To leave on or not to leave on, that is the ?

Dear members,

I tend to leave on, all the time, my CDP/transport and dac (Wadia 23 and Audiomeca Enkianthus). An audio engineer friend has just adviced me that he believes it shortens the life of the gear (I had heard this before about DAT recorders and do keep mine off until it is used). He thinks warming it up before critical listening is good but not to keep them on constantly.

I do turn all equipment off when the fear of thunderstorms or ice storms is present but generally all my equipment, including the SDS controller for my VPI, stays on always.

I am really screwing up something? Advice, as always, is greatly appreciated.

I think that your friend is a LITTLE off base with this one. In order for your equipment to sound good all the time (whether you listen critically or not), it is imperitive that you leave your equipment on at least most of the time. This is definitely important if you have high quality solid-state equipment. However, if you have tubes on the other hand, then this can become pretty impractical (let alone expensive). So with that said then, I don't think you're screwing up anything by choosing whether or not you leave your equipment on after a night of listening (critically or not)

As common practice, I always do the following:

(01). Leave the amplifier on all the time (well most of the time anyway), whether I am listening to music or not.

(02). Leave the preamplifier on as well. Mines has a "stand by" switch on the front panel. I also have a "main" power button on the back of it. I only use that when I am not going to be using the system for a long period of time (like when I am going on vacation, or any other time when I am going to be away from home for more than two days).


(03). I turn off all source components when I am through listening for the evening. And that applies to the tuner, the CD player(s) and the cassette deck. Turntables need not apply. They will be turned off anyway when I am not spinning vinyl.

But now, when I know (or think I know) in advance that we're going to have a thunderstorm that evening, or if I happen to be home when a thunderstorm moves in, then (AND ONLY THEN) I turn off ALL equipment (including the amplifiers) and unplug EVERYTHING from the wall.

I hope this helps out and clears up everything.

Good Luck and Happy Listening!!!!!!

If you are talking tubed that is the case.

If you are talking SS the on off switch is the hardest on equipment. Turning the equipment on causes a power surge through the SS devices shortening there life.

Better to leave it on all the time.

Remember to take the system as a whole
If you run SS I would leave on all the time, as mention above, it's harder on the equipment. Some SS components have stand by and really all it does is shut the display off and and at most a few curcuits inside. I own both SS and tubes. My amps, Preamp and Transport are SS and stay on 24/7. My Phono Stage and Dac are tubes so they get shut off after each listening session but the are warmed up 15-30 prior to listening. If you ask any SS company about this most if not all will tell you to leave SS on all the times. When I shut off my SS gear for some reason it takes 24-48 to sound it's best again. Sometimes I forget to turn my tube stuff off and Iv'e had no problems as the tubes in my eq will last about 8000-10,000 hours. About the only bad thing is my electric bill is high as hell but what isn't in California, The Enron BS, were still paying for that crap! Happy Listening
My tubed pre- amp and amps are turned off. I notice that the sound isn't right for about 40 to 60 minutes with improvements over the first three hours.

My CD player has a class A solid state output stage, and the owners manual clearly states that it is never turned off, the off switch merely powers down the display. It is slightly warm to the touch.

My old Classe 301 sounded best after being on all weekend, and I generally left it on.

So much for sound, now about the longevity issue. As an electrical engineer, I was told that a good rule of thumb is that you half the life expectancy of a component with each 10 degrees C rise in temperature. I do not know if this holds true over the entire operating envelope, I would tend to think that the first 10 degrees would not be as bad as the last!

That said, if the equipment is properly designed, the components should stabilize well within their specified operating parameters. So, perhaps they may last 50,000 hours instead of 100,000 hours. No big deal, I don't know very many audiophiles who keep stuff for that long anyway!!

I say leave the SS stuff on and enjoy. Fix it if it breaks. Don't stress.

Folks, you are the best!

Thanks all of you for your input, it tends to reflect my own about SS equipment. But you all know that paranoia (healthy, of course) is part of the emotional baggage for this hobby.

Again, many thanks and best wishes.
When do light bulbs fail? Upon turn on 98% of the time from the stress of the current surge and going from cold to hot. There is no doubt that warmed up sounds better. 25 years ago I left my Audio Research pre-amp and amp on all the time. Then for a variety of reason I went to solid state and I left them on all of the time for years and they never failed(Con Ed was happy though). Now I am back to tubes and I turn them on in the am and off in the pm when I go to bed. I leave the tubed cd player on all the time. When do light bulbs fail? On turn on 98% of the time from the electrical shock.
I specifically asked James Tanner of Bryston this very question regarding SP-1.7 Pre/Pro. His response was: leave it on. Regards.