Colin Wonfor’s Clinic: How often do we have to turn off our equipment?

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Colin Wonfor

Dear Colin, power supply question. How often do we have to turn off our equipment such as power amp, pre amp. cd player , power conditioner ......? Can we leave them on for days while listening on and off or do we have to turn them off after every session of listening? As a general rule the more the systems are left on the better the sound , so what is your idea on this issue please?

Nice question! Firstly, switching off will save money. Now leaving capacitors formed ie powered-up causes less damage to the plates than turning them on and whacking large charge currents through the poor devil. On charge UP the plate are pushed together on rapid discharge they are forced apart, slow discharge is not so nasty.

As most electrolytic capacitors use chemical like a battery to hold the charge after long use in environments of high temperature and high peak currents this tend to boil off and dry up, the value changes and you will hear hum. If on a PSU increase then as the value reduces the ripple voltage goes up. So in my designs wherever possible I use cap up to 10 time bigger than is normal and a temperature rating in some case as high as 125C rather than the norm of 85C, I also choose caps in the PSU with low ESR and High Ripple current rating as, this prolongs the life of the product. Also check the hours or use rating often it is only 5,000 Hrs I try to fit 10,000 Hrs plus.

Thank you for the question.

 

 

 

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