#1
This is a noob question but I just bought a 6505+ and this is my first tube amp and I'm wondering how do I use the standby switch correctly. Do I turn standby on first, then a couple minutes later turn on the power? Do I turn standby off while playing or do I keep it on? And when I want to turn my amp off do I just turn standby on and turn the power off and leave it for a few minutes and then turn standby off?

Oh and will the tubes warm up just by me turning the amp on or do I have to be playing through it at loud volumes for a little while for it to warm?
#2
turn the power switch on, wait 30 seconds to 1 min and turn the standby on also.

Do it in reverse to shut it off
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#3
Turn it on with the standby engaged. (ie. in the "no sound" position).
Wait, say 30 seconds.
Take it off standby and start playing.
They warm up to operational temp pretty fast but I swear my amp sounds better at the end of the first set than at the start. Still ok at the start but by the end, the thing's smokin' (and I don't mean that in the Bugera sense)
If you flick it off standby before it is warm enough to work properly, it doesn't really matter. You just want to stagger the switch on to limit inrush current. Old tube radiograms didn't have a standby, you just turned them on and waited until sound came out.
It's just being kind to your power transformer. Fire up the heaters first, then switch on the rest of the circuit.

Turning off: Best usually to put it in standby first to reduce the size of the pop through the speakers. On some amps it matters more than others. Also, the standby switch will be in the right position for next time.
Just hitting the power off won't actually hurt anything. Best practice is standby > power but it doesn't really matter.
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#5
I assume that you mean, "What happens when you turn both standby and power on at the same time?"?
If the amp is not in standby when you hit the power, then both the heater winding switch on, (which is a few amps) and the high voltage to the tubes.
When you first switch on the high voltage (called HT) the power supply has to first charge up. That draws a lot of current right at the start. It doesn't just have to run the tubes, the big capacitors have to charge up.
So turning it on with the amp out of standby causes the maximum inrush of current that the amp can see. Most amps will cope with that fine but why do it when you don't have to? It's best to look after your gear.
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#6
i own a bunch of amps that have no standby (they are usually the really old ones), but if my amp has a standby switch then i use it. it's not the end of the world to just turn the amp on.
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#7
Interesting. I thought the sole purpose of the standby switch was to be able to turn off the speakers in between playing (like, it would be better for the valves to put it on standby instead of turning the power off for 5 minutes). I never used the standby switch to allow the amps to warm up.
The more you know I guess.
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#8
Amps with tube rectifiers have a built in startup delay. The HT can't start to charge the caps until the heater in the rectifier is sufficiently hot.
I don't put standbys on my 18W'er or Champs. Not putting one on the Deluxe either. Don't really see the point. Amps with tube rectifiers don't have very big filter caps either. Well, you can't.


Edit:
Yes that ^ is exactly why they were originally put on amps. It's not a good way to do it though. Heaters and no current is detrimental to the tube (cathode poisoning). Better off just hitting a mute somewhere.
However, with the advent of SS rectifiers, inrush current became more severe so the standby really became a failsafe sorta thing.
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Last edited by Cathbard at May 9, 2014,
#9
What does the owners manual say?
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#10
No I mean when I played it last night for the first time I turned the standby on and then the power but I kept both the standby on and the power on while playing. Is this bad? And I bought it used so I don't have a manual but I could look up a PDF of it to read and see what it says.

Also last night I accidentally left the amp on all night with the volume all the way down. It was hot as hell this morning idk if that's bad...
#11
If the amp's in standby, no noise comes out of it.
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#12
Quote by Lord Waltaa
Interesting. I thought the sole purpose of the standby switch was to be able to turn off the speakers in between playing (like, it would be better for the valves to put it on standby instead of turning the power off for 5 minutes). I never used the standby switch to allow the amps to warm up.
The more you know I guess.
Interesting enough there is science that suggests leaving an amp in standby is worse for the tubes than leaving it on with the volume turned down (guitar or amp). I imagine there are other factors that could vary by amp and it's probably more of a theoretical issue than a real issue.

When I turn on my amp I turn off standby immediately if my pedalboard is already powered up, or power up my board then turn off standby. I do wait about 30 sec before I start making noise.

Standby isn't that important and some tube amps don't even bother to include it.
#13
Yep, using standby for power-up and power-down prolongs tube life by preventing transients from hitting cold tubes. If no standby switch, I usually set the volume to zero so no signal hits the cold tubes. Also, at the end of a gig after power down, I let the amp sit and cool down without moving it until last. Tubes are most susceptible to movement damage when blazing hot. Once they cool down they are really pretty durable. My tubes last long time.

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Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 9, 2014,
#14
Quote by Cathbard
If the amp's in standby, no noise comes out of it.

Maybe my standby switch is broken?
#15
So you are saying the amp works in either position? Standby ON cuts the high voltage to the tubes, and leaves the low voltages heaters running.
#17
Quote by KillerPhail
No I mean when I played it last night for the first time I turned the standby on and then the power but I kept both the standby on and the power on while playing. Is this bad? And I bought it used so I don't have a manual but I could look up a PDF of it to read and see what it says.

