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Tube Amps Need to Warm Up

We were reminded again today, while shooting a video, that tube amplifiers need to up. We’re not just talking about turning the amp on and waiting until the vacuum tubes are hot enough to pass sound. We’re talking about the tubes thoroughly heating up, which can take 15 to 30 minutes.

In our case today, the amp sounded fine as soon as it was warm enough to pass sound. But after a certain point, about 20 minutes in, suddenly the tone changed in a noticeable way — it became thicker, richer, and less harsh.

If you’re critical about your tone — and what player isn’t — then take a few minutes and let your tube amp come to life before you rehearse, record, play live, or practice. You’ll be glad you did!

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