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Leave your amp on all the time?

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
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18,895
I've read that amps perform best after they have warmed up which can take 15 or 20 minutes. I've also read that the on/off cycle is the most traumatic event for the amplifier and shortens the amps life. Therefore, it might be prudent to never turn it off. Anybody out there leave their amp on all the time? Good idea? Bad idea?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
jaxwired:I've read that amps perform best after they have warmed up which can take 15 or 20 minutes. I've also read that the on/off cycle is the most traumatic event for the amplifier and shortens the amps life. Therefore, it might be prudent to never turn it off. Anybody out there leave their amp on all the time? Good idea? Bad idea?

I leave my Cyrus 8vs2 amp on all the time - in standby when not being used.

Good idea for the amp - bad idea for the environment and the lecky bill.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
At approx 10 pence per unit, one watt on standby costs you one pound per year and about 4.7kgs of CO2 emissions
 

jase fox

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Apr 24, 2008
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Load of rubbish ! Its simple just do what i do & switch your amp on 20mins before you use it.

If amps were going through to much stress with switching on & off then the manufacturers would design them were you dont have to turn them off etc

And there would be a warning in the manual telling you its best to leave it on for longer life & so on.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Because of course, manufacturers don't want their kit to ever wear out. Heaven help them if one day your capacitors went pop and you contemplated buying new kit.

Come on. Of course kit doesn't last forever, and it's not in any manufacturers best interest to design it to never ever fail. But having said that, think of the energy consumption in never turning it off. What kind of message does that send out to everyone trying to cut the planet's carbon emissions. Audiophiles or not, they'll soon be listening to the sound of caves as we retreat back to prehistoric times with a crushed ecosystem.

Most of you are reasonably technologically inclined, which suggests to me that you should be able to rationalise the cummulative damage we're doing to the planet. In simple terms, in 100 years we've burnt 100million years of photosynthetic production (which became oil) this is too rapid for the planet to adjust too. Hence we're poisoning it. Quite quickly. Any audiophile who prefers his warm amp (while he's no-where near it) to a habitable planet, probably needs to re-adjust his priorities a bit. In my honest opinion. (Nothing wrong with NAD!)
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,039
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If you leave a valve amp on all the time then the life of the valves is reduced. Vales have a life expectancy, usually around 5000 hours. But switching it on and off regularly also affects the life expectancy due to the stresses caused. So the recommendation is to compromise and switch on and off as little as possible, but do not leave it on overnight etc. That seems like the best compromise for all amps. Otherwise as jase said there would be a standy mode or similar.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Cyrus User Instructions Manual Page 3:

"The mains power switch should be left on for normal operation, except when left unattended for a long period".

I cant say whether this is good or bad advice but its there in black & white.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
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18,895
Will Harris:Because of course, manufacturers don't want their kit to ever wear out. Heaven help them if one day your capacitors went pop and you contemplated buying new kit. Come on. Of course kit doesn't last forever, and it's not in any manufacturers best interest to design it to never ever fail. But having said that, think of the energy consumption in never turning it off. What kind of message does that send out to everyone trying to cut the planet's carbon emissions. Audiophiles or not, they'll soon be listening to the sound of caves as we retreat back to prehistoric times with a crushed ecosystem. Most of you are reasonably technologically inclined, which suggests to me that you should be able to rationalise the cummulative damage we're doing to the planet. In simple terms, in 100 years we've burnt 100million years of photosynthetic production (which became oil) this is too rapid for the planet to adjust too. Hence we're poisoning it. Quite quickly. Any audiophile who prefers his warm amp (while he's no-where near it) to a habitable planet, probably needs to re-adjust his priorities a bit. In my honest opinion. (Nothing wrong with NAD!)

All we have to do is switch to nuclear energy which is very clean and safe and produces no carbon emissions. 1 nuclear plant is equal to 64 square miles of windmills (obviously completely impractical). The nuclear waste produced by a family of 4 using nuclear energy for a lifetime fits in a single coffee can. And they continue to improve it! YET, environmentalist contiue to oppose nuclear energy for non-scientific, myth based emotional reasons.

However, I do agree that we should not waste energy and it does offend my sense of propriety to leave my amp on continuously.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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chebby:

Of course there is also the issue of longevity and residual/second-hand values. If an item is still usable and 'desirable' and saleable after 20 years (and still supported by the manufacturer) then that is ideal. It is unlikely to ever end up on a municipal tip and everyone who ends up buying it during it's life is not causing a new component to be manufactured. (Manufacture is probably where the biggest slice of energy is used.)

So what is you nomination for the 'Volvo' of the hifi world? I have had Arcam break down, Rega not that well put together, but reliability and good to excellent build quality from Musical Fidelity.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The Technics I currently have plugged in sounded better after being left on for a few hours but no way would I leave amps switched on all night. Call it meanness or greenness I don't care.....

I am not an expert in electronics physics but can accept that maybe components may need running in but once run in should only need warming up for a short while to be their best.

The only amp I ever left on all night was an old mono valve amp I had when I was 16, there was no heating in my bedroom and it kept me warm
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,039
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letsannoytheneighbours: The only amp I ever left on all night was an old mono valve amp I had when I was 16, there was no heating in my bedroom and it kept me warm


You must have lead a hard life!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
chebby:
Maybe we need the hifi magazines (and WHF especially as the one with the most 'reach') to take a lead on the energy issue and award 'green' points (5 leaf award?) to reviewed items based on energy consumption.

