Equipment - power on 24/7

Hi I generally leave my system on all the time ......... and it sounds great. I only switch off if I go on holiday. However, I was wondering with Naim equipment - do forum members have experience of reliability over a number of years .... I was wondering what the long term effects are of permanent power up ..... ie drying up of components/failures/transformer issues etc.....  From what I have read before... it seems the power up all the time is more favorable than the repeated on off ...... for reliability,  it would be great to get some feed back.

Original Post

They are more likely to fail on switch on than if left running. I read somewhere that the capacitors wear out even if they are sitting on the shelf, so switching off won’t extend their life.  Some people say that switching off for a short while every few months improves the sound. 

I don't think you will find any Naim specific evidence - as in proof - other than recommendations & general best practice for electronics in general.   There is a lot of research from the electronics world on failure curves & effects of power cycling,  however reading that & understanding what it all means across all the different components & applications is  ....  err ....  well best of luck if you do.   It's generally accepted that correctly designed/applied electronics in general like continuous run & cold start stress does shorten life.    By correctly applied;   as an e.g.   I have a DIY thingy running 24/7 & it never gets turned off.   It has some capacitors with a 5000hr rated life @ 105'c (thats 0.57 years continuous running),  whereas in my 25'C house they have a life of aprx 146 years,  I guess I won't be too bothered if they do last that long.

I leave my main Naim stuff on 24/7,  I turn off for storms etc, & when away from home when its more than 3 or 4 days.    I turn my Nait-2 off as it not used everyday.

Richieroo posted:

Ok ... my NAP500 & 552 seems tun quite cool but the NDS is a bit roasty......... when not listening I have a little fan that blows across it ....... this makes it run nice and cool.....when idling....

How warm is roasty?  Surely the only thing that may run a bit warm is the power amp?

Sorry, I came to this late but I just had my Nait XS serviced, I think because I turned the amp off every time I stopped a listening session.  I needed the preamp relay replaced, which a couple of people on the forums here said helps you switch between sources and also mutes the amp when you turn it on.  I must have worn it out turning it on and off a few times a week for almost ten years. I am now leaving it on constantly unless a storm is coming or I will be gone for a couple of days or more.  It will sound better that way anyway, and when it is on but not being used I bet it uses very little electricity. 

When I had Nait XS and SN2 systems with PSUs I left all fired-up all the time. Didn't sound right running from cold. I've since gone to a non-Naim 200-watt integrated (with no PSUs) that has a standby function. This reduces the consumption from 92 to 32-watts. I put my integrated into standby mode at the end of each listening session and awaken it upon beginning the next session. No loss of SQ versus keeping it hot.

Good to see Naim are doing the environment and users' electric bills a favor by offering standby mode on some of their new units. Maybe something they should consider for all new units? I guess at some point regulations will force the fact.

I don't have Naim Audio amps, but for what it is worth, the manufacturer of my amplifiers (Lindemann) specifically recommended to me that they should be switched off when not in use. They advised me that a half hour warm up period is all that should be required to bring the amps up to their optimum sound. 

Their stated position is that the working life of the amps' capacitors will be dramatically reduced if left on 24/7. Intuitively, this seems logical to me. 

I've always left my Naim gear on 24/7 unless I was away somewhere and always felt everything sounded better that way . Since changing to ATC Actives last week, the powered up all the time question was in my head as the Amp packs still felt warm after inactivity . I emailed ATC yesterday and this is their reply below . I now switch them off overnight and back on when I get home etc . the ATC amp packs do seem to warm quickly . A different manufacturers perspective but interesting all the same . 

 

From ATC , 

Leaving the amplifiers switched on at all times will probably have a greater impact on your electricity bill than it will on the performance of the loudspeakers. When the amplifiers are switched on, the components can take a few minutes to warm, during which time there may be a very minor reduction in THD+N but the audibility of this "improvement" is debatable.

 

There is some argument that heat cycling the components very regularly causes them to fail and to an extent, as with all electronics this is true, however one must consider that subjecting the electrolytic capacitors to constant heat will reduce their life more quickly than the power cycling.

