It's common in all higher end gear, and some can take quite a bit longer. Had a McIntosh C2300 tube preamp that took over 3 hours to really sound right. Some folks will leave their stuff on 24/7. Transistors are usually a bit faster to warm up, but not always. I've heard stories about early Krell amps that needed 4 or 5 hours of warm-up.
A LOT of eletronics sound better after being on for a time.
that can be a hour or several hours.
I leave my stuff on 24/7 as it sounds better after 24 hours on..
So not it is not a particular characteristic of tube amps. It IS a characteristic of plenty of audio electronics.
I would agree with Elizabeth but also slightly disagree I think this effect is more noticeable with tubes after about 30-60 mins. At least it has been and continues to be with my gear and gear I have owned previously.
I wouldn't leave tube gears on 24/7. This will shorten their life. Solid state, especially preamp, can be left on 24/7. Yes, most audio equipment sounds better after some warm up.
I'll agree with the warm up period. I've taken to turning my equipment on when I get home for when I listen to music later in the evening.
Tube electronics changes more quickly than solid state making tube warm up more obvious. I have owned tube electronics that warmed up in an hour and solid state electronics that has taken as long as 3 days.
Years ago when I got my Rogue Cronus Magnum, I couldn't wait more than 15 minutes for it to warm up the first time i used it. We started spinning tunes and it was mediocre at best. About 10 minutes later it opened up to the point I was practically in tears. I can't imagine what it's like for these people with much higher end gear. Yes, tubes do that.
My ATC integrated is SS and like the other posters, I think it sounds better after about an hour. I read it explained somewhere that this is because the final factory biasing is done after bench output testing, when the amp is hot. Don't know if it's true, but it was one of the more plausible explanations for the effect that I've read.
Tube gear usually takes about an hour or so to warm up and sound it's best. Soild State can take 4-12 hours to warm up to sounding it's best, which is why many who own SS gear leave it powered up 24/7.
In your own experience at what point (# of hours playing) do you get maximum sound quality from your tube gear? Does the sound also deteriorate after several hours?
All electronic component parts operate best (at their desired specs) when they have reached thermal equilibrum. I will let my system play for 30 min or more before begining a session.
I have come to agree with Elizabeth, I leave my ss amp and tube pre/phono on 24/7 for best sound. Most of my tubes have lasted for years with no problems and the pay-off is a consistently good sound.
Yes. With tubes is it always the case. It depends how long it takes, if the tube amplifier has an automatic bias it is much shorter.
Tubes 1 hour; solid state 2 hours.
I leave solid state parts of my system on 24/7 and I can hear a difference if unplugged for a bit to swap something out and then replugged. It really takes a full day to get everything sounding good again, especially toroid transformer gear. That's not scientific, just my experience. Tube gear sounds good after an hour but great after two or three so I turn it on when I walk in the door and then by the end of dinner, listening is wonderful.
My tube amp (and everything else) are on initially for background music so it's generally plenty warmed up for active listening. Leaving SS stuff on all the time is utterly wasteful and to admit doing that these days is kinda lame.
Yes, music from equipment does sound much better if it is allowed to warm up for a substantial period of time. The length is totally up to the specific person's taste. For me 30 minutes to an hour and I am very happy. Quite honestly, for my equipment, after 15 minutes it really doesn't change very much. But, that is just me. You will read many posts from others suggesting how long you should warm up equipment or some suggest leaving it on. If your equipment is solid state and isn't class A, whereby I mean that it would idle with no input at full current bias, then leave it on. It won't hurt it. If, however, the amps are full class A, then you are shortening the life of the electronics greatly because of heat. So, I would suggest turning that piece of equipment off, unless it has a standby mode that reduces idle current to a minimum. If you have tube equipment, do what the manufacturer suggest. Most manufactures tell you clearly what the warm up period should be for tube equipment and many will warn you that tube life is greatly shortened if left on. That isn't a problem for people that 1) don't care about replacing tubes every few months or 2) can afford to. But for the rest of us, Tubes for my equipment are stupidly expensive and since I have no problem turning my system on about 30 minutes to an hour before I listen, I am good.
You should determine the appropriate warm up time for your equipment based on your particular tastes and go with that.
Was told by my Pass dealer that the X250.5 from standby takes 5 minutes to stabilize and one hour to sound it's best, longer if fully shut off. My Portal Panache recommends leaving on 24/7 and has no standby option.
Again, your car will run better if you leave it running all the time...it will. Hot water...leave the water running and it's always hot AND fresher...sleep with your daytime clothes on...leave the refrigerator door open to cool the house and make food access easier...put your underwear on the floor and cover it with rug cleaner and vacuum it...wear a feedbag while riding your bicycle...pork cousins...inhale asbestos for future medical freebies...only wear socks once like Jerry Lewis...
My gear sounds distinctly better after I have warmed up....usually it's a decent single malt if I am not broke OTW good ole rum is fine. I am told though I can't vouch for this that a wee drop of spirit in the tube sockets does wonders...
My experience with SS amps, they benefit from a warm up. Approx 20 to 30 mins.
I have a noticeable improvement after 1/2 an hour. Incremental after that, but it does continue to improve for another 1/2 an hour, and that is with my integrated. I leave my CDP on 24/7 as it's draw is negligible so I don't worry about waste and cost.
All the best,