Leaving a tube amp turned on

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Leaving a tube amp turned on

Postby WayneS » Sat May 05, 2012 1:19 am

A simple question, but never heard it asked. Is it OK, or harmful to the amp or tubes, to leave a tube amp turned on all the time? How about with an overdrive pedal hooked up and turned on?

Many thanks for any help.
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Re: Leaving a tube amp turned on

Postby leftyguitarman » Sat May 05, 2012 7:02 am

Like, all the time? All day and night? You'll shorten up tube life and more than likely shorten the life of every component in the amp. I leave mine on for hours at a time, some days, but when I'm not playing, I switch it to standby.
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Re: Leaving a tube amp turned on

Postby allanlummox » Sat May 05, 2012 2:34 pm

When I worked for Luthier (the late) Dale Bluebond, one of the features of his sales floor was a 1959 Fender Bassman - which he turned on every morning, off every evening when he closed the shop. It sat there on standby all day long, waiting for the penetration of a quarter inch jack. He said that this kept the amp from collecting dust and gunk inside and was the reason the amp had needed no particular repairs or maintenance while in his possession.
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Re: Leaving a tube amp turned on

Postby Jakeblues » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:12 am

IIRC "Standby" puts current through the heater grids in the tubes. I don't know what other circuits are active. I think even standby will shorten the tube life at least a little. Moving the amp with the grids hot will certainly increase the chance of early tube failure.

For the record, my problem is not leaving the amp on, its leaving it off too much.
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Re: Leaving a tube amp turned on

Postby texas blues » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:33 pm

A couple of times I've left the old Marshall on standby for a couple of days unawares. Them el34's are like vampires half asleep waiting for a victim. It don't hurt a 'thang and keeps them caps greased up.
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