It's a cold snap outside. Today reached a high of twenty degrees, tomorrow we won't see past ten and tonight it dips below zero.
I was chilled walking the distance from my car to PS Audio's front door so I walked into Music Room One, still warm from the equipment that is perpetually on, and warmed my hands on the Bascom King power amplifier's heat sink. But that got me thinking. If we all understand the benefits of keeping equipment on and warmed up, why is it so many of us stress over doing so? Yes, I understand the energy costs, but there's more going on here than the cost of energy.
For years customers have worried about leaving equipment on. They've asked if its ok to turn it off and what the consequences of doing so would be. My answer is always the same. It won't sound as good, it needs time to warm up, to break in. Mostly folks seem to need assurance it's the right thing to do. Perhaps our fear of leaving things on stems from our parent's (or their parent's) fear of leaving tube equipment on, or nagging us to turn off the light, close the refrigerator, turn off the toy, shut the door. I don't know.
What I do know is this. Left on for many hours our stereos take on a warmth and openness that cannot be achieved by other means. If it's tube equipment you have, and the front end of the Bascom King power amplifier is all tube, then yes, turn it off. But solid state? Leave it on, permanently. It's worth the small cost of keeping the room warm.
I think of this action as a savings account. The longer you invest in leaving your equipment on, the better it sounds. It's cumulative. My equipment, if left on for months, perhaps years, sounds better than the same equipment with less running time invested in it.
Incidentally, for those inquiring minds, we solved the age old tube-dilemma with a front panel button that turns off the input tube stage, yet keeps the amp's MOSFET outputs idling at the perfect temperature.
Invest wisely and over the long term, the interest generated is better than any bank pays today.