We all want our amps to last us a lifetime, but the only way that they will is if we take proper care of them. With a few simple guitar maintenance tips, you can have your amp running for your entire playing career.
First off, the ever popular tube debate; some guitarists recommend changing your amplifier every two years, or waiting until one blows. The worst thing about a blown tube is, among other thing, it can also blow a fuse.
This means that your once dependable guitar amp is now no longer functioning. Not only is this a major inconvenience, but there are further problems it can cause, such as damaging internal components of the amp. It also does some wallet damage as well.
This not only keeps your amp fresh and functioning, but also prevents any possible damage. Following the rule of thumb, when you replace one tube, you should replace all tubes.
Never replace a single preamp tube. Not only may this cause you to forget about changing the rest, but it also leaves your sound uneven. Never replace only one power tube for obvious reasons; you need even power distribution. Older tubes give off less power than newer ones.
Even if it isn’t in use, a plugged in amp is still receiving power, and on a very minute level, is still somewhat running. Now this won’t kill your amp, but it also won’t help you to achieve longevity with your equipment.
When you are finished playing, just as you would unplug your guitar, unplug your amp. Take all of the cords, wrap them up, and allow your amp to cool down. Once your amp is cool to the touch, put either a cloth case on it or stow it in a (preferred) hard case. Remember, your amp is an investment.
All the maintenance in the world will never equal the cost of having to buy multiple replacement amplifiers.
This means don’t skimp on a case! If your amp head has a cloth case on, and it takes a tumble, you can almost be assured that you will be paying another thousand-plus dollars for a new amp. If your amp takes that same tumble in a hard road case, you can put that same assurance in the fact that your case absorbed the impact.
As you can see, guitar amp maintenance isn’t a hard job. Simply supplying fresh tubes every year, dusting your amp off, and buying a hard road case can keep your guitar amp in working order for years to come. It can also save you a ton of cash, so be sure to take good care of your guitar amp. Remember, it’s as much a part of your music as you are.
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