Plug Or Unplug?

In regards to best practices maintenance/care wise, I have an electric guitar and amp. Should I unplug the amp/guitar cable after every practice/use or is it ok to leave it all plugged in day to day?

Thank you

It’s OK to leave the guitar plugged into the amp…

…Unless there are battery powered electronics on the guitar. Often, the cable jack switches on the battery when plugged in, which will run down the battery when not in use.

Probably not a problem with most beginner electrics. More an issue with acoustics that have pickups and onboard electronics.

This will also be a problem if you leave battery powered effects pedals plugged in.

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Jack sockets wear out, it’s not quick but it happens, not usually a big problem to replace either

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Thank you

Thank you much appreciated

Yeah, I’ve used up several 9 volt batteries because I forgot to take the wireless transmitter out of my acoustic electric before putting it in its stand.

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I don’t unplug the guitar but I have a habit of turning the guitar volume pot to 0.
Also, before switching off the amp I turn the volume and gain pots to 0 too and leave the amp for a minute before switching it off.
But that’s just me :wink:


Is this a good reason to leave your cables plugged into guitar and amp all the time, to reduce jack socket wear, Rob.

I hope so as I too leave the guitar plugged in and ready to rock … OK play.

I also turn all the volume pots down to zero before switching off.

I’m curious; what’s the theory behind doing this?

Hi Mark!

I never really claimed there’s a theory behind that :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
It does seem to help (in my case) a little with reducing the pop when I switch off the amp.
There are plenty of theories online about how/where that pop comes from but electronics were never my strong point so I won’t put my hand on fire for any of them. Matter of fact, electronics was the last module was I carrying over and eventually passed in the last examination period when I graduated uni… go figure! lol :rofl:

I also see that as a fail-safe system (two vol pots at 0) to protect the ears when starting to play, in case anything is just too loud by mistake.

I think over a long time it can cause issues if you leave stuff plugged , say in storage.

But really if you’re just picking up and playing guitar k really don’t think it will cause issues ?

Plugging in and unplugging all the time will also eventually cause some issues that will just need an easy repair doing at some point down the line

Okay, thanks. Neither of mine ever pop when I turn them off, and the volume level stays constant (I listen through headphones, not the speaker in the cabinet, so as not to annoy my wife any more than I do just by existing.)

No problem :slight_smile: I think your amp might be in a better state than mine!
I think, it’s not an uncommon thing but I’m not sure if it did that 18 years ago that I bought it!
I also think that mine does it when the headphones are plugged too so I was trying to find ways to minimise that thing and I read online turning the gain and volume down helps and kinda does for me. I’m curious about the science but can’t be too bothered right now. Perhaps in a few months… and I’ll give an update if I find something. :wink:

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It depends on the amp circuit design but, normally, it’s caused by the circuits getting up to the operating voltage level which causes a brief change in voltage across the speaker cone, causing the “thump”.

With a guitar amp you have both a pre-amp and a power amp. The power amp drives the speaker. If the thump is caused by the pre-amp circuits getting up to voltage then this can be avoided by turning the power amp volume down.

If the thump is caused by the power amp circuits, then turning the volume down won’t usually help.