Leave an amp "on" permanetly

I understand that tube amps need to warm up sufficently before they can reach their potential. Is this also true with SS amps? I own a McCormack DNA-1 deluxe, and I hear a discernable difference when listening to my system "cold" versus "warmed-up". Do you also find this to be true?

If so, would people recommend leaving a SS amp on permanently? Could I damage my amp by doing this?
If it's an SS amp leave it on. It will always sound better that way. I have an Audio Refinement amp that I have left on for 2 straight years and have had no problems.
I left my Pass X-250 on 24/7 for almost 2 years. Nelson Pass told me it required about an hour to really warm up and come into it's own. When I asked about just leaving it on, he said it wouldn't hurt if I could take the power bill and the heat. I'd recommend you email Steve McCormick and ask him- after all it's his baby.
when I owned McCormack DNA-125 I kept it on 24/7
kept my DNA-225 on starting on Thursday if I knew I'd be listening on the weekend.

These amps do sound good when they are hot and I did notice especially with the 125 that the best sound is reached after the amp os on for about 24 hours. DNA-225 sounded better in general even cold, so it was not such an issue. But it also sounded better when it was on for hours.

Leaving these amps on 24/7 does raise your electrical bill but not by much. Keeping DNA-125 on 24/7 is about equivalent of a 100w light bulb. If this isn't a killer for you, then leave the amp on. You won't hurt it by leaving it on all the time.
I think there are pros & cons both ways. You say you hear a difference in cold vs warmed up. Do you hear a difference between warmed up vs 24/7? I do a little of both, like with my car. I'm not going to turn the engine off at every red light then back on when it turns green but I will turn it off while I'm eating dinner out. If there's not any difference between warmed up and 24/7, I'd turn it off when there are long periods of non-listening.
my nuforce ref 9 se amps stay on all of the time. no problems
I think it is better to turn components off when not using them for more than a few hours. I have not heard of a single example where the life of a component was shortened by routine switching on and off. This is simply another bit of audiophile folklore that is bad for our environment.
I will say that it is possible for a switch that is turned on and off will eventually give out.
Warming up does matter; but then, after 30min to 1 hour of warming up, things should settle. Leaving it for 24/7 should not be necessary.

Afterall, please do our poor planet a favour. Those mega muscle amps burn a few hundred watts when idling.
I can see how it will not harm components to turn them on and off. But I am curious about the following:

How long does it take the average solid state system to 'warm up' and sound its best?

Will it shorten their life to leave them on 24/7?

And how much electricity is used when they are on but idle?
I didn't know we were tackling this from the green angle.

Well, if our aim is to enjoy music without negative environmental impact, we can :

1.just go to live concerts. Oh wait, you have to drive there and that's adding greenhouse gases. Or..

2.you could go all solar- oh wait, making those photovoltaic cells is kinda nasty, not good for the environment either.

3.Wait- windpower! Uh Oh, kills birds like crazy- giant airborne cuisinarts.

4.Okay- hydroelectric- uh oh, damming rivers is bad for the environment.

5. Just play acoustic instruments! Nope, gotta cut trees.

6. Just Sing! Nope- the EPA now says that what you exhale is a pollutant, so can't do that either.

Damn it, people are just ruining this planet!


I'd just turn myamp on when I got home from work, cut it off before bed. Maybe then you can have it sound good AND live with yourself despite mankind's inherent dirtiness.
I leave mine on all time and have for years, and I dont care about the Green movement. All the Liberal tree huggers do is just buy Carbon Credits that dont mean anything, its like going to confession....you can do whatever you want as long as somebody clears you of your "sins".
I think there might be another thing to consider: possible damage to speakers if there is a power surge or interruption, or a malfunction upstream in your system, that could send a large transient through your power amp and on to your speakers.

I am driving my Thiel CS3.6's with Rowland 201 monoblocks, which draw very little power, and which could be left on 24/7 if I wanted to. Because of this concern for transients, I always switch the amps off when I'm not listening.
I can't believe how many times this has to be pointed out. By turning devices on and off you cause the components in your equipment to heat and cool. This continual stress change is the single most stressful thing that occurs to any solid state, and more horribly, tube gear. Leave a light bulb on in your house and it burns out quickly. Leave your tube gear on forever and the tubes do not age as quickly and sound better. (In comparision to a person that turns their gear off once a day).

