The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    My neighbour, who is also a guitarist (not jazz ) has just warned us to expect loud noise next week because he needs to "rinse" his tube amps to open them up a bit". I've never heard of that...Any credence to this ?

    Ray

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  3. #2

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    At least he reached out. I had a neighbor who would annually hold an extremely loud, all-day-and-into-the-night Summer party or two with mostly amateur players with no warning. We are talking full band and big PA in the back yard, audible for miles (unfortunately I am NOT miles away) and not very good playing for like twelve hours at a crack.

    I have heard that you might just let the amp run with no signal going through it for 8-12 hours to break in a new set of tubes, but IDK whether that's for reals; I am sure there are actual amp techs on the forum who can weigh in.

    Tube (maybe SS too) amps do act differently at stage volume than at bedroom volumes, so maybe he means that he just wants to tweak settings. The idea of pushing new tubes hard to "break them in" seems a bit dubious; you're just asking for microphonics and other issues to happen sooner. I had a pretty loud regular 3-night-a-week gig for a while and found that I was retubing more often than yearly when I did that.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 05-07-2022 at 04:50 PM.

  4. #3

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    It's just a neighborly courtesy to let you know he feels the need to cleanse the mind/body/guitar/amp relationship with some hi-dbs.
    From time to time the speakers need to express their fullest capabilities for an extended period. It helps stave off brittleness.
    And boredom.

  5. #4

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    Look there's all kinds of mental people who play guitar. Some think the tailpiece changes string tension, some think cables are directional, others think you need to break in new tubes. You see where I'm going here? There is no credence to this stuff but I'm sure you can find a forum with a group of people arguing to the death that it's true.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    Look there's all kinds of mental people who play guitar. Some think the tailpiece changes string tension, some think cables are directional, others think you need to break in new tubes. You see where I'm going here? There is no credence to this stuff but I'm sure you can find a forum with a group of people arguing to the death that it's true.
    I get your point, but a tailpiece does make a difference. Top load a tele, it's night and day.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayS


    My neighbour, who is also a guitarist (not jazz ) has just warned us to expect loud noise next week because he needs to "rinse" his tube amps to open them up a bit". I've never heard of that...Any credence to this ?

    Ray
    Yes, its true. Its just like with shotguns, you have to shoot them once a year or the barrel rusts. Seems like a good time next week to make some noice… =)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    From time to time the speakers need to express their fullest capabilities for an extended period. It helps stave off brittleness.
    I've actually heard on this very forum that speakers do "break in" but I thought it was more like over a period of about 6 months of daily playing. Personally, never really tried it or noticed any age-related difference between a new speaker and an older one.

  9. #8

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    From the perspective of someone who builds new, and repairs old tube amps, this idea is not valid. It's not uncommon for strange ideas to creep into the mythology around tech. This one sounds like a crossover from the perceived need to take an automobile for a fast drive to clear it out a make it run better. People come up with odd ideas, just spend some time on stereo/hifi/audiophile forums and you'll be amazed.

  10. #9

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    I remember something about burning out the carbon in the motor's cylinders.

    Tailpieces don't affect string tension, but they do make a difference in the amount of pressure needed to deflect the string (fret or bend) and the amount of the change in pitch for a given deflection. That's because the portion of the string behind the bridge also stretches.

    The non-vibrating length of the string isn't relevant when you're tuning up. The pitch is dependent on the mass, vibrating length and tension. But it's relevant when you play.

    Now, whether or not that's noticeable to the player can be debated. My impression is that it's noticeable.

  11. #10

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    Reminds me of this


  12. #11

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    He either wants to give his filter caps a good hosing down to make sure they are alive and well (furphy?) or he has a day off work by himself and needs to feel alive.

  13. #12

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    Yeah, I've always just broken in tubes by leaving the amp on for a few hours. Speakers are another story.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim777
    Yeah, I've always just broken in tubes by leaving the amp on for a few hours. Speakers are another story.
    Please tell me more about the speakers...

    I told him I had quite a few tubers and still have 2 fender super reverbs from 67 and 65 ,which my son has inherited .

    he just texted me this:Tube Amps - Odd Maintenance?-screen-shot-2022-05-07-19-51-44-pngI'm beginning to think maybe he should not do this! we're in the same building!

    Ray

  15. #14

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    Tell him to wire one speaker-driver out of phase. It will cancel out the other and reduce SPL drastically. That is just being considerate. He doesn't have to be a tw*t about it unless that is really his intent.

