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Order of plugging in/turning on

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suicas, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Not sure if this is the right forum for this, feel free to move..

    Can anyone give any advice on the best order to plug in/turn on my bass, effects and amp (in order to avoid damage to the speaker from pops and the like).

    At the moment in an ideal home/studio situation I:
    1) Plug bass into effects (volume on bass turned down)
    2) Plug effects (turned off) into amp (turned off)
    3) Turn on amp (with volume turned down)
    4) Turn on effects
    5) Turn up volume on bass and amp

    I was mostly curious as to:
    1) How many of these stages can I safely skip?
    2) If I need to change something mid set (i.e. an effect or cable fails), can I change cable/remove effect safely with the amp switched on?
    3) If was was running bass->amp directly, and I needed to change the cable between them, should I unplug the end connected to the amp first, or the end connected to the bass first?

    I'll (hopefully) be playing live for the first time soon, and the last thing I want to do is damage the venue's PA or the audience's ears with needless speaker pops..
  2. The only thing I make sure I do is to turn down the poweramp section completely before plugging in or plugging out. I generally try to turn the amp off before doing so, but in a gig situation it's a pain to let it power down then power back up again.

    As long as there's not current flowing through the speakers/drivers when you plug in/plug out you should be fine.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    1) Amp gets turned on last, turned off first (to prevent rig from poping)
    2)yes, as long as you turn off the amp or turn down the amp if it has its own gain/volume controls on front.
    3)turn off the AMP first, NEVER UNPLUG ANYTHING WITH THE AMP ON OR TURNED UP!!! you run the risk of pops, fuses blowing or speaker damage.

    EXTRA QUESTION: not sure about bars and such I've only played with 3 different PA situations at church (one sound system had 45,000watts of amps!!!), but I'd say ask the sound guy HOW and WHEN he wants you to connect and what you should do about mods during the show. I would guess that they'll have an XLR connection. plug that in first before you power up. if you have to mod anything MAYBE turn off the unit that it is connected to before disconnecting wires. at the end of the show unplug the PA connection last. that gives them time to turn down the band and get ready for disconnect
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    To put what was said above another way:

    Make sure the power amplifier is OFF whenever all other components are connected or switched on or off. Keeping the power amp OFF protects your speakers from dangerous transients (i.e. pops, etc) that occur during setup, etc. Only keep your power amp ON for as long as you need it (but I'm not saying you should power off during breaks!)
  5. Do you turn down your poweramp using the volume or the gain knob or both?
  6. Simple rule for bass rigs or PA systems: Last to turn on is the amp, first to turn off the amp. Power amps (or amp heads): Last on first off.
  7. There aren't many things I get OCD over, but tube amps I always plug in speaker cable absolutely first. No way I'm blowing my amp from not having cab connected.

    Plugging a 1/4" lead into a running SS isn't that great of an idea either. Speakons don't matter but it's a good habit to be in, never connecting live amps to speakers.

    No beverages on amps, ever!
    And if you don't know how to under-over wrap, leave my cables alone!
    Otherwise I'm pretty normal.

    I always turn down the input of anything I'm unplugging. Afaik that's to stop a short across the preamp frying that, rather than popping the speakers. It's the preamp going nuts that's making the pop, or so I was told as a young newbie.
  8. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    It doesn't matter what order things are cabled, so long as everything is off while you're doing it. Then, power up in order of increasing signal level - bass => effects => pre-amp => power amp, so you're never amplifying upstream power-on surges with a live circuit downstream. I don't always live by this, mind you. My pedalboard is often "alive" before I patch into it...
  9. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
  10. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    Always good to make sure you are standing in a puddle of water and make sure there is at least one frayed power cable nearbye.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. If you have a tube amp put it in Standby during breaks. If you run solid state you can leave it on but turn it down in case some idiot trips over a chord or something. But yeah, the POWER part of your amp turns on last and off first.
  12. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Oh, yeah, and reverse the process shutting down - start with the power amp and work your way upstream, for the same reason.
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    The whole idea is to not send a spike to your power amp and speakers. This can happen when plugging in your instrument, connecting other cables, turning on your effects power, and anywhere down the line.
  14. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I like to have my mute button on when not playing, on my GB Shuttle 6.0 to avoid
  15. +1. Yep

    ~ Three Simple Rules ~
    1) Amp on last.
    2) Amp off first.
    3) Always do so with the volume off.
  16. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    For tube amps:

    A tube amp guy that I really trust also told me to put the (tube) amp on standby for at least 30 seconds or so before turning off the power switch. This prolongs the life of the tubes by aiding in a more controlled cool down.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  17. What I don't get is why turn on the effects before the amp. Some effects stay on all the time but some don't. Does it mean I turn off the latter again after turning on the amp?
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd switch numbers 3 and 4, otherwise, don't skip any of your steps.
  19. So I shouldn't turn on my SS-amp and t h e n the effects? I mean not all of the effects are meant to stay on all the time. Or do I turn them on just to to turn them off again after turning on the amp? That's weird.
  20. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    The effects don't need to be in the "effect on" state, if that's what you mean.
    Power just needs to be connected to the effect first and any power source for the
    effects should be turned on first, before the amp is turned on and up to volume.