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Equipment "warming up"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Does anyone else notice that when cabinets, amps, preamps, heads are cold they don't seem to be as loud but after they warm up a bit they sound a lot better? or is this just in my head?

    Our band's rehearsal space is unheated and when i first cut on my rig (preamp/poweramp and 1210) it seems like it takes a few minutes of playing time to warm up and start sounding more like it should.

    Been meaning to ask this question but I keep forgetting.
  2. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Is your pre-amp a tube pre-amp? SS amps sound great the second they are switched on. tubes need time to warm up, sort of like the cathode ray in your CRT TV. it just takes a bit of time to get the current flowing.
  3. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    no, it's all SS...

    I'm thinking it might be the speaker cones warming up moreso than the preamp/amp...
  4. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    That's funny, I had the same experience -
    I was bringing in my Peavey head and my Schro 1212 to band practice. It was really cold outside so my gear did come in contact with this when I was carrying it from my car to the house. When I plugged the head into the cab and fired it up, there was a very low level of volume. My band mates tried telling me its my head but that's impossible since it's SS. After about 5-10 minutes my amp/cab were back to normal. Could it really be the speaker cones warming up? I've never heard of this.
  5. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    In my case, it's not an overwhelming drop in volume but it's just enough difference in the tone and volume that I can hear it if I'm paying attention. I'm sure noone else in our band notices.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think it's your ears warming up.
  7. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I could see the cone surround needing some time to warm up and becoming factory flexible again, depending on the materials used. If the surrounds are stiff, that might limit the Xmax of the driver.

    Bill Fitzmaurice....where are you?
  8. My Mesa takes time to warm up and sound right, but my Hartke sounds bad from the moment it's turned on.......
  9. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA

    I've noticed the same thing.

    Tube or solid state, guitar or bass. It makes no difference.

    As far as solid state goes, I have always thought that the cooler it was the faster it could run. Tubes?? I dunno.

    Must be the cabs.

    Anybody actually know for sure?


  10. jazzbasser79


    Oct 30, 2005
    Los Angeles
    My band runs an electric heater for about half an hour before we start playing warm us, and the gear up. A warm room surprisingly makes a huge difference, and least for the guitars themselves. I've actually gone to the extent of turning the heat all the way up in my car with my bass in the passenger seat to get it nice and toasty. You'd figure that in la we wouldnt worry about the cold, but i think i'm just a wimp when it comes to anything below sweater weather and everything goes to ****e...
  11. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    tubes need time to warm up and increase the current flowing.

    Have you ever used a CRO? the screen takes time to get to its maximum brightness becuase the cathode ray is still warming up (The cathode ray is like a huge version of a vacuum tube, there's one in your CRT TV aswell). same thing with amps, the tubes need to warm up to allow the maximum current to flow. but there's more tubes, so it takes more time.

    here's a good explanation on wikipedia.
  12. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I thought that it was a good idea to warm up SS amps also. I remember hearing someone (Dave Funk I think) on this forum mention that a SS amp can be damaged if it is run while it is signifigantly colder than the surroundings. ie: Bring a SS out of the car during a blizzard in January into a toasty warm bar then immediately fire up/play = damage to said amp.

    Anyone know the specifics for why this would be so? Or, anyone know for sure if this is an erroneous assumption?
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    In that sort of situation it's better to turn it on immediately after bringing it in from the cold, so that it warms up quickly, than to let it sit and develop condensation.
  14. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Although I have nothing to prove it with, I suspect is probably not that good for speakers to get blasted while still cold - and mine DO sound different 'til the room comes to a decent temp(the basement we play in is only about 40F right now - so I let a heater run down there for a little while before playing)... I doubt temps make much of a difference to SS amps, although I could see it affecting tube amps...

    - georgestrings
  16. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Not necessarily so... Electronic components operate within a temperature range. The most often experienced would be too warm, because the amp generates heat as it operates. However, some parts and pieces of amps might not be at their full function if they are too cold or could incure damage if they go through the rapid expansion and contraction of cooling and warming. Now, I'm talking about extremely low temperatures, and most solid state components, especially those in instrument amplifiers are pretty hardy. I like to plug my amp in so the fan runs and keeps the condensation down, but I try to let it warm up a little before I really play through it.

    In normal conditions, I just throw it on without any second thought.
  17. I've often wondered if it is not the temperature of the air that affects the sound, not the temperature of the equipment... surely cold air and warm air transmit sound differently, as cold air has a slightly higher pressure?

    then after playing for a little while, the room warms and the sound changes slightly...
  18. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    Com'on guys we sound like a bunch of bass players talking now. Take a piece of any material paper, metal or what ever and "thump" it listen to the tone then throw it in the frezzer for an hour, pull it out and "thump" it again. I would have a very hard time beleiveing that cold speakers don't sound different then warm speakers.
  19. unlined4string

    unlined4string Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Baltimore County, Md.
    The ThunderFunk user manual recommends letting a cold amp come to room temperature for 30 minutes before playing through it. The amp can be turned on with the fan running, just don't play through it. Supposedly this prevents damage to the transistors caused by thermal shock.
  20. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004