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Old 11-03-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
Zeds.Ded
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can the cold damage a tube amp?

just wondering cause my amp has been out in my garage for over a year and its not exactly warm out there, in fact i had a bunch of eskimo's over jamming the weekend and they were even freezing! but anyway, i give it a gentle warm up always for cranking it hard so its not too bad

thanks
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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Yeah, you risk cracking the tubes. I would bring it inside for 30 minutes or so before turning it on so the tubes don't crack.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kevin Saale
Yeah, you risk cracking the tubes. I would bring it inside for 30 minutes or so before turning it on so the tubes don't crack.

This.


It's not the cold itself that damages it, it's the abrupt change in temperature.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by imgooley
It's not the cold itself that damages it, it's the abrupt change in temperature.

this.

amps can withstand very cold temperatures, but once those tubes get fired up, things can go whack.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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No risk of cracking the tubes. Why? Think about a light bulb out in the freezing temps. Does it crack when turned on? Nope. As someone else mentioned, it's the sudden change of temp that causes a crack - more specifically, a sudden change between two areas of the object. Why do you think a splash of water on a hot bulb causes it to explode? It's the sudden change in temp between two areas of the bulb. The rapid contraction of the glass causes it crack and explode, or more properly, implode, since it's a vacuum. Therefore, leaving your amp in the garage may cause it to get dusty and cold, but the tubes will not be damaged.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
No risk of cracking the tubes. Why? Think about a light bulb out in the freezing temps. Does it crack when turned on? Nope. As someone else mentioned, it's the sudden change of temp that causes a crack - more specifically, a sudden change between two areas of the object. Why do you think a splash of water on a hot bulb causes it to explode? It's the sudden change in temp between two areas of the bulb. The rapid contraction of the glass causes it crack and explode, or more properly, implode, since it's a vacuum. Therefore, leaving your amp in the garage may cause it to get dusty and cold, but the tubes will not be damaged.



The plates tend to keep the sides from getting as hot as fast.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kevin Saale
The plates tend to keep the sides from getting as hot as fast.



Yep. Which means the glass warms at a slower rate than a lightbulb. Gradual warming = safe = no breakage
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:36 PM   #8
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The top and bottom get hot damn fast though. Honestly, for 20 bucks a tube why take a chance when prevention is so simple?

Edit: Also, if you bust a powertube you'd need a whole new set so they would be matched.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:36 PM   #9
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ah grand, the tubes will never heat up quick enough to cause that to happen. it can happen when cold water gets splashed on old and hot car exhaust manifolds
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zeds.Ded
just wondering cause my amp has been out in my garage for over a year and its not exactly warm out there, in fact i had a bunch of eskimo's over jamming the weekend and they were even freezing! but anyway, i give it a gentle warm up always for cranking it hard so its not too bad

thanks


Before the tubes get darned hot on the top and bottom, they have to gradually warm up to that temp. They don't instantly go from freezing to blazing hot. That's what makes it safe. If they instantly went to burn-your-fretting-hand hot, then we might see an implosion. Again, it depends on the temperature variations of the glass surface. Heck, a 100-watt light bulb gets hotter much faster than a 6LQ6 tube and they don't explode, even in sub zero temps.

I think his post says it all. He gives it a gentle warm-up before cranking it hard. If I read that right, he says that he turns it on and lets it sit, keeping the volume down until hitting 10. No busted tubes yet. Here's my .01 on it... If someone thinks their amp may be damaged by the cold, then do what you think necessary to prevent the problem. However, as a 20-year electronics technician, I'm saying there's no cause for worry here.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
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thanks dude that helps a lot, cant argue with 20 years experience
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