Leaving a SS item on 24/7 is better for wear and tear. For tubes, tradeoff.
This question came up somewhere and after Googling something about it the fact was apparent that the #1 wear is repeated on/off cycling. worse than leaving it on all the time. So the only problem becomes is it worth it to you to waste the electricity?
Other than tube amps, which should not be left on for safety reasons and tube life. Tube preamps and other tubed low level signal devices can be left on, though if you are not using them every day, leaving on a tube preamp etc is a waste of tubes.
Since i am listening 10 hours a day every day now, i leave all my (main) stuff on 24/7.
The manufacturers of my SS disc player and SS preamps say to leave them on all the time (one of the preamps doesn't even have an on/off switch). My tubed CD player has a convenient switch that turns off only the analoge (tube) power while leaving the digital section powered up. Since it has only two tubes, I often leave both analoge and digital powered up all weekend since I listen at various times. My SS Class A power amps (300wpc) get very hot. Fortunately, there is a bias switch that can be used to lower the power and the heat. Although I generally turn the amps on only when I want to listen, having the bias switch gives me the option to bias down and leave them on for longer periods of time (although they still get warm). I have thought about switching to SS amps that can be left on all the time, but there are only a couple of A/B designs I would consider switching to. When I had tubed preamps, I sometimes considered the trade off between using NOS tubes and turning the preamp on and off, or running less expensive tubes but leaving the preamp powered up all the time.
You'll find this thread
to be of interest. IMO, the conclusion expressed by Cathode in his post dated 2-8-11 is the best possible answer to this perennial question:
Depending on what kind of gear you have, how it's designed, and how you use it, turning it on/off vs leaving it on is truly component specific; making a blanket recommendation is not possible.... FWIW - I work as a reliability engineer in the semiconductor industry.
I leave mine on all the time, even the amp with Nuvistors. But I wouldn't leave a Class A amp on. My line stage has a standby as it has a Class A circut. I also have protection in case of storms when I am not here.
As was pointed out above, the answer is component specific. My ARC 150.2 SS amp is designed to be left on 24/7, and in fact ARC comments that if turned off, it can take up to a week to get back to full "musicality" once it is turned back on. My CDP stays on stand-by when not in use. But my ARC tube preamp is turned off after use, and only turned on when I'm going to listen; ARC's comment is that leaving it on continuously would merely wear out the tubes prematurely.
Hello Mitch2. You should try Sanders Sound Systems Magtech amplifier. It is recommended that it stay on all the time. Look at the review in the February 2011 issue of the Absolute Sound. You have 30 days to audition the amp in your own system and the amp has a lifetime warranty. It will deliver 500 watts RMS into 8 ohms and 900 watts into 4 ohms. It will truly make your speakers sing. Check out all the info on Sanders Sound Systems website. I use the Magtech to drive a pair of Duntech Sovereigns.
I experimented with my modest SS system, left it on for couple of days and in another case didn't leave anything on.
Well, it didn't really sound good cold. However, there was no or little difference in sound between being on for two days and being on for two/three hours. So I usually keep it on on weekends and turn it on on weekdays in the evening.
Another point might be that you don't want your equipment to be on and even plugged in when there is a storm. And one can never predict the weather.
I leave everything on standby that is solid state, but not the pure class A Threshold T-200 - it takes about 20 minutes to warm up and start to sound good. The outboard power supply of my Threshold DAC-2 runs extremely hot, but I leave it on anyway since the manual recommends it - and there is a noticeable difference after it's been on for about 72 hours.
Never. I turn everything off.
Yes, unless I'm going on vacation.
My gear seems to sound great after 20-30 minutes. This includes tube and solid state. None of my gear sounds bad enough so I can't enjoy it while it's warming up.
Standby switches could be for different reasons. On a remote controlled unit such as a CD player, remote preamp, a standby switch may shut the remote receiver section of the unit off, that is normally needed to receive the remotes signal. On a lot of tube gear, the standby switch shuts of the B+, that feeds the higher operating voltage to the tubes. The filaments would stay on in this type of example, to keep the tubes warm, without the the wear, and extra electric needed. This is just a couple of examples. The purpose of this post is, even when you have a unit in standby (typically SS), the main audio part may be shut down, and cold. These examples aren't always the case.
