#1
Hey guys, I was just wondering if you could let me know on the exact right way to power on, and power off, a tube amp.

I got my Express 5:25 about a day ago, and whatever I've been doing seems to be working, but I want to hear what some more experience players here have to say, as I'd like to lengthen the life of this amp as much as possible.

Thanks in advance guys.
#2
Make sure all your switches are "off" (in the down position). Turn the power on. Let the amp sit for about 45 seconds to a minute, and then flip the standby switch to the "on" position. When you're turning it off, you can just flip both switches down at the same time.
Hi, I'm Peter
#3
Hey, that's simple! Sweet man, thanks a lot. I have just one more question... let's say I'm in the middle of playing, and I want to take a 5 or 10 minute break, if I wanted to leave the amp on, should I just flip the standby switch from "on" to "standby" for a few minutes?
#4
Yeah, that's fine. I've left my amp on overnight before, sometimes for 2 or 3 days. Those tubes lasted me for about 7 years.

The ONLY thing standby is really for is to keep your tubes from getting power from the rectifier that they can't handle when they're cold. Most modern tube amps have solid state rectifiers, so the converted power is immediately available. Problem is, tubes aren't ready to take that power until they're warm, so introducing that power to them immediately can make them burn out faster. That's it. You'll hear a lot of stuff about engaging standby and letting the amp "cool down" before turning it off. That's nonsense.
Hi, I'm Peter
#5
Quote by Dirk Gently
Make sure all your switches are "off" (in the down position). Turn the power on. Let the amp sit for about 45 seconds to a minute, and then flip the standby switch to the "on" position. When you're turning it off, you can just flip both switches down at the same time.


When turning the amp off I recommend doing 3 things to even further increase the life of your tubes.

1. Cut the amp on clean and turn the volume down on your guitar, master volume, and cutting off all effects.

2. Turn the amp from on, to standby.

3. Wait at least 5 seconds then shut it completely off.

I say this because when the tubes are old they are more sensitive and I blew a preamp tube by turning both off at the same time and later blew a power tube.
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#6
Whoa. It sounds like tube amps aren't quite as sensitive as everyone makes them out to be!

Anyway, thanks for the help man, I'm gonna go fool around with this amp more now.
#7
Quote by JoeBender
Whoa. It sounds like tube amps aren't quite as sensitive as everyone makes them out to be!

Anyway, thanks for the help man, I'm gonna go fool around with this amp more now.


Standby is probably the biggest thing that scares people who are new to tube amps away from them. They really aren't high maintenence, just something extra to remember before you play.
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#8
Quote by MESAexplorer
When turning the amp off I recommend doing 3 things to even further increase the life of your tubes.

1. Cut the amp on clean and turn the volume down on your guitar, master volume, and cutting off all effects.

2. Turn the amp from on, to standby.

3. Wait at least 5 seconds then shut it completely off.

I say this because when the tubes are old they are more sensitive and I blew a preamp tube by turning both off at the same time and later blew a power tube.


Sorry I replied before I saw your response. When you say turn the amp from on, to standby, then... imagine the two switches, power and standby. Both are flipped to on. To go to standby I would just... flip the power off? Or flip the standby from on to standby?
#9
I'll tell you, my Mesa/Boogie was my third amp I ever owned. I had the same tubes in it from the time I bought it in 1999 until I changed them last year. I've never done any of that stuff and my tubes lasted a long time. I don't mean to be contradictory, but standby has nothing to do with your preamp section, so how you choose to power down your amp won't effect the longevity of your preamp tubes. Tubes can go at any time. That's just their nature.
Hi, I'm Peter
#11
^ Yes, but that has to do with the fact that the tubes are hot, and therefore more brittle. That's a different issue than the power flow inside the amp. But you can just kill the power without having it "cool down" on standby, which is a misnomer anyway. I don't understand why people think that tubes will get "Cool" when they turn the amp to standby but leave the power on, when the whole point of standby is to let the tubes get hot before being turned on to playing power.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Aug 25, 2007,
#12
Quote by Dirk Gently
I'll tell you, my Mesa/Boogie was my third amp I ever owned. I had the same tubes in it from the time I bought it in 1999 until I changed them last year. I've never done any of that stuff and my tubes lasted a long time. I don't mean to be contradictory, but standby has nothing to do with your preamp section, so how you choose to power down your amp won't effect the longevity of your preamp tubes. Tubes can go at any time. That's just their nature.


Well, in that case, it was a huge coincidence.

The preamp tube blew the exact second I cut both off at the same time, before then I've always cut it on standby then off after a few seconds. It was such a coincidence, I still believe they are related somehow because the only time I didn't shut my amp off like I normally do I had a problem.

In the end, my tubes only lasted about 2.5 years. I do play at high volumes for about 6 hours a week, low volumes for about 3 hours a week if that has any influence on it.
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#13
2 1/2 years is a long time for an amp that constantly sees high volume. Most people I know who gig with their amps and play a full set about once a week will change all their tubes once a year or every 18 months.
Hi, I'm Peter
#14
Okay, so for powering down, I think I'm just gonna switch Standby to "Standby", wait a second, and then flip the Power to "off". Is that safe? By looking at this thread there are obviously multiple ways to use your amp, and they all work well, but I basically just want to make sure that powering down like this won't be bad for the amp.
#15
^ Yeah, that's fine. In short, there's no absolutely "correct" way to power down, so if you feel that you have to go through some Japanese tea preparation ceremony to turn your amp off, go for it. But you can also just kill the power.
Hi, I'm Peter
#16
I just have a quick question. I just got my tube amp, and I was wondering if it's bad to leave your amp on standby for too long? Like say I turned on the tube amp and left it on standby for 30 minutes, then played. Would it wear out the tubes, or does it matter?
Also, lets say I am playing guitar and I want to take a 20 mintue break, but dont' want to power off my amp. Do I put it in standy or leave it in a channel?
Thanks!

EDIT: actually, could someone PM me the answers, please
I'm logging off now, and I probably won't remember to check back. Thanks!
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#17
Standby won't do anything if the power isn't on.

You switch the power switch to the on position, wait, then switch the standby switch to whatever side is on (i guess some amps have different names for each side). To power off, it doesn't really matter, but I guess a safe bet is to switch the standby switch to whatever side cuts the sound, wait about 2 seconds, and then turn the power switch off.

I know this pretty well for someone who doesn't own a tube amp.
#18
Hmm, the only reason I engage standby before shutting off my amp is so that I don't mistakenly turn it on without having it in standby.
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