Audio and Video Talk > Valves / Vacuum Tubes

Valve etiquette and care

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Hi all...
As Topic suggests...

I noticed a comment made by Charles on a thread I read earlier...
So I was thinking maybe a good idea is to start this seperate thread.
The idea is for the masters to share some knowledge with novices like myself in terms of simple tips and tricks to enable us to learn how to care for our beloved valve equipment and perhaps not even make silly mistakes that could make one regret the things you wish you knew...Matbe even general Maintenance and care tips if there are.

Tx in advance.

So to start it I will steal Charles's tip as the first one. Cause I know I've done this before and thanks goodness I was lucky that mine survived.


"Always connect speakers to valve amps before powering them up as some of them could go "bang" if you don't."

Yep. Transformer sees speakers as a load no load puff go transformer happens in a flash.
not all amps are like this but it is a good idea just to be sure.

Turn amp on last turn amp off first.

Don't move or bump when it is hot or on valves delicate when glowing.

Pull valves out at the base

Don't poke around in there if you are not an expert the voltages inside will kill you one time.

Give it at least 30+ seconds before playing give the valves a chance to warm up gives them an easier life and they last longer.  The more modern amps have a slow start feature.

And Myself I run fans on them when not doing critical listening easy enough to turn off if the noise bothers me extends the valves lives in a big way.  Some of them are pricey critters.

I always wear cotton gloves when handling the valves but some say it is not required.

Don't use your amp as a valve tester for that stash of untested NOS you found on the dump. Confirm all good first.

Unlike solid state amplifiers, adding speakers and putting them in series is not safe.

Are you sure you quoted "Charles" correctly ...

Shoo tx guys
I can confirm that I have contravened all of the above...

Just a quest ...
My amp switches off at the mains...
There is a switch on the amps self that apparently cuts the inputs off , so I would normally turn volume off , flick those switches and then off the other equipment and then the wall... So , am I switching it off in the wrong sequence then ? Maybe I should put the amps on their own plug and switch off there first ?

I should also stop fiddling with valves when the amp is on , I find I have this habit to switch on , let it heat up long and then decide I have to ensure they are in their holes properly for some reason and tap on them..
I will have to stop doing that... Tx


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