No I do not;my cd player and pre/processor have standby switches as well as my tubed amps but they stay powered off
unless I plan to listen then they are put in standby mode and left there until listening is done.
For me a majority of my equipment is either off or on standby. The only things that would remain on 24/7 is the gear that doesnt have a power switch. To me if it doesnt have a switch then it was designed to be on all the time. Gear I have/had like this a McCormack TLC-1 Deluxe, various Audio Alchemy DTIs and DDEs, my isolation transformers (Tice Audio/Topaz). Ever since I got a Kill-A-Watt and found out what some of my equipment draws either at idle or with a load I wont leave my gear on all the time. Some amps I have draw 100 watts to 300 watts at idle. I know this isnt much but it can add up to the electric bill.
No... My system only takes about 15 minutes to fully "warm up" and sound right. And, even during those first 15 minutes, the music is still quite "listenable."
I leave my primary systems on 24/7 (3 of them in rooms I use each day), except for the tube components (preamps). I have several "auxiliary" systems in rooms that don't get much use, and those systems are off except when I'm in the room.
Leaving a SS item on 24/7 is better for wear and tear.
they often do power cycle cycle (on/off) testing as part of reliability testing of integrated circuit components, but the number of cycles is probably orders of magnitude greater than people would actually perform in the real world. so i don't think that this is a very good reason to leave components on 24/7.
i think that, in general, leaving components on 24/7 is a massive waste of energy resources. as many have stated, 15 minutes should be more than enough to allow a component to reach fairly stable operation, especially under drive conditions. electron temperatures are measured relative to absolute zero (-273 degrees celsius), so after about 15 minutes temperature differences (relative to absolute zero) are going to be relatively small in percentage terms. it seems hard to justify wasting energy under such circumstances.
for my own part, i turn off my amplifier and preamplifier but i don't turn off the phono preamplifier. the reason being that the on/off is not located at the front on the phono preamplifier but since the power dissipation is comparable to that of a night light i don't really make such a big deal over it.
The manufacturers of my SS disc player and SS preamps say to leave them on all the time (one of the preamps doesn't even have an on/off switch).
i used to have a krell cd player, and while it had an on/off switch, it was really an on/standby switch. what i did not like was that krell components tend to consume a fair amount of power while in standby. when the cd player was in standby it was warm. i currently have a wadia cd player and while it has an on/off switch it is located in the rear of the unit because the intention is that the unit should be left on all the time. the wadia cd player is fairly cool, which suggests to me that it is not consuming much power; if it were warm, i would definitely reach in the back to turn it off when i wasn't using it.
my attitude about it is that if the power dissipation is like that of a night light, i won't make such a big deal over leaving it on; after all, displays on microwaves and ovens consume energy; but when the energy consumption is enough to light a room, then that's a bit too much to leave such a component on 24/7.
one of my criticisms of the audiophile biz is that it seems to often promote profligate waste for little (or effectively no) benefit...
I have a Wadia 861 thats been on 24/7 for well over 5 years.Not one problem.
Wadia recommends that it stay powered up for several reasons.As they put it..."The unit will remain thermally stable for less stress and wear on internal circuitry and for best sound quality as well."
Who am I to urgue with them.
Both of my preamps (2 rooms) are designed with on/off switches, which control power to other devices plugged into them(I do not do this). The active circuitry was designed to always be on. I also leave my power amps on all the time, as well as my dacs. My transports, tuners and other sources go on as I listen. I find that amps sound better when on 24/7 as well as dacs. I do not use tubes, even though I own horns....
Also wanted to mention I will play some music for 5/10 minutes to "open the system up" before I seriously sit and listen.
