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#1
So after I got my first tube amp, I turned the Standby switch on first, then the power on. When I'm done, I'd turn the power switch off, then the standby. Both processes would cause a loud "thump" from the amp.

Then an "experienced" player tells me I'm supposed to turn the power switch on first, then the standby. Also for shutting it down, I should turn the standby switch off first, then the power. This method seemed to be more logical, as it wouldn't cause that big "thump" sound.

Now just out of curiosity I've been reading about amps and other stuff and it comes across to me that I've been doing it wrong for the last.. year or so???

So to clarify, please tell me the correct order of turning on, then off, and if it was the way I used to do it, does it also make a loud sound when turning on/off?
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#2
you couldn't do it anymore wrong because you're doing it 100 percent wrong.

power first. then stand by.
turning off = stand by then power.
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#3
Flick standby switch 'on'
Wait at least 30 seconds for amp to warm
Flick 'on' switch 'on'

You were right the first time, don't listen to that guy. It doesn't hurt to put your amp on standby before turning it off, but it's not at all necessary
#4
first thing you flick on is the power switch. at this point, your power indicator should be on, but there should not be any sound. then you flick the stand by switch, you'll be able to hear your guitar now.
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#6
Quote by Marky_Strummer
Flick standby switch 'on'
Wait at least 30 seconds for amp to warm
Flick 'on' switch 'on'

You were right the first time, don't listen to that guy. It doesn't hurt to put your amp on standby before turning it off, but it's not at all necessary




while it does only negligible wear to the power tubes, the "experienced" person was right.

with the power switch off, switch the standby to the same position. this will be totally OFF.

switch the Power On. wait a while. turn the Standby on. your amp will now be ON and playing.

to turn off, you dont NEED to do anything special, but to eliminate the popping and just to make things normal, I (and many others) turn the standby Off before turning the power off. you do not need to wait for anything, just flick-flick.
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#7
My amp doesn't even have a standby switch, but the usual procedure is:

Power on. Wait at least 1 minute. Yes, sound will come out after 20-30 seconds, but that's just pushing it. In fact, it's best to have your amp on standby for 20-30 minutes before you flick on the standby.

When turning off, I found it useful to turn the amp volume to zero and wait a few seconds before I turn it off. Otherwise, my amp 'thumps' like you were saying.
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#8
Quote by Marky_Strummer
Flick standby switch 'on'
Wait at least 30 seconds for amp to warm
Flick 'on' switch 'on'

You were right the first time, don't listen to that guy. It doesn't hurt to put your amp on standby before turning it off, but it's not at all necessary

Dont listen to THIS guy.
The power switch is power for the amp (der)
The standby switch is either Standby (warming up) or On (signal goes through)

You want the power on first, otherwise the standby switch does absolutely nothing. It cant reduce the current getting to the tubes if there is no current flowing in the first place.
#9
Quote by Marky_Strummer
Flick standby switch 'on'
Wait at least 30 seconds for amp to warm
Flick 'on' switch 'on'

You were right the first time, don't listen to that guy. It doesn't hurt to put your amp on standby before turning it off, but it's not at all necessary

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#10
Quote by Marky_Strummer
Flick standby switch 'on'
Wait at least 30 seconds for amp to warm
Flick 'on' switch 'on'

You were right the first time, don't listen to that guy. It doesn't hurt to put your amp on standby before turning it off, but it's not at all necessary


NO!

Ignore this fool.

AcousticMirror has it spot on....both switches off first, turn power on, wait 30 seconds or so, turn standby on. It may help to think of standby as the actual on/off switch and the power switch as the wall socket switch...you wouldn't turn something on before turning the power on, would you?
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#11
Give the guy a break...honestly even if you do it the wrong way it's not going to damage the amp a lot. It's just that the general procedure is what everyone else has suggested.
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#12
Quote by HellBoy9393
Give the guy a break...honestly even if you do it the wrong way it's not going to damage the amp a lot. It's just that the general procedure is what everyone else has suggested.

It may not damage the amp itself but will certainly decrease the life expectancy of your tubes
#13
Quote by AxSilentxLine
It may not damage the amp itself but will certainly decrease the life expectancy of your tubes


If tube life expectancy is the concern, it's probably much better to increase the standby time rather than the powering on procedure. 30 seconds of standby time is way too little. A friend of mine suggested 30 minutes..
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#14
Quote by HellBoy9393
If tube life expectancy is the concern, it's probably much better to increase the standby time rather than the powering on procedure. 30 seconds of standby time is way too little. A friend of mine suggested 30 minutes..

Both would be preferred but it's widely accepted that the way TS knew is incorrect
#15
Quote by HellBoy9393
My amp doesn't even have a standby switch, but the usual procedure is:

Power on. Wait at least 1 minute. Yes, sound will come out after 20-30 seconds, but that's just pushing it. In fact, it's best to have your amp on standby for 20-30 minutes before you flick on the standby.

