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Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

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jm55

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:25 pm

Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Many electrical motors are negatively affected by repeated start ups and shut downs within a short span of time. In fact, some motors specify a maximum number of times a motor should be started in a given cycle.

Is there any similar warning for amplifiers? I am doing some bias readings, and am shutting the amp on and off frequently while I change probes. I want to make sure there is no harm done from this. Can anyone offer any insight?
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TNRabbit

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:41 pm

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Not sure what to tell you, but I WILL welcome you to the forum! :D
TNRabbit
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BillD

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:06 pm

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Well, the switch will eventually wear out. There is a power surge (inrush) when you turn the amp on, which can shorten component life. But, better safe than sorry. If you aren't sure if you're going someplace "hot", I'd turn it off for your own safety.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
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PeteW

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:57 pm

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Just make sure that you realize the filter caps will still hold lethal voltages even with amp turned off, so don't think you are safe to poke around anywhere in a tube amp safely just by unplugging it.
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Carver C-1 -> Soundcraftsmen MA5002A -> Martin Logan "The Sequel"
Also Onix XCD-99 -> Parasound TDQ-1600 -> Squeezebox Classic
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Dreamer

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Post Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:08 am

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Unless you bring your gear up to voltage on a variac, every time you turn it on, you are essentially slamming power into the circuit. You know when you suddenly open or close the valve on a sink in a far corner of your house, and the pipes knock? That is the water slamming in your pipes, and electricity does essentially the same thing in your gear every time you turn it on. Over the lifetime of a component, you probably do more damage to the power supply by cycling the unit on and off every day than by running it 24/7, at least if your power is clean and filtered. What is this going to do to your gear? Well, you may reduce it's lifespan by 5 or 10%, or more, if it's a high-current device.

I leave my gear on 24/7, unless I'm going out of town, or there is a storm, in which case I shut everything down and unplug the main power strips from the wall. No matter what a manufacturer tells you about their clamping speed, joule rating or whatever, the only SAFE component in a direct lightning strike is one that is not plugged in...

AndI do it for another reason. My amps and speakers take a while to sound "right" when they are first turned on. In my rig, it takes 2-4 hours for things to really sound "right" if they've been turned off for an extended period of time. Rather than worry about "warm up" or "burn in" or whatever you want to call it, I just leave my gear powered up all the time, that way it's ready to play whenever I'm ready to listen. And this is an all solid-state setup. If there were tubes involved, it can take several hours (or even days) for them to "come up to speed" after they've been turned off and cooled down.
.....HT Rig • Sony STR-DG600 Receiver • Carver M-500t • Sony BDP-S1 • Sony DVP-NS3100ES • Apple Airport Express •
..............................• Martin Logan Scenarios, Logos • Realistic Minimus 7's • Velodyne F-1500b •

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Rainman

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Post Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:52 am

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

Dreamer wrote:My amps and speakers take a while to sound "right" when they are first turned on. In my rig, it takes 2-4 hours for things to really sound "right" if they've been turned off for an extended period of time. If there were tubes involved, it can take several hours (or even days) for them to "come up to speed" after they've been turned off and cooled down.



Dreamer, first of all I would like to say, =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>!
That is such a true statement for many systems and yet there will be those who will not acknowledge that this is even possible. I was one of the naysayers at one time, but I was listening to a system that was so "un-musical" you could hook up my RTI's in phase or out of phase and it made NO difference! If phase changed little to nothing... I'll stick with my sparkomatic cables.....and now what is this guy smokin? Is he actually saying let it warm up?
A friend of mine was managing a store that sold Carver gear here in Michigan and he was told by the Carver reps to be sure to inform their customers that for optimum performance their Carver gear should be allowed time to "warm up" especially in winter time. Now that we are blessed with the system we have I can verify this to be 100% true!
Proof of this is easy. When powering up a new cell site radio after it's installed into the rack you let them run to settle down for a couple days before you try to tune them to within specs and put them online. If you tune them right away and do not allow them to settle they will never stay within specs and you will get an alarm call in the middle of the night to go take your new radio offline......
P.S. If it smells like burnt hot dogs, it got a little too warm!

Rainman
Question: Do you know why turds are tapered on the ends? Answer: So your asshole doesn't slam shut..

Carver- SDA490t, SDA450, 2 TFM45's, TFM15, CT23, CT28v, CT27v, Linn Kaber speakers, Sunfire crm2's, PS Audio Statement speaker cables and I/C's, A.P.C. power
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jm55

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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:47 am

Post Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:34 am

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

I am confused. I can now see the desire to power up slow, and assuming this is done, leaving the gear on all the time would seem to be racking up perhaps two to three times as much run time (for some of us) as shutting down. From what I understand, capacitors have a finite life span, and one would think that all those hours on while sleeping would ultimately have an effect that would offset the advantage of less power ups.
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BillD

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

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Post Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:05 pm

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

I think it's a waste of electricity. Still, it was in vogue in years past (and that's why several power amps don't have on/off switches — like my M-400, M-500 and C-500). In the late '90s it changed (see M-500t), and almost all power amps now have some way to power them off (or put them in standby). Getting more common are amps that power up when they receive a signal (subwoofers, especially).
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer
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treitz3

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"Julian"
"Julian"

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Post Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:21 pm

Re: Power up/down- is there a fatigue factor?

I leave my rig on all of the time because with the components I have it takes three days to sound the way it should. It may be a waste of electricity but it's a luxury to me to have Sparky [my rig] ready, willing and able to perform at her best at any given moment. The power I waste while I am not listening to her probably doesn't run more than 50 bucks or so a year. I guarantee you that I use more than that when I'm running her full steam for hours on end and I definitely do not consider that a waste, I consider it bliss.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

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