I turn everything off except a Rel sub that's designed to be left on (no on/off switch anyway, and it's plugged into a different outlet...I unplug it when gone for days) as not much is happening until it gets a signal. Otherwise, having had gear work for MANY years without any issues from switching, I feel that more is likely to go wrong when electrons are running around my gear without adult supervision. I did have a hybrid guitar amp die from being on for a week once. I think it makes my gear appreciate me and perhaps look forward to seeing me as I can use my "godlike" powers to give it life. Am I insecure?
Solid state yes, tube no.
Haven't had my stuff off for years , except to try a component or tweak . The bigger solid state amps seem to sound smoother after a few days of continued continuity . Brake down rate has been non-existent , accept for C.D. spinners .
Leaving it on is not a problem, except for thunderstorms. :\
Many of you are so ecologically bad; it's beyond words. You can buy electricity but you won't need it in hell. Keep it on all the time.
I think hell would have to have electricity...what...it runs on some imaginary power? Get real....
I don't think Hi Fi's are allowed in hell . A good reason not to go . Besides music there would make it more like heaven .
As far as being ecologically bad , the higher brake down rate caused by thermal switching would have other ecological affects that may be more consequential than the extra power used .
I wonder what this "breakdown rate" might actually be? I've been an audio fan and pro musician/soundman since 1967 and I personally haven't experienced much breakdown at all...and the perception of things sounding better after sometimes hundreds of hours of warmup seems more like a design flaw than otherwise, although since it's a fact of life among respected gear reviewers who hear much more stuff than I even will, I will allow it. "Mister nice guy!" My gear goes on as background music when I read my morning paper, and often stays on all day...maybe it's warming up and I didn't know it, but I haven't noticed much, if any, difference.
Went through this a few years ago. Man I trust "Klaus" from Odyssey Audio. Made point all S.S. components must remain "fully charged" to offer best operation. I could hear difference after the 20th day. High's SMOOTHED out Low's became Richer/not as snappy. Whole system pre, amps, subs, dvd, cd, and sat box. Are on 24/7 from apc h-15. 1st thing in APC manual "turn it on leave it on" Hope this helps.
"all S.S. components must remain "fully charged" to offer best operation. I could hear difference after the 20th day."
I cannot for the life of me imagine what in those boxes would need 20 days to "charge"...
20 minutes? Sure
20 hours? OK, I'll play along
I often find myself looking for that elusive balance between "you don't know until you hear it" and "this absolutely does not jibe with what we know about how things work", in this case electricity and electronics.
As far as being ecologically bad , the higher brake down rate caused by thermal switching would have other ecological affects that may be more consequential than the extra power used .
it's all fine and well that you want to leave your equipment on 24/7 as a matter of preference but this "thermal switching" ratinale is total bs. think about it; you can go to best buy and buy a "mid range" sony audio component and switching that component on and off with no problem, but then you buy a "high end" component (that is an order of magnitude higher in price) and suddenly switching it on and off because a potential cause of component failure. you may reason that you want to leave your stuff on 24/7 because you can afford it and nobody can make you turn it off: but it is massive waste, what you think of that waste is a matter of what your own sense of ecological ethics are...
you see comments from people who claim that they can "hear" the difference when equipment is left on for days on end; but then there are people who will pay $15,000 for interconnect cable who likewise claim that they can "hear" the difference. you can pretty much convince yourself of anything...
in theory, electron mobility is a function of junction temperature. so, as a result, the electrical characteristics of electronic components can vary with varying junction temperature (for example, current through a transistor tends to increase with increasing temperature). so there is, in theory, some value in giving components some warmup time; but you probably aren't going to find much measureable difference after the component has been operating for 15 minutes or so because the junction temperature starts to stabilize.
to give you an example of the temperature rnage that is commonly used for measurement purposes, semiconductor characteristics are commonly measured at -55 C, 25 C and 125 C (a wider temperature range than you are likely to encounter in the real world).
some makers promote this notion that you need to leave equipment on 24/7. but not all makers agree with that perspective. here is the position of rega (as stated in the rega ios phono stage manual):
This Rega amplifier circuit has been carefully designed to work with a minimal warm up period. Some manufacturers and retailers may recommend leaving amplifiers permanently switched on, Rega cannot condone such practise in these environmentally sensitive times.
