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Keeping your Hi-fi switched on?

Charlie Jefferson

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2007
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Unfortunately I've moved into a house with a very sensitive RCD mains unit which trips regularly during the night. This means that at the end of each listening session I have to shut down my hi-fi and fire it up again the next day. Does anyone know whether this daily on/off routine is actually harming my equipment? Surely not, but I've read somewhere that daily on/offs add unduly to the wear & tear of internal components. Co-incidentally, I've tried various solutions to the tripping problem but so far to no avail.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'd get a sparky in to check it out but in the mean time I'd also invest in a good mains filter or UPS to look after your kit.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
In theory it is better to keep your HiFi switched on at all times. The procedure of switching on and off, and the following warming up and cooling down of electrical equipment may shorten its lifespan, but, imho, not that much. i've had hifi equipment that has been switched on and of for about 17 years, and it still work. It still is electrical equipment your talking about, so it might die any day, regardless of the cause. Personally, I think dust is the no. 1 killer when it comes to electronic equipment, I would worry less about switching it on or off to be frank.
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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Keep it green, that's me. 20 mins warm up time for a seroius listening session is should be more than enough unless you have a class A electronic which then you would need 30 mins.
 

Charlie Jefferson

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2007
229
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18,790
Thanks guys, for your comments.

Maybe my ears have been deceiving me but when I have left my hi-fi on 24/7, there did seem to be incremental improvements in sound. Now that I'm unable to leave it on all the time, my ears tell me things have deteriorated. Then again, that's probably just an aural illusion.

There's a whole oft-covered debate just waiting to happen here; regarding how we can truly quantify enhancements in sound. Like many people here I'm perpetually fascinated by the concept of "upgrading" my sound. My sceptical friend sometimes looks askance when I tell him about my latest tweak. Over the years he's had to listen to me raving about cables, interconnects, DACs, speaker & equipment stands, mains blocks et al. And to what end? Well obviously it's all about the music, or it should be. So there we sit, listening to current and past favourites (Pet Shop Boys via My Morning Jacket to Mozart). Whilst I'm certain things sound different and often "better", it's very difficult to be objective about the new audio emanating from my B&W's. And therein, I guess, lies the appeal and allure of this whole shooting match. The technical and the aesthetic bundled together.
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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[quote user="Charlie Jefferson"]Maybe my ears have been deceiving me but when I have left my hi-fi on 24/7, there did seem to be incremental improvements in sound.[/quote]

spot on!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If you have valves in your system their life can be shortened considerably by switching on and off although leaving a class A amp on prominently would be somewhat reckless - standby is a preferred option.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I switch mine off when I'm finished listening to it. It's not that hard, I have to reach round the back to switch the power amp off but it's no big deal. Waste of energy keeping it on.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="Charlie Jefferson"]Thanks guys, for your comments.

Maybe my ears have been deceiving me but when I have left my hi-fi on 24/7, there did seem to be incremental improvements in sound. Now that I'm unable to leave it on all the time, my ears tell me things have deteriorated.[/quote]

Could be your mind playing games. there may be a slight benefit to having the system warmed up prior to listening but seriously it isn't that big a deal and it's a waste of energy imo.
 

Anton90125

New member
Sep 1, 2007
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I agree with Thaiman. My Unison Research SR1 takes 20-30 mins to warm up. The sound starts out a bit toppy . But after 30 mins or so the SR1 are nicely singing. I always switch off the hifi off when I am finished. I do use a variac set at unity to clean up the mains. This makes a difference. I discoverd this "trick" from a number of hifi manufactures demonstrating their wares at a hifi show in London a number of years back.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Anton90125,

Interested in the variac thing, but I'm not sure how it could make a difference? Do you mean some kind of isolating transformer that has no physical connection between the primary and secondary?

cheers
 

Anton90125

New member
Sep 1, 2007
18
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[quote user="bloney"]
Hi Anton90125,

Interested in the variac thing, but I'm not sure how it could make a difference? Do you mean some kind of isolating transformer that has no physical connection between the primary and secondary?

cheers
[/quote]

Take a look at this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variac

. I went to a hifi show in the late 90's (I think it was a Hifi news R/R one) at a London hotal. My friends and me noticed that a lot of the hifi demonstrators (1/3 to 1/4 of them) where using mains through a variac. I ask one of them why and they said that this was the "poor mans" mains cleaner- or something like that. Naturally we were intrigued. One of my friends had a variac (from work building/ repairing valve amps) which we tried out. The most immediate improvement was the treble in that it was sweeter and cleaner. After listening for a while to get used to the "new sound", we again listened without the variac. The sound difference applied right across the audio band. Without the variac the sound was harsher. I got my variac from ebay for about £35. Best £35 I spent! If you go for one -aim for the larger- higher current ratings.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Aah, thanks for that - I also saw your reply to another post explaining that it's obviously a big inductor and so will attenuate the higher frequencies.

I'll see if I can borrow one from work and give it a try!

Thanks

bloney
 

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