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Leaving amplifier on and effect on speakers

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  • Leaving amplifier on and effect on speakers

    Hi All,

    I leave my amplifier always on (as recomended by the manufacturer) I wonder if this has any negative effect on my Harbeth speakers ( P3 esr) as recently suggested in an other audio forum.

    Grtz Fred

    {Moderator's comment: are you serious? What is being said?}

  • #2
    Amps on standby

    My personal experience - after reading from one of the forums I left my 1500 watter (with four 30000 uF capacitors )Amp ON for about three or four months. The electricity bill went up almost double but the sound was the same as leaving the Amp on for about 20 minutes.

    Newer amps need much shorter time to stabilize and perform optimally unless it is some power guzzling amp like mine. OTOH, if your amp comes with standby mode then I would suggest you leave them in the standby mode when not in use otherwise turn them OFF when not in use.

    There is always the danger of your drivers coil getting heated up if you leave the Amp ON all the time unless it is in the standby mode.


    ST

    {Moderator's current: if there is no music playing, there is really no current flowing. So the voice coils should not heat up.}

    Comment


    • #3
      No damage

      Like to moderator says: no sound = no damage! Unless there is some SERIOUS DC on the output of the amp, the speaker will not wear at all from only the miniscule amount of noise (in the mV range at most) generated by the amplifier.

      Comment


      • #4
        Amps and failure

        Gentlemen,

        No there is no standby switch on this gear neither on the amplifier, or the cd player. It"s either on or off, there is no alternative.

        In the forum I spoke about it's said that it is best to shut the amplifier down with the remark and I quote " The boxes will love you for it" Without any further explanation why

        Greets Fred

        {Moderator's comment: then 'the boxes will love you for it' must be true if its on another forum - right? They WILL love you for it when the amp goes DC ..... but for no other sonic reason.}

        Comment


        • #5
          Environment and power consumption

          In this case, I guess they meant 'doosjes' instead of 'boxen'. In other words, the electronic equipment (=NAIM components) will love you for it.

          I do not agree with this however, as your Naim equipment is supposed to stay on, that is how the manufacturer recommends it. Turn it completely off when you are away for a longer period, say more than a few days. If you value the environment above all else, by all means have the equipment turned off as much as possible...

          Comment


          • #6
            Resting your weary audio gear

            I have found the topic in question:

            http://forums.naimaudio.com/displayF...04822880147737

            What is meant is really this: switching of Naim equipment once in a while (so for example one night every month) will do good for the sound quality of the components (no explanation is given). It has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the speakers. In English, 'boxes' doesn't mean 'boxen'! So the sentence means: Your Naim equipment will love you for it.

            {Moderator's comment: Get away. Is anyone sufficiently gullible to actually believe that twaddle? It is so obviously a tongue in cheek joke dreamed up over a few beers.}

            Comment


            • #7
              Component failure = $$$$$$ !

              They will love you for it when components fail and it has to be replaced.

              Miller Audio measures amplifier distortion over time and leaving it on does not make a significant difference. If there are it indicates incompetent design.

              How would people feel if Sony tells us we have to leave our TV's on so the colours will be richer. Absolutely ludicrous.

              Comment


              • #8
                Solid state electronics and warm-up/burn in (capacitors and fire)

                Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                They will love you for it when components fail and it has to be replaced.

                Miller Audio measures amplifier distortion over time and leaving it on does not make a significant difference. If there are it indicates incompetent design.

                How would people feel if Sony tells us we have to leave our TV's on so the colours will be richer. Absolutely ludicrous.
                Absolutely. Another heap of utter BS that has grown legs and meanders freely through audio forums concerns the 'improvement' in the sound of solid state electronics after a period of x hours to 'burn-in'. It is pure and utter fantasy. There is no electronic component in solid state electronic systems that can be 'improved' with age. The opposite is true. The electrons in your amplifier formed during the Big Bang, behaved the same then as now. And will continue to do so into the far future.

                The sonic performance of the amp will be the same the instant it is switched-on in the factory for primary QC test, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year or hopefully ten years after it was made whether or not it is occasionally powered-on for use. The only components that are vulnerable to age are those fabricated from a moist chemical brew such as the power supply electrolytic reservoir capacitors, and these do have a working life clearly specified by the manufacturers. That working life is related to many factors including but not limited to -
                • Operating ambient temperature as this will cook the capacitor's chemistry
                • Current being drawn (how 'hard' the capacitor is working)
                • Chemical stability of the internal mixture
                • Quality of the sealing of the can to hold-in the chemicals and minimise evaporation
                • Basic electro-chemical design; is the item genuine and the product of proper design/QC or a forgery*
                • Voltage across the capacitor
                • Physical size
                • Colour of the case (ok, kidding: totally irrelevant)

                Now, the fact is that the working life of the capacitor is related to its powered life. Sitting on the shelf in the cool store room, unpowered, unworked, assuming that the case sealing is good, the useful shelf life will far exceed it's operational, powered life. This implies that to extend the life of your solid state electronics it should be completely turned-off when not in use. Not standby mode (where the PSU is obviously still charged up and working) but fully off.

