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When I record I use a Fender Superchamp XD. I run a cord from the "out" jack to the recorder and then unplug the speaker in the amp. I have been doing this for years. Is this safe for the amp?

ML

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  • Why do you need to disconnect the amp's speaker? – Tim Jan 2 '20 at 9:58
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    I'm sparing my neighbors the noise. – Michael Lorenz Jan 2 '20 at 20:26
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It's a tube amp with a tube output stage, and the answer for using a tube amp without load in general is that it can destroy the output circuit. Whether the Superchamp XD is specifically protected against this (particularly as it is a more modern rerelease) by substituting a load resistor or other measures when no speaker is plugged in, I have not been able to determine from the manual to be found online.

So in general the advice would be not to do this.

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The traditional advice is not to run a valve amp without a load. But this hybrid device is not an old-school valve amp. And if you've been "doing this for years" it would probably have blown up by now if it was going to.

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Although it may not be an ideal way to record, I've heard of others doing just what you've done and claiming success. Output levels are probably less than ideal and impedances are probably mismatched and I would expect elevated noise levels, but sometimes we work with what we have to work with. All that said, I think it's probably safe to assume the amp can handle it if you've been doing it that way for years. If memory serves me correctly, that model amplifier is solid-state and my experience tells me if a solid-state amp doesn't like the load you plug it into, it will fail as quick as it takes to overheat, which might actually happen within seconds. So my recommendation would be to look around for a direct box, also known as a D.I. box to facilitate recording in this manner. It is probably much safer for your amp and recorder.

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