Why a Tube Amp's Standby Switch is Bad News September 20, 2016 13:12

The Valve Wizard (Mr. Merlin Blencowe) makes the case that a standby switch makes absolutely no sense in a soundly designed tube amp (for guitar or HiFi). None of the legitimate technical tube manuals nor engineering books mention them. Guitar amps are the only tube amps that commonly employ a standby switch. Why? Primarily two reasons:

1) The majority of guitar amp builders blindly copy without applying critical thinking skills, avoiding the due diligence and attention detail required to find out the switch's original intended purpose.

2) Marketing. Guitarists expect a standby switch "just because" many of the old vintage amps were equipped with one. I wonder how many standby switches are actually dummy switches that serve absolutely no purpose.

Reference: "Power and Standby Switches" by Merlin Blencowe