 

We have some customers that decide to leave the amplifiers on all the time and that is fine but personally, I would turn them off when not using them.

 

While I have things that get turned on and off for years no problems, statistically, things that fail seem to on power on. I've had the misfortune to work with some vendors products that had a 25% failure rate over 12 months - all during power cycles.

Another factor to consider (especially for the environmentally concious like myself) is the true cost of leaving it on. This is not always what it appears to be. While powering things down to alleviate power usage and carbon footprint etc. is good, it can be a false economy.

It is hard to put a precise number on the probability of a unit fialing. But if you consider that the probability increases squared for each component added and you have say 6 boxes in a system costing several $K each, then if an item dies...

  • The cost of repair/replacement is likely to be many times higher than X years powered on idling way the electricity bill.
  • The power saved probably has less carbon footprint saving than the power used to manufacture a new replacement unit.

I'm a big beleiver in energy efficiency (same output for less input) but think energy conservation (less output for less input) has no real benefit in the long term either cost-wise or environmentally.

Ergo, I work hard to make my home as energy efficient as possible and weigh up the true cost of making changes further up the manufacturing chain before replacing items like old fridges and stuff. Things that seem to save money left on all the time even when I'm not around: the hifi and the air conditioners (they really burn through power being turned on and off each day in extreme climates).

I must admit that I turn my gear off as I do all I can to minimise household power consumption. I’ve never had any failures (except one power switch replaced by my dealer on an XPS2) and that includes my second oldest piece of equipment, my NAT01. My oldest piece is a fully refurbished Revox B77 and I’d never leave that switched on for long periods of time although Thear Technology who did the refurbishment, said to switch it on a least once a month to keep the capacitors and other innards happy. I know that others will prefer to leave equipment on but each to his or her own I suppose.

It seems that leaving equipment on causes capacitors to fail.  And leaving equipment of for long periods causes capacitors to fail. 

Damned if you do and damned if you dont....  

I'll pass on having to power five boxes on (in the correct order) to play a CD!

Our service manager of LASA claims that, being Naim kits, generally full of tantalum caps, for the latter  is particulary harmful leaving electronics unpowered for prolonged times and switchig on/off on daily basis it's not good either

Regards

Roberto

Guinnless posted:

It seems that leaving equipment on causes capacitors to fail.  And leaving equipment of for long periods causes capacitors to fail. 

Damned if you do and damned if you dont....  

I'll pass on having to power five boxes on (in the correct order) to play a CD!

You omitted to add: and turning on and off causes thermal stresses.

Maybe thekey question is how often is it in use? If daily, leaving on might be the best balance. But if only once a week or less often, turning off might be.

Personally I always turn power amps off use unless coming back to on the same day, though usually turn on a short while before using so they have time for any warming up to happen. Habit from when I used an amp with strong class A bias, running at something like 270w regardless of whether music playing or not, and high internal temperature. But even though my current amps are less power hungry, I estimate that leaving off when not in use probably saves me something in the region of £150 a year - enough for a good supply of music, or a few bottles of malt to wash it down with (or one more special one)...

Interesting comment re ATC. I wonder how many other manufacturers suggest leaving equipment on around the clock? In an ever energy-constrained world I wonder if Naim will need to fall into line. As much as I love Naim the prospect of pulling juice when not required doesn’t sit right even if one can afford it - and I can btw.....

I’d sooner do my bit to save the planet than agonise over the odd tantalum capacitor or ounce of sound quality....God knows how much power those with 500 triple packs are consuming

We bought a new Miele fridge freezer last year and its power consumption is ridiculously low. That, with a really efficient washing machine and dishwasher, a modern condensing boiler, and led light bulbs, will save far, far more than what you’d save by turning off the Naim. 

I have the same including the boiler but it still doesn’t give me an excuse to leave things on around the clock. I also have LED lamps throughout the house....sorry don’t get your logic. It’s about overall reduction in demand not selective justification and would we all prefer it if Naim could deliver that extra ounce of performance without burning the juice?

