Warming up equipment

Just looking for a little guidance. I am the proud owner of a dream come true, a Pass X250.8. (The bank is sharing this dream too)  I was told by the seller, Reno Hi-Fi,Mark, that the proper sequence of operation, is the following:  Upon turning your system on, the AMP should be last to be activated, and the first to be turned off.  

My question is: Is it OK,  just to turn the AMP on for a couple of hours, and nothing else prior to listening, and then activating  pre amp, Dac, CD transport, etc when actually ready to start listening?  Or better to start everything in proper sequence 2 hrs earlier, and just leave on until ready. Thanks        Robert TN   Afraid of any surge possibilities!!!!


It's always best to power up your preamp first. That way, there's no way your amplifier can pass any of its turn-on transients on to your speakers.

+1 @cleeds


The Pass x series are in standby mode at all times… warming the circuits slightly at all times (unless unplugged or turned off with the switch in the back). I don’t remember much of a difference in my Pass x350… which I had for over ten years. I do remember a big difference in my preamps after ten or fifteen minutes. (Not in my most recent preamp though… ARC Reference 6SE).

I was told if you listen every day to just leave it on forever. Versus turning it on and off 356 times a year does more damage, then leaving it on all the time where it stays nice and warm.

Thanks all. Much appreciated. I only have a chance to listen 2 or 3 times a week, I will always start the pre amp first (Benchmark LA-4) then the amp. Good advice. Thank you

Your salesman and cleeds are correct.  Don’t turn on the preamp with the amp already on.  It “could” send a transient (thump or pop) to the speakers that can cause damage to them.  
Not sure what preamp you have but working in audio manufacturing many years of my life it’s typically recommended to never turn your preamp or DAC off.  Tubes take a minimum of 30 minutes or more to sound good.  The actual power supply, depending on how much capacitance and regulation devices in it, can take even longer.  Transistors can take much longer to stabilize.  Even as much as 3 days or more.  That’s why there is the standby circuit that is on all the time keeping a minimum amount of voltage circulating.  Shouldn’t take very long to get back up to a good level of sound quality.

I now have a Schiit Yggdrasil that takes 3-4 days to sound great every time I unplug it.  It’s thin, hard and bright sounding the first couple days and almost unlistenable.  About the 3rd day it’s getting decent.  After a week it’s really good.  And that’s playing music through it 24/7. 
Each piece can be different and you should be able to hear the differences as it warms up. It may only take 15 minutes. Then again with things like preamps or DAC’s it may takes days.  I also have an old Theta tube preamp that has been highly modified all the way through.  The way the power supply circuit works it multiplies the capacitance of each stage and I’ve added a lot in the PS so it literally can take a week or two to fully charge and sound its best.  It all depends on the circuitry of your equipment. 
It is also correct that turning things on and off often can be damaging to it.  Think of a light bulb.  It’s the turn on surge that blows it. Amplifiers take a lot of power so having a low power standby circuit is great.  Preamps and DAC’s just leave on all the time as that don’t use much power.  But then it’s up to you! 

Something  I learned from Steve Deckert ( Decware)......People warm their equipment up but don't warm their Speakers up before doing some serious listening. The voice coils in your speakers need to heat up and Expand before they will sound their best. Let your system warm up at lower volume levels with music being pushed thru your speaker system for 30 minutes before sitting down to a listening session.......try it...it makes a world of difference.

If I am going to listen to my Pass, I turn it on by itself in the morning.
Then, later, I turn it off briefly, turn on preamp (DAC and streamer are always on), then turn Pass back on.
Then play brown noise about an hour and sit down to listen.

I leave my system turned on 24/7 unless I am going away for awhile. Yes I agree with the recent posts. SS equipment usually requires no warmup time as far as stability is concern but do require time to open up. Tubes may take much longer for stability. Also keep in mind the operating class of the amp. I feel that leaving the system left on all the time can help extend the use then turning on and off, whether this is true or not.

To answer you question, components first and amp last. When turning off it is the opposite.

Mark Reno HiFi is right. I generally turn on my system in sequence from the upstream to downstream: streamer, DAC, preamp, and amp, and then the reverse order to turn off: amp, premap, DAC, streamer.  I let the sytem play at the lowest volume to warm up the entire system.

Thank you all for your input. That's why this forum is so great. As a novice, that just likes to listen to GOOD music, I depend on everyone for guidance, and have never felt belittled for asking. Thanks,   Robert TN

mbmi is also totally correct on speakers.

Especially if you’ve modded your crossover with large Polypropylene caps instead of the small electrolytic caps.   Not to mention the large flat copper air core inductors.  These all come into play. 
My DAC, tube preamp, tube phono stage never turn off.  Unless I’m away from home on vacation.  Everything in my system has either been excessively custom over-built or modded that it takes longer then many systems.  The tube amps are turned on a couple hours before my listening time playing music at low volume.  Even then the first 15-20 minutes of higher volume play are to exercise the drivers and finish fully charging the system (crossover caps, cables, etc).  But for those that don’t believe in that kind of thing, don’t worry about it. 

Personally, this is my protocol with an all solid state system. Always on: streamer, DAC, preamp (Pass XP22). Turn on when wanting to listen: amp (JC5).


If I want to critically listen, I try to turn the amp on in advance but to me I don't notice a significant increase in sound quality with the amp cold or warm. Certainly nothing to warrant leaving it on 24/7. I only turn everything off when I'm out of town for extended periods, and the most noticeable component that needs warmup and time to sound its best is definitely the XP22.