When do you power up your system? When do you leave it off?

When do you power up your system? When do you leave it off?
Always on, 24 hours a day
20% (64 votes)
On during the day, off at night
6% (18 votes)
On only when listening to music
32% (101 votes)
Some components are always on, others only for listening sessions
38% (118 votes)
4% (12 votes)
Total votes: 313

This week's <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com/soapbox.shtml">Soapbox</A> has Martin Bruczkowski pondering how much power is being wasted by audiophiles who leave large systems on 24/7. What are <I>your</I> power habits?

Simon Ng's picture

But even then, I warm the amp up for half-an-hour before serious listening sessions.

Steve Williams's picture

I have it on when I listen. There isn't any reason for it to be on other times.

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

I have a ritual of turning everything off before going to sleep and "booting" the whole system after getting up in the morning. Of course, I would much rather leave everything on all the time, but that would cost me an extra $1000 a year in power bills. For $1000 I prefer to buy lots of records, or perhaps another PS Audio Power Plant P300, or one of those new upsampling DACs . . .

Christopher's picture

My equipment is always ready and willing . . .

joe's picture

i dont know how much it costs, but its warm in my room when its 0 degrees!

Graeme N's picture

I use valves and they get too hot, and really heat up teh room, which makes it way too hot in summer.

Steven Miller's picture

I find Martin's comments quite alarming. Given the emphasis on power efficiency (in Europe) of household products such as refrigerator-freezers and "leisure" products such as PCs, maybe it is time that we started looking at how much high-end audio is costing in real terms. I will be upgrading shortly to a new home cinema setup based around the Rotel 1095 power amp, and, given my normal regime of keeping my system constantly powered up, I may have to think again. I love nothing better than coming home, popping on a CD, and relaxing. Do I want to wait three hours until my equipment has powered up? I recently read some Mark Levinson specs for the beautiful No.334 power amp, and they seem to have it sorted (to some extent), providing the possible buyer with power-consumption information for "Standby" and "in use" modes. Martin's suggestion that reviewers should emphasize the electrical "efficiency" of new equipment is an excellent idea. I mean, these days, the efficiency of speakers can become a major player in the selection of both amps and speakers. Why should the power input be overshadowed by the power output?

G Common's picture

CD and amps on

Todd R's picture

My solid state amp stays on all the time, but the tubed pre-amp is only turned on when listening to music.

Paul's picture

Class A amp - I just warm it for 10-15 minutes ahead of time.

K.  Foutter's picture

Electricity bill be damned. That amp has got to be warm for optimal listening.

Douglas Frost's picture

I have a Krell KAV-300i partnered with a KAV-250cd, which both have "Standby" modes. I haven't tried leaving them on all the time, but they still sound fantastic anyway. The best improvement I have made recently is to add a balanced power supply by Peach Audio (Sydney, Australia). The results have been incredible!

Brad - Atlanta's picture

The tubed stuff is tunred on about a half hour before listening, but the ss stuff stays on. Forever.

Thad Aerts, thad6000@hotmail.co's picture

I pretty much turn it on 10 or 15 minutes before I sit down to listen, and turn it off when I know I'm completely done, at least for a couple of hours. I would prefer to leave it on most of the time, but I have two reasons for not doing so. One, my preamp and amp are tubed, and I don't want them to burn out any sooner then they have to. Second, because they are tubed, my wife is convinced that the second I leave them unattended they will burst into flames, so I couldn't leave them on even if I wanted to.

Gustaf Orest's picture

Solid state components always on Vacuum tube components on during day

JOECOOL's picture


Anonymous's picture

I am currently upgrading my equipment and have recently purchased a new solid state power amp - that stays on all the time unless I am away from home more than two days. The rest of my components stay off. My next purchase will probably be a tube pre-amp and that too will stay on at all times!

Marc Sindell's picture

I sleep in the same room as my system, and I find the glow of my receiver's display too bright to leave on at night.

deletraz@bluewin.ch's picture

As I use a tube pramp and my amp doesn't require more than 5 minutes' warming, I switch them on a few minutes before listening. And if the sound even improves later, why should I complain? Just remember that some gear is very power-hungry. A tubed preamp like the SFL-2 draws 160W from the socket! Watch your electricity bill!

Willis Greenstreet's picture

Because I am retired, I listen at least once a day, and quite often several times a day. I tend to turn off the tube items unless I know that I will be using them again in an hour or so. I really hate to use the electricity, but it takes too long to get some of them back up to listening levels.

Karl R., U.T.  Film Dept., Austin's picture

My DAC and a few other items must be on 24 hours a day for the best sound, and because you can't turn them off without unplugging them. The rest of my stuff is off when not in use. Also, thanks to the wonders of macros and four NoiseTrappers linked together, one button on our remote turns everything on or off.

Chris S.'s picture

My front-channel speakers and my subs have built-in amps. I leave them powered up 24/7/365. I leave everything else off until I need it. The dimming of the lights when the system starts drawing power from the wall is part of the listening experience for me.

Bob Bernstein's picture

Components typically have provision to stay powered up but on stand-by, whatever that is until the "on" switch is thrown. This is done only prior to listening however. Have no idea how much power a CD player, pre-amp and amp consume at idle. Anyone know in terms of dollars per year?

Rodney Gold's picture

Only thing I leave off is the valve headphone amp. I find that powering off stuff requires a few DAYS to get it sounding right, for some reason or another. (Maybe it's in my head?)

Rob P.  Gettysburg PA's picture

All powered up 60 minutes prior to listening session.

Stephen Curling's picture

Since my energy bill is of concern to me I have to turn off the gear when not in immediate use.

Priya N.  Werahera's picture

I leave my system on 24/7. Will shut down when I leave town for more than a day. My monthly utility bill is about $50, with $30 for electricity and the rest for gas. I have couple of tube units in my system, and I turn these off when not listening. Power amp and other source components are on all the time. Yes, we audiophiles do waste electrical energy a lot.

mg's picture

During weekdays,I turn on my components 1 hr before listening(sufficient warm up time for amps) and after listening, I shut off all components and disconnect plugs from wall. On weekends, I leave all components on, to allow me to use them anytime I wish without waiting.

Mahlernut's picture

Generally I leave the Amp & Pre-Amp on unless there are weather problems - Thunderstorms. Other components get turned on as needed.

John P.  Wirick, Jr.'s picture

Amps go on only for listening sessions. Everything else is always on or "Standby-On." Everything gets totally shut off during thunderstorms (even though I do have surge protection and line conditioning, it's not worth the risk).