Hungryhalibut posted:

..................  , and led light bulbs, will save far, far more than what you’d save by turning off the Naim. 

.....  far, far more,  you can say that again;  With a few exceptions,  all my house lighting is LED.   I have a coffee table lamp that originally had 2x 40 watt incandescents that gave aprx 450 lumens each,  I replaced them with LED,  also aprx 450 but consuming only 4 watts each;  thats 72 watts saving with just 1 lamp,  thats more than all my Naim bits.    Take that further to the 7x 50 watt halogen downlighters in the same room = 350 watts.  I replaced with same lumens rating of 4.5 watt dimmable LED's = 31.5 watts,  they don't register on the Smart Meter when dimmed.   There's a lot of watts saved in just my living room to run a whole stack of Naim  

Ravenswood10 posted:

I have the same including the boiler but it still doesn’t give me an excuse to leave things on around the clock. I also have LED lamps throughout the house....sorry don’t get your logic. It’s about overall reduction in demand not selective justification and would we all prefer it if Naim could deliver that extra ounce of performance without burning the juice?

They do,  the new platform all in one & new streamers have very low wattage standby.  I expect the same technology will get backed into other new product as & when.

I haven’t posted on here for some years as I no longer have any Naim kit but was told about about this post and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time.

My particular amp has lots of caps, nearly all Nichicon FW series that are rated at 85c rather than 105c.  The amp consumes about 70 watts even when idling.  The lid gets to about 36c and slightly higher inside.  Most caps are rated to remain in tolerance at their maximum operating temperature after 1000 hours but this doubles with every 10c drop, so around 35c this would be 32000 hours.  I would say that this is most likely a conservative rating but having said that, 32000 hours is only just over 3.5 years.

So what I've settled on is a compromise is that if I want to listen at some pining during the day I’ll just switch it on and leave on until bed time. 

With all that said, someone told me a while ago that in reality you’re most likely to buy another amp for example than ever need it servicing as far as I know it's only Naim that really only offer a recap service as standard, Arcam for example just said when asked about servicing just said “just to get it fixed when t goes wrong” and seems to be the awnswer from many other companies.

just my two pennys worth...

 

Nice to hear people’s energy efficiency moves - though it only makes sense, three things being guaranteed in life, death, taxes, and that energy prices will rise. I too am all LED lights, condensing boiler (though that one is an over-hyped saving because people’s heating systems are rarely designed to ensure the boiler runs optimally), as much thermal insulation as I could squeeze in, whole house heat recovery ventilation, Fridge is only moderate, and washing machine usually run at low temp, it and dishwasher using house hot water, and freezers improved with added insulation. The biggest electrical energy users in my house now is my sons’ computers!

Returning to the consideration of people’s Naim stacks, of course it depends on the contents of said stacks -  and in the context of the other energy saving steps people may have taken, bear in mind you are talking about the stack being on 24 hours a day everu day, whereas the average number of hours lighting a living room over the year is a lot less, and other rooms like bathrooms and corridors considerably so unless you are in the habit pf leaving on permanently. Of course, easy enough to do the maths.

Now consider: with all those other things reduced, the hifi is a much bigger percentage of the energy bill, so a greater percentage of the current fuel bill could be saved having it off most of the time...

Did an energy role many years ago, simple put Kettles (especially the 1.5kw +) and old electric heaters, sap the most in a very short span.

Invest an in energy monitor plug, TP links with Alexa and Google can give your voice control in addition to Monitoring - a real ear opener.

 

Obsydian posted:

Did an energy role many years ago, simple put Kettles (especially the 1.5kw +) and old electric heaters, sap the most in a very short span.

Invest an in energy monitor plug, TP links with Alexa and Google can give your voice control in addition to Monitoring - a real ear opener.

 

But kettle is only on for a few minutes at a time. 

Energy monitor plug is useful for checking usage, right down to individual amps etc, music playing or silent (might not help sound quality, but just short term is all that is needed to measure).

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