My Audible Illusions M3A has been called a tube killer more than 5 times on AudioGon foruns alone BUT I've never had it eat up any type of tube. Ever.

I leave everything on. Always. It sounds great!
Bad for the environment? Yes.
Extra heat to cool in the spring and summer? Yes.
So, definitely not the most environmentally best thing to do.

Just do it |/
Danlin1, I think Stevecham was referring to the "Audiophile Environment" as in our hobby and not the environment as in the planet.
A Dealer Man I know says that, in his experience, tubes take an hour to stabilize and sound good and solid state takes 24 hours.

So a good "green" compromise is to turn your amp on Friday morning and turn it off Sunday night for a good weekend listening session.
So what happens when you are out and there is a thunderstorm at home?
My practice is to switch on the system and let the system play a CD end to end while I am having dinner or watching my favourite program on TV. So when I am ready to listen typcally in about an hours time, its all ready to go. I shutdown everything when its time for bed.
The 'green' says turn it off. The ear says leave it on.
The other reasons do not matter.
Not sure I agree with "on" permanently. Most hi end hi-fi stuff will be tubes or SS amps that run mainly in Class A operationn.....these naturally run very hot and waste huge amounts of energy and besides, tubes have a limited life span...why would you want to shorten it further?
Today's New York Times has an article on how much energy is used by electronics devices that are left on vs. putting to sleep or turning off. Even if you choose to leave your audio components on 24/7, you may want to look at your practices with computer monitors, cpus, dvrs, and cable boxes. Here is the link:

When I bought my Kell, the tech lad at the factory said not to leave it on all the time. Of course try not to turn it on & off three or four times a day. 24 hours to stabalize sounds a bit exorbitant to me. I turn mine on, put on some tunes, do the dishes, feed the fish, do some chores, etc. With all the racket I am making who can tell the difference in sound quality? By the time I am done, she is ready & willing to do what she does best and post toasty at that.
I guess how I was raised, taught me to turn things off when not in use. I do keep my cable box and/ or pre on, all the time.---I also think my CJ350 (ss), uses more juice than a 100 wt. bulb??--When I ran tubes (16 el34's) you know that was off when not in use.
Purely from an environmental standpoint, I would not leave my equipment on. I actually turn off the power strip to prevent the device from using stand-by power when it is supposedly off. I have a geology degree so I'm very familiar with the irreparable harm that we are doing to our planet. People who don't take such things into consideration are completely insensitive to the plight of future generations.
I leave mine on all time and have for years, and I dont care about the Green movement. All the Liberal tree huggers do is just buy Carbon Credits that dont mean anything, its like going to confession....you can do whatever you want as long as somebody clears you of your "sins".

The green movement is supported by an awful lot of hard science now. To me the only question is what degree global warmimg is down to "us" and what degree it is normal variation of climatic conditions and I think there are good arguments that we are in a natural warm phase. To see carbon credits are hypocrisy, I agree by the way, so I am going to ignore the whole subject of global warming, is not very logical.
In any event I have never been convinced of the evils of warm up in amps. I use a Karan K180 and Viva solista SET and neither really suffers in warm up to my ears. The Viva would need its own dedicated power station to leave on all the time. Stanby is pretty pointless as power consumption is a high percentage of fulll power usage in most cases.
So turn it off and do your tiny bit to save the planet
I have a geology degree so I'm very familiar with the irreparable harm that we are doing to our planet. People who don't take such things into consideration are completely insensitive to the plight of future generations.

Geojap dont you think that the Al Gore paranoia has gone just a little to far? Irreparable harm and damage to our planet, sounds like many of the predection books I come across at the library dating back two decades ago that were all quite off the mark.
Maybe this thread should be moved to "Earthbegon"?
I have a Audio Resaerch D-150.2 solidstate amp which I leave on all the time(24/7) I do this because this amp is a class T digital design which runs extremely cool all the time and because of this its performance is greatly affected when not left on. It takes at least 4-8 hrs. to warm backup(after shut off) to get to 90% acceptable performance level.
Everyone who has reviewed this amp recommends that it be left on all the time for optimal performance.
I've never had any problems with leaving it on and as for as power surges and thunderstorms, I have a Monster Hts 2000 surge protector/conditioner that has worked very well protecting my system during storms and power outages( which we have quite a bit where I live)
i have a pair of tube amps and contrary to popular opinion, i don't notice a difference between 10 minutes and 100 minutes, as to sound quality. keep in mind, while you are waiting for the amp, preamp and cd player to warm up, there may be changes in consumption of electricity by your neighbors, which will affect the sound of a stereo system.