When turning off, I found it useful to turn the amp volume to zero and wait a few seconds before I turn it off. Otherwise, my amp 'thumps' like you were saying.


Yeah i just lower all volumes (guitar, then amp) to zero to avoid that thump.

I find that in non standby amps it's good to keep your guitar connected to the amp and have the volume on it at 0, and at the same time have the amps volume at zero so if anything happens you only blow up one triode
#16
Turning on

1. Power ON
2. Standby ON

Turning off

1. Standby OFF
2. Power OFF
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#17
Quote by ECistheBest
first thing you flick on is the power switch. at this point, your power indicator should be on, but there should not be any sound. then you flick the stand by switch, you'll be able to hear your guitar now.


+1

you sometimes hear a big thunk when you turn off standby too.
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#18
Quote by DroptuneD
Turning on

1. Power ON
2. Standby ON

Turning off

1. Standby OFF
2. Power OFF
The problem with all these explanations is they don't take into account the confusing nature of the standby switch labeling. In the quoted post the instruction is to turn both power and standby to on. This would be wrong according to the labeling on the standby switch. The correct sequence would be....


1) Set the standby switch to "Standby".
2) Set Power to ON.
3) Wait 30+ sec.
4) Set the standby switch to "ON".

Power down seq doesn't matter, but I generally set the standby to "Standby" then power off.
#19
Quote by HellBoy9393
If tube life expectancy is the concern, it's probably much better to increase the standby time rather than the powering on procedure. 30 seconds of standby time is way too little. A friend of mine suggested 30 minutes..


30 seconds is not way too little. 30 seconds is probably 10 seconds more than you need. 30 minutes is about 29 minutes and 40 seconds longer than you need.

The point of a standby switch is to allow the tube heaters to fire up and heat up the tube cathodes before the full B+ voltage of the amplifier is "allowed" into the circuit. If the cathodes are cold, then no electrons are boiling off of them and therefore no current can flow through the tubes. If no current flows through the tubes, then no voltage is dropped across their plate load resistors and therefore you briefly get the full B+ voltage at the plates of the tubes (as well as some other components like coupling caps for instance). This isn't something you want to do a lot of.

So turning the power switch on allows the wall power to energize the amp's power transformer. The standby switch is usually placed after the rectifier on the PT secondary, so when it is open, rectified voltage is unable to reach the power supply. However, current flows to the heaters which are tied to another tap on the PT that is not inhibited by the standby switch. So the heaters heat up the cathodes. It only takes about 20-30 seconds for the cathodes to get hot enough for electrons to start boiling off and then the standby switch is closed, the power supply is energized and feeds power to the tube plates, and voila: current flows through the tubes.

It's not about the tube glass or any other part of the tube getting hot. That's a byproduct.

So standard procedure is:

1) Turn the power switch on, leaving the amp on standby.
2) Wait about 20-30 seconds.
3) Take the amp off standby.
4) Rock out.
#20
Quote by ECistheBest
first thing you flick on is the power switch. at this point, your power indicator should be on, but there should not be any sound. then you flick the stand by switch, you'll be able to hear your guitar now.

This. The thing is, I've seen companies do different configurations of what is on and what is off for these switches... Which is likely the cause of your confusion.

The first switch you hit should turn the light on, but not sound. The second switch should then allow the amp to produce sound. Then when you turn it off, you first disable the sound, then turn off the light.

It should be:
ON - Power, Standby
OFF - Standby, Power

But make sure the lights and sound are doing what I said above to ensure you're doing it right.
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#21
Quote by fly135
The problem with all these explanations is they don't take into account the confusing nature of the standby switch labeling. In the quoted post the instruction is to turn both power and standby to on. This would be wrong according to the labeling on the standby switch. The correct sequence would be....


1) Set the standby switch to "Standby".
2) Set Power to ON.
3) Wait 30+ sec.
4) Set the standby switch to "ON".

Power down seq doesn't matter, but I generally set the standby to "Standby" then power off.


Finally, someone bringing up the real problem. Standby switch labeling is horrible on some amps and leads to this confusion.

The general philosophy is simple though. Before you turn your amp power on, have the amp set in standby mode (HOWEVER THAT IS LABELED ON YOUR AMP). While the amp is in standby mode, turn the power on. Let it warm up, then disengage the standby mode (Some amps call this standby "Off", more confusing amps label this as "On" when you are actually taking the amp out of standby mode).

To turn amp off, put it back in standby mode, then turn the power off.
#22
I second the turn the volume down before powering down.

Same thing I do in a car... everything is off when I turn it on, then I turn the accessories on as needed, and before turning the motor off, I turn all the accessories off.

