Proper power up sequence for audio

July 15, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

5 comments on “Proper power up sequence for audio”

  1. Most preamps have a delay after you press the power button so there is no turn on thump. I prefer to power the amp first and amp last off when powering everything down. I rather have no preamp or source signal to the amp when powering it on or off because amps also have turn on or off thumps and usually no delay like preamps have.

  2. Paul, I have a P15 and Oppo, DS and ATC active 2-way floorstanders. I leave the P15 and speakers on all the time and then out of experience and the order remotes lay on the bench next to me, power up the Oppo, TV screen and sometimes cable, and then DS in that order. Although no thumps, would I be better off, safer, using the P15 remote instead to power up and down everything in sequence? Thanks,

  3. Paul,

    In the mid-1970s, I had an experience that validates your sound advice here.

    I was at a small shop in Berkeley, getting a demo of a Phase Linear 400 that I wished to purchase to power the midrange of my Infinity Servo Statics. David Fletcher and a colleague were in the shop, which was demonstrating the Phase 400 with an Audio Research SP-3 preamp, just like mine at home. The Phase Linear 400 had no power switch and was powered on, driving Dayton-Wright electrostats. Fletcher's colleague reached over to the preamp and pressed its power button, whereupon a bright blue flash emerged from the left-hand speaker - a major arc that put it completely out of commission. A few words like "I told you not to power up that preamp into a running amplifier!" or such followed.

    Based on this experience, I always turn on my power amps after all else upstream is on and stable.

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