Great idea

A simple badge for sub 1W on standby would be enough and simple to decide upon.

Many devices are aiming for this as a baseline
 

jase fox

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2008
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jaxwired:jase, you need some more equipment in your bio...
Yes your right i do, at this rate people will think i dont have much hehe
 

Tonya

Well-known member
Sep 9, 2008
56
1
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Green issues aside, from a purely technical point of view, professional equipment in recording studios, broadcast enviroments, etc, is never turned off. In fact the real pro stuff does not have an on/off switch and are even UPS powered in case of mains failure.
Damage can easily be caused by current surges when powering up and it's common knowledge that it takes a good while for high end equipment to become completely stable.
I'm sure you've all heard stories of someone's basement lightbulb lasting several years because it's always left on, as the filament inside is not damaged by the repeated expansion and contraction caused by the warming and cooling. When powering up, even home equipment cases a temporary surge in current, well excessive to what is normally used, which does eventually break down the chemical properties of internal capacitors and resistors, all of which contribute to an early electronic death of said unit.

As for the pollution/enviroment thing, I don't have the figures, but I'm sure it would cost a lot less and pollute less to keep an amplifier powered all year than it would to jump in the car and go for a drive for a few hours. But as someone pointed out correctly, when going on holiday or such, all electrical equipment should not just be turned off, but disconnected from the wall socket for safety reasons.
 

jase fox

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2008
212
0
18,790
I used to own a Yamaha DSP A1 amplifier, i had it for nearly 7yrs & i used to turn that on & off so you can imagine how many times that happened in all that time i had it, but never had any issues with it whatsoever.

Its also down to how good the product is as well, how well made it is etc

And like Will Harris mentioned that nothing lasts forever & nowadays if anyone else is like me i dont tend to have my amps for years now anyway as i upgrade after around 3yrs minimum so i dont allow them time to fail. I suppose theres no need to have to upgrade but hey, im addicted & i sure love to open boxes with sparkling brand new kit !! (wink)
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Had my amp going on for 8 years now, typically left on all day, I listen to a lot of music now I'm at home, but gets switched off when going to bed and when we go out.

Like an earlier poster (Chebby?) I'm from the era that was regularly advised by the BBC announcer, when the station was about to close down at the end of the day, to turn off and unplug all the electricals before going to bed. Good advice IMO given we had such an incident in the kitchen a week or two back.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yes. I tell you, the licence fee's a godsend in our house.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Purely in power consumption terms, more energy is used by powering off and on than anything else, however it is too expensive to simply leave things on all the time and I also take the point about the transformer will only last x amount of hours, not a good idea to hurry it's demise. I also agree that though that it does take at least 20 mins for the amp to sound right, initially if it has been turned off all night, if you immediately switch it on and play something, it does sound cold.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
jaxwired:All we have to do is switch to nuclear energy which is very clean and safe and produces no carbon emissions. 1 nuclear plant is equal to 64 square miles of windmills (obviously completely impractical). The nuclear waste produced by a family of 4 using nuclear energy for a lifetime fits in a single coffee can. And they continue to improve it! YET, environmentalist contiue to oppose nuclear energy for non-scientific, myth based emotional reasons.

Ok, I'll take the bait.

Firstly, nuclear energy cannot be said to be safe. Granted when all everything works as it should, everything is rosy. However, when things go wrong the effects are devastating, as anyone who has spent time or knows people from parts of the former Soviet Union will attest. And it IS a question of when, rather than if, things go wrong. The brief history of nuclear energy provides inarguable evidence for this.

Secondly, it cannot said to be clean. The relatively small volume of waste produced is lethal, and will remain so long after our generation has gone. The effectiveness of current and past storage solutions are measured in decades or centuries, rather than the thousands of years for which the waste will be hazardous. It's a bit like opening the Great Pyramid of Giza and dying of waste produced by the ancient Egyptians - that's the kind of mind-numbing timescales that people are playing with.

I am no green crusader, this is just my tuppence worth.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I wonder if the same people who jump up and down over electronics and people and carbon, are the same apathetic people who couldn't care less about wars, if so, i find this very ironic because the worlds biggest polluter is the u.s army, of course the british army is probably pushing for pole position to
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Aargh I hate these topics!

Firstly, you can't cite Chernobyl as an argument against nuclear. It went up because some idiots decided to see what would happen if all the safety protection devices were turned off. I don't see that happening again - modern plants are designed so that this is impossible.

Secondly, the thing that usually kills hi-fi is capacitor failure. Capacitor life is measured in hours of continuous use - most products are designed for no more than 5 years continuous and even that is hard. The more you leave the hi-fi on the more hours are added to the clock. You wouldn't leave your car ticking over on your drive overnight simply to avoid stressing the engine by starting it every day would you?

Bottom line is at least turn the stuff off at night!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hifi test monkey:Aargh I hate these topics!
Yes, but you, like I, just cannot resist!
Hifi test monkey:you can't cite Chernobyl as an argument against nuclear.
Oh I think you can.
Hifi test monkey:It went up because some idiots decided to see what would happen if all the safety protection devices were turned off. I don't see that happening again - modern plants are designed so that this is impossible.
Sure. Let me tell you a story about this ship. It was called the Titanic, and...

The main variable is human error, and indeed human nature. Technology is fairly impotent in the face of these factors.
 

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