                Look here at a good quality typical PSU capacitor of the type that would be found in an audio power amplifier (at least two needed): Panasonic 10,000u 63v can type. About half way down the page you'll see Lifetime .... 2000 hours. or this one, lifetime 3000 hours. I haven't read the small print about the definition of 'lifetime', but whatever it is, there are 8760 hours in a year (24 x 365), so a 'lifetime' of 2000 hours equates to a fraction of a year, if worked continuously. These 'wet' components are the only ones that can degrade in a solid-state system, and they certainly cannot ever improve with age - never. Like cooking a steak, as an electrolytic capacitor gently cooks under load the moistness progressively evaporates as it passes from rare to well done over 2000 hours or so.

                Like so much of the regurgitated twaddle that one encounters in many walks of life, the truth is often the opposite of the urban myth. It is extremely frustrating that the voice of objective, rationalism (aka engineering) is buried under layer upon layer of misinformed chit-chat. How man ever amassed enough pragmatism to build churches that have stood for 1000 years considering the almost total lack of objectivity and reasonable scepticism nowadays is truly a miracle.

                We've looked at (typically blue cased) electrolytic capacitors which are the cheapest and least durable type of high-value capacitors yet are widely used in loudspeaker crossovers for very low cost/small size reasons - here

                Another factor to consider is fire. Any powered equipment is a fire hazard with a continuous supply of fuel.

                *If you want something to really worry about, be aware that there is an increasing number of fake PSU capacitors in circulation. The situation is now so endemic that European audio electronic makers have had to import amps OEM manufactured in China, one by one open them in Europe, disassemble the PSU circuit, unsolder and replace the PSU capacitors with genuine originals and reassemble and test. Imagine having to repeat that 1000 times. And the unexpected cost at tens of thousands of pounds just to minimise a flood of Warranty claims a week or two into the amp's life when the short life expectancy of the fake components is reached. And hopefully before they self-ignite.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Current vs Temperature

                  Speaking from my personal experience, my previous subwoofers amp developed a slight hum after leaving it off for about a year. The CD players lens died and one of the remote control for my DVD player stopped working. Most electronics equipments malfunction if not in use for a very long time.

                  Ideally, electronics should perform at the best at normal room temperature. However, in reality large capacitors and power supply produce heat which in turn affects the voltage across the circuit board. As heat increases the resistance of the cooper rises too which will affect the current.

                  The immediate measurable difference can be seen is when you measure the quiescent bias current which will increase with the rise of the temperature. Usually after 10 or 15 minutes the amplifiers temperature rise will stabilize and that's when you measure your bias current and set according to the manufacturer's specs.

                  The bottom line is temperature does affect electricity conductivity. So the best way to have a consistent performance is when the actual working temperature stabilizes. This is not much a problem with little heat dissipating amplifier.

                  Can you hear the difference of 10% difference in the quiescent bias current before and after the warm up is another question but to say amplifiers performance is exactly the same irrespective of the internal temperature is not quite correct, IMO.


                  ST

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Solid state stability

                    Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
                    The immediate measurable difference can be seen is when you measure the quiescent bias current which will increase with the rise of the temperature. Usually after 10 or 15 minutes the amplifiers temperature rise will stabilize and that's when you measure your bias current and set according to the manufacturer's specs.
                    A solid state amplifier which is not entirely stable within a minute or two of switch-on is either faulty or a poor design.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Psychacoustics - how your mood effects sound

                      Same amp design sound too unnatural that you need to adjust your ear or better word "believe" it is the correct sound. By asking user to keep the amp on 24/7 for ensure fully warm-up and optimal operation condition is a trick to user to think "My amp is in best sounding" because it is turned on 24/7!

                      I have a friend keep is amp (So called class A 750w) in standby mood 24/7 and in cost of additional 100 bill. Before he switched it in standby mood was in "On" mood 24/7 and cost additional 200 bill.

                      In fact, it is your mood that affect the sound you heard but nothing is related to the 24/7 switch on time. When I need music, I can enjoying by turn on my amp from cold and enjoying the music from the 1st second. It is like listen music at night. plenty of them said that sound getting nicer and nicer is because everybody is sleepping and the electrical power is stronger, steadier, cleaner without aware that is due to quieter background and your relaxed mood which let you carry-on...
                      "Bath with Music"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What to believe?

                        Gentleman,

                        So if Naim recommends to leave the amplifier on 24/7 (for what ever reason) the conclusion is that Naim makes amplifiers with a faulty or a poor design. Find that hard to believe to be honest.

                        Grtz

                        Fred

                        {Moderator's comment: OK, you choose what you want to believe.}

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't believe it

                          Moderator,

                          A It"s just that I don"t believe that!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Stability in electro-chemical-mechanical systems - and engineering/marketing talk

                            Originally posted by fred40 View Post
                            Gentleman,

                            So if Naim recommends to leave the amplifier on 24/7 (for what ever reason) the conclusion is that Naim makes amplifiers with a faulty or a poor design. Find that hard to believe to be honest. Grtz
                            With due respect that's not a satisfactory conclusion to draw. First, we all know that Naim have a reputation for making highly respected products. We also hear that there are certain charming quirks of Naim products/marketing/personnel which make them stand-out in a market awash with competitive products.

