Would you like Stereophile's reviews to include power-draw measurements?

Would you like <I>Stereophile</I>'s reviews to include power-draw measurements?
Yes, very important
44% (137 votes)
Yes, somewhat important
35% (109 votes)
Don't care
14% (45 votes)
No, leave them out
7% (23 votes)
Total votes: 314

Cars rate energy use as miles per gallon (MPG), but what about audio equipment? Reader "wook" wants to know: "Would you like <I>Stereophile</I>'s reviews to include power-draw measurements?"

Bill H.'s picture

Please, include articles on what all the numbers mean. Some of us are new to all this.

yjimbo's picture

Perhaps some of the older readers don't care and won't be living long to realize the energy consequences, but if the industry is to thrive, it will need to address the looming energy crunch.

wem's picture

I use audio equipment year 'round. Although an extra room heater or two is nice during the cold fall and winter months, being forced to crank up the A/C when it's warm out reduces the pleasure of listening. I finally solved that dilemma by replacing my ARC equipment with Bel Canto gear.

mook's picture

I wouldn't expect an audiophile to decide based primarily on power use, but the information would be useful and is otherwise hard to come by.

Bubba in SF's picture

Since you are talking either power line conditioners or power amplifiers, who cares? Most people have a desk top computer with a printer and monitor that use 500 watts of power consumption. A big wide screen TV uses a lot of wattage. Are people going to make a big deal about those products? A big class A amplifier will use a lot but, how often do you leave it on? Plus, since the hardcore audiophile is being replaced by the iPod generation, we are using less and less power on audio. If you think about it, a big power amp is the same kind of statement as a big V8. You don't care if you use more power. (gas or electricity) Maybe if you drive a Prius you would also have a three piece Logitech speaker set up. If you had Krell monoblocks would you drive a V8 BMW? Are the people who want to know consumption whusses? Stereophile could have a Whussy rated component list in the Spring and Fall recommended component issues. Nice! P.S.- I drive a 3/4 ton GMC 4x4 with a 350 V8 and use a Sunfire amp at 4 Ohms (600 watts/ch) I also live 10 minutes from work and it takes 2 weeks to use a tank of gas.

Louis P.'s picture

While this might draw howls of liberal bias, I don't think that is the case. For years, conservatives dismisssed global warming as an assault on the constitutional right to own an SUV. So what happenned? SUV owners have to deal with $4.25 gas, and Detroit is going down the tubes because they never figured out how to make cars that are competitive with the Camry and Accord. I can live without a pure Class A or monster tube amplifier. I am already, not that I can afford one, but it gets hot enough in the summer if I try to listen to an album without the AC on. Of course, if I could afford a megabuck amplifire AND a really quiet central AC system, maybe I wouldn't have to care about how much electricity I was using. But there is a lot to be said for not having to send troops to places like Iraq, as a result of despot dictators gaving too much money on their hands. This last statement applies whether you are for or aganst the war in Iraq.

geoff lebowski's picture

Why say no to more information? The best amplified sound I've heard was from solar powered amplification.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Granted, "mileage" matters more in my car, but when in the midst of a tough decision, why not know? Certainly, power consumption is one measure of efficiency.

Richard V.'s picture

I only use my tube amp in the winter, solid-state in the summer. Might buy some Class D Rowlands.

CE's picture

TV monitor makers, all kinds of CE stuff have energy ratings, and meet worldwide codes for energy use, why not audio? Let's see some of these absurd units with claims that make no sense finally have to meet some worldwide standards, like energy use.

Mike Nesby's picture

Significant differences in the power usage between otherwise comparable products might be a determining factor before you decide what to buy. Also power consumption figures in the overall cost-of-ownership.

Steve Rogers's picture

It would be nice to have some kind of heat measurement—how much heat does an amp put out? For those of us who live in hot places, this is quite an interesting measurement

Pjay's picture

Yes, give us the power draw on the 1/3 volume warm up. Might be interesting.

Bob S.'s picture

It wouldn't hurt to include them, but I doubt it would affect my decision on whether to buy a particular component.

Stephen's picture

Even if you don't care, when you get brownouts because you and your neighbors bought space heaters instead of amplifiers, you will care. I would care more about amplifier efficiency than maximum power draw.

