WHat is better to do with amp turn it off or not?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by bobbyvasco, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting though that most manufacturers still employ them and list their use in the manual. Also it was mentioned previously about maybe using standby with SS rectifiers. Do most modern tube amps not use SS rectifiers? Thus the standby?
    I don't really care, one way or the other. There are articles showing the science behind both schools of thought.
    But I do agree it has become a big issue that shouldnt be. Neither is gonna significantly affect component life any more than the heat of a tube amp will affect components.
     
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  2. PelliX

    PelliX Member

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    Yup. Amen.

    I'm not sure of your source there... See, as we're dealing with triode and pentode valves mainly, it's best to draw a pentagram with a triangle inside and position your gear at strategic points. Turn all the numbered knobs to '6' and only then sacrifice the goat. When done you should be left with a working amp (presuming it was working before the ritual) and a dead goat. Win/win.
     
  3. PelliX

    PelliX Member

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    I would honestly be interested to see any scientific data on the impact of SS rectifiers vs valve rectifiers on (other) valves. There are a couple of blokes on Youtube that did some measurements and you can clearly see the difference on the scope. Still, very limited testing there.

    In the case of Marshall, they include the standby switch because of user expectation. "Where's my beer/piss break button?". "OMG, no standby - I will have to contact support!". "How do I change cabs without turning the amp all the way off now?". Actually, that last one is handy. Also, the emulated out on many amps stays on in standby allowing silent recording (or listening to fizz if you have a Marshall).

    Considering the voltage which that switch needs to handle, it would most certainly be cheaper to put in a 'timer based' circuit. Can't imagine that hasn't crossed their minds.
     
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  4. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Emulated out is a good use of standby.
    Most shows we take a half hour break, I just leave amp on to heat up idling.
    But to have certain amounts of time one should wait before playing after engaging standby off, etc?? Just play the damn thing.
     
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  5. Pete Farrington

    Pete Farrington Active Member

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    A problem is that valve amps aren’t all the same and the specific implementation of standby varies. Hence it’s not possible for generic statements regarding standby to be valid, or at least apply equally, to all valve amp models.

    Certainly though, if an amp has a indirectly heated valve rectifier (eg GZ34, 5AR4) then even if you believe standby has credible science behind it, it cannot be beneficial. Quite the opposite, many standby implementations will be detrimental to (rectifier) valve life and amp reliability. Especially so considering that rectifier valves, when severely stressed, might fail catastrophically, with such failure modes having high potential consequence for significant collateral damage.

    For solid state rectified amps, most that I’ve seen have standby arrangements which are fairly benign. TBH, if I was using a JCM era onwards Marshall that hadn’t been modded to remove the power up stress on its DCCF (eg V3 of the classics), I’d use standby when powering up.
    But even for some solid state rectified amps, the particular standby implementation can be incredibly bad, such that valve life must inevitably be significantly reduced. The JMP era 50W models eg 1986, 1987, 2204, are examples of this. Hopefully most have been modded to better standby arrangement by now.

    I’ve not seen anything credible that justifies standby as a concept - have you got any links?
    There’s an article by Hartley Peavey, but it’s just an assertion / opinion piece, it doesn’t stand up to analysis and doesn’t cite valid precedent or reference sources.
    https://peavey.com/PDFs/Chapter6.pdf
    Certainly in the case of some amp designs, the use of standby has been used a bodge to prevent bad circuit designs or inadequately specified components from causing problems.

    It would be great if amp manuals contained only factual info, and we could be confident in advising amp users to follow the guidance there within. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case, an extreme example being from Bad Cat, which include some passages of complete fancy / fantasy, eg notes 2, 3 and 14 of https://www.badcatamps.com/bad-cat-amp-manuals-tube-charts
    What is the motivation for people promulgating such utter BS, it makes things so hard for regular amp users to know what to believe?
    It’s not as if valves are a new and little understood technology, everything about them was done, dusted and documented decades ago.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  6. PelliX

    PelliX Member

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    This is really probably one of the main causes of the confusion around the standby usage. If you have a Bugera or other 'budget' amp, sure, you expect some Chinese-to-English Google-translated manual. I have a Bugera attenuator for shits and giggles and silent testing of stuff. Its manual states I should disconnect it from the mains when not in use and many other generic pointers. It's passive. No AC supply possible. It's just a copy/paste from some other manual which they included to fill the page or reduce legal liability, etc.

