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Advanced Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 266
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 10:37 am:   Edit Post

This probably doesn't apply to you West Coasters or those of you south of the Mason-Dixon line, but it's cold as hell here in the Windy City. If I've been playing for a couple of hours and the amp tubes are piping hot, how long do I need to wait before I step into the frigid air outside?
Advanced Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 276
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post

Before I left the Chicago area (my wifes family still lives there) I always made sure the car/van was warmed up before loading it. With the amount of time it took to pack the gear this minimized the temperature extremes my stuff had to under go. Of course this was before $2.00/Gal. gasoline.

Intermediate Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 161
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 3:10 pm:   Edit Post


My suggestion would be to wait for summer.

Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 500
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 3:31 pm:   Edit Post

I don't know how well tubes can stand a drastic temperature change. If it is cold enough (sorry, I'm not sure how to quantify "cold as hell") things can happen very quickly. When I moved into this house it was well below zero. The house plants were in the air (between the warm car and the warm house) for maybe 5 seconds. Every leaf had fallen off within a couple of days and every plant except one died.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 812
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 3:57 pm:   Edit Post

How about getting one of those light weight amp cases. I got one for my Mackie 808s P.A. I wouldn't fly with it, but for humping to gigs it's perfect. And the foam lining would undoubtedly provide insulation against any rapid temp drop. You can find them on eBay for $75-$125 as I recall. If you can't find one made specifically for your amp, I believe you can call the company (the one I dealt with was in NY) and give them the dimensions. Another solution is what I did back when I lived in NY ... move to California.

Bill, tgo
Advanced Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 268
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post


I'll look into the case. Chicago's just too damn pretty to leave!
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1499
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post


What you need to worry about more is moving the amp while parts of the tubes are still molten hot, regardless of season. Let the thing cool down on standby for a litte while before turning off the power, and then pack everything else before moving the amp to give the tubes a little while to cool down.
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 502
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 9:23 am:   Edit Post

I played in Iowa in bar bands for 14 years. Rule one: NEVER leave your amp in your car in winter (or summer). The worst temperature extreme is when you first load in your amp and turn it on before it gets anywhere near room temperature. Bring in your amp first and let it sit, without power, so it comes up to "non-frozen".
Rule 2: Never turn on an amp that has condensation on the front panel - the cold beer mug syndrome. That same condensation is probably on your tubes as well. Wait for it to evaporate dry (at least 30 minutes).
At the end of the gig/jam turn off your amp immediately and pack everything else up while it cools down. Your amp shouldn't get so hot that stuff breaks just from moving from indoors to outdoors. If it did, no bar band in America could play the north from December 1 to March 30th.
Advanced Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 309
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 6:34 am:   Edit Post

Also from being in the Chicago area, I 'd say all of the above on the advice.
But I'd be more concerned about some of the other electonical parts as well..circut boards, ceramic capacitors, etc.
But,going from a warm room to a 'relatively' warm car you should be ok. Figure if you don't want to be out in the weather, neither does your instrument or amp. You'd more than likely incure more damage by bouncing an amp around.
-3 when I left home this I wore my Hawaiian shirt !

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