Tube warm up complicating my listening

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ghost rider, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Basic Member

    I've not noticed with a spinner but I do like to leave my DAC on.
  2. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Forum Resident

    To all of you who think the standby power consumption is neglectable, let me do a bit of basic math: The US alone has roughly 126 Million household. Let's assume every one of them has an amp on standby for 20 hours a day, with a standby power consumption of .5 W per hour:

    0.5 W x 20 h x 365 days x 126.000.000 = 459.900.000.000 W every year, in the US alone. That's 459.9 Billion Watts in this simple example.

    With a TV set and several other standby appliances in every household, the ACTUAL power consumption through standby alone must be a multiple of this.

    Of course, there are bigger problems, and lots of them. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I do wonder: If you are not using a machine, what's wrong with turning it off?

    This is not about spoiling anybody's fun, it's about awareness. Steve has given a perfectly good reason to leave his ss amp on standby, and it's obvious that he has put some thought into this.

    I thought about it as well, and my conclusion is to turn everything off completely before I close down for the night.
  3. EddieVanHalen

    EddieVanHalen Well-Known Member

    I cover the bright blu light of my tube Phono preamp with my Camel box, I always have a full one (or half full as I smoke them) around and it doesn't leave any residue.
  4. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Buffalo, NY
    The smoke, however…

    EddieVanHalen likes this.
  5. EddieVanHalen

    EddieVanHalen Well-Known Member

    I go to the balcony to smoke regardless of season, after all I live in Spanish Costa del Sol.
  6. George P

    George P Notable Member


    I was thinking, hmmm, wouldn't a 6 foot animal in one's listening room create a whole new set of problems?
  7. inperson

    inperson Forum Resident

    I just realized I made a mistake. It isn't play-doh, it's silly putty.
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  8. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I kinda agree and something else that struck me as I read the all the posts. Everyone has their own experience some like me aren't completely happy till their amp is fully warmed up and others are happy in few minutes, one does not invalidate the other.

    Also I may have titled this thread wrong. The tubes themselves are as hot has they are going to get in a matter of minutes, but the touch the faceplate and it's still cool. I think it's more about the chassis and transformers. This is the same thing with SS.

    I remember a few years ago when I was using the Bryston 4b for music. At times it just didn't sound that good not terrible just not right. I thought it was in my head I at some point realized the amp wasn't warm.

    Some members suggested getting a small SS that's a great idea but the curse of the small house plus my one listening room is set up good with some well placed room treatments.
  9. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I agree, and think it is the whole circuit, not just the tubes themselves- the point was made by El Jefe about SS; I had the same experience, as mentioned with the Lamm L2 line stage, which took a long time (longer than the matching amps) to come up to par (and it is a solid state audio circuit).
  10. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Des Moines
    I agree with Steve. My solid state gear takes way longer to audibly warm up than my tube gear.
  11. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    I'd like to make clear that my post was not to be critical of others experience with tube amps. I was simply reporting my experiences and impressions.

    You do make a very good point that a guitar amp and a hi fi amp are very different animals. The guitar amp does not have a design goal of reproducing accurate and highly detailed recorded music. However, I do believe that a tube studio mic and a hi Fi amp share similar sound goals.

    What I would like to understand is what is changing in a tube amp ( or for that matter the SS) that results in improved sound after the described warm up period? To put the question in another way, what components in the amp improve in performance relative to sound reproduction and why, over time?
  12. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    What about a decent pair of headphones? Personally, I find the sound of my Sony and Creative noise-cancelling headphones plugged straight into my iPhone perfectly agreeable, and that is what I resort to when it doesn't make sense to fire up the big system.
  13. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    I have a tube amplifier and a tube headphone amplifier in my main system, a tube preamp and a tube headphone amplifier as my second system. . . .

    Yes, it takes thirty minutes to an hour for them to warm up and begin to be all they can be. And they improve over time, I've even had them on for days (yes, I know that's potentially dangerous, but I've never had anything more than a blown fuse occur and that after a few minutes of use) and man they sound great the longer they play.

    But. . . they sound good when cold and starting up and I just listen and it's fun to sometimes notice them bloom and sound wonderful.

    What I don't like to do is unplug my digital front end. Those just take a day or so of use to sound their best. Weird, but true in my experience.
  14. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Is your digital front end also tubed? Mine is, so tube guilt prevents me from having it on 24/7. Two DACs ago, I had a tubed DAC where the digital and analog sections could be switched on separately, allowing the digital section (w/o tubes) to be kept on 24/7. Nice.
  15. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    No, my digital front end is the PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player and DirectStream DAC.No tubes in there, but excellent sound. I have noticed with earlier digital front ends I've had that it takes days for digital to "be all it can be" if totally shut down a while. So I leave them powered on all the time.
  16. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    AFAIK, no tubes means that you then have an SS analog section in the DAC, so that's probably part of the explanation. When I had a SS DAC, I also left it on 24/7.
  17. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I did send an email to the Vlad Lamm via his wife. Let's see if he responds and I'll post it here.
  18. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    Well, I think there's something within the digital and conversion elements that are a factor. . . . But whatever it's experiences that I have had.
  19. dougotte

    dougotte Petty, Annoying Dilettante

    Washington, DC
    I posted info in a thread a year or two ago, but I'll summarize again.

    I used to obsess about standby power, and switched off the power strip on many devices throughout the house when not using. I was especially bothered by the red and blue lights on my Parasound P5 and A23 that remain on (but dimmed) when powered off. I guess it's considered standby. There are no specific "standby" buttons. Can someone explain the difference?

    Anyway, Richard Schram advised me by email that the power consumption w/ power off is "negligible."

    I bought a handheld power meter and measured for a few hours. I then calculated the monthly amount. It came to about $1.22 in power costs (don't remember the power consumption amount).

    I also had been thinking that switching off the power strip raised a risk in case there was a surge, which the power strip might mitigate before it reached the components.

    Since then, I leave the components powered off, but never switch off the power strip. When I want to listen, I try to turn everything on about an hour before listening (including my tube phono pre and headphone pre), but if I don't have time, I listen anyway, and enjoy it.
  20. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    I also had a Parasound earlier. It's a bit confusing, but the power button on the front only puts the unit in standby, it doesn't switch it off completely. I really liked that standby function--it meant that warm up was a non-issue for me in daily use while at the same time, the power consumption in standby mode was negligible. Best of both worlds. In the SS world, that is ... :D
  21. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    Take Blue Painters Tape, punch out a circle of the stuff with a hole punch and stick it on. I use that on all kinds of lights. You can still see the light, but it is a lot more subtle. No residue either.
    George P likes this.
  22. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I'm so old I remember the days when I was kid that car radios took a few seconds to come on and the dial glowed.
    billnunan likes this.
  23. John

    John Forum Resident

    Yeah I notice warm up time. As my system has been upgraded over the years the resolution has gone up, and it has become more and more noticeable. I have solid state electronics that take 3 hours to really sound their best, and a tube phono that takes about 45-60 mins as you say. My solution? I fire up the SS stuff and at hour 2 I flick on the tube stuff and at hour 3 its time to drop the needle. This way I only have to sit thru listening to the cartridge warm up, but with everything else at full song its no big deal:D
  24. Rickchick

    Rickchick Forum Resident

    How often do you get new tubes? I simply can't afford to buy all new tubes every other month.

    Agitater likes this.
  25. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    Really for a lot of us the warm up thing is just part of the ritual...don't let it put you off:)
    John and Fishoutofwater like this.

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