  16. #15

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    His reply reads like he has a bad tube. With the price of tubes, he probably does not want to just replace all the tubes if only one is going bad.

    A lot of people also (wrongly) interchange stress and strain when referring to guitar strings. Strain affects the entire string under stress (tension), not just the part between the nut and bridge (assuming non-locking system). The longer the string the more strain (elongation) produced for a given stress (tension)

  17. #16

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    I rinse my tubes in the kitchen sink. No need to warn the neighbors.
    Last edited by Zigracer; 05-08-2022 at 01:22 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    His reply reads like he has a bad tube. With the price of tubes, he probably does not want to just replace all the tubes if only one is going bad.

    A lot of people also (wrongly) interchange stress and strain when referring to guitar strings. Strain affects the entire string under stress (tension), not just the part between the nut and bridge (assuming non-locking system). The longer the string the more strain (elongation) produced for a given stress (tension)
    I think the OP's neighbor is feeling both strain and stress and feels the need to rinse it out with his cranked guitar amp.

    I am not a tech, but I do think it is good to fire up tube amps periodically mainly for the caps. Regarding cranking them up because they are like high performance cars, not so much. These amps weren't designed to be cranked into distortion to begin with. So why would they need that to stay healthy? As for troubleshooting, volume would mostly tell you if the speaker is blown- or more likely, underpowered for your cranked amp!

    However I do believe that speakers break in over time, that is a pretty widely supported notion that I have even heard speaker designers entertain.

  19. #18

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    Let me try this again:

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    It's just a neighborly courtesy to let you know he feels the need to cleanse the mind/body/guitar/amp relationship with some hi-dbs.
    From time to time the speakers need to express their fullest capabilities for an extended period. It helps stave off brittleness.
    And boredom.
    I mistakenly thought that the phrase "mind/body/guitar/amp relationship" would provide a hint as to the position of the tongue vis-a-vis the cheek.
    I stand humbly corrected.

    Personally, I play loud sometimes because I like it.* Cheers, everyone!

    * "Let that boy boogie-woogie! Cos' it's in him, and it's got to come out!" - John Lee Hooker, American National Treasure
    Last edited by citizenk74; 05-08-2022 at 02:14 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    Look there's all kinds of mental people who play guitar. Some think the tailpiece changes string tension, some think cables are directional, others think you need to break in new tubes. You see where I'm going here? There is no credence to this stuff but I'm sure you can find a forum with a group of people arguing to the death that it's true.
    "I've been a little mental for a long long time/It's relatively painless - I feel fine/The big advantage seems to be/that Reality doesn't bother me"


  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayS
    I'm beginning to think maybe he should not do this! we're in the same building!
    Ouch. Isn't there some sort of charter with an appropriate section you can wave at him when you can hear his operation has been successful (I'm guessing that'd be after 2-5 minutes ) ?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Ouch. Isn't there some sort of charter with an appropriate section you can wave at him when you can hear his operation has been successful (I'm guessing that'd be after 2-5 minutes ) ?
    I'm not planning to be around while he searches for the "issues" with his amp......Golf beckons and it's a short season in my neck of the woods ......

    It's been a rather friendly exchange until I mentioned he could make some real money selling those fender tube amps of his and getting a nice Henriksen Blu.xx with a headphone out!! Setting the amp face down on a thick mattress would also be a nice idea to troubleshoot without much disturbance and a nice view of ones "tubes".

    Ray

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayS
    Setting the amp face down on a thick mattress would also be a nice idea to troubleshoot without much disturbance and a nice view of ones "tubes".
    That is actually an excellent idea. Much better than trying to rationalize with someone who is not rational ;-)

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    I think the OP's neighbor is feeling both strain and stress and feels the need to rinse it out with his cranked guitar amp.

    I am not a tech, but I do think it is good to fire up tube amps periodically mainly for the caps. Regarding cranking them up because they are like high performance cars, not so much. These amps weren't designed to be cranked into distortion to begin with. So why would they need that to stay healthy?
    Correct. Just applying power will charge up the caps. Playing loud through the amp changes nothing.

  25. #24

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    That is the same stuff that comes out of the north end of a south bound bull.

    Don't forget to change the high frequency fluid and the low frequency gel.

  26. #25

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    Another diplomatic approach would be to point him to this thread?

    Mattress + the out-of-phase cancellation idea would be the perfect solution to protect his own hearing, too

    (Before you leave for greener and quieter pastures, be sure to document any cracks already present in your wall or ceiling plaster, plus everything you have hanging on the wall! )