intelligent use of energy is an indication of maturity.
David12 amen to you and many more. I am so sick and tired of the left and their communist friends around the world. Dictators with Zwiss bank accounts that have murdered and tortured with impunity while doing it for a means to better social justice. Now we get the green moment with all their junk science predections that in less than twenty years will be ho hummed while another group will start their social cause for the better of man kind.
Is swizz better, we conservatives must check our spelling and yes I did type this time using my left hand.
Is swizz better, we conservatives must check our spelling and yes I did type this time using my left hand.
Those who don't believe the science of global warming, or who feel its pace is too slow to worry about, may still want to conserve energy for several reasons:

1) $$$. You can save hundreds if not thousands per year in energy bills by conserving. Home energy costs will only increase in the near future as energy costs continue to rise.

2) Most of our power plants run on either oil, which in the U.S. is dependent on foreign sources (therefore to the political consequences of either acquiescing to those country's demands or sending our troops in harm's way to gain solutions in our interest; or our power plants run on coal which cannot sustain us and often has other negative affects, explained below.

3) It is hard science that power plants use up our limited resources of oil and coal, that harvesting oil and coal use up valuable lands (lands that when used for coal are rarely able to be used for other purposes again) and that power plants pollute the air and water around them.
Lets really be frank here. The left does have a track record and a bad habit of cozing up to radical dictators all over as long as their agenda is to hate America and its priciple values. I am sure many of them "dictators" don't turn their amps off because they could care less for the green house affect. Their to busy killing people the more conventional way than waiting for global warming to do its dirty work for them.
I'm not sure why there are so many people who believe that tubes require more warm up than solid state. It's exactly the other way around.

Tube circuits benefit from warm up, but less so than solid state in part because the tubes themselves have the best dielectric possible- a vacuum. That doesn't mean that the caps and resisitors don't get better after being on and formed, but solid state devices sound much more closed-in and "cold" at start up than a tube ever could. Frankly, even after unlimited warm up, solid state amplifiers never sound as open as a cold-out-of-the-box tube amplifier, but that's getting into another discussion.

Generally, I tend to leave most solid state gear on 24/7 and never do so with tube gear.
I leave my primary amps (all SS) on 24/7, except turn them off during electrical storms. Also, when I leave on a trip I power off and unplug them.

I've had some amps in the past that tended to run very hot (eg Ayre V3), and I powered them down when not in use. The Ayre had a stand-by mode which was good.
I find my sytems sounds best when left on all the time. I started leaving it on 24/7 about two years ago without any problems.

Some observations which led me to the take the 24/7 approach.

- My Musical Fidelity X10v3, XDAC and PUS all came with no on/off buttons. Their all designed to be left on all the time.

- My Sunfire sub has a sleep mode, no on/off switch and is designed to be left on all the time.

- My Channel Islands D200 amps have a standby feature which is designed to keep them warm without having to have them powered up all the way.
If so, would people recommend leaving a SS amp on permanently?


Could I damage my amp by doing this?


Okay, I was thinking about my earlier response, and I fear I may harsh somebody's mellow for pointing out how nothing is all that "Green".

So, I have a solution. If you want to leave your amp on, but you fear hurting the planet, you can buy Carbon Credits for Hi-Fi, and sleep better at night!

That's right- buy today from "Dan's ECO-FI Inc."

Simply figure 5 cents for each hour you intend to run your amp per month.

Please send all Carbon Credits to my Paypal account, and you'll receive your "I Feel Like A Better Person Now" Carbon Offset certificate by US Mail in 30 days.

