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Tube Amp Practices

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I haven't used my amp in months or even years because I've been away at college. Now that I am home I am using it to record. It's a Marshall AVT 50, and has one 12AX7 tube in the preamp section.

    I have been turning on the amp everyday even if I don't intend on playing it. I put the gain on high to get a lot of juice flowing to the tube and leave it running for a few hours. Is this a "good" practice? or will it result in the tube life going down or even overheating and damaging it?
  2. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    It is a waste of electricity and a way to burn out the heater elements of the tubes without even using them.

    Tubes need no maintenance treatment. If you turn it on once a month, for a minute, it is enough to keep the capacitors in good form.
  3. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    You can also turn all the knobs, from zero to ten or 12 or whatever. This can be done with the power off. The reason is to keep the wiper contacts clean. Even this only has to be done a few times a year.
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    hmm, cool. On that last note you mentioned, do you have any idea why the built in reverb died? it always worked, then it didn't. No water or blunt damage, just stopped working.

    I know you probably have no idea, but you seem to know a good bit about amps.
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    A tech friend of mine told me that 90% of reverb repairs involve connections (wiring) Check that it is plugged in if has RCA jacks going to the reverb unit and if it has sat a long time that the contacts are not corroded. I am assuming that it is a spring reverb in a tube amp.
  6. 12AX7 tubes last for like 5 years or much longer even under heavy use. On amps with power tubes, they are a little more maintenance heavy.

    My reverb died once on a DSL401 combo that I had. It ended up being the reverb knob.
  7. Dwrek

    Dwrek Guest

    The reverb is built off of a circuitry in marshall's AVT series. So the only thing "tube" about your amp is the single tube as the preamp, so it's pretty much a solid state amp...and like someone else mentioned its just a waste of power. The longer you leave any amp on, the more prone is it to damage when it gets to a certain temp.
    so keep the dust out of the circuits by turning your knows up and down with the amp off, and unless you're playing it, there isn't any point in keeping it on for long periods of time
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    When cold starting a tube amp I can't remember the method to use. It's either...

    1. Turn the power on
    2. Flip standby switch after a few minutes to let the tubes warm up.


    1. Flip the standby switch on for a few minutes to let the tubes warm up.
    2. Then turn the power on.

    I'm pretty sure it's the first one though.
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    You are correct it is the first one.

    1. Turn the power on
    2. Flip standby switch after a few minutes to let the tubes warm up.
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    That's what I thought, thanks!

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