Turn the thing off.Better safe than sorry.
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I don't see any problem with leaving a totally disconnected solid state amp powered up. But connecting or disconnecting either its inputs or outputs while power is on strikes me as an invitation to disaster, especially if the inputs are unbalanced rca's (which make the ground connection after the "hot" connection during insertion, and break the ground connection first during removal, thereby potentially injecting a huge transient into the amp's signal path).
I would strongly recommend that before changing any connections you power down both the amp and the component driving it, and then wait a minute or two for the amp's power supply capacitors to discharge. The couple of minutes that will take should allow the subsequent warmup to be brief.
Thanks guys for the quick responses.
Another question. So the amp is connected to the preamp via a pair of balanced interconnects. Would it be OK to leave the preamp on, but put it in "Mute" mode? the preamp is an ARC LS-25. My friend is bringing over his Spectron amp to compare to the Pass X350.5.
Take notes! Play familiar stuff.
If you can position the secondary, or in question, amp close to the present main fav, the interim time frame will be shortened and should help. Naturaally too, if the 'B' amp is also on during the note taking on the main amp, the warm up time will be further shortened... However do connect a load to the 'just hanging out' amp while it's on.
Stepping outside for a few minutes too will help you refresh your ears... then go in and sit down to audition the other amp.
Those would be my thoughts, but the note taking is KEY.
I disagree with the note taking. It should not be done at all but instead they should try to get into the music and forget everything else and sonic issues will present themselves.
Best to leave the conscious mind out of the equation and enjoy as much as possible.
I am sure I am leaving myself open to commentary with this remark!