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Killing a tube amp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Vin_MM_Sabre_79, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. :help:
    Q: How long would it take to kill a tube amp if the speaker had a shonky connection (maybe shorting)?
    Q2: If you have a tube amp (B15N) on standby does it need to be plugged in?
    Q3: When you damage a tube amp this way how is it effected?

    I'm having all kinds of tech issues right now- basses, amps, speakers, you name it- its playing up. I'll spare the gory details for now but there's a possibility a speaker issue may have caused a B15 issue. :meh:
  2. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    it usually doesn't take long to ruin an amp with a shorted cable or impedance mismatch. Usually you will blow the power tubes and the output transformer. The repairs are usually expensive with this type of damage. I'm not quite sure about the standby but I would say to stay on the safe side and keep it plugged in.
  3. Vintage-Blue

    Vintage-Blue Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Owner, Vintage Blue (repro cabinets)
    First of all, sorry to hear you're having problems. :(

    If your speaker output (cord & plug), as well as the XLR jack on the cabinet have not been modified, I believe a B15 should be fine on standby with the speaker unplugged. Even if the switch is not on standby it should be fine if the speaker line is unplugged. This all assumes that no modifications have been made to the failsafe standby circuit that was part of all the Ampeg Portaflexes.
  4. Unfortunately not. Its got a 1/4" plug.
    I'm still not certain I fried anything- Channel 2 seems to be working fine. Channel 1 is still making noise but very softly so its not an OT issue.
    The reason I asked about the standby is that I flicked the amp on standby to swap in a diff speaker.

    * All tubes seem to be glowing happily.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    No, you cannot run a tube amp without a speaker plugged in. The speaker is part of the circuit of the amp, and it very necessary. Actually, a shorted speaker cable is less damaging than no speaker. (Not to say it cannot cause damage)

    If you suspect damage, get it checked. You might possibly have damaged a transformer

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