    I would have been more inclined to believe a Marshall, VOX, Fender, etc manual - but upon reading things like the dangers of shorting the input (see my rant a few posts back), it was clear to me that it was not only written by someone without any technical knowledge, but also without due care and attention. Typos aside, the 'turning it on' procedure outlined in the manual states to flip the power switch to the ON position twice! That's from Marshall. Tut tut. I also have a little VOX solid state amp which states one should not operate it without a speaker load attached. First of all, the speaker output is disengaged when the line out is attached, so maybe a pointer there would have been appropriate, but... it's a freaking TL072 transistor.

    If I produced valve guitar amplifiers, I would include a standby switch - partitially from a marketing/expectation perspective, partially because it's handy for the emulated outs, cab changes, beer breaks, etc. The only difference would be that I would be clear in the manual about the facts. Oh, and if I wrote the manual after a couple of beers, I might include the goat instructions.

    Still looking forward to seeing a transistor amp with a standby switch. They must exist, I'm sure. *shrugs*.
     
  7. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    Who the fuck are you saying "desist" to anyone? If you don't want to do it, don't do it.
     
  8. Pete Farrington

    Pete Farrington Active Member

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    My outlook is that spreading misinformation is a regrettable activity, and if it’s regarding a topic of particular interest to me, I attempt to counter it. Hence my request that you demonstrate the validity of the statements of your’s that I referenced, or stop repeating them.
    I’m unsure exactly what the ‘it’ you’re referring to is, but rest assured, whatever it is, I don’t :)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  9. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    I never said "cathode stripping", don't know what it is, never heard of it. Anyway, it's just a fucking switch - use it if you want to, don't use it if you don't want to, who cares. But if you ask a question on a forum somebody may answer it, so don't be shocked. And maybe not exactly how you thought they would.
     
  10. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. A last word freak.
     
  11. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Emotional Support Animal Gold Supporting Member

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    I didn't say you did. And right back at ya, if you post a comment someone may respond with their experiences, which I did. Kinda uptight are we?
     
  12. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Good enough for me
     
  13. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    No, not really, a guy just asked a question, I gave an answer, and everybody had a fit, called me a liar - that's the part I got pissed at - when all they needed to do was offer up an answer of their own. The whole "pile on" thing is pretty childish and totally not necessary, so yeah, I admit I got a bit annoyed.
     
  14. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Human nature. When we believe something our whole lives we tend be very skeptical when those beliefs are challenged. Sometimes folks can get quite annoyed lol
     
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  15. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    See that makes me wonder then about the validity of what you read years ago in the GP mag? Apparently I knew nothing about it yet you haven't heard of cathode stripping and go on to essentially describe it below. Although no oxidation can occur in a vacuum.
    So yeah that kind of stuff can get a guy's back up. It shouldn't but it can.
    I don't mean to come across harshly.

    That said, totally agree - it is a fuckin switch. If it affected tubes and caps in a catastrophic way one way or another it would be a big deal but it is not.

    And there we have it. For some of us, that is all we own. So pages of Never use standby has become Use it with modern amps.
    Can't believe everything someone says because it is on the internet. Or anything for that matter. Just like many of you disagree with me.
    It really isn't a big deal one way or another, it seems. Carry on doing what you are doing. I will do the same.
    As for OPs question I believe that was discussed way back.
     
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  16. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Emotional Support Animal Gold Supporting Member

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    I know I didn't call anyone a liar, if that's what was heard I apologize. I just shared my experiences with the standby, and inquired about the plate oxidation thing.
     
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  17. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't care if people disagree with me but calling people a liar (which you didn't - somebody else) is ridiculous and inappropriate. As for GP Magazine, the old staff were amp builders, repairmen and modification wizards, luthiers, store owners and performers, many the same generation as Leo Fender, Randall Smith and Jim Marshall, Aspen Pitman, and most of them knew them, interviewed them and learned from them. So I'd be inclined to believe those guys. Maybe after all these years I forgot and said "oxidation" by accident, no big deal but that's a generation of guys on who's words I'll hang my hat. The guys there now are knowledgeable guys, good guys, but many of them get their info where? Online, other magazines and from youtube reviews, you can tell by reading their stuff.
     
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  18. PelliX

    PelliX Member

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    Exactly. This.
    I don't know this dude, but it seems he's figured it out, too :cheers:
     
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  19. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah Randall Smith was fairly revolutionary in some ways and he does suggest use of the standby. If others think it is voodoo, I can't care. I use it mostly but not always. If lazy I don't.
    If unneccesary, again, it won't hurt my amps.
     
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  20. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Dave Friedman. I hear he knows his way around tube amps haha.

    Sounds like I’ll be ok continuing to turn my amps off and on from the power strip
     
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