NEVER DO THAT WITH TUBES.
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For tube amps, pick up two 8 ohm resistors with at least a 5 watt rating. Quality doesn’t matter - only value and power dissipation. Those rectangular, sand-cast resistors typically available at Radio Shack are fine for this purpose.
Put one across each binding post and you now have a friendly load presented to your amp.
The exact value doesn’t matter, but keep it in the 8 ohm range which will work irrespective of which tap your transformer is set to (4, 8, 16 ohms).
Thom @ Galibier Design
It will damage tube amplifiers.
Worse yet is "moving over" speaker wires to the amp while its powered up. A good way to damage, possibly permanently, the output stage of the amp.These statements are false.
What is true is that some amps are stable without a load and others are not.
Our (tube) amps are unconditionally stable regardless of load or input signal condition.
Most vintage tube amps are fine without a load. This is not always the case with modern tube amps. Just check with the manufacturer.