cold=bad for amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Shaz, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Tomorow i need to leave a guitar amp and bass amp in my car during school, its gonna be low 30's will it hurt the amps at all. they are gonna be outside in the cold during the whole school day i cant count how many hours that is
  2. shouldnt hurt them as long as you let them warm up before pluggin in also try to cover them with a blanket this will help with moisture.
  3. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Pay more attention in Math class.
  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Just let them warm up to room temperature before you turn them on. Especially if they're tube but even if they're SS amps.
  5. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    In Wisconsin and many other places "low 30s" is not considered cold. In the winter I leave my rig in our unheated garage where it reaches single digit temperatures and below many times a year. I let it warm up for no more than an hour before playing. It doesn't seem to hurt it. Most of the components have survived this treatment for many years. It may be different for tubes though.
  6. Yep. Tubes are WAY more tolerant of temperature changes than most s/s stuff.
  7. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Worse than plain cold is bringing the amp inside and immediately turning it on.

    As soon as the cold amp is in the warmer and maybe more humid air, it starts to condense moisture...which may cause electrical leakage on PC boards between various parts of the circuit that are not supposed to be connected. A fan in teh unit will ensure MORE saturation with condensation....

    Most amps are not intended to work at below 30 deg F, so bias settings on SS amps may be screwy, etc. Even voltage ratings on Mosfets are LOWER when cold than when warm. It isn't knowable exactly what will happen.

    I have tried the experiment a few times as a check. From zero deg F to room temp and turn it right on.

    All sorts of unusual things can happen. Fan speed changing, relays clicking in and out, even odd noises. So far nothing has actually failed, but that doesn;t prove it might not.

    Probably a good idea to let it warm up a bit before turning it on if it has been really cold. 30 deg is not cold, and should not need fiddling.

    Minus 10 or 20 deg F is cold. From that temp, let it warm up before turning on.
  8. a little story about playing when it´s cold.
    a friend of mine played an outdoor gig in the winter. it was in a big tent all warmed up and outside was about -20C. he had his SVT classic and they started to play. after about two songs it shut down!
    he turned it off and then on again, hm working alright so they started playing again.
    then it happened again. stopped playing and turned it off again and after a while it was working again. then he knew what it was. the fan was taking in -20C air from the outside behind the stage!
    just a little too cold.
  9. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    I wouldn't worry to much about storing it at these tempatures, most components are rated to at least -20°C (-4°F). As for operating at these tempatures, listen to what Ampeg Insider said, I've never seen him wrong.
  10. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yep. I remember running late for some gigs in the snow fields and not having time to let the amps get to room temp before switching them on. The gig almost didn't happen. All of the amps, bass, PA, and Guitar, failed.

    To make it worse, some of the PA amps suffered dry solder joints. The metal solder shrunk in the cold and became brittle. Hit a bit enough bump in the road and it breaks connection.

    That was a nightmare weekend.
  11. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    My rack with my SVT 4 Pro in it stays in the trailer, along with the rest of our gear. It gets very cold here, a lot of below zero stuff.

    We always let everything sit with the rack covers removed to let everything warm up before we even think about powering anything up. We haven't had any problems yet (with my amp or any of our PA/monitor amps.

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