Tradeoff between powering off and leaving tube amplifier on during breaks?



Asked by: Kimberly Queen

Is it OK to leave a tube amp on?





Long story short, unless you plan on using your amp a lot throughout the day, you should turn off your tube amp when you are done using it. Here’s why: Tubes deteriorate with use, so leaving a tube amp on shortens tube life. Many tubes produce a significant amount of heat.

How long can you leave a tube amp running?

How long can you leave a tube amp on? A tube amp is designed to be on for long periods of time. This, however, is not a recommendation. Most manufacturers will recommend no more than 6 to 8 hours of continuous play with at least a 30-minute cool-down break.

Is it OK to leave my amp on all the time?

Amplifiers shouldn’t be left on, as internal parts — like the filament — can wear out after long-term and constant heat exposure. High-quality and reliable amps can remain on for hours, days, or weeks without suffering damage. However, it’s best to turn your amps off when you’re not using them.

Do tube amps need to break in?

You do need to let your amp warm up before using it, however, not doing so will not damage it. The only thing that will happen is that until the tubes are warm enough you won’t get any sound. The amp will keep building up heat until about 15 to 30 minutes when it will reach its working temperature.

How long should a tube amp warm up?





20 to 30 minutes

As a rule of thumb, your tube amp needs to be warmed up for 20 to 30 minutes at least before you can start playing your guitar. Most of the time, tube amps have warm up specifications included in their instructions for use.

Do tube amps use a lot of electricity?

The average electrical consumption per hour of an amplifier is watts. To put that into perspective, they use a similar amount of electricity as a refrigerator, slightly more than lights on the ceiling, and ten times less than a standard air conditioner.

What can you not do with a tube amp?

Never, never, never run the amp with no speaker plugged in. This can cause major damage. Do not flip the power switch off, then back on rapidly. This can cause power supply damage.

How often should I replace tubes in a tube amp?

You can expect a conventional amplifier tube to have a service life ranging up to 10,000 hours. Tubes with military specifications are built to last up to 100,000 hours.



Why do tubes glow blue?

Sometimes you may notice a blue hazy glow inside your amp tube. This glow is rarely a sign of a defect and is fairly common especially in modern power tubes. This type of glow is called Fluorescence. This phenomenon is due to electron bombardment of the glass taking place within the tube.

How long does it take for tubes to burn in?

But the paperwork that came with the unit suggested that it takes tubes 8-24 hours to burn in and recommended a 24 hour burn-in period.

What does standby do on a tube amp?

Right next to the on/off switch on many tube amps is a second switch labeled “standby”. It’s that switch that silences your guitar amp without actually turning it off, which comes in handy when break time rolls around at rehearsal or at a gig.



How long does it take to break in a guitar amp speaker?

around 100 hours

A good rule of thumb is that playing any sort of full-range recorded music through a speaker at a mid-volume level for around 100 hours is enough to break the speaker in.

How long should I break in my speakers?

After about 100 hours of use, your speakers should be broken in. The speaker surround and spider materials loosen up the more the speaker is used. Not all speakers will sound dramatically different after break-in. Some improve only marginally, while others can change dramatically.

How do you break in speakers fast?

The easiest answer is simply to play music. However, to break your speakers in well, you’ll want to play something with a large dynamic range, something with solid deep bass, as well as something with a strong high end. Music capable of both will be able to push the speaker to their extremes regularly.



How do you break in a tube?

We've seen online that people say to simply just leave the amplifier. On no music playing. And leave it on overnight or leave it on for a few days to burn in the tubes.

Is it OK to touch vacuum tubes?

Think of a vacuum tube as a light bulb. It is a glass envelope that generates heat as it is working. You shouldn’t be handling them all the time but occasionally touching them will not hurt. Let it cool off first though, they can get mighty toasty.

How long do 12AX7 tubes last?

about 10,000 hours

Small signal tubes like a 12AX7 or 6922 will work well on average for about 10,000 hours. If you leave your equipment on 24 hours a day, well you do the math: There are 8,760 hours in a year.