How will the cold effect my Keyboard Amp?

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by Geraldo LaForge, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. I wasn't sure what the right forum was for this question as it's not necessarily related to recording, but I'm wondering if anyone has experience with moving gear around in the cold.

    I live in Wisconsin and I got my first keyboard amp (Roland KC550). I am anxiously awaiting the free time I have coming up to play some shows, but I read something in the amp's manual that I hadn't considered before. It says that when bringing an amp in from the cold to a warm environment (ie; from my car and into a pub), the amp needs to come up to room temperature and that the condensation needs to dry before the amp can be used.

    My question is: Do I really need to deliver my gear to the performance location in advance so that the amp is performance ready by showtime? Or can I go straight from cold to performing without worrying about any "warmup" time?

    Thanks in advance and for all the help the archives of questions have been to me.
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Hello Geraldo
    Welcome to out forum...

    I guess, you have about the same amount of snow and cold around like we do, here, at Munich area. ;-)
    From my traveling days with my band and from what I know as a former LOS tec in a mobile Communications HQ
    it is important to:
    - keep the amp and other stuff dry at home
    - if you can, pack it as airtight as possible ( a plastic cover / a bag or case will do) before it goes into the cold.
    - rather then to transport it from a heated room with usually higher humidity into the cold, store it (over night or a few hours) at dry and cold(er) place before transport.
    - arrived at the hall put it at a warmer place which might well be the stage... and keep it covered, if it is well packed, for a while
    depending on the difference in temperatur about 30 min+ before taking the cover off. I should be good in a few more minutes.
    - if it is not covered, comming from a warm place into cold and back into the warm, wait an hour, or so, before connecting to power.
    1 hour is no guarantee, but a reasonable timeframe to get rid of most condensed moisture, unless there are extreme environmental influences ( -20 C into +25 C and high humidity...)

    If you use a valve amp, please, allow them to warm up in Stand-By for 10 minutes ( after the described wait before powering up, at all)
    Valves are quite robust little buggers, but they don't like extremes. Temperatur is one, but worse is mechanical shocks when playing.
    They don't get killed, at once, but may well suffer and produce microphony... audible noise when vibrating or getting some punishment from the speakers ...
    After a show it is usually rather moist in the halls. Let the valves cool down in standby for a minute and don't be too hasty bringing it into the cold.
    They might talk to you. Only once, though They say end their vacuumed lives when sniffing some air.

    On some occasions I had to switch systems on and off that had been exposed to rather bad extremes. Only in rare cases there was actually a malfunction
    because of condensed water, but I'd always be careful with that, because WHEN it blows up, it is gone and the gig is maybe over before it has
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Also recommended under the plastic wrapping is a large dessiccant package. These can be purchased many places online much bigger than those little tiny things that annoy you when you open an electronics box. To rejuvenate them (the dessiccant that is), just put them in a microwave for five minutes on high. I actually use these in all my cases even at home.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Wisconsin is about 10 degrees C colder than Munich right now.
  5. Just had our 1st snowfall the other day too.

    Thanks everybody for the posts, this should help keep my amp safe.

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