How long do you warm up your tubes before switch on your amp?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Macro, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Macro

    Macro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,548
    Likes Received:
    2,038
    Location:
    The land of cheesesteaks and soft pretzels
    I have a TSL and noticed that if I turn the amp on before letting the tubes get hot I get a horrible white noise that won't go away and results in no output from the guitar....just a waterfall water sound and nothing else.

    On the other hand, if I let the tubes warm up for 4-5 minutes before taking the amp off standby I have no problems whatsoever....great tone, no problems, everything is perfect.

    The tubes are the problem...already swapped them. It really isn't even an issue as long as I wait a few minutes for the tubes to get hot before I start playing.

    I this normal? Is that just how long it takes or is something wrong with my amp?
     
  2. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    9,935
    Likes Received:
    3,116
    Location:
    Arlington Heights, IL
    No.

    You likely have a bad contact that becomes good again when the heat from the tubes expands the metal. Sooner or later your amp may fail; if you can check the solder connections yourself or bring it to a tech it might be a good idea.

    An amp should warm up in under 30 seconds to make a sound. There's no drama associated with it.

    Ken
     
  3. rjtm

    rjtm New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,993
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Florida
    +1. Its probably a bad contact that becomes good with the heat. You should get that checked out. I usually let my amp warm up for around 2 - 5 minutes while I warm up and let it cool down for a minute or two after turning it off.
     
  4. DSL100 Dude

    DSL100 Dude New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    686
    At least two minutes to warm up.
    At least two minutes to cool down.

    I am a firm believer that if the standby switch is there, why not make use of it.
     
  5. NaturalBornBoy

    NaturalBornBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Singapore for now...
    Not normal at all. My Legacy did that a few months back and I didn't do anything about it immediately. Bad move cos it cost me a few SGRs and two red-plated tubes.

    My tech said that a few of the components were on its last legs and were acting up when the amp heated up.
     
  6. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,576
    Likes Received:
    7,167
    Location:
    44076
    standby's there for tube life when NOT playing. if that is unclear you can get proper info on here in the tech section, from any major amp maker or electronics site but, to each their own there.
    Basics of Tube Amps for Beginners

    as far as your amp goes no it's not normal take it to a take and for warming up the tubes....again it's only needed for more than 60 seconds IF your amp is stored in a non heated environment in the winter as glass tubes and heat makes breakage.
     
  7. Stringjunkie

    Stringjunkie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,522
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    S W Florida
    The book on my new amp recommends 4 mins. warmup on standby for the "best tube life"
     
  8. ESPVH

    ESPVH Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    THE EMPIRE STATE!
    30 sec's
     
  9. 80's Rocker

    80's Rocker New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    KISS Army Base!
    I usually turn on my amp, put my strap on my Les Paul, tune up and then standby on. Takes couple minuits give or take. I need a new indicator light bulb tho because mine is burned out lol.
     
  10. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    8,450
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Location:
    Between Memphis and Nashville
    I agree with diesect. I usually turn both switches on at the same time. I like hearing the fade-in. It usually takes 10 or 15 seconds to start producing sound. If I leave the amp unattended for more than a minute or two, I put it on standby.

    Anybody old enough to remember the old black & white all-tube televisions? They didn't have a standby switch. Neither did hi-fi sets and radios. It certainly doesn't hurt anything if you want to use the standby switch, though. If it makes you feel safer then by all means do it.

    Macro, you said you already swapped the tubes. Did you change all of them or just the preamp tubes or the power tubes? I've had noisy 12AX7's that had to get really hot before they quiet down and sound right.
     
    diesect20022000 likes this.
  11. rjtm

    rjtm New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,993
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Florida
    Well I mean it doesn't hurt to do it if it increases the longevity of the tubes. Thats why I do it
     
  12. TwinACStacks

    TwinACStacks New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    14,941
    Likes Received:
    8,071
    Location:
    DETROIT Suburbs
    :) I don't use the Standby as the Vox is Tube Rectified, so I guess the answer is ZERO minutes.

    :):) TWIN
     
  13. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    8,450
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Location:
    Between Memphis and Nashville
    I've just never worried about tube life that much, especially with NOS power tubes. Most of the old ones are easily good for 3,000 to 5,000 hours if you maintain your amp. That means if you play an hour a day every day of the year, you could expect at the very minimum 10 to 15 years of tube life.
     
  14. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,031
    Likes Received:
    1,182
    Location:
    RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
    Tubes contain moving electrons. These electrons do not move in a cold tube. The standby switch allows the heaters to heat the electrons in the tube before they are put into "play mode". Turning the amp on without using standby is about equal to pouring hot water on your windshield to defrost it when it's covered in ice. The electrons are "shocked" into use and fall dead and lifeless. The less electrons moving in the tube, the less efficient it will work, the less volume you will get and so on and so forth. Eventually the tube will cease to function.

    So in short, the standby protects the life of your output tubes and doesn't have an effect on the amp. Since tube amps don't work without tubes I use the standby in every case. 30 seconds is the bare minimum you really need to let it warm up. Out of habit most players will turn the amp on and hang out for a minute or two before going right into "play mode". That is a safe practice.

    There is absolutely no need in letting the amp "cool down" in standby. Off is off.
     
  15. 61rocker

    61rocker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Little Ark, Rockansas
    I like my tubes hot, so I'll turn on my amp and let it sit on standby for "a while"....after reading some comments here, I have to ask: Is this bad for the amp?...I have done this with every tube amp I've ever owned and not ever had any kind of problem...The obvious to me would be to reduce tube life....
     
  16. Söulcaster

    Söulcaster Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    8,739
    Likes Received:
    7,988
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    first thing i set up is my head so i can turn it on straight away and let it warm up as i set my pedals and guitar up so probably id say roughly 10min warm up

    i also leave the amp totally off for at least 10mins(longer if possible) to cool down b4 i move my amp after finished playing i dont like to feel any heat coming from it when i put the cover on her or take her out to my car(worried about the hot tubes hitting the outside air)
     
  17. Macro

    Macro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,548
    Likes Received:
    2,038
    Location:
    The land of cheesesteaks and soft pretzels
    Thanks for the replies guys. A little while ago I turned the amp on and only gave it maybe a minute or two and had no issues. The white noise sounds happens intermittently, and I have suspected a loose solder joint that expands when the tubes get hot. Maybe tomorrow I will pull the board out and go over it with my glasses on. :)
     
  18. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,576
    Likes Received:
    7,167
    Location:
    44076
    it's not "bad" but, you're wearing the tubes if the amp's on. I sit here like right now and type with my amp on and standby off. when i'm on here i'm practicing so i'm letting it run all the time,lol. it just uses the tubes but, it won't hurt your amp at all.
     
    61rocker likes this.
  19. blues_n_cues

    blues_n_cues Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    22,188
    Likes Received:
    20,022
    Location:
    Dixie Hollow
    this. 'nuff said.
    i usually plug everything in,hook it up, turn it on, go get a glass of iced tea, & come back and make sure it all rolls out right before breaking a sweat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
    diesect20022000 and 61rocker like this.
  20. Rafał

    Rafał New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Poland
    But you know that on standby the tubes aren't getting any colder (hell, you are using it to warm them up) so why wait before turning the amp off? Or did you mean something different while writing "two minutes to cool down"?


    Nevermind, I guess you meant 2 mins before moving the amp.
     

Share This Page