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MaxPlumage

Leave amps on or off?

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Hello folks

 

Do you leave solid state amplifiers on 24/7 or turn it off after listening? Which is the better approach?

 

Thanks!

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There’s a good July post already on this 

 

it also depends on what kind amp you have, whether a cool running one or steaming hot one that chews lots of power and warms the room in summer too much.

 

most amps can easily warm up enough in 30-60mins so no need to wear them out with premature life as the power capacitors life shortens without about x 10 or so shorter existence if left on all the time.

 

also no need to stress the global warming greenhouse gas environmental impact with amp chewing power all the time when you don’t need to selfishly.

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I leave mine on unless I'm done listening for the day (and that's only because I have a tube amp), then overnight it always goes off. I don't buy into the need to keep it on 24/7, solid state especially so.

 

The tubes do sound their best after they've been playing solid for a few hours, but that's no reason to leave them on permanently. 

 

Of course opinions will vary on this.

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Mine go on for three days a week then off the rest. 

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Guest Muon N'

Have never felt the need to leave SS amps on when not in use..... or wanted to risk it, and definitely not now with tubes.

 

Apart from the waste, even an SS amp can fault and cause a problem, even a fire, it is not unknown.

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Thanks for the replies everyone (Sime ... good to hear from ya mate!)

Will be leaving my amps turned off when not in use.



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The only time the nad d7050 gets turned off is with power black outs, but it's got a dicky on/off button, so I leave it on.

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Guest Muon N'

Maybe replace the switch?

 

file:///C:/Users/Ian/AppData/Local/Temp/Nad-D-7050-Service-Manual.pdf

Edited by Muon N'

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I'm always too drunk to turn anything off.

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I used to leave my Marantz MA6's on 24 hours a day and the same with the preamp. Reason was experimentation and the Mono bloks sounded heaps better when left on.

These days, with different Kit, I turn everything on at least an hour before I listen. Don't work any more so have my own time. I always leave the Phono preamp on.

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2 hours ago, Lloyd said:

I'm always too drunk to turn anything off.

Well so long as you're not too drunk to turn it on, it's all good.

 

 

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I would always turn off.  All you do is waste electricity and life capacitors. 

 

Also, a SS amp that significantly changes performance as it warms up just indicates its not a thermally stable design.  That would concern me. 

Edited by March Audio

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On 01/10/2019 at 9:45 PM, March Audio said:

I would always turn off.  All you do is waste electricity and life capacitors. 

 

Also, a SS amp that significantly changes performance as it warms up just indicates its not a thermally stable design.  That would concern me. 

+1. I was going to type exactly the same thing.

 

With a tube amp there is very, very little change in performance after a couple of minutes on with a good design.

 

Also, why anyone would want to pay the extra power costs leaving them on 24/7 flabbergasts me. It's not like power is cheap anymore.

Edited by A9X

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I leave on 24/7 for better sound and longer life.  Warm circuits don't corrode ;)

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Just now, DJGopal said:

I leave on 24/7 for better sound and longer life.  Warm circuits don't corrode ;)

This is actually completely wrong.

 

Capacitors have a finite life.  This is shortened by higher temperatures.

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1 minute ago, March Audio said:

This is actually completely wrong.

 

Capacitors have a finite life.  This is shortened by higher temperatures.

Leaving on doesn't create higher temperatures though. 

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4 minutes ago, DJGopal said:

Leaving on doesn't create higher temperatures though. 

Of course it does. 

 

Being on uses up the life of the capacitors.

 

A simple google search and you will find a plethora of info on the subject.  This is a random one I just found

 

https://www.illinoiscapacitor.com/pdf/Papers/Life expectancy of Aluminum electrolytic capacitors.pdf

 

Operating conditions directly affect the life of an aluminum electrolytic capacitor. The ambient temperature has the largest effect on life. The relationship between life and temperature follows a chemical reaction formula called Arrhenius' Law of Chemical Activity. Simply put, the law says that life of a capacitor doubles for every 10 degree Celsius decrease in temperature (within limits).

Edited by March Audio

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10 minutes ago, March Audio said:

Simply put, the law says that life of a capacitor doubles for every 10 degree Celsius decrease in temperature (within limits).

The US military also studied this over many decades and came to the same conclusion. I have the paper somewhere on my server, but IIRC, I got it from Pete Millett's archive.

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1 minute ago, A9X said:

The US military also studied this over many decades and came to the same conclusion. I have the paper somewhere on my server, but IIRC, I got it from Pete Millett's archive.

Oh its nothing more than basic electronics design.  Go to any cap manufacturer and you will find data on cap life.

Edited by March Audio

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5 minutes ago, March Audio said:

Oh its nothing more than basic electronics design.  Go to any cap manufacturer and you will find data on cap life.

I'm quite aware of this, and it was first brought up to me when I was studying, and working for STC in the early 80's. I was merely backing up your point, with the fact that a large organisation, with a lot of very expensive electronics, actually studied this over decades and came to the same conclusion.

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21 minutes ago, A9X said:

I'm quite aware of this, and it was first brought up to me when I was studying, and working for STC in the early 80's. I was merely backing up your point, with the fact that a large organisation, with a lot of very expensive electronics, actually studied this over decades and came to the same conclusion.

Of course sorry if I implied anything else :)

 

I think what concerns me is that there is sometimes a lack of critical thinking in this hobby of audio electronics.  As mentioned earlier, an amp that changes its sound enough for a listener to notice due to temperature variations, is not actually a good design.  Its not thermally stable.  To me it puts amps that must be left on to obtain consistent sound quality in a different light; i.e. its not a good thing.

Edited by March Audio

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^^ I agree with you.

Don't worry, I'm not one of those easily offended types, unlike many around here.

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I leave mine on all the time. But it gets used daily, so would have to turn ON and OFF each day. I believe thermal degradation (repeated heat-up-cool down) of components shortens their life.

The only reasons to turn OFF are: 1) lengthen the life of electrolytic caps 2) cost of electricity.

I have solid state power amp (ME75) from 1985. It was (however) designed to remaiin ON 24/7.

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When I got my power amp I was advised to leave it on 24/7, which I did because it didn't have a power switch.  I was aware that it took time after being turned on to reach optimum quality.  15 years ago I was aware that electricity was getting more expensive, so I got a power switch installed.  Now I turn it on about an hour before use in order to enjoy it, it sounds horrible when first turned on.  I find it an inconvenience, but I live with it.  It's warming up now as I type. 

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My NVA amps are designed to be left on and have the power switch at the back. I only switch them off if I am away for some time.

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