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How long do you warm your tubes up?
Old 5th September 2008
  #31
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How long it takes to have two cups of coffee (about an hour)..

Tubes are so great for the winter
Old 5th September 2008
  #32
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CapnMarvel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringwraith View Post
Funny thread.

I'm a guitarist & remember trying the "warm up my amp" for an hour before playing when I was a kid & didn't really notice a difference. One thing a lot of tube amp players mention is how their amp seems to get more compressed & the high end rolls off after playing it for awhile. Uh, that would be your ears & temporary (hopefully not permanent) hearing loss.! lol

Cheers
Sean
Has to be. I'm a chemical engineer, so I might have a little more insight into this than some. Listen, the tube is glass. The conductive materials are metal. Unless you pack them in liquid nitrogen overnight, both of these materials will increase from their initial to their final temperature in a minute, two tops. There is no increase in the conductance of the materials that does not depend on temperature or on other temperature-dependent factors. Yes, prior to this point you may notice a problem with tone for the 30-60 seconds between the time signal may be passed by the tube and it reaches the final temperature.

HOWEVER - Isn't it a bit possible that the temperature increase of the tubes, output transformers, etc. over time may actually affect other components in the circuit and their own electrical properties? Because these components heat up more slowly than the tubes, the effect on tone is dragged out over time, thus the 20-30 minutes some folks are noticing it takes their gear to 'sound right'. I would think that, say, a capacitor sitting a few inches away from a set of power tubes in a poorly ventilated amplifier case might experience an increase in temperature (say, even 10 degrees F) from the point of startup that could lead to capacitance drift that would translate to a change in tone far more signficant than the infinitessimally small change in temperature that the tubes might experience over the same time (following their 1-2 minute startup period, that is). Tube gear gets singled out because tubes generate far more heat than most components and this effect is amplified over what it would be for a solid-state circuit (not to say the solid state circuit couldn't experience a similar tonal variance with temperature) .

I'm not an EE, but I do know materials, and analog signal translation might be affected pretty noticeably from temperature variations - I just think that it's not necessarily the tubes that are directly responsible for it.
Old 5th September 2008
  #33
Depends on the filament voltage .. typically, a tube gets to its
operating temperature in about 60 to 90 seconds and then settles
in after about 20 minutes.

Lower filament voltages can take a little longer. There was a curve done
in the 40's that I saw that showed 20 minutes was the best for almost
all tubes (of that era) .. and the linearity and response didn't
change much after that.

jeff
Old 5th September 2008
  #34
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CapnMarvel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarkham View Post
Depends on the filament voltage .. typically, a tube gets to its
operating temperature in about 60 to 90 seconds and then settles
in after about 20 minutes.

Lower filament voltages can take a little longer. There was a curve done
in the 40's that I saw that showed 20 minutes was the best for almost
all tubes (of that era) .. and the linearity and response didn't
change much after that.

jeff
Interesting. What changes after the temperature is reached that affects the filament voltage?
Old 5th September 2008
  #35
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Marlowe's Avatar
 

I let things cook for about an hour.
Old 5th September 2008
  #36
Folks who know tubes say that 15 minutes max, i.e. that's a conservative estimate, and in reality it'll be less than that. It doesn't take them hours to warm up. That's yet still more audio voodoo.
Old 5th September 2008
  #37
Gear Maniac
 

5 minutes is my magic number. Anything more seems excessive to me. That's when they start to sound right, depending on the gear in question.
Old 5th September 2008
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by musictech View Post
I've got the Presonus ADL 600 tube pre-amp, and I find that it needs to be on at least a couple of hours before it settles down. It seems to make random spitting noises and thumps for quite a while when I first turn it on.

Anyone else have similar issues with tube gear? Or maybe mine is just faulty? Mine is also mounted in one of those rolling floor racks where the front face of the gear is pointing almost straight up (slight angle). Is it not good for the tubes to be that way?

Steve
I have the same box and it doesn't do that at all
Old 5th September 2008
  #39
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BOWIE's Avatar
Having auditioned thousands of tubes, I'll say that, generally speaking, they are 95% ready after 4 minutes, but it takes about 45 min of actual use for them to really settle in all the way. Power tubes will get there quicker. A lot of it has to do with the equipment used.
Old 6th September 2008
  #40
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emrr's Avatar
I guess no one here has a classic tube limiter. They all seem to take close to two hours for the GR meters to hit the previous days zero point, which is an indication of the stabilization of current flow through the gain reduction tubes. Empirically, tubes take as long to warm up as the data sheets say; well less than one minute. A tube amp with any amount of current draw through other components will eventually heat the entire unit to a stable temperature, and in some cases it will subtly affect the sound. None of this has anything to do with functionality, we're splitting C-hairs here. I turn on anything I need for the next 1/4 day when I walk in, and start using it when everything is ready. 10 minutes or 2 hours, whichever comes first. I either re-zero limiter meters every 5 minutes for the first two hours, or turn the meters off and ignore them. I can't say a punch-in 6 hours into a day, on a track recorded on minute 10 of warm-up ever stuck out as having a different tone.
Old 6th September 2008
  #41
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by musictech View Post
I've got the Presonus ADL 600 tube pre-amp, and I find that it needs to be on at least a couple of hours before it settles down. It seems to make random spitting noises and thumps for quite a while when I first turn it on.

Anyone else have similar issues with tube gear? Or maybe mine is just faulty? Mine is also mounted in one of those rolling floor racks where the front face of the gear is pointing almost straight up (slight angle). Is it not good for the tubes to be that way?

