couple of things....
"when i called about the shipping they said it was ont eh bench being tested- a park bench?"
LOL! no, it's not a park bench! they spoke to you in typical engineering terminology - a test-bench where equipment is tested is colloquially refered to a "bench" in short-form. typically, a test-bench (or bench) is a rigid metal table with 4 sturdy legs that can take the weight of some heavy test equipment (signal sources, spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope, network analyzers, etc). Often this bench has a hutch so that some of the equipment can be stacked onto it as there is not enough space on the bench itself to accomodate all the test equipment & DUT (device under test).
hope that this clarifies.
agree with Rhljazz - tube equipment does NOT like to be switched on without a load (such as a speaker) & the reason for this is that if the load is disconnected, the anode/plate voltage of the output tubes can reach thousands of volts as a result of this open-circuit. This will most likely blow the fuse (as you are experiencing).