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Any harm, sideways combo amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Journey55, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Journey55

    Journey55 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Orlando, Florida
    Is there any harm in having a combo amp on its side (either to transport it on a dolly) or simply to have a vertically orientated amp. (I have a GK400rb-vi 210 that I'm talking about if the model matters)
  2. Not unless that orientation inhibits cooling during use. If it has vents in the top, it might not be wise. Other than that, the world's your oyster.
  3. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Amps don't know up from down or left from right or horizontal from vertical. No physical harm whatsoever (unless venting of the amp for cooling is impaired).

    My only caveat to that comment is, when playing through a cab with multiple drivers, it's better to have the drivers vertically aligned for better dispersion of sound (reduction in comb filtering) for the audience.
  4. The Hamster Wheel works whichever way you angle it.

    Just don't submerge them in water. ;)
  5. Or beer.
  6. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I used to stack two early 70s Fender Bassman Ten combos on their sides. That didn't seem to hurt them any. Patching the 2 channels together on each amp and cranking every single knob up to 11 may not have been the smartest thing, though. Hey, no need for dirt pedals that way. ;)
  7. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The amps will fail if the electrons build up in the downside. They get all mashed and scared and start crying to be set free. While this does give that great "moan tone", 12 sustained hours of this and your amp goes belly up. It was on its side after all.

    Most of us don't play for 12 hours straight, if we did there would be no one on TB. Anyway the occasional chemically enhanced jamband may reach the 12 hour mark but most of us won't. Who's getting paid to?

    So orient those combos anyway you want. If you start to hear crying and moaning it may only be your audience.
  8. Which is the whole point of the OP, as he explained.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Right way up, the amp has feet that can help reduce vibrations. On its side, you don't have that sort of support and the vinyl covering or corners can be damaged. If you have casters on the bottom of the amp and turn it on its side, the casters might vibrate without any weight on them.

    Some people that use cabs on their side install a set of rubber feet. It doesn't always look so good but it does the job.
  10. Nope - other than maybe scraping/scratching it up some, it shouldn't harm the combo.

    FWIW: I read an article somewhere online the other day that said it was best to transport tube amps in their upright position so there is less chance of the tubes coming lose and etc (that makes sense) and combo amp facedown so the weigh of the speakers is on the bottom. But, I’ve been transporting combo amps in their upright position without any problems for years - so IMO, that’s baloney.
  11. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Way back in the dark ages (i.e., the 1970s) people used to warn me about using tube amps on their side, because ostensibly gravity could affect the spacing of the cathode & anode, and that would presumably impact the tube's performance. Not sure if there's any truth to that, but it was a common refrain. In fact, now that I think about it it's probably a crock of poo, because Pultec equalizers all have their tubes oriented horizontally, and I never heard anyone complain about those going bad due to "gravitational effects on the tube filaments"
  12. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    The tubes that are in musical instrument amps can be used in any orientation without any concern.

    There are some tubes through that can only be used vertically because of the potential of sagging heater (filament) findings that could cause an internal short. These tubes have this restriction noted in the tube data sheet. Other tubes such as mercury vapor rectifier tubes like the 83 should only be used vertically with the base down. The tube contains a drop of mercury. As the tube heats, the mercury vaporizes. Until it does this, you want the mercury at the bottom so it doesn't cause a short. So there is some truth in what you are saying.