                            Talking generally about brand marketing and not about any one product or brand, commercially successful brands have a nurtured personality, a certain style, and the way they lead opinion is all part of the mystique. Steve Jobbs at Apple, Sir Richard Branson at Virgin, Lord Sugar at Amstrad, Enrico Ferrari, Rupert Murdoch at NewsCorp. and so on. What we are discussing here is separating the marketing speak from the technical reality since they must both co-exist in any modern, successful brand. Every statement, every utterance, every point of contact with the trade and the public that starts out as a pure engineering issues is inevitably filtered trough the marketing/PR department and given the appropriate spin to meet commercial imperatives. I don't need to spell that out - surely it's blindingly obvious that how successful business works.

                            The issue here is to decode every bold statement emanating from the marketing department relating to a manufactured product and ask yourself what is the proportion of 'spin' to engineering fact? 70% some sort of engineering reality 30% marketing talk? 70% marketing talk (just to create a product differentiation - essential for sales) and 30% engineering? That you have to decide based on common sense, and an awareness of the engineering issues (or non-issues). But this presumes a certain basic, at least high school understanding of what is going on under the hood. If you do not have the luxury of that fundamental knowledge of electro-magnetism, then you may be able to fall back on your later life skills as a business, communicator or marketing person to sniff-out a good marketing tale when you see it. If you don't have either the high school knowledge or the marketeers insight then you can fall back on natural suspicion and your starting gambit should always be 'I'm going to assume that's someone's marketing spin until I investigate further amongst people who actually know about the subject...'. We've laid this issue out in black and white here.

                            Returning to the specifics of this thread - Pluto accurately stated ...

                            A solid state amplifier which is not entirely stable within a minute or two of switch-on is either faulty or a poor design.
                            He is absolutely correct about this. For a man-made system (electrical, chemical, mechanical) to be stable such that it can and will respond appropriately to an input stimuli with the correct output stimuli, there must be only a short time for it to reach operational temperature (a real, measurable, predictable fact) and then it must hold steady in that stable condition forever, or until one part of it fails. If there are any time lags in system such that perfect operational functionality is only possible after a prolonged lag from start-up then, as Pluto says, it fails the first hurdle of being a stable system. If, when you turn the steering wheel of your car there iss a 20 minute lag before the road wheels responded, the car would be by definition, so unstable and unresponsive as a mechanical system that it would be useless.

                            The same with amplifiers: as they have to trace every microtonal nuance in fast moving music, there cannot be a time lag inside; it must be stable within seconds of power-on or it cannot be defined as a high-fidelity system. Just like a wrist watch, stability and absence of drift are pre-requisites for the basic function; the same is true of audio equipment.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Amplifier stability

                              Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
                              Same amp design sound too unnatural that you need to adjust your ear or better word "believe" it is the correct sound. By asking user to keep the amp on 24/7 for ensure fully warm-up and optimal operation condition is a trick to user to think "My amp is in best sounding" because it is turned on 24/7! ........
                              Electronics equipment lasts longer with less turning off and and restart because it adds stress to them. A standard Philips bulb suppose to last 36000 hours but the manufacturer clearly states that frequent "ON" and "OFF" shortened the life span. I cannot find the specs for the good old filament type bulb but clearly remember the same caveat applied to them as well. Common sense tells us that heat cause things to expand. So if you keep on changing the internal temperature of an Amplifier by about 20 Celsius frequently by turning them on and off you are creating stress to the various parts in the amplifier. It could be the solder joints or the transistors emitters and things like that.


                              Originally posted by Pluto View Post
                              A solid state amplifier which is not entirely stable within a minute or two of switch-on is either faulty or a poor design.
                              At least you concede that it requires a little bit warming up, thanks. So there must be something happening within the one or two minutes warm up time.


                              Originally posted by fred40 View Post
                              Gentleman,

                              So if Naim recommends to leave the amplifier on 24/7 (for what ever reason) the conclusion is that Naim makes amplifiers with a faulty or a poor design. Find that hard to believe to be honest.........
                              Honestly, a perfect amplifier should function the same irrespective the warm up time. You dont expect a Fluke Multimeter to warm up first before taking a measurement right? However, the reality is heat causes changes and amplifiers do heat up considerably.

                              Naim is not alone in recommending warm-up time or in this leaving them on 24/7. As far as I know Krell, Bryston, Classe, Arcam, Parasound and Denon do recommend a minimum warm-up time. They all being honest in their own context. Surely, you cannot expect them to say that their design is still far from perfect. Perhaps you can direct the question to Naim asking them what changes takes place by leaving their Amp 24/7.

                              And if you are still so curious about heat and its effects, the next time when you listen to music do you notice yourself gradually increasing the volume about 3 or so dB after 1/2 hour of music? Is it because you ears becoming dull or the speakers loudness gets reduced after sometime?

                              ST

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