Hi all, i'm a beginner. just setup my first audio system yesterday.
should I leave the amp/cd player power on when they are not in use?
There may not be a clear answer to your question. There are a few things to consider. Some people believe leaving the gear on causes less thermal stress on the parts. Power surging through transistors and resistors with every power on and off may cause wear and tear. Some CD players have their lasers on all the time, some turn the laser off when idle. If your player is of the variety that leaves the laser burning all the time, you might shorten the laser's life by a few years leaving it powered up 24/7.
I find gear sounds best where always powered up and I also find that cables need to have signal running through them constantly to keep the dielectric/insulation charged up so that cable burn in doesn't need to be repeated (but, that's a whole other can of worms.)
I'd say, if you listen to your system daily, you may as well keep it fired up. If you'll be away from the system longer than several days or a week, shut it down.
I agree with Jeff. We are talking about solid state stuff, right?
I leave my gear on 24/7 and have my tuner on at low levels when I'm not listening. It's probably around the equivalent of leaving a 60 watt light on as far as current demand.
I'm also with Jeff.
The integrated, always on.
The CD, depending on what he mentioned.
Heck, with the turnaround we are seeing in digital systems, you may even opt for a "who cares" on longevity and go with the always on format for the CD player, too!
i have 1)ARCAM CD73, 2)ARCAM A80 amplifier 3) B&W 603 S3.
so, i leave 1) amplifier on unless i will not use it for next few days;2) turn off CD player at night;
I think that the benefits of leaving your amp on would be greater than the cd player.
I recall your previous threads while putting this system together. Your system should sound really nice and continue to improve for the first week or so as the components and cable settle. I hope you have considered the importance of speaker placement in achieving all that your system has to offer. It really is the difference between nice sound and thrilling-goose bump sound.
thanx for remembering it, Monty.
Just got the delivery on tuesday. The audio engineer came to my house and did the tuning. I assume he has more experience than me on placement. So I let him did all the stuff.
but i guess i have to know how to do the placement. any webpage that you recommend for me to learn? or any tips from audio expert?
There are some basics that will help you position your speakers in spots that will excite the least number of room nodes where frequencies begin to stack up and add unwanted emphasis.
Measure the length and width of your room to the inch. Divide those totals with odd numbers under 10. Draw a rectangle and note the various measurements on the paper. Where the lines intersect will be good starting points to try. Start with thirds, then fifths and so on.
Yes, I remember the threads and am happy for you and your new adventure. For the first week, I would go ahead and leave the CD player and amp on 24/7. You can put in a disc and hit repeat for those times when you and your wife are away from home and I would turn up the volume to a level that is loud enough to give the speakers a work-out without disturbing the neighbors, but any current is better than none. This will let all your components and cable settle faster.
After a week, everything should be at or near 90% of performance and you can experiment with positioning the speakers. A good starting point while you are letting everything settle would be about 7ft apart and 3ft away from the front wall.
Jeff's suggestion is a good one after everything has settled down...or even now for that matter. I'm just thinking that the sound is going to be changing for 150 hours or so and you might find it useful to experiment even more after a week.
In general, moving the speakers further apart increases the sense of spaciousness and soundstaging width. Moving them away from the front wall can result in less boomy base...closer can increase the bass. Toe-in, or aiming the drivers toward the listening position can reduce soundstage width, but often times will give better imaging where vocals and instruments seem to have distinct positions before you.
This is just an example of things to listen for and each speaker and room will have characteristics that have to be balanced against each other...not to mention practicality and wife approval.
Keep an open mind for the first week and give a shout as to how things are going. You have good stuff.
Why we need initial 150 hour + to settle the equipments and cables? thanx.
Assuming all the gear is new, including the cables, you have different things going on with each component. Some will relate to thermal settling, the cables and interconnects will relate to dielectric stabilization and the speakers have a combination of several things.
As controversial as this seems, the cables are probably going to be the last things that stabilize and stand to benefit most from continuous current. This is a very controversial topic and there are several threads regarding the science behind cables that would be a good read.
If you are wondering where that wide, expansive soundstage, deep, tight bass, pinpoint imaging and extended treble that you heard in the dealer's room went, well, I would suggest that it is waiting for the cable's to stabilize and the only way to do that is with continuous current. After a week of juice, they will maintain stability without continuous current...at least for a few weeks of no current.
In general, I would say the electronics should be 90% after 48 hours, the speakers 90% after 100 hours and the cables 90% after 150 hours. If you can accept my premise, then figure out how many weeks it would take for all the components and cable to start performing at a high level if you only played music for 3 or 4 hours a day as opposed to letting everything burn-in and settle.
There is another upside to this. Most faulty electronics will bite the dust during the first 100 hours as opposed to the next several thousand hours. If your are to experience problems, it will likely be during the burn period, though not because of the burn period.
I'm sure it's hard to buy into this...I was way skeptical until I had messed around in the hobby enough to have had my jaw hit the floor a few times.
Glen... my fear is the explanation will have trolls coming out from all nooks and crannies and we'll end up with yet another pointless cable debate. But, it seems unfair to leave you hanging.
I'll offer a relatively short version as I understand it: The insulation in a cable or capacitor stores an out of phase version of the signal. An insulation with a low dielectric constant (a good thing) such as Teflon (rated around 2.1, a vacuum being 1.0) dumps this out of phase signal back into the wire more quickly than an insulation like PVC (a dielectric constant of 3.6 to 4.0.) The quicker this dumping, the less audible the distortion. The longer it takes, the more smearing of the sound, or less clarity in the music you'll hear. When you run a signal through your cables, the insulation is charging up. I guess you might say it's saturating and by having it full, you'll get a quicker response. Many cables take a long time to fully charge up and it has been noted that this can take hundreds of hours. This is why Monty suggests at least 150 hours, conservatively. I suspect this charging effect may be why some of these new cables with batteries may actually offer a difference in sound. Not having heard them firsthand with and without, I don't know.
Many people use burn in and break in interchangeably, but, I would say there is a distinction and that break in is a mechanical effect, like the surrounds in drivers softening up. Burn in has little to do with the metal as many cable agnostics like to bring up - burn in has far more to do with the insulation.
Monty, would you care to go into a more detailed explanation of dielectric and the wonders of burn in regarding cables and capacitors?
Oops! I see Monty has replied while I was composing my message.
thanx a lot. I just would like to know why i'm doing this now.and of course, to explain to my wife why i play music 24/7...