Friday, October 12, 2012

Combo Amp - And why the cabinet shouldn't be used as a storage receptacle

I like combo amps but I like portable powerful combo amps even more.....

However, there is no way around carrying pedals, power strips, and other stuff in a separate receptacle because placing items in the back of an amplifier is going to damage your amp. I've pulled pedals, foot switches  extension cables out of the back of amps brought to me for repair. The owner explains that the amp just stopped working, started smoking and died. If you see all the heavy items stored in the back you know probably where the problem started.

Here are just a few things that can go wrong by storing stuff in the back of your combo amp:

  • The stuff will puncture the speaker cone.
  • The speaker connectors can be bent 
  • If the amp is moved suddenly, the tubes can be smacked by the junk.
  • Ruin your reverb tank
  • Stress the cables from the amp to the speakers

If you have a tube amp and the speaker wires short out, the results could be similar to running a tube amp when not connected to speaker. Removing your speaker wire increases the amp impedance to infinite values where as it's used to values like 2, 4, 6, 16 ohm's. By the time your fuse blows it's already too late because you've ruined your transformer.

So if you spend the money for an expensive amp, be wise and spend a few more dollars on pedal boards and their respective portage units. The same rule applies to power strips, foot switches, and any other crap you might want to store in your amplifier. Remember, just because the space is there doesn't mean it should be used for storage!

Destroyed speaker connector!

The piece above the connect is what is left of the speaker tab!

These pictures seem innocent enough but the short they cause could ruin the transformer. Don't use your amp as a storage device. It just isn't smart and it could cost you a lot more money than a pedal box or gig bag would ever cost!

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