Systemic Development > Amplification and Preamplification

solid state amps - always on or turn off when done listening?

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Nick B:
I have an AVA SET 120 amp which is a sonic bargain. A few nights ago, I forgot to turn off the system (not good for my tube preamp) and only noticed it had been on when I was getting ready to listen in the evening. There was a significant improvement in the sound. I thought maybe it was just the different source material. But it was quickly obvious that wasnít the reason. I was getter improved resolution and additional soundstage depth and layering. I used music I was very familiar with. Additional voices appeared distinctly in choruses and instruments suddenly appeared where they hadnít been present before. The texture of violins, guitars, harps, trumpets was more natural and nuanced. It really was like getting a new amp. I emailed Frank at AVA and asked if I could leave it on 24/7 and he asked that I donít. He said heat and time are the enemies of solid state components. In conjunction with this, I had consistently noticed that after 4-5 hours of listening the sound improved. I thought maybe the AC was just super clean after 1:00 to 2:00,  but I had Daveís UberBUSS which was supposed to filter out AC grunge. So now it all finally makes sense. Things sound so improved that Iím going to leave it on 24/7.

So Iím wondering if you leave your solid state amps on or turn them off. Do you pay attention to the manufacturerís recommendation or just do what works best for you? Also, regarding the design of a solid state amp, can it be designed to run cooler vs being run hot? Does bias fit into this? Do all solid state amps have bias settings and, if so, are some set at the factory and canít be adjusted?

ejk:
My Sphinx has a power switch in front and a master switch in the back that Rogue recommends leaving it on to keep it warmed up. They say it has no effect on the tube front end. 

James Edward:
I always left them on for the reason you discovered- they just sounded better. With my current amp, I canít really do that- itís a class A amp and draws considerable juice even at idle. Your AVA is class A/B, and draws minimal power at idle.
Others feel that after 20 or 30 minutes their sound no longer improves. Iím in the other camp.

Nick B:

--- Quote from: ejk on October 05, 2022, 11:49:29 PM ---My Sphinx has a power switch in front and a master switch in the back that Rogue recommends leaving it on to keep it warmed up. They say it has no effect on the tube front end.

--- End quote ---

I wish the AVA amp was designed like that. Are you getting any current at all running thru the tubes in standby?

Nick B:

--- Quote from: James Edward on October 06, 2022, 04:18:48 AM ---I always left them on for the reason you discovered- they just sounded better. With my current amp, I canít really do that- itís a class A amp and draws considerable juice even at idle. Your AVA is class A/B, and draws minimal power at idle.
Others feel that after 20 or 30 minutes their sound no longer improves. Iím in the other camp.

--- End quote ---

The magic timeframe for me has always been at 4-5 hours. Iím just going to leave it on 24/7.

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