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Turning my combo on and off ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TWISTEDSTRINGS, Feb 15, 2013.



    Oct 13, 2012
    I bought a new combo for my home last week and was wondering what the effects are of turning it on and off all the time. Usually I go to our practice spot, turn on our old beat up rig, practice a few hours then it`s all off. Well now I`m home a lot practicing and I like to play in little 15-30 min intervals all day long. Should I leave the combo on all day or turn it on and off or does`t it matter ? It`s a new GK MB210 and my first new amp or should I say new anything and I don`t want to ruin it prematurely. What do ya think ??
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm like you I play at home and if I know I will be playing later I just leave it on if you are playing short intervals all day I would leave it on it won't hurt the amp if you keep turning it on and off but why chance it?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's not a big deal either way with micros. They don't run very hot usually, so they're less susceptible to breakdowns from heating up and cooling down too often. With regular SS and tube, I have a 3 hour rule...leave it on unless it'll be more than 3 hours. It's a rule I violate sometimes, though ;)
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Its just another piece of electronics that happens to be used for bass. No rocket science taking place.

    Its nothing special.
  5. Turning on electronic devices is a lot harder on them (in-rush current at startup) and the new mircros draw so little idle current just leave it on. You are probably just driving up your electric bill turning it off and on more than you would leaving it on.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Jimmy when I had my SVT I was always afraid to turn it on and off :) I would turn it on put it on standby for fifteen minutes then play with it for no more than three hours at a time then put it on standby for another fifteen minutes then turn it off.
  7. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    True, but how many of us consider that fact with all of the other electronic devices we use - not many. We wouldn't think twice about flicking a TV or any other electronic device on and off, but if its a bass amp (Solid State) do we really need to treat it as if its somehow more delicate.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm curious how many amp manufactures do a test that determines how many times the switch or amp itself can be activated before failure?.
  9. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    just do whatever you want...you leave a dozen or more other things on permanently and there is no reason the amp should be different.

    There is really no reliability issue of leaving it on, and marginal of turning it on and off repeatedly. The weak link in any MTBF calculation for an amp such as yours would be the switch, for which there is an accepted on/off cycle rating.. (still many thousands of cycles) if the switch is a push button that engages a relay, then the relay is likely the weak link...
    There is no reliability issue whatsoever associated with inrush current, which is not significant in an a SMPS design, and in fact can be designed out altogether.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    B-String is right - the most stress is at turn-on. Consider light bulbs - when do they burn out? Usually when you are turning them on.

    ICs have tiny wires in them to connect the silicon chip to the metal lead frame. Each time you turn the amp on and off, these wires flex a little as they heat and cool. After enough flexing - poof! The smoke gets out and that chip doesn't work any longer.

    My computer stays on unless I am going out of town. When I turn my amp on, it stays on until I am done for the day. The few cents of electricity is nothing compared to one repair bill.

    Many years ago I worked at a big pro audio and hi-fi dealership. The service manager instructed me in this and told me that he hasn't turned off his home stereo in 10 years.

    Tubes, now - this is a different story. I am not sure of the wear and tear on tube filaments and plates if they are left on. I'm sure someone out there knows about this.
  11. This poster asked. So I offered my knowledge. Do we "NEED" to treat it any different, no. Once bought it is yours to do with as you please.
  12. Manufacturers rely on the data sheet supplied by the vendor.
  13. I remember (reading somewhere) a transmitting tube in Mexico that was on 24/7, a replacement was made but 57 years later (last I heard) it was still going strong. :)
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Actually tubes are what I don't want to power cycle. I'll switch my micro (power amp) on and off during the course of an evening practice but will leave the tube preamp powered up the whole time.

    The lore is that preamp tubes can go decades whereas power tube slowly get tired with age.
  15. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Switches come with cycle ratings. Carling 110 series switches which are commonly used in vintage amps, old and reissue, have a 25.000 cycle rating. That's 14 years if you turn your amp on and off five times a day. A switch is a relatively inexpensive component.

    The manufacturer expects the amp to work for the duration of the warranty. That doesn't mean that products can't have a service life well beyond the expectations of the manufacturer. I have a working amp in an organ that dates back to 1932. There's a light bulb at Fire Station 6 in Livermore California that has been burning almost continuously since 1901. Consumer products made today tend not to do so well. On the other hand, if replacement parts are available and regular maintenance is performed, there is no reason why any product can't last forever.
  16. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I'll leave my amp on most of the day. I always make sure to turn the volume knob all the way down when not being used.
  17. What maintenance should I do for a year old PF500 ?
    How much, how soon ?
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    On a yearly basis, a tech should open the amp and inspect it. Clean any accumulated dust and dirt, this prevents components from properly dissipating heat. For a solid state amp, pay particular attention to the power transistors and heat sinks. Clean the fan. Apply Deoxit to all jacks, pots, and connectors to clean them. If you are confident doing this yourself, it isn't difficult to do. Just be very careful.

    Every three to five years something more elaborate is required. This includes testing the power supply components to ensure that they are performing up to spec. Check the bias setting on the power transistors.

    Maintenance is more critical for a gigging amp that is relied on. The cost is like insurance. You also have to balance the value of the amp vs the cost of maintenance. If you like the amp it is worth looking after.

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