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Warming

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by cronker, Nov 3, 2012.


  1. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Adelaide. SA
    Hey
    My Ashdown is a lovely, loud amp.
    I tend to let it "warm up" before I play, because of the tube pre.
    Is this necessary?
     
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Tube won't pass signal until it is warm, so you'll have to let it warm up for the 20-40 seconds that takes before it sounds right.
     
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  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1, it'll only work after the tubes have had a short warm up period, but if it makes sound, it's good to go.
     
  5. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Small preamp tubes warm up to operating temp quickly. Less than one minute.
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    In other words, once you can hear through it, you can use it.
     
  7. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    That about sums it up. :)
     
  8. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Warwick, NY
    I have a related question. I have an STM-900 with 3 pre-amp tubes. Is it better to keep amp running between sets, or would it not make a difference if I power it down.
     
  9. UrsaMinor

    UrsaMinor

    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't the pre-amp tubes be of no huge deal. I would think that power tubes would need to stay warmer, as they tend to sound better the more they're cooking. Like I said, this may not be the case.
     
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    It won't make a difference if it were all tube I think it might. I had a SVT Classic and was told to keep it on rather than keep powering it up and down nice amp by the way.
     
  11. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Warwick, NY
    I was also thinking about what would be best for extending tube life.
     
  12. DethByDoom

    DethByDoom Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Houston,Tx
    The analogy I was given is tube amps are like Diesel engines. They don't have to have an extended warm up but they run better when they do.

    +1 on preamp tubes warming quick. Power tubes do sound noticeably better warmed up well. And they take a bit more time.

    I was told, however, that its rough on the tubes to move tube heads that are on or still very warm.

    I've had the same power tubes in my head for like 6 yrs. At gigs I put it on standby for a min then turn power on and finish setup. I like warm power tubes for gigs. I try to put it in and out of standby as little as possible. I put it in standby the most at practice. If its gonna be on for more than 30-45min w/o use I'll put it in standby. If its gonna be a long gig ill put a fan on it. I baby it.

    Also the harder you push the tube the less life you get. If you run the power section real hard (3 o'clock or more) its gonna affect tube longevity.
     
  13. I have an amp that uses 12ax7 pre-tubes and MOSFET power section. After several hours of playing I can hear my amp's tone change for the better, it begins to sound thicker and fuller.

    After changing my pre-amp tubes (I don't think it had ever been done) it sounds great right out of the gate. My point being, if the sound does change after a long warm up period it's time to try new preamp tubes.
     
  14. DethByDoom

    DethByDoom Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Houston,Tx
    I've generally used the "tap test" for preamp tubes. Lightly tap them while amps on. If they're microphonic I replace them. Ive found that they start sounding lifeless and get microphonic at about the same time. If you get good tubes it can get pricey to try to replace them often i.e. telefunken or tung-sol.
     
  15. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    What about a solid state power amp class H, do you let it warm up a little before blasting away ?
     
  16. DethByDoom

    DethByDoom Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Houston,Tx
    Does it even have a standby mode? Shouldn't need to… is it an SVT 3? They kind of do that on their own.
     
  17. cronker

    cronker

    Feb 13, 2007
    Adelaide. SA
    Thanks for the replies. Interesting stuff.
    I find my amp sounds "warmer" and more tonally pleasing if I let it warm up for about 10 minutes before playing.
    It sounds really nice when it's been pumped for about 30 minutes.
    I tend to drive it a little hard every now and then, just to "clean out the cobwebs". Works for me :)
     
  18. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Warm-up and overall heat affect more than just the tubes. All components shift values anywhere from a not hardly noticable amount to really noticable depending on their construction and condition (age - especially paper filter capacitors). This sounds like the capacitors are shifting in value from the heat. It's alright - they all do that. But a few years from now, when it stops sounding fine after 30 minutes, and starts feeling hot all over after a gig in spite of tube changes, then the filter capacitors and maybe some other components will be needing changing as well as tubes.
     
  19. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    SS needs no warmup. My 800RB gets no warm up at all, the Fusion 550 gets powered on and off while in mute and generally in less than a minute I am tuning in mute mode and ready to play (three tube preamp).
     
  20. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    :bassist::hyper:
     
  21. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Modern well-designed solid state amps have a built in buffer that delays full power on until any risk of voltage spikes (you know - the infamous "thump" in a speaker when an amp is turned on) have been buffered. My Carvin MB12 is like that. It does the equivalent of a mini-diagnostic every time I turn it on, and a few seconds later, I'm good to go.
     



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