Before they can be safely operated, electric guitar tube amps need time to warm up. Here, we explain why this is the case and how you can get your electric guitar tube amp warmed up before you use it. By the end of this article, you will know all that you need to know about the warmup process for electric guitar tube amps.
Tube amps need to warm up so that you can maintain a good tone with your guitar. If you do not allow your electric guitar's tube amps to warm up before you rehearse or play a gig, you will notice that after around half an hour or so of play the tone of your guitar will become less easy to control. You may be reaching for a harsh, strident tone, for instance, but your tube amp may have other ideas, giving your chords a warm and deep tone instead. So, if you want your playing to sound its best at all times, make sure to warm up your tube amp thoroughly beforehand!
It is important, too, that the warmup that you give your tube amp is very thorough. If they are not warmed up properly, the tone of your playing will not be as good as it ought to be. As a rule of thumb, your tube amp needs to be warmed up for 20 to 30 minutes at least before you can start playing your guitar.
Most of the time, tube amps have warm up specifications included in their instructions for use. These specifications will tell you how long you need to spend warming up your amp before your guitar will be ready to play. It is important to follow these specifications and even to err on the side of caution and leave them to warm up for a little bit extra time, too. Some people only warm their tube amps up enough for them to pass sound - however, if the tubes are not thoroughly warmed up, then you will end up with the same problems with tone mentioned above.
The best way to warm up the amp is to flick the standby switch and leave your amp on the standby mode for however long it takes to warm the tubes up thoroughly. For instance, you could leave the amp warming up and get on with preparing the stage for your gig. If your amp does not have a standby switch, you can turn the amp on but leave the speaker inactive in order to enable the tubes.
Warming up the tubes of your amp before you play is essential if you want to sound your best. Only thoroughly warmed up tubes will give you the right tone that you need throughout the duration of your rehearsal or performance. It just takes around half an hour to get your tubes warmed up - but it could be a difference between a gig that falls flat and a great one!
How long do you wait to warm up your tubes?
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