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Old 28th December 2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default Running up tube heads

Hi
My son put his tube guitar amp into storage and someone has told him he should power it up now and again...but they didn't know particularly why.

I can't see that it makes any difference, so I thought I would ask you guys.

As he has no speaker to hook up to it, should he leave it in Standby mode please?
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Phil
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Old 28th December 2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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The only reason I can think of would be to maintain the capacitors, but this is a topic of great debate. If you have no speaker then definitely leave it in standby mode, but depending on the amp circuit this may not power all of the high voltage capacitors, so it would be of little use...
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Old 28th December 2012, 11:43 AM   #3
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Yes, once a year or so.
Or if it's stored in a very damp place, turning it on now and then will keep mold away.
Nothing too critical anyway.
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Old 28th December 2012, 01:07 PM   #4
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If you don't use it for a very long time and then power it up, the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply may explode and/or ripple filter resistors may burn. That's quite common in old tube radio's that haven't been used since 1950 and suddenly get powered up. A workaround is to very slowly increase the voltage. That gives the isolation of the electrolytic capacitors time to get back in shape.
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Old 28th December 2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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That's what I was driving at. If the caps are unpowered for a long time they need to be reformed in order to function properly. This is a point of debate in another thread right now...
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Old 28th December 2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phmosele View Post
Hi
My son put his tube guitar amp into storage and someone has told him he should power it up now and again...but they didn't know particularly why...


Phil
If it will be stored more than 10 years at one sitting, then maybe...
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Old 28th December 2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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carbon comp resistors suck up moisture. if it has them, warm them up to dry them out
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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My solid state amps went 8 years without being used, and were fine. But you really should power up the filter caps at least once a year and preferably more often.
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:03 PM   #9
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I see a lot of old amps that look like crud from mold and rust. Too bad he has to store it.
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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In standby it will form up the first set of caps, but not the ones lower down the filter ladder. It would definitely be best to plug in something and turn it all the way on. Also, on a very few tube guitar amps with solid-state rectifiers the standby switch is really a mute, and those require a speaker plugged in.
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