check the archives as this was just covered a few days ago...
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I have a Sim Audio W5/P3. It is about one year old and has never been off except during bad electrical storms. I have not read the manuel lately but I'm pretty sure the manufacturer even reccommends leaving it on. You could check with your manufacturer to see what they reccommend for your equipment but I always leave mine on.
I have all Classe equipments. When I called Classe technical service, they told me that I should turn off everything and turn on everything 1 hour before listening. I've confused because most people say that it's better to leave them on at all time. Well,I'll call them again and hope to talk to another person to see if thier answers are the same.
There are two issues: sound and reliability. I've found that most Class A amps running over 100 watts, need a LONG warm up time (like a day or two). Class A/B and B amps don't seem to need this kind of warm up (neither do low powered class A amps). These can generally warm up in an hour or two. I have found some amps that do not follow this so well. I have a Classe Seventy that sounds great after only 1 hour of warm up, but I understand the Classe DR series (small wattage) needed very long warm up times--they also ran very hot. So you need to determine what sonic improvements you get over the warm up time. The second issue is reliability. I listen to music a couple of hours a day. I don't want to cycle the boards through the heating cycles especially on HOT amps like Krell and Levinson every day (I leave them on for sound improvement as well--but even if that wasn't an issue I would still leave them on for reliability). The only time they are turned off is if I am out of town for any length of time. The amps I use for HT only get used about 2 or maybe 3 times a week, so I only turn those on when I'm going to watch a movie. I only let them warm up about 15 minutes--which is probably less than they really need, but it's for home theater and I really don't think I can tell the difference for that application.
I leave my amp on all the time. A side story to illistrate the issue is with my Proton T.V. It's about 13 years old now and is used by our whole family, this means it goes on and off many times a day. Each time it's turned on the solder and electracal connections heat up and expand. Turning it off again the heated now contract. By cycling through thousands of times on our T.V. it final quite. I took it in, no problem with the componants, the solder joints had cracked. It was $250 to re-solder the mother board and power supply.
So my point is, in the extreme case we can see the damage done. Chances are you'll never own your amp for the approx. 5,000 on off cycles my T.V. experienced, but the same damage is done. The only issue I could see is if it runs in class A it could consumme alot of power just sitting, often times there is a stand-by mode for this issue.
Yea Craig, if you ever have a chance to pick up a Proton, they are ausume. Best piture tube made (Hattachi). I got mine at a close out dealer for 70% off and it was still over $1000, but that was the first and only issue I've had. Now it just needs to last another 13 so that HDTV finds it's place. J.D.
I have started turning off the Musical Fidelity SS amp attached to our mini system due to the power problems in California and it does not sound as good at it did before (when left on 7/24), not nearly as much detail at low listening levels which is how I use it in a near field setup. I still leave the CD player on as it does not draw much current.
I left a Cello Duet 350 powered on for most of eight years -- only took it down for vacations, renovations, cable changes, etc. Bought it in 1992. Now it runs in my home theater and is powered up only when the system is active (maybe 4 hours a week) -- but it certainly suffered no ill effects. One caveat is that electrolytics have a rated life -- so they will age more quickly if the amp is left on; the semiconductors, it seems to me, benefit from being left on (fewer transients and fewer temp changes). Since the amp is now nine years old, its capacitors should be replaced. I used to manage service for $5-15 million (per copy) mainframe computers -- and the absolute worst thing that customers could do was to power them up and down -- the process inevitably shook out the weak components. A machine that had been powered up for months, once powered down, was a good bet NOT to come back up without some expensive repairs. Those experiences have always left me convinced that electronics (w/o moving parts) are probably more reliable if left on.
Technology has moved on once again. Capacitors are one of the "active" components that benefit from being left on as long as they are not "cooking" inside of a "hot box". When electrolytic caps are not used for an extended amount of time, they first discharge and then begin to dry up. When power is then applied to the unit, there is a MAJOR in-rush current to the caps in order to "fill them". Until they are "filled" they present a near short to the power supply. It is at this time that many caps or other components in the power supply are stressed and "pop" under the instantaneous but large load demanded. Keeping the caps fully charged will cause less thermal stress along with greatly reduced risk of dielectric damage from internal arcing. This is why "techs" use a variac to SLOWLY power up old equipment. They are letting the caps "reform" gradually instead of blasting them with the massive surge that they would normally see upon "firing up". Sean
Oh well. Different designs and different philosophies. That's why there are different companies and different types of consumers. Either way, you have to wonder why so many "dedicated regulars" that frequent this place tell you one thing and a "respected manufacturer" tells you something different. Maybe it's a case of someone building a product and then someone else using it and knowing how to ring the best performance out of it in the "real world". After all, we don't "listen" to test bench specs and data..... Trust your ears. I've had amps on for YEARS... Sean
I bought my 1977 Marantz 140 power amp (75wpc) new; about 10 years ago the right channel started cutting out in scratchy fashion about 30 minutes after power-up, mostly noticeable only when listening at low volume, for maybe another 30 minutes or so. For the past year or so I've just left it powered on all the time and the problem has disappeared--it works great now. Duh, I should have thought of that a lot sooner. Only problem is that the 8V fuse-type meter lamps burn out after a few months. I've stopped bothering to replace them.
I feel a bit guilty in the camp of leaving SS amps ON ON ON ON ON ON ON - all the time.
Usually, it strikes me as a tweaky audiophile indulgence, but I can also say that I never ever had one single problem with an Aragon power amp that I left on 24/7 for about 8 years.
Not to digress, but another hobby of mine is motorbikes where there is a school of thought that says the cautious "breaking in period" for an engine is 100% BS cooked up by lawyers who want people to proceed cautiously on their new machines, or by greedy manufacturers who actually want your engine to fail as soon as possible - at least after the warrantee expires.
The counterintuitive idea - like leaving amps on 24/7 - is that you should rev a new engine as hard and as much as you can!!! and worry only about changing the oil several times....
In another thread, someone suggested that certain audio components dry out (?) or die out (?) if the amp is not left ON ON ON all the time.
(Obviously the green crowd and the I want to save 5 bucks a month types will think this is all insane.)
So here is another question for this topic: for amps or receivers in my collection that I never use, would it be better to plug them in and also leave them on, too?
Or is this debate only whether it is better to leave them on vs. the idea of switching them on and off periodically as they are used?
Thank you for your latest thoughts on this timeless, controversial debate.