Should I turn off my amps?

So I came across this toppic of not turning off amps when not using them and I don’t know what to think. I’ve heard the same for dacs and while I can see why it makes sense in this case I can’t say the same for amps. So I’m curious to hear from other people and the arguments for both sides.

class a amps need time to warm up to get the most. thats about the only type of amp you need to worry about leaving on if so inclined. saves the warm up time. tubes also need warm up time, but tubes burn out so not recommended to leave on all the time.

edit: R2R dacs are pretty much the same way. the resistors need time to warm up to get the most. chip dacs don’t matter.

I have a Burson Soloist 3XP (Class A amp). I turn it off at the end of the day and back on in the morning. It only takes a few minutes to warm up. By the time I have made a cup of coffee and return to my desk, it’s ready to rock. I have a pretty nice chain (RME ADI-2 > Soloist > Arya). I have never noticed a downside, sonically speaking, to my approach.

Like nearly everything in this hobby, it comes down to preference. I’d rather wait a few minutes for warm up then burn power unnecessarily for the 10-14 hours I am away from my desk on most days. I know, i know, it’s not that much power. But it adds up. If we all leave our amps on, we are wasting a good amount of energy.

If you can’t decide, trust the manufacturer’s recommendations. I hope that helps!

Turning electronics on/off wears the capacitors faster. It’s the inrush of current on power-up that wears them. Same thing with tubes. So that’s longevity of components.

As for sound, the well designed gear is designed to sound its best when all the components are withing their most linear range (warmed up properly). An example is resistors - they may have a tolerance of 5% when not properly warmed up. Once at operating temp, tolerances drop to whatever they’re rated at (1%, 0.1%, whatever). Can you hear all these differences? Up to you.


A lot of amps have built in circutry nowadays to keep certain components electrified when turned off. They refer to this as stand by. PS Amps do it, my SS Cary Audio amp does it even my 30 year old Carver amp did it.


Very few HP amps with a standby switch though (most speaker amps do have it). Most HP amps are just on/off.

Keep R2R DACs plugged in and keep the switch in the back to “on”. Keep class A amps plugged in as well, but turn them “off” in the front and keep them “on” in the back.

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I would not leave any consumer electronics running unattended.

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Umm… I typically don’t turn my stuff off… I mean, my TV, yeah, and a PC should at least be rebooted every little while. Same with the soldering iron. My amps… Typically no. I’ve never noticed them be any more then a little on the warm side to the touch.

Keeping always on an amp wears the components (almost all of them) at the same time turn on the amp wears the components (capacitors, relays), so the best thing is keep it on if you know that you’re not using it but probably you’re going to use it soon, and avoid to turn it on and off frequently. Also the warm up has a double side, a cold amp may doesn’t work how it should but it’s the same for an amp that is running too hot because is running for a long time in an hot environment.

If you have a cheapo piece of crap amp yes. Otherwise no. They are hot because that’s their natural operating temperature. A good designer has ensured that all components are rated to be fine during “hot” temperatures.

That’s not always the case, also a well designed amp can suffer hot temperature after some use like intake air ports with dust can decrease the cooling efficiency of an active cooling design same for fans that are wearer. And no one that I know design an amp with passive or active cooling that it’s supposed to work at 40° C under the sun.

Unfortunately, I live in a dusty environment and this is my biggest fear. I have to clean/mop this room every week and have an air filter going. I hate dust so much

Do you use your equipment outside during the day?

If the amp is a power amp of a live system yes, and if you live in Andalusia or Sicily there are easily 40°C in your living room also

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Yes it’s a valid case scenario just not one that fits the current context (listening at home for private pleasure). And the pro amps usually have fans for thermal management and will shut down if needed before they destroy themselves.

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If you’re buying electronics that meet consumer standards, they should have no problem working up to 70C.

If you open up a non-garbage amplifier and look at the capacitors, they’re rated for 85C minimum. Usually 105C though.

Someone may enjoy to listen music in the garden

Someone may. Someone may also enjoy listening in the bathtub or the sauna. Or next to volcanic lava. We can discuss edge cases all day long but they’re not very useful.

We can also discuss why you started this discussion, because I can’t see any contribute.