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Unplugging bass/effects OK when (SS) amp is muted?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by H3R3T1K, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Is it OK to swap basses or pedals in and out (not effects loop) when the amp (mine is an SS) is muted or does it have to be turned off? What are common mistakes that damage your amp?
  2. With the mute on you can do just about anything at/before the input jack.
    Common mistakes? Hooking up cabs with too low impedance or partly plugging in a 1/4" speaker cable. Plugging into the wrong wall voltage.
  3. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    The mute button is my friend.
  4. I'd add running an all-tube amp without a speaker attached to B-string's list, but I think running too little impedance to a SS amp is probably the most common serious error.

    As above, switching out things going into the amp while the amp is still turned on is one of the main purposes of the mute switch. Switch away!
  5. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    The two features I miss most with my heads are a mute button and a headphone jack.

    ...Is there such a thing as Mute Envy?
  6. Yes, there is. I experienced it when I picked up my '72 Bassman 100. I was SO used to having that mute. I have had to learn to let Stand By suffice.
  7. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    I have 2 amps, one with a mute button and one without.

    I missed the mute button on my new amp so I created a mute button.

    I take an old 1/4 cable, cut the end off and stab it into the headphone jack whe Muting is required.

    Shuts the speaker off for tuning and plugging in.

    Simple but effective.
  8. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    LOL! Oh, nice; put salt in my wound why dontcha! I aint got no headphone jack either, Charley. :mad:
  9. How about unplugging an effect that I forgot to turn off (with the amp muted). Could it damage the pedal?
  10. andrklet

    andrklet Guest

    With regards to Class-D amps. Is there really need for a mute-button? Any downsides to just using the power switch?
  11. Mute is more likely to turn on and off silently. Mute is way better if you run your tuner from the amp's tuner out. I've heard of some that do not switch the speaker off when you plug in the headphones, and you can either mute the speaker or not (never actually seen one like that).

    Other than that, it probably doesn't make much difference.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Big difference, turning your amp off makes the house P.A. go pop. I have never met a soundguy that appreciates this. I never turn my amp off without clearing it with the FOH, I also used to ask for them to leave stage power on when I had tubes (so they could cool down.)

    Also, this is probably BS, but I have heard turning stuff on and off isn't good for it, it is best to leave it run, like a PC. (B-string is in this thread, if I am wrong he'll let us know and probably explain it)

    Personally I wish my class D head had a mute switch, that is basically the only thing missing aside from headphone out and aux in.
  13. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    That's the function of the mute button, most likely.

    Mistakes would be plugging into the wrong voltage (though this isn't that common unless for some reason there are a lot of non-standard wall voltage outlets where you are), or more commonly, using the wrong impedance cab.

    Oh, also, generally a good idea to avoid embarrassing surprises might be to turn any volume/gain/master knobs all the way down when you turn the amp off. That way you'll never turn it on only to discover it's much too loud for what you wanted to be doing.
  14. DiabolusInMusic is correct. Class D or any other piece of electronics with or without SMPS doesn't matter it is still subject to inrush current which is much more stressful than idle or operating current draw.
  15. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Leaving an amp running all the time to prevent wear and tear on the power circuit is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    While that amp idles, the fan is running continuously, shortening its life. While Class D amps idle much cooler than classic A/B amps, they still generate heat at idle, subjecting the electrolytic caps to extended periods of temperature and voltage, both of which shorten their lifespan.

    My recommendation is a middle ground: Don't turn the amp on and off between sets, or during food breaks. But when you're done for the day, turn it off.
  16. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    That's generally my approach. If I'm just going to turn it back on in a few minutes, it goes on standby. No sense completely powering it on and off several times in one night. If there's going to be no more playing that day, I turn it off.
  17. What's that about the headphones? Is it OK to plug the headphones in during playing? May amp then cuts off the signal to the cab. What about unplugging them again? I'm playing "louder" when using headphones than I normally would but that shouldn't be an issue right?

    Glad my Kustom KXB500 has aux-in, headphones and mute.
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs