I heard literally everywhere that it is really important to let my amp warming up for some minutes before playing the guitar (or give some audio do the input).

Strange thing is that the recommended time is different everywhere ! I red between 30 sec and half an hour...

I did not find any other physical/electrical reasons than "the tubes have to warm". In my opinion there is a lack of true scientific explanations, it's seems more like a blindly believing. What are the risks if tubes are stimulate directly at startup ? And why these hypothetical risks even exists ?

Lot's of guitarist seems to don't care about it and directly play whithout reporting any issue.

  • This might be better suited to the music.stackexchange.com site where you will find most tube-amplified guitar-playing stackexchangers. – Mark Feb 15 at 0:22

When the cathode of a tube is not properly warmed up before currents are drawn off it, ions are pulled off it, eventually disintegrating it and depositing metal elsewhere. That is basically the argument for warming up silently. When does the warming up phase end? The highest cathode temperature of course will be reached when the whole enclosure has reached its final operating temperature. But "highest" and "high enough that differences in life time will be unmeasurable" are two different things. Personally, I don't think that more than 30s would make a noticeable difference.

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  • At least a beginning of answer. But I'm still confuse: In my understanding, an ion is an electrically unbalanced atom with more -or less- electrons than it should, so I don't understand how it can "take" some metal and put it elsewhere... May be you mean that some of the cathode matter (the ions) is definitely transfer to anode? Tubes manufacturers should give a usage temperature anyway. – Welgriv Feb 21 at 13:52

Valves contain heaters as an integral part of the tube design. A the very least, before they will work, you need to ensure that the heater has warmed up and is supplying heat to the cathode. If you don't do this, nothing will work.

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  • So you mean that no sounds can be produce if tubes are note hot enough? In this case why we should wait? I thought that amplifiers takes this in consideration and not release the input pathway before tubes are available. – Welgriv Feb 21 at 13:56
  • IF you are using a valve amplifier, the heater is the only thing that separates the electrons from the cathode. It doesn't take long for the heater to be effective, but it is how valves are designed to work. – Mark Feb 22 at 8:10

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