I find that my tube amp sounds best on the 365th day it's continuously left on; on the 366th day, however, it goes back to sounding like cr*p.
Banquo363...In that case, I hope you plan ahead so you are sure to be at home on day 365.
If there's hell below, we're all gonna go.
You describe leaving the components on as 'massive waste'. If there's no signal, consumption is low. Give me a comparison if you can: Is a SS device on (no music) the equivalent of one 100w light burning? A tube device equals two 100w lights burning?
As far as equipment sounding better if it's been on long, or even after burn in, I personally would have a tough time telling. The combination of a lack of commonly understood detailed descriptors to apply to sound(what is bright, anyway?), and the difficulty of accurately retaining in memory the first soundscape to compare to the second, make it hard to tell the difference. I can only feel confident in hearing a difference if I do a rapid A/B switch. I just installed a Porter Port. Does my system sound clearer, more articulate, wider soundstage? Hell (Hi Inna), I don't know. It sounds pretty damn good, which it did before. But the outlet I removed was clearly inferior, so in my head I know there's an improvement. I just can't hear it. Sad, but not atypical, I'm thinking.
I have a VTL preamp and the manufacturer states that a new set of tubes from them will last 5 years. Nothing mentioned on what the average time a consumer will have the preamp powered up. I leave it powered up most of the time mostly for sound quality so maybe that time (5 years) could be cut in half. My amp is solid state and it is never turned off unless I change interconnects.
Paper ... You may claim thermal switching is B.S. but several manufacturers of equipment I own as well as my long time dealer tell me that leaving things on reduces brake down rate , Iv'e followed there advice for many years and have found this to be true. What do they no eh . Do you no a manufacturer of S.S. equipment that states otherwise . Class A amps that run very hot may be the exception .
And as far as a sonic difference goes , my own ears as well as other well respected audiophile friends have tested the affects of turning off large power amps and the results are consistent , etched sound for hours to days , one of the few things we agree on . Have you done such tests for your self , Or are you a theoretician .
The link to a post Almarg pointed out covers the way it is IMO. Some electronic components (semiconductors) do not like the big thermal swings, and may fail sooner. Others may settle, and break in to the on always operation since they stay hot all the time. With this case, those semiconductors may break when they shrink during cool down, since they have never been allowed to contract during a cool down, and expand during warm up, since this is what they have become accustomed to. Think of it as a super miniature bridge without expansion joints, for thermal change, while others may handle the temp swing like a bridge. That one poster is an engineer(Almarg link) that specializes in this. And like he says, it varies from component, to component. I'd have to agree with that. It makes sense.
For those of you worrying about going to hell... Maybe one of those inventors of those little magic things that change the sound so much your jaw will drop, may figure out how to
air condition hell.
The day of reckoning is coming. I warned you and don't pretend that you are not afraid. You are.
So the simple solution is this: Use gear that sounds GREAT the moment you turn it on, and once it warms up a bit it sounds greater. Actually...I think I have that already. Still, nobody has mentioned what the supposed "more likely to fail" failure rate might be (any tests of this?), and I know if my amps are off they can't fail.
Still, nobody has mentioned what the supposed "more likely to fail" failure rate might be (any tests of this?), and I know if my amps are off they can't fail.
Wolf_garcia (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
We are fortunate enough if we get a good accurate review on the sound of a piece of gear, when the reviewers "sounds great" statement matches what we hear, and are happy we bought it. I think Consumer Reports would be the only one to test something for the cycle rate failure. I doubt we'll ever see that at the price of audio gear. It would be interesting though. We have two compact fluorescent lights in a couple of different kitchen light fixtures. Those things use about 9 watts only. Being they use so little, we just leave them on 24/7, even when cleaning them. In the daytime, the light from the skylights overpower them, and we always forget/forgot to shut them off. We decided to change the other ones to a different color temperature. During the bulb change, we shut them all off, first time after several years of 24/7 always on, one failed at start up, the other is still running 24/7, 6 months to a year later. I guess that's about a 50/50 shot? That made me wonder if the failure rate would be similar with a pair of twin SS preamps after this post? I'm guess something SS failed in the one. This comparison may be way off too. I still shut all of my gear down. It cost a lot more than the bulb.
