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I recently tried out an Orange OR15 and loved it. It allows me to get the tone that I'm after with ease. I'm thinking about buying one to use at home and gig with, but I've never brought a tube amp on the road before. I know tube amps are extremely fragile, and I'm worried about breaking it. Does anyone know how I can make sure a tube amp stays safe on the road?
 

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They are not extremely fragile. They would not still be made if you couldnt gig with them.

How often are you playing out?
 

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I threw a Supro Corsica across a room once because it wasn’t loud enough. It landed on the floor, the reverb tank came loose on impact but the amp still worked ok. It was a tube amp.
 

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as said above , cool down and warm up tubes before using the amp.
2 aircore panels (look like plastic cardboard sheets) cut to fit front and back of amp and bungee cords (etc), during transit.
and a bag/pouch to carry your cables / picks (and a few spares)

they've been around a Long time before SS came out and millions of miles on the road.
can you imagine the Stones cancelling cause they were afraid to move their amps ?
 

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as long as you let it cool for 10 min or so before knocking it around you should be just fine. the only fragile part is the glass tubes.
And if it's -30C and you had it in the trunk, let it come up to room temp. before you turn it on.
full agree. gig all year round and the cold is the worst for transporting gear. I don't load it up until the last minute and let it climatized both ways, hot tubes or cold weather
 

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Same here. They're not fragile. I gig with a tube amp all year round. Never had any issues.
 

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Lots of good suggestions so far.

I just wouldn't play any universities or secondary ed institutions - notorious for not protecting everyone (and everything's) 'safe zone'. Player Beware!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They are not extremely fragile. They would not still be made if you couldnt gig with them.

How often are you playing out?
I currently only play at church on Sundays. I'm part of a choir at my church that is musically closer to pop and rock music than most church music. I plan on starting a hard rock band inspired by British Classic Rock and American 80's Glam Metal, and I would want to do gigs with my band at small and large gigs.

I threw a Supro Corsica across a room once because it wasn’t loud enough. It landed on the floor, the reverb tank came loose on impact but the amp still worked ok. It was a tube amp.
That's excellent that your tube amp survived being tossed! Hopefully (if you still have it), it's still doing well.

They're not that fragile. I heave mine in the trunk of the car and go.
I asked the leader of my choir at church this question, and he carries a tube amp to gigs with his band all the time. He said pretty much the same thing as you.

Or, if you're nervous, leave it at home and gig with a Roland Cube (ducks behind couch).
I wouldn't use a solid state or digital amp (except those made by BOSS), because I care a lot about how the amp distortion sounds, and most solid state and digital amps don't really distort well.

as long as you let it cool for 10 min or so before knocking it around you should be just fine. the only fragile part is the glass tubes.
Okay thanks I'll take that into consideration.

And if it's -30C and you had it in the trunk, let it come up to room temp. before you turn it on.
My main worry was damaging it by travelling, but thanks.

as said above , cool down and warm up tubes before using the amp.
2 aircore panels (look like plastic cardboard sheets) cut to fit front and back of amp and bungee cords (etc), during transit.
and a bag/pouch to carry your cables / picks (and a few spares)

they've been around a Long time before SS came out and millions of miles on the road.
can you imagine the Stones cancelling cause they were afraid to move their amps ?
The Rolling Stones were big in a time where solid state amps weren't around, so they had no choice but to use tube amps.

BTW , there were tubes in military equipment on ships, destroyers, tanks, fighter aircraft, bombers, submarines , spacecraft.
anything with a radio before transistors came out.
Tubes were the only option at the time, so they had to stick with what they had.

Same here. They're not fragile. I gig with a tube amp all year round. Never had any issues.
Thanks, I'll take that into consideration.

or get a roadcase for it
A road case will protect the amp from any scratches, but it won't do anything to protect the inside.

Lots of good suggestions so far.

I just wouldn't play any universities or secondary ed institutions - notorious for not protecting everyone (and everything's) 'safe zone'. Player Beware!
Luckily, I don't plan on playing at any universities or secondary education institutions, but thanks for the advice.
 

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..
That's excellent that your tube amp survived being tossed! Hopefully (if you still have it), it's still doing well.
...
It wasn’t exactly mine ... lol.

This was like grade 10 or something and I loaned my .22 rifle to the other guitar player; he broke it somehow and then said OK you can keep my practice amp that I left at your place.

Eventually I gave the amp back to him and he said what did you do to it - I said something about it fell offa the back of my truck... lol

Anyway, that same amp goes for maybe a grand vintage these days but it is still a pos 5 watt amp with no power. My current 5 watt Fender Champ is way better - more volume, more crunch and can usually keep up with the ugliest drummer at a jam.
 

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If you think new digital amps dont distort well, I urge you to go check out the latest in digital amps.
 

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If you think new digital amps dont distort well, I urge you to go check out the latest in digital amps.
I know they can and the time will come for me eventually. Just last week I went to see a band and the lead player was playing a Helix with a L6 power cab while the lead singer had a little board with a Mesa 25 something. Lead sounded ok but when the singer picked up her LP for a few tunes it sounded so much better. So much better.
 

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FYI road cases are padded, and do help protect from shock & vibration
 

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Besides the usual warming and cooling protocol, which I only do because I'm paranoid, I usually let amps ride on a passenger seat to protect the tolex more than anything if I don't have covers for them. Generally I don't let others handle or pack my stuff.
 
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