Ain't nothing like getting into the car and turn the ignition to hot, and the stereo starts cranking the chorus to The Trooper... at 6am.
Last edited by irnmadn88 at May 21, 2010,
#23
For the record, it makes absolutely no difference where the volume knob is set. That is completely arbitrary.
#24
Quote by CECamps
For the record, it makes absolutely no difference where the volume knob is set. That is completely arbitrary.


I am not disputing that, I just prefer not to get blasted by a wall of sound at a moment when I am accustomed to quiet...
#25
sorry for the jack but this thread is almost dead anyways.

My practice amp is broken for a couple of months now so I'm playing mostly with my 6505.

If I am to stop playing for 45 mins or so, should I leave it on standby or turn it off? Also if the volume is really low will the power tubes not get too worn out?
#26
Quote by irnmadn88
I am not disputing that, I just prefer not to get blasted by a wall of sound at a moment when I am accustomed to quiet...


Hey, where's the fun in that?

Yeah, my intent was to let the TS know that the volume knob setting is not relevant to his original concern in case there is confusion over that.
#27
Quote by Tempoe
sorry for the jack but this thread is almost dead anyways.

My practice amp is broken for a couple of months now so I'm playing mostly with my 6505.

If I am to stop playing for 45 mins or so, should I leave it on standby or turn it off? Also if the volume is really low will the power tubes not get too worn out?

Just leave it on standby. Much more than an hour and I usually turn it off.

^I do the volume knob thing, mostly because 100 watts of handwired tube power scares the bejesus out of me. I know its super unlikely/impossible, but I am always scared something's gonna catastrophically fail resulting in a chest shattering thump accompanied by a deafening high shriek, rendering me DOA instantly.
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#28
Quote by fly135
The problem with all these explanations is they don't take into account the confusing nature of the standby switch labeling. In the quoted post the instruction is to turn both power and standby to on. This would be wrong according to the labeling on the standby switch. The correct sequence would be....


1) Set the standby switch to "Standby".
2) Set Power to ON.
3) Wait 30+ sec.
4) Set the standby switch to "ON".

Power down seq doesn't matter, but I generally set the standby to "Standby" then power off.



Thank you for pointing this out because I was about to do that until I read your post!


TS: The whole standby switch thing is very debatable as to how long you should leave your amp on standby before switching it to on and whatnot. Also, as its been pointed out, a lot of tube amps don't even have a standby switch so its not completely necessary to use one anyway.
Last edited by i_am_metalhead at May 21, 2010,
#29
Quote by i_am_metalhead
Also, as its been pointed out, a lot of tube amps don't even have a standby switch so its not completely necessary to use one anyway.


There are several tube amps that don't have standby switches, but have "soft start" circuits designed into them. Bear that in mind.

Also bear in mind that if an amp has a tube rectifier, the necessity for a standby switch lessens. A tube rectifier will not instantaneously deliver full B+ like a diode rectifier will. If the amp has a diode rectifier circuit and no soft start, then it would be recommended to use standby.
#30
hey craig what's this soft start circuit? never read about that before...
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#31
Quote by ECistheBest
hey craig what's this soft start circuit? never read about that before...


Basically just a circuit that ramps up voltage gradually *or* a circuit that is designed to close another circuit after a set interval. i.e. a relay is energized after 10 seconds which then closes the switch for example. The interval can be set by an IC or a network of transistors, resistors, and a cap where the cap value determines the interval. There's probably a million different ways to design one.

Also, going back to amps with no standby, one thing I didn't mention was that some amps use pretty low voltages and therefore sudden B+ delivery before current flow isn't really an issue.
#32
^Volume knob has nothing to do with B+? I've always thought that with my old VJ (my new one had a stanby modded in) turning the volume down to 0 while warming it up was similar to a standby switch. I will admit I thought this because of the '0' graphic on the end of the knobs decal, though.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#33
^theres no DC voltage on a volume knob.

so it can't affect B+ haha... if u had DC on ur volume knob, you'll find urself dealing with crackles and crap all the time. volume knob on 0 just makes it silent. but it doesn't do anything with the B+
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#34
^So the voltage of the B+ is not necessarily indicative of volume, and vice versa?
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

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#35
Quote by tubetime86
^Volume knob has nothing to do with B+? I've always thought that with my old VJ (my new one had a stanby modded in) turning the volume down to 0 while warming it up was similar to a standby switch. I will admit I thought this because of the '0' graphic on the end of the knobs decal, though.


Nothing at all to do with B+. B+ voltage is a constant supply of DC provided by the power supply and making volume adjustments has absolutely no effect on it.

The volume knob attenuates the AC guitar signal before it hits the power amp. The knob on 0 simply shunts the entire guitar signal to ground, so none of it hits the power amp. The knob on 5 (on a typical audio taper pot) will send around 30% of the signal to the power amp, dumping around 70% to ground. The knob on 10 sends the full signal, with no attenuation.