First, I think using SS amps as lightbulbs wouldn't work at all...very difficult to screw in...secondly, I've always used dimmers...they save a ton and don't trigger seizures and distribute mercury pollution like compact flourescents. This thread reminds me of the days when high end purpose built speaker cable first arrived on the scene...it was always compared to "lamp cord", yet nobody tested the speaker wire in lamps. I bet a lamp wired up with high end speaker wire would have better photon distribution and cleaner shadow definition.
hmmm, looks like opining vs factual experience being offered. Having had tweeters mysteriously blow while I was out, I exercise caution.
1)digital electronics like DAC, CD, I turn off when done
2) pre amp since tubes, always on (2 hour warm up for peak sound otherwise). Given CJ build quality I find it hard to believe anything short of lightning strike could harm it.
3) Solid state amp, I always turn off when done to protect speakers and turn on 1 hour before playing to get full warm up for Class A operation.
I always turn off my tube amps (never leave them on unattended). They take 20 minutes to warm up.However,I never turn off my cd player. It has been on since getting it. If it has turned off (power outage or moving equipement around) it will take a full day before it starts to sounds good.
I leave my system powered-up all the time. I wouldn't do so with a tube amp, but I find my heavily modified cj PV-12L sounds better with the tubes warm all the time. More importantly, the tubes last longer that way IMO.
From a safety and efficiency point of view for electronics, it is not good to leave anything on all the time unattended. It makes no sense whatsoever despite what people tell you. First a well broken in piece of equipment will be ready in about 15 minutes, and in this case, if a person can't turn it out first, do something for 15 minutes (like get a book or a good glass of wine, etc.) then that person really doesn't have time to listen anyway. Second, life of tube equipment or solid state for that matter degenerates quickly by leaving it on for long periods of time. It is funny how people wouldn't think twice about turning off all the lights and other components when not in use, but it is perfectly okay (for them) to leave massive amps and electronics on. For tube equipment, the tubes have a very finite life time, which will be eaten up very quickly if left on. For solid state, they also have a life cycle. But,the most important thing, is that it really doesn't take long to warm up equipment. So, save electricity and do it when you are ready to listen. to each their own. However, for me, 15 minutes and my system is ready to go and quite honestly, it sounds wonderful immediately after turning it on. I need time to get a snack, book and wine anyway, so that is fine for me.
Minol, 15 minutes may work with your system but I have found at least an hour of warm-up gets you 75% of the desired sound, 24 hours and you have reached a 100%. A case in point is I had a Musical Fidelity solid state preamp. It sounded so much better after 24 hours of continuos operation! Here is some other food for thought, In regards to Audible Illusions preamps I know that the tubes are always on even when the power button is turned off. The only way to turn the tubes off is to unplug the power cord. Manufacturer claims this will keep them operating for the best sonics whenever you are ready to listen. Not sure how this effects tube life.
We repair technicians who work for the manufacturer love when you leave them on 24/7. Over many years the heat damage to the circuit boards or the brittle fragility of overheated wires in point-point wired amps makes them unrepairable (well, beyond economical repair, anyway) so we get to sell new amps and preamps.
You can always tell, even with the coolest running solid state units, which older components were left on or turned off during their lifespan.
I say turn them off. And if tubes, absolutely turn them off.
I tried Minorl's suggestion of having a glass of wine while waiting for my system to warm up...and I became too drunk to read my morning paper.
Hi Mcintech, thats funny as I was told by Nagras US distributor to leave my PSA amp on 24/7. So was that info given to me incorrect ?( I believe you've posted before saying you are Nagras US service manager)