Also last night I accidentally left the amp on all night with the volume all the way down. It was hot as hell this morning idk if that's bad...
That hella boothered me when I first put my hands on a tube amp with a standby switch.
The label is "Standby <-> ON", and when on the ON position the amp's not in standby.

As a result I now own a tube amp without a standby switch
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#18
Honestly, Standby switches are pretty much extraneous.

I spoke to Bruce Egnater about it once, and he says there's no real reason for them to exist these days. The tech I take my amps to has said pretty much the same.

I've had tube amps for decades and have pretty much ignored them with no discernible shortening of the life of the tubes or any other components. I'm aware of the theory behind their use, but in practice there really doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to use them.
#19
My original 5150 is like this: From a "cold" start. I turn the STANDBY switch "On". When my little light comes on, I know the tubes are hot and now I can turn on the MAIN POWER.

Both switches stay in the ON position. If you wanna take a rest, turn the MAIN POWER off and keep the STANDBY in the ON position. This keeps the tubes warn for restart.

I'm not for certain as I'm at work right now, but I think the 5150 will only play when BOTH switches are UP/ON.
#20
I just took a look at all my amps with standby switches. None had a "Standby On" and "Standby Off" label. The labels were either...

Pos1......Pos2
ON........Standby
Play.......Standby

So in every case the switch is in the standby position when you want no sound. If you get normal sound in both positions then there is something wrong with your amp. I personally would fix it myself. But if I didn't have the skill I would probably forget about using the switch as long as the amp worked otherwise.
Last edited by fly135 at May 9, 2014,
#21
Quote by Spambot_2
That hella boothered me when I first put my hands on a tube amp with a standby switch.
The label is "Standby <-> ON", and when on the ON position the amp's not in standby.

As a result I now own a tube amp without a standby switch

Yeah it's confusing me. Right now the amp has the power switch turned off with the standby switch on standby which is in the same position as the power switch's off so I'm guessing that right now the amp is on standby?

So how do you turn the amp completely off? Unplug it?
#22
Quote by KillerPhail
Yeah it's confusing me. Right now the amp has the power switch turned off with the standby switch on standby which is in the same position as the power switch's off so I'm guessing that right now the amp is on standby?

So how do you turn the amp completely off? Unplug it?



No, when the power switch is off the amp is completely off and the standby switch does nothing. When you turn Power On and the Stand-by switch is in Stand-by position, only tube heaters get power warming up the tubes (they start to glow after few seconds) but the amp is otherwise still dead, no sound. Flick the Stand-by switch and the amp is operational.

Turning off is just flicking both the switches, power off for obvious reasons and standby back to standby mode so its in right position for the next start up. Hell, the Off and Standby should be on same sides of the switches anyway so you can turn the thing off by pressing both switches at the same time with the side of your index finger.

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#23
Ohhhh now I get it. I just got home from work and I now understand. Thanks everyone.
#25
Quote by fly135
If your switch is truly broken I can see why you got so confused.

No it's fine, it's just I thought "on" on the standby switch meant it was ON STANDBY lol. I got it all good now.

I'm enjoying this new amp. The louder I turn it the better it sounds, which was the exact opposite for the Spider III I have lol. I have it on 3 post gain and it's already hard to be in the room with it without ear plugs lol. I gotta get a footswitch for it to toggle between my rhythm and lead tone though. I'm going to GC today to talk to the manager about a job there (irony) so I might pick one up.
#26
Quote by KillerPhail
No it's fine, it's just I thought "on" on the standby switch meant it was ON STANDBY lol. I got it all good now.
Glad my past incompetence could be of help to others
Quote by KillerPhail
he louder I turn it the better it sounds, which was the exact opposite for the Spider III I have lol.
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#27
Turn the switches on and play, turn them off when done.

The rest is just corksniffing wankery.

The folks that tell you to let your tubes 'heat up' have exactly NO objective evidence that it alters tube life in any fashion whatsover.

The folks that tell you it won't do a damn thing to flip the switches and go have the exact same amount of objective evidence.

Thus I choose not to worry about it, ain't got time for that nonsense.
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#28
Quote by Cajundaddy
Yep, using standby for power-up and power-down prolongs tube life by preventing transients from hitting cold tubes.


I don't think that matters for power down. if you're in standby the heaters are still on, if you turn off (which you have to do anyway eventually even if you go to standby first) then the heaters are off so it cools down. you only need (that's a pretty loose definition of "need") to flip to standby for turning off for the reasons cath said.

and yeah the need for standby switches in general is probably overstated. I'm in the cathbard school, i figure i might as well do it right, just in case. but it may well make no, or at least very little, difference to tube life etc.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 9, 2014,
#30
I've never heard of anybody blowing a 6505 power transformer. You can turn a 6505 on and off however the hell you want to, it's built like a tank.
I was explaining best practices only, not a matter of necessity. I'd be hesitant to turn on a Bugera while out of standby, but a Peavey? Won't matter shit.
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