Damaging to leave an amp on when not in use?

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by living room rocker, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    28
    I borrowed my son's Vox 20 watt ss/tube hybrid amp awhile back and found it featured an auto shut-off when not in use for 20 minutes. Is this a common feature on other quality amps? Is it damaging to leave a ss and/or tube amp powered on when not in use? I'd like to upgrade soon from my inexpensive Fender ss (will stay w/solid state) and might want to consider this feature.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    Auto switchoff is part of the Green Initiative. But it's generally a good idea. SS amps don't care whether they are on or off. Valve amps tend to get warm. If you are leaving your amp for more than about half an hour, switch it off. It will last longer that way. Frequent switching on and off will stress the valves.
     
    plankton, DanB and living room rocker like this.
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,579
    Likes Received:
    3,300
    I was not aware that amplifiers emitted Greenhouse gases. Isn't that what Green Initiatives is about? Maybe the amplifier is an Energy Star compliant appliance which is about energy efficiency to keep your electric bill at a minimum.
     
    living room rocker likes this.
  4. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    824
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    I think that's it, less electricity used = less electricity generated = less fuel burned = less emissions.

    I don't think it's a necessary feature, but it's not a bad thing either.
     
  5. fos1

    fos1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    65
    The heating elements and electron emitters in a tube amp have a finite life span. In the old days when the tube's heating elements were wired in series and not parallel, the smaller tubes would be stressed at turn on. I don't think it makes much difference with SS amps other than saving a small amount of electricity.

    fos1
     
    living room rocker likes this.
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,579
    Likes Received:
    3,300
    I was trying to be energy efficient and posted this message with 100% recycled electrons.

    I’m positive that I lost an electron, so you all better keep an ion it.
     
    Jim Mack, arcticsg, El Mike and 2 others like this.
  7. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    EnergyStar is part of the green initiative. And everything electric emits greenhouse gases. Just not locally. But since greenhouse gases are a global pollutant, not a local one, the difference is not relevant.
     
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,579
    Likes Received:
    3,300
    Got it. It’s all part of the big picture.
     
  9. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    585
    Newer Vox amps, particularly the hybridized and NuTube variants, have included the auto-shutoff as a means to conserve energy.

    I have a 40-watt Marshall and I only leave it on when live. I play in church, so I frequently have 20-40 minutes of sermon between sets of songs, so I don't want the tubes to cool off and be slow to crank up when I need them. That said, at home, I turn it off after each use, unless I know I'm coming *right* back to it.

    I generally believe it's just good practice to not use electricity if you're not doing anything with it.
     
  10. fos1

    fos1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    65
    When SS have no load, the energy consumption is very small, not so with valve amps.
     
    living room rocker likes this.
  11. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    25
    What many aren't aware of, electricity has to be used when it is generated, or it's lost!
    The magic "green" energy, (which of course has to be subsidized, and still isn't competitive with natural gas), has to have a backup amount of "fossil fuel" energy being generated to keep the lights on. When there is excess "green" energy there is no way to use it, and most also is lost!
    Leave your tube amp on standby while the preacher gives his sermon!
     
    Westernrider likes this.
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    Yes and no. If you aren't using it, it isn't being generated. A power station doesn't generate any more energy than is demanded.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  13. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    25
    That's not true donepearce. A power station has to maintain a certain amount of capacity to supply the expected load. When I worked for the local utility there was always someone monitoring the system load, and if possible selling the excess capacity that we had bought, but wouldn't use. Also purchasing additional power when the load was peaking!
    Here's a Wiki

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_management
     
  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    Nothing there about producing energy that isn't used. What would you do with such energy? It would have to go somewhere - massive heaters maybe? Power stations are often kept in what is called spinning reserve. The generators are turning at the right speed and phase to bring on line if needed, but are completely unloaded, dissipating only whatever friction is present in the bearings, and that is very low. In some places energy can be used to pump water up to the top of a hydro system. This is not wasted, because it gets used later at no extra cost in greenhouse gas.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  15. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    25
    "Since electrical energy is a form of energy that cannot be effectively stored in bulk, it must be generated, distributed, and consumed immediately.
     
    Westernrider likes this.
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    Energy is whatever actually is consumed or used in some way. If none of that happens, no energy has been created.
     
  17. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    824
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Energy is simply the capacity for doing work, and it cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred and transformed.
     
  18. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    25
    The loss is the energy expended to generate the voltage necessary to push the current. If the generator is running at capacity, the power generated is being used. When the load is removed, the generator is still running, (albeit using less fuel). There may be no current flow, but fuel is still required to maintain the line voltage, (turning the generator). This is also necessary with intermittent, (wind/solar), generation, somewhere a dependable generator is idling, until the sun goes behind a cloud, and it is necessary for the idling generator to ramp up, and supply the current required to meet the load demand.
     
  19. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    3,583
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    London, helping a friend design a knitting machine
    No energy is involved in making a voltage. Energy is Joules, which is current x voltage x time. If the current is zero, the energy is zero. Where you do use a little energy is in overcoming mechanical friction.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  20. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    25
    Are you discounting the energy used to make the steam, turn the turbine, or pressurize the hydro motor? Without energy rotating the generator, creating voltage, there is no possibility of producing current.
    If you have ever performed using generator power, you are aware of the motor running, consuming fuel, whether the band is playing or not.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice