or is this not a good idea?

    Also I seem to remember my old dad telling me that hi-fi amps should always have the volume turned to zero before switching on and off. Should I be doing this with guitar amps?

    Pic of amp attached and the schematic. Grateful for any knowledgeable advice.

    westminmk9.jpeg.jpg 20190807_190249.jpg
     
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  2. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It shouldn't make any difference. Using a switched power strip would be easier that plugging & unplugging from the wall socket.
     
  3. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Dad might have been thinking that this will prevent any loud "pop" sounds that might damage the speakers. Probably an unnecessary worry with a hifi system, certainly not an issue with any guitar amp as far as I know.
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Back in the sixties, our Kustom (and later Peavey) solid state PA's had a loud and annoying "THOT!!!" when switched on and off. Don't think it damaged the speakers, but sure startled people standing around if they weren't expecting it.
     
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  5. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the reassurance. It sounds as if I'm not doing anything stupid but maybe being a bit over-careful.

    Ed - the socket is switched as most sockets are here in the UK, so I don't have to pull the plug.

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  6. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    Nice guitar and amp! How ever you turn it on it must sound great.
    Thanks john
     
  7. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I turn on all of my tube amps following a very specific list of steps...no exception.

    1. Plug it into the power strip
    2. Set my cold beverage on the desk next to me
    3. Plug in my instrument cable and guitar
    4. Say a prayer that nothing catches fire or blows up
    5. Hit the switch and wait 30 seconds while I take drink and get situated
    6. Start playing
     
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  8. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The three of us have a combined age of about 177 years. I'm trying to keep us all together for as long as poss.
     
  9. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've never had a thump from a valve amp when switching on. Probably the soft start of the heaters coming to temperature and gradual conduction. Solid state?, yeah, they can thump!.

    If you're not too worried about originality, lift the power connections from the current switch and fit a switch to the rear panel? Double pole/single throw switches don't cost a fortune, but the amp really doesn't give a toss in terms of you switching from the socket or from its own switch. To it, electrons are electrons. Consider adding a switch next time you service the amp, but for now, enjoy what I imagine are the glorious sounds from that amp, and don't worry.
     
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  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had the power switch fail suddenly recently in a Mesa boogie after 30 years. Pop, flash and smoke... could have been worse.

    Amp was not usable till I fixed it. I got a very close replacement and it’s solid again.

    As mentioned, whether you cut the power at the socket or on the switch it makes no difference but if the switch is suspect, you could have a dead amp one day, so I’d look to locate a spare switch in the meantime.

    Did the big filter caps get done in the overhaul?
     
  11. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I turn on my amp by giving her Godiva chocolates, and whispering, "I am filthy rich" into her ear.

    :oops:
     
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  12. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    After 40+ years together those little niceties don't really work any more.

    Guitarteach - switch failure is my main worry. It's apparently fine at present, but things don't last forever - finding a spare is a good thought. VintageSG's idea is a possibility and I'll bear it in mind. Not sure about filter caps. I'll bear that in mind too.

    Thanks all. I knew it was worth consulting the brains here.
     
  13. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    There are very few things in our world that require being powered up with a panel switch, and a guitar amp is not one of them. The power strip idea is much easier than installing an in-line switch on the power cord.
     
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