Don Vieweg's picture

Balance in all things can be figured in to our purchases by pointing out a unit's energy footprint. Also, comments on whether a unit should be left on (and its idle current) or in standby would be helpful. The energy draw of wall-wart transformers would also help.

Frederico Setti's picture

Very important with power amplifiers.

Chris's picture

I don't care what the power draw of an amp is, I don't care what the calorie count on fois gras is, I don't care how much gas the Ferrari uses. There's enough guilt in guilty indulgences without gilding (guilting?) the lily.

Keith Suppe's picture

Unfortunately the "Green" movement was started as a grass roots campaign to "save the planet." Now its most often misused as a marketing slogan. Example a $1,000,000 hydrogen vehicle is something I would have kepot in the lab, yet people are actually impressed? Why? In 1897 there were a fleet of electric taxis in NYC, in 1900 electric car sales made up almost 30% of total car sales, and in 1903 electric cars out sold gasoline. Since then we've put a man on the moon, slpit the atom, and two years ago Hybrid Technologies released their LiX-75 "Mullen" solar Lithium which does 0-60 in 3 seconds and 200mph. The retail version along with an entire line of vehicles can be found at Hybrid Technology. My point, does anyone actually expect me to believe the auto industry couldn't have had an affordable 250 mpg car by now or any number of alternatives? Back on subject, there are two perspectives on power which I believe are pertinent for our purposes. First how does the power equipment utilize energy and is there any relationship between design effciency and performance? Since the advent of "pure" DC powered (battery source) amplifiers it seems the development of a more effcient battery makes sense. Secondly: from the AC outlet perspective it's simple. As the largest supplier of coal on the planet, once clean coal burning electrical generators are developed, all we need do is to replace every oil burning power producing facility. This would have a much greater impact then the ad hoc impact of making a few appliances energy savers. this will happen anyway. Where Audio is concerned it's an expense for a reason. Otherwise why don't we all toss out our OTL monoblocs and eletrostatics for Naim NAITs and PSB Alphas just to save power? Since when is high end supposed to be efficient anyway? If you really want to conserve energy learn how to play a "recycled" acoustic guitar and make your own music. Maybe you can start a band called "Green."

Kobayashi's picture

Yes, and not because I'm "green." I think the information is useful for other reasons. For example, it lets you know how close to "Class A" your amp is. I'd like to see power draw as a function of input signal magnitude. See if the power draw increases as the magnitude of the input signal increases. Of course, not relevant for record players but very relevant to amps and preamps. Only somewhat relevant to CD players but very relevant to powered speakers.

ch2's picture

I just need to know how much a given component is helping me with heating my house.

craig's picture

It couldn't hurt to include current draw at idle and at max power. The problem is that Class A amps draw lots of power all the time. Anyone wanting the best sound most likely won't sacrafice sound quality for less electrical usage. Amps are the biggest users by far of electricity in sound system.

Al Earz's picture

If it sounds good, who cares how much it costs to run it? You can publish it, I guess we can always get an idea as too how hot it runs. But really, unless it keeps me from running tha air cond. at the same time, who cares?

Cesar's picture

Yeah, that would be cool. A buck saved in energy bills is a buck to spend on music!

David's picture

I don't care about power drawn from the AC mains, but Stereophile's reviews of loudspeakers should include the real load presented by loudspeakers to power amplifiers (I forgot the technical term, but it's on one of the reference articles by Keith Howard published in Stereophile). This will be more useful than the impedance curve currently published.

Bob Harvie's picture

Concerned about energy? Buy a push bike, sell a car, turn up the A/C, take 20% fewer flights, car pool, use less ice in your Margarita. Oh, and don't go buying the latest hi-fi thingy just because someone in Stereophile declares that it might be the teensiest weensiset bit better than your last $3000 CD player.

Red LePhon's picture

Some designs are more efficient than others. Let's separate the wasteful from the thoughtful....

David Pace's picture

Energy costs too much today.

Donald N.'s picture

Not particularly. It borders on the ridiculous.

Jose Freire's picture

It won't prevent me from buying any equipment but...