#1
Alright, so sometimes I switch on my amp to warm up, then forget about it, and come back later to find out that I've left it on. This morning I switched it on before school, came home and realised I'd forgotten it on.

Does this harm the amp/tubes in any way? Can they overheat? How long is too long to use the amp continuously?

Thanks
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#3
usually takes 3-6 months
with regular use
if you keep leaving it on all day
they'll burn out pretty quick
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#4
you should be fine, any wear and tear on the tubes for the day is negligable. I wouldn't leave my amp on for days at a time. As long as you turn it off when your done using it for a while you should be fine.
#5
it will take some life off the tubes, but not a lot probably since it was in standby. It's just the heater filament that's on during standby. You should probably turn the amp completely off if you are going to leave it for more than 15-30 minutes however.
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#6
Quote by Erock503
it will take some life off the tubes, but not a lot probably since it was in standby. It's just the heater filament that's on during standby. You should probably turn the amp completely off if you are going to leave it for more than 15-30 minutes however.


+1. Leaving the amp on standby isn't as hard on tubes as when the amp is at full power, so tube life reduction will be slower and negligable. But it's a good idea to turn it off when you're not using it. It will extend tube life.
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#7
It is better for the tubes to be left on standby than to constantly turn the amp on and off, it is the turning on that does most of the wear, not the actual running
#8
I heard some guy's power transformer bit the dust when he did that. But then again that was in an AC30 which is a veritable easy bake oven..
#9
I've been told that it's better for your tubes to just leave the amp on standby rather than turning it off and on if you are gonna play a little bit later, but leaving it on all day probably doesnt fall into this category.
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#10
^yea, AC30's aren't known for their reliability but thats the price you pay for tone. Just turn the amp off when your done playing it. Done and done. lets not make this more complicated then it really is.
#11
They say when you get brand new tubes you should leave the amp on for 10 hours... Although I do question this, and leaving it on standby just keeps the tubes warm. This is so that when you do turn it back on the tubes are ready to take the full blown heat from actual playing.
#12
Quote by Erock503
You should probably turn the amp completely off if you are going to leave it for more than 15-30 minutes however.


...but not if you're just going to come back to it 30 minutes after turning it off.

Leaving it in standby all day isn't all that bad.

What kills tubes is the weakening of their internal structures by the following:

1. Physical Vibration (especially when hot)
2. Expansion and Contraction due to heat
3. The rate of #2 due to temperature differential (like going from 50 to 100 degrees
vs. 90-92)

Unless the heater element is bad, it will almost always far outlast the tube's useful
life.

Whenever you turn the amp on or off completely, #2 is greater because #3 is at its
greatest extent (going from cold to warm, or hot to cold). When you leave it in
standby, temperature is more or less constant, and since you're not playing, there's
likely no #1 (unless there's an earthquake or something going on...).

So, you should only turn it all the way off if you're not planning on coming back to it
for several hours.

It's the same reason light bulbs mostly go out when they're first switched on... the
rapid change in temperature/physical expansion causes the weak filament to break.
Tubes are much the same, though their parts are beefier.

And, the REAL heat is only generated by plate dissapation while playing. When it's in
standby, the plates shouldn't be dissipating anything.
#13
Quote by ryjomar
...but not if you're just going to come back to it 30 minutes after turning it off.

Leaving it in standby all day isn't all that bad.

problem with that though, tubes can go at any time, and it can still happen in standby. If it does, and you're not there to shut the amp down, it can damage the amp. That's why a lot of manufacturers will tell you not to leave an amp unattended, even in standby.
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#14
Quote by Erock503
problem with that though, tubes can go at any time, and it can still happen in standby. If it does, and you're not there to shut the amp down, it can damage the amp. That's why a lot of manufacturers will tell you not to leave an amp unattended, even in standby.


Yes, that is a good point. So, I'll ammend my statement that, if tube life is your primary concern, don't turn it off and on too much in a short time.

But I guess you're right... shortening tube life vs. creating a greater chance that you'll send you amp up in flames is kind of a weird odds game to play
#15
It's worse for the PT, just in terms of wear and tear.
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#16
hmmm, i no at the shop we let mesa's burn about 8 hours when we get them, i leave my amp on 30 mins before a show to let the tubes sweat, they sound a tad sweeter, but ive also done that left my practice space to get some food and get back 4 hours later seeing my amp on and realizing ahhh i just play some more