But the B+ voltage is never affected by any of these adjustments.
#36
Quote by CECamps
Nothing at all to do with B+. B+ voltage is a constant supply of DC provided by the power supply and making volume adjustments has absolutely no effect on it.

The volume knob attenuates the AC guitar signal before it hits the power amp. The knob on 0 simply shunts the entire guitar signal to ground, so none of it hits the power amp. The knob on 5 (on a typical audio taper pot) will send around 30% of the signal to the power amp, dumping around 70% to ground. The knob on 10 sends the full signal, with no attenuation.

But the B+ voltage is never affected by any of these adjustments.

Very interesting. So with the volume knob on zero the preamp is still getting and giving a full signal, its just not getting to the power amp?

So then, is it fair to say that on a non-MV, non-gain knob amp the preamp and power amp are always working at exactly the same level, the only thing manipulated is the signal going into them?
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#37
Quote by tubetime86
Very interesting. So with the volume knob on zero the preamp is still getting and giving a full signal, its just not getting to the power amp?

So then, is it fair to say that on a non-MV, non-gain knob amp the preamp and power amp are always working at exactly the same level, the only thing manipulated is the signal going into them?


Well, in the case of the Valve Jr., there is no master volume. The volume knob is actually a preamp gain knob. It's positioned after the very first preamp gain stage and controls the level of signal that hits the second preamp gain stage and subsequently the power amp.

That being said, in the case of a "normal" amp with gain and MV, the gain pot controls the overall signal level up until the MV, which controls it from that point forward.

So if an amp had no gain pot or MV, then the amp would be full bore at all times. These level controls are functioning as AC signal attenuators. All else remaining the same, diming the gain and MV would be the same as taking them out of the circuit altogether.
#38
Quote by tubetime86
This. The thing is, I've seen companies do different configurations of what is on and what is off for these switches... Which is likely the cause of your confusion.

The first switch you hit should turn the light on, but not sound. The second switch should then allow the amp to produce sound. Then when you turn it off, you first disable the sound, then turn off the light.

It should be:
ON - Power, Standby
OFF - Standby, Power

But make sure the lights and sound are doing what I said above to ensure you're doing it right.


yeah, exactly, there's your problem. lots of amps label them slightly differently. it makes perfect sense once you understand even the very basics of tubes and tube amps, but it's extremely confusing (and a lot more confusing than it needs to be, if you ask me) if you're new to them.

Quote by GuitarDTO
Finally, someone bringing up the real problem. Standby switch labeling is horrible on some amps and leads to this confusion.

The general philosophy is simple though. Before you turn your amp power on, have the amp set in standby mode (HOWEVER THAT IS LABELED ON YOUR AMP). While the amp is in standby mode, turn the power on. Let it warm up, then disengage the standby mode (Some amps call this standby "Off", more confusing amps label this as "On" when you are actually taking the amp out of standby mode).

To turn amp off, put it back in standby mode, then turn the power off.


yeah, it's definitely confusing. I think (off the top of my head) that if the power switch were labelled "On" and "Off" and the standby switch were labelled "Standby" and "Play", that might help.

and interesting, i did not know that about the volume being on 0. On my non-standby amps I just turned the volume to 0 for a while to let them warm up. are you saying there's no need to do this? (turn the vol to 0, not warm up!)

I knew about the valve rectifier thing Am i right in thinking that it depends on what valve rectifier it is, too? From what I've read, some valve rectifiers start passing DC more quickly than others...
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 21, 2010,
#39
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah, exactly, there's your problem. lots of amps label them slightly differently. it makes perfect sense once you understand even the very basics of tubes and tube amps, but it's extremely confusing (and a lot more confusing than it needs to be, if you ask me) if you're new to them.


yeah, it's definitely confusing. I think (off the top of my head) that if the power switch were labelled "On" and "Off" and the standby switch were labelled "Standby" and "Play", that might help.

and interesting, i did not know that about the volume being on 0. On my non-standby amps I just turned the volume to 0 for a while to let them warm up. are you saying there's no need to do this? (turn the vol to 0, not warm up!)

I knew about the valve rectifier thing Am i right in thinking that it depends on what valve rectifier it is, too? From what I've read, some valve rectifiers start passing DC more quickly than others...


yes some of them have faster sag reaction.

Still it's best to be safe especially with nos tubes. I'm very very very careful now.
This thread delivered the goods.

Additionally, I would suggest if you bought your amp new......
read the damn manual.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#40
^ some of the manuals don't really tell you how to use the standby switch, they just tell you what it's for

i don't have any NOS tubes at the moment but I generally operate a "better-safe-than-sorry" policy anyway. I'd be even more cautious if I had NOS tubes.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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