You seriously don't hear a difference in the sound when your tube amp is on for an hour, two hours, or more? Are you in the room listening to the system or out on the court?
10 minutes.
That is all it takes for the components to warm up.
You have to figure in the cost of electricity and the amount of heat the amp generates. When I first got my Pass Labs X-600 monoblocs, I was so exited about leaving them on 24/7 to make sure that I extract every ounce of sonic purity that they had to offer. After several months of markedly escalated electrical bills, I found out that after an hour or so that they certainly sounded good to me.

I live in Southern Calif and I work from home. The cost of keeping my place cool all day is enough in itself.... with the added cost of the big Pass amps on 24/7 adding additional heat and making the air conditioner work harder...it is unthinkable for me to leave them on 24/7.
This was a consideration when I chose my amp. I really like the sound of class A, but the class A monoblocks I wanted to try drew 300 watts EACH 24/7. I went with an Edge amp (225x2) that only draws less then 100 watts. I think that it is clear that SS amps and all of our components sound better when warmed up for extended periods. I plan to use a passive preamp and a modded SB3 for my main source, so i won't be drawing much power when not in use. I can save a 150 watts per hour elsewhere. I do shut things down when leaving town, but use my system in some form most days.
Some facts here:

1) If we really wanted to reduce carbon emissions, we would have been building and licensing Nukes for the past 25 years, just like the EU & Japan were doing.

2) Thomasedison, read the bio of that N.Y. Times reporter! A way leftist, to be sure...but hey, if the N.Y. Times says so, it must be true! Oh, if you use the "hibernate" function on Windows XP, be prepared for mondo future problems!

3) My tube equipment takes about 1 hour to warm up. Be careful about leaving your amp's plate voltage on if you're not around...bad things can happen when high voltage/high amperage go awry.

4) The Kyoto accord is the biggest farce ever written. It sounds great on face value, but the "devil's in the details", as some of the enlightened writers here know.
I also turn my system off because I want to reduce energy use. If I leave my system on all day when not listening, that is 8 hours of energy consumption that did not have to happen. You gotta start somewhere. Little bit for me, but it adds up when lots of people take similar measures.
hi mcpody:

i live in an area where the quality of the "ac" varies during the day. the affect of the "ac" is more of an issue than warm up. you certainly are entitled to your perception and opinion. i respecfully disagree with you.

in answer to your question. i don't hear a difference in the room or out of the room.
You might benefit by getting a good power conditioner, one that regulates current. Especially with tubes, its not a great idea to plug into the wall if the power source is subject to noticeable power fluctuations. This can really shorten the life of the tube.

Both my tube amps (Audion PX25, EAR 859SE)and solid state amp (Threshold T-200)dramatically improve once they are hot, and a hot tube technically optimizes tube performance. So, sorry to here about your power situation, please accept my recommendation along with my apology for ribbing you.
I left an Aragon 4004 MK II on for about 8 years, and never once had a problem.

I sold it when I moved from London back to NY and the amp looked and sounded as new.
Oh and "green" why on earth are we talking about green!?!

This is AUDIOgon.
I've got a DNA 0.5 Rev A, and my system sounds horrible when cold (I literally walk over to my speakers to check if the tweeters are working -- it's that bad). After a few hours of actively playing music it starts to open up and sing, but it probably takes a bit longer than that to really hit its stride.

I leave my system on 24/7 because I don't always get to plan when I get to do some serious listening (2 kids have brought that to a crashing end), so my system needs to "wake up" immediately when I need it. I do a lot of other things to help the environment, so I don't feel too bad about indulging in this one area. I run all relatively cool-running solid state so it could be a lot worse.

Also, a while back I read a post here that mentioned that light bulbs frequently blow out when they're turned on because that's when they experience the greatest surge/stress. I'm no electrical engineer, but this makes sense to me and I cringe every time I have to turn my amp (and other components) on and off. I've left all my equipment on for many years with no major problems, so in my experience leaving components on 24/7 has at least done no harm.

So my advice is to recycle your trash, buy a fuel efficient car, and leave your stereo on and enjoy it to the fullest with a clean conscience.
Hey there could be an upside to prematurely wearing out your amps by turning them on and off as needed: a damn good reason to go out shopping for a new one. By golly, the horror!
hi mcpody:

i don't mind a good ribbing now and then. i have a psaudio p 300 for source components, but nothing for my tube amps.
i have been dissuaded from using a conditioner with an amplifier.

have you had any experiences with one ?