The Tube Amp Warm-Up Time Thread
Oct 20, 2008 at 8:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 41

sunseeker888

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Posts
482
Likes
11
First off, let me say that I am a believer in warming up gear before doing serious listening. I do not want people responding if they say it is not necessary. Head-fi is full of people who believe in warming up cd players, DACs, amps, etc and I would like to hear input from them.

On both my speaker amps and headphone amps, I see a significant jump in SQ after its been running for about an hour. It seems as though the circuits hit a peak in performance when all is at a certain temperature. I don't think its a question of capacitors charging, since this takes a mere second or so. (I do not have multiple Farads of capacitance in any of my amplifiers' supplies)

My question is this: For most can-amps, what do you feel is the optimum warm-up time before listening to your favorite album?
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 8:37 PM Post #2 of 41

nor_spoon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Posts
2,158
Likes
11
I power on my equipment, wait 30 seconds for the tubes, put the headphones of choice on my head, and press play
beerchug.gif
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 9:46 PM Post #4 of 41

NiceCans

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Posts
3,875
Likes
13
Location
paradise on a lake in the sun
Quote:

Originally Posted by sunseeker888 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My question is this: For most can-amps, what do you feel is the optimum warm-up time before listening to your favorite album?


I have a simple formula:
1- turn on amp
2- get appropriate liquid refreshment
3- go use the bathroom
4- return, sit down, and begin to listen
5- enjoy

k701smile.gif
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 10:28 PM Post #5 of 41

Sherwood

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Posts
4,027
Likes
101
Location
Chisinau, Moldova
I only wait long enough that the DC offset voltage is no longer making sounds in my ears, but I think it takes about 45 minutes for an amp to reach thermal stability, i.e. full performance.

That's why I leave 'em on all the time.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 1:14 AM Post #7 of 41

Happy Camper

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Posts
9,043
Likes
260
Location
STL area
Tubes are meant to be used. Military and industrial use run 24/7. And the atmosphere they are used in is often much worse than our listening rooms. Audio folk tend to be too protective of their gear.

An example is the TV. People pull tubes from 40-50 year old sets and the dust is major thick. Tubes work fine and we pay crazy prices for rare vintage ones. Aircraft tubes take landings, field radios take the rigors of being tossed around.

I turn my amp on when I get home and let it run with hps through dinner and listen til bed. On weekends, it comes on Friday after work and stays on til Sunday night. If you do run your amp, always have a pr of hps plugged in or a resistor plug. Something to load the circuit.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 1:18 AM Post #8 of 41

n_maher

Resistorous Conflagorous
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Posts
8,405
Likes
31
It really depends on the amp really and the tubes that it uses. The little Millett I use at work takes a minute or so, if I'm running big tubes in the Menace at home (like 6528s) it can take a half hour or more for the tube to reach its operating temp and stop making *ping* noises as the metal inside continues to expand.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 1:19 AM Post #9 of 41

sunseeker888

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Posts
482
Likes
11
I'm a certifed old-TV tube puller. Some are dusty but test new.

I let my tubes run, just not 24/7 always. Like my digital stuff. I have no problem leaving the tube amps on for days at a time, but only if I'll be around.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 1:31 AM Post #10 of 41

wavoman

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Posts
1,873
Likes
43
Happy Camper's advice is time-tested. All old-timers follow the same drill with tube gear: turn it on Friday after work, and keep it on until you go to bed Sunday.

(This assumes of course that you do most of your listening on the weekend).

You will find this advice all over the web.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 4:08 AM Post #11 of 41

Sherwood

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Posts
4,027
Likes
101
Location
Chisinau, Moldova
I frequently run tubes for months. If they burn out, they burn out.

I've little problem replacing tubes. My most expensive Ax7 cost $30. If I sink a few hundred dollars into one I might preserve it, but as it stands now I like them warmed up and waiting for me.








like my women.
 
Oct 21, 2008 at 5:46 AM Post #14 of 41

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
502
I turn amps on 10-15 minutes before I listen and turn them off when I'm done.

Tubes are easily replaced. Caps, resistors and transformers are not so easily replaced. They don't last forever.

When you open up old radios, the tubes are frequently still good. Open caps are what usually puts a set in the garage. The resistors are never within tolerance, either. It's the heat that does that. Heat also melts the enamel on transformer windings.

That's why I let my gear cool off between listens.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top