Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

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Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Post by johntimber » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:23 am


I was thinking today about a pair of FBT Verve 12M PA speakers I bought around 5 years ago. Shortly after buying them, the band I was playing in split up and I have not gigged since. So they have sat unused for 4-5 years.
I similarly have some mics and some outboard gear which has not been used for a long long time (some of it well over 5 years).
My question is whether any of this equipment is likely to suffer for not having been used for so long? It's all in my music room (spare bedroom) which has a pretty stable humidity (45-55%).

Any help will be apprecited.

I didn't find the right solution from the Internet.

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Post by aroomstudios » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:55 am

The capacitors in the equipment need to be drained. If you do not do this over a very long time they will leak. Or start to leak. Then you will need a re-cap job eventually. Either way caps last 20 years or so on average. Then the equipment will just start to fail no matter what. Just plug your stuff in a use it for a few minutes every year or so. You can open your gear up and manually discharge the caps. But a piece of gear could have 100's or 1000's of caps in it. So, that is generally not effective to do. This can also be very dangerous and may KILL YOU if you do not know what you are doing. So, DO NOT DO THIS. With some stuff the caps will drain if you pull the plug while you are using the gear. Like a tube amp. Probably the same with a non-tube amp. just play some music through the speakers and pull the power while the music is still playing and you will hear the volume drain for 2 seconds or so while the music fades out.

Either way you are not going to be able to drain every cap. Even when the caps start to fail the gear will still work it will just try and draw more power then eventually over heat from too much power. Cheep Chinese stuff may only last 5-10 years. High quality stuff 20-50 years. It just really depends. I would plug the stuff in and use it for a few minutes every year or two.

I was thinking you had powered speakers when I was talking about caps and stuff. If they are just speakers they are find. But power amps that is what I am referring to. Basically anything that need power to operate.

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