Steve
Exercise the tubes in the sockets to get better contact. This may be your issue and as expansion occurs with area heating the problem may go away when you turn it on and warm it up. I get these sorts of noises in everything at season changes, and remembering to exercise every tube in every socket as regular preventative keeps random noises down.
Old 6th September 2008
  #42
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Exercise the tubes in the sockets to get better contact. This may be your issue and as expansion occurs with area heating the problem may go away when you turn it on and warm it up. I get these sorts of noises in everything at season changes, and remembering to exercise every tube in every socket as regular preventative keeps random noises down.
Very true, though I just wanted to caution everybody to do this gently! It is very easy to get a leak in your tube this way as it pulls the pins at the base where they meet the glass. Happens all too often. Leaky tube = dead tube.
I tell my customers to use pro-gold on the pins annually as pins oxidize very quickly.
Old 6th September 2008
  #43
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringwraith View Post
Funny thread.
Really, I would love to see some factual data as well. What temperature do the tubes need to reach?? Doesn't take long for a tube to be too hot to touch. I can't imagine "warming" things up for an hour changing the tone. What if it's a colder day?? Do you adjust for that? Surely you might have to wait another 15 minutes. ;-)

I'm a guitarist & remember trying the "warm up my amp" for an hour before playing when I was a kid & didn't really notice a difference. One thing a lot of tube amp players mention is how their amp seems to get more compressed & the high end rolls off after playing it for awhile. Uh, that would be your ears & temporary (hopefully not permanent) hearing loss.! lol
It's not just the tubes that need to warm up. They can get to a good operating temperature in a few minutes. The capacitors and resistors also change in performance as temperature changes. How long this takes to stabilize depends on the physical construction of the amp.

It's not imaginary in the slightest bit, and it has nothing to do with hearing loss. Most tube amps I've used take a good 30-40 minutes to stabilize, regardless of whether they're played during that time.
Old 7th September 2008
  #44
Gear Head
 
moops's Avatar
 

As per others, as much time as it takes to get ready, which is generally about 5 minutes...for both UA outboard and tube driven Marshall gear. Haven't done any '1 hr later' smoothnest tests here, but haven't noticed enough difference in the abstract to make me wait longer, but who know's whether I would after an hour of playing, and with recording being a game of degrees if longer wait is better then that's a worthwhile thing to know...you'd probably need recordings of something done after 5 minutes of warm-up, and and an hour of warmup side by side to see if there's a difference.

As also mentioned, I'd surely wait longer if there were evidence that it was a worthwhile thing to do, e.g. measurably reduced distortion due to some anode/cathode charging/saturation or heating effect, but I've always figured that if it didn't get hot/saturated enough in a 5 mins it surely wouldn't in an hour, but that was just with the tubes in mind...

Have had the same Marshall Amp now for 12 years, and have had a transformer change but no valve changes.

Am happy to be wrong tho if there's info to the contrary...and may well when I get a spare 5 mins do some tests here just to see one way or the other - I'll record some playing after 5 mins, and again after an hour and see if it seems much different...I might well post the results as well just as a little evidence for the outcome one way or the other...might post it as 'A' and 'B' rather than '5 mins' and 'hour' as a blind test.
Old 8th September 2008
  #45
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peeder's Avatar
 

120 seconds

Guitar amps can take longer (15mins tops). And some tubes seem slower to get stable (but never over 15 mins ime).
Old 8th September 2008
  #46
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Chaellus's Avatar
about 45 minutes give or take the amount of time with diffrent tube gear..some demand more or less time on to get to there optimal
Old 8th September 2008
  #47
Lives for gear
Sony c800g manual: Let the mic warm up for atleast 30 minutes. So I let everything marinade for about 45 minutes prior to engaging warp speed. That includes: Tube Tech Cl1b, UA6176, and even my Great River. Im starting to think my Focal Twins sound better after 1 hour and they sure dont have tubes!
Old 8th September 2008
  #48
Sony's manuals don't really change reality. Untless there's something else in there besides tubes, it doesn't need 30 minutes.

The Great River is solid state. It takes no time to warm up.
Old 9th September 2008
  #49
Lives for gear
Great River: I know its Solid.

I never said I needed to really let everything warm up, but I still let it sit for several minutes. Its just a routine that I like doing before I push the buttons.
Old 9th September 2008
  #50
Unless you are Superman, most of us would require a few minutes between turning stuff on and being ready to actually record, just as a practical matter it would seem. You generally need to test levels after you've actually turned on the input chain and all that, right?
Old 9th September 2008
  #51
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The Diezel Herbert guitar amp manual says 40 seconds.
Old 9th September 2008
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Unless you are Superman, most of us would require a few minutes between turning stuff on and being ready to actually record, just as a practical matter it would seem. You generally need to test levels after you've actually turned on the input chain and all that, right?

Scratch, scratch, shake of the head, and now a ponder. Sleep deprevation can lead to irratic behavior.
Old 19th September 2008
  #53
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musictech View Post
I've got the Presonus ADL 600 tube pre-amp, and I find that it needs to be on at least a couple of hours before it settles down. It seems to make random spitting noises and thumps for quite a while when I first turn it on.

Anyone else have similar issues with tube gear? Or maybe mine is just faulty? Mine is also mounted in one of those rolling floor racks where the front face of the gear is pointing almost straight up (slight angle). Is it not good for the tubes to be that way?

Steve
i think your tubes are going bad

mine is silent!
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