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View Full Version : Amp on 24/7



krita
2007-05-26, 14:02
I have my amp (http://www.marantz.com/new/index.cfm?fuseaction=Products.ArchProduct&cont=eu&bus=hf&type=amp&prod_id=119) switched on 24/7. Apart from contributing to global warming and to my electricity bill, is this harmful in any way? For the amp?

(I use my squeezebox as an alarm clock)

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-26, 15:02
Actually this is better for the amp - electronics usually fail at start-up. On/off cycles are hard due to component heating and cooling stresses plus power surges as components go from off to full power.

However, you could put the amp on a timer timed just before the Squeezebox alarm. Also if the amp has an IR input you could try an IR blaster.

mlsstl
2007-05-26, 15:07
Having the amp on 24/7 versus turning it off and on is like most things in the world. There are advantages and disadvantages for each, so pick your poison.

The advantage to 24/7 powering is the amp is always warmed up and ready to go. Some argue this gives the best sound quality. There is also the argument that the power-on surge when you first turn on a unit is tough on components and that you'll improve lifespan by leaving it on.

The advantages for turning off & on would include the power savings, along with the reduced exposure to power surges and spikes on your home's AC line. Why expose the amp to a hiccup on your power line when you are asleep or at work? Many would also argue that a well designed amp shouldn't have much exposure to failure during normal on/off powering and that the sonic benefits of leaving it continuously on are mostly in one's mind.

This assumes we are talking solid state equipment that remains relatively cool when quiescent. If you had tubes you'd probably want to power off when not in use since outputs tubes have a lifespan in the 2000 hour range. Same with with a pure Class A solid state amp that runs hot even at idle. (Heat is one of the biggest enemies of electronics.)

All power amps will need service at some point (the electrolytic caps in the power supply generally need replacement after 15 to 20 years or so) but that is not really a big on/off issue. In short, do what makes sense to you and don't worry about it.

peterw
2007-05-26, 15:29
Also if the amp has an IR input you could try an IR blaster.

And if it doesn't, and your player is a Squeezebox 2 or Squeezebox v3, you could build a relay for the AMP Switch (or do as another user recently has, and build an IR-controlled relay to work with IR Blaster). If your server has a serial port, you could use X-10 gear and my BottleRocket plugin (heavily tested in Linux, the latest betas have been lightly tested in Windows).

Another aesthetic trade-off is on/off noise -- relay open/close clicks from the AMPSwitch or X-10 gear (both turning on and turning off) and, for many amps, a turn-on thump from the speakers.

-Peter

killie99
2007-05-28, 00:58
Actually this is better for the amp - electronics usually fail at start-up. On/off cycles are hard due to component heating and cooling stresses plus power surges as components go from off to full power.

However, you could put the amp on a timer timed just before the Squeezebox alarm. Also if the amp has an IR input you could try an IR blaster.

Be careful, class A amps do not benefit from being on 24/7. Class A amps will run hotter under no load than they do when actually being used and as a result the components will degrade over time and eventually fail, just like my poor MF A1000 did when I left it on for a couple of years. When I returned it for repair and called to see what the prognosis was, the first thing the repair guy said was "you've left this thing powered on and not being used for long periods of time, haven't you?"
Mind you, that's not to say that it wouldn't have failed switching it on and off every time I used it either.

krita
2007-05-28, 02:06
Ok, mine does not do Class A amplification. I think I'll try to turn it off when I leave home. To save energy. But I'll keep leaving it powered on at night.

It's nice to have some radiostation to wake me up in the morning. Works a lot better than an alarm clock.

(I have a "traditional" alarm clock on as well, of course. Can't rely 100% on an alarm on SqueezeNetwork. Internet failure, server upgrades etc.)