Warm Up Time/Cost of Operation

When I have solid state gear I will leave it on 24/7. For amplifiers this was no big deal and with certain amps previously I could hear the differences between a cold start up and 3 days of power up. 

A year ago I bought a pair of Classe Omega monoblocks. A bit ago the wife was commenting on our electrical bill. I could not find online specs for power consumption but this morning I located the manual.

Consumption is listed at 706 watts. I assume this is per amp and hourly consumption. Electricity here is 12.6 cents per KWH. A calculator shows the cost of 24/7 on ad being $126 a month. 

It's a bit wasteful to idle like that so I am planning on switching off moving forward. But I am wondering what should my plan be moving forward.

 Thinking I will turn them on when listening in the morning casually, shut them off while at work, turn them on when I get back, and shut off when I go to bed. 

Anyone have experiences running big amps like mine in this manner? Thoughts and experiences are greatly appreciated. 


Good plan I think. Problem with running big amps 24/7 is the heat they produce can cause degradation to the amp's parts causing early failure etc.

If I put new tubes in my amp I’ll let it run for the day just to let things settle in before rechecking the bias. I’ll leave my tube dac on during the day if I’m running in a new set of tubes (which can be frequent). I never leave my tube gear on if I’m away from the house. I usually power up a half hour to an hour before listening and listen on an average of 3-4 hrs per night (sometimes during the day as well). I always power everything off when leaving the room at the end of the day. Compared to the cost of having two AC units going I’ve always considered the cost of running the audio gear to be trivial.

Can you hear a difference or is it just infernal bias?

If you are the least concerned with wasting electrical energy I recommend a Kill A Watt. All other methods of calculus are merely guessing.

Hi end audio cost of ownership-spike in the electricity bill. 

Make sure you're on the appropriate billing plan with the energy company, based on your usage. Their may an opportunity to save something. 

I get a little  break from medical equipment usage-sleep apnea machine.

Similar to playing with hi performance cars that guzzle gas. You just accept it's part of the deal.

Can you hear a difference or is it just infernal bias?

Darn that infernal bias…

OP “…Thinking I will turn them on when listening in the morning casually, shut them off while at work, turn them on when I get back, and shut off when I go to bed…”


This is a pretty good plan. You might also start a study to learn how much warmup is really required. I would imagine if you immediately turned on your amps when you got home, then come listening time, things would be good. 

The amps I have owned have required about 10 minutes to 45 minutes to sound their best. My current tube amp and preamp seems to sound good as soon as turned on… very different from previous generations.


Classe Omega monoblocks.

Idle power consumption per monoblock 240 watts.

Per Owner’s manual page 28


It could vary by amp design I suppose.  The designer of my McCormack amp is adamant it should be left on unless leaving home for an extended period. I will say my amp lasted 30 years being left on 24/7 90% of the time.  Turning a component off and on frequently — again probably depending on amp design — can be stressful and detrimental (think of incandescent lightbulbs mostly blowing out when turned on), and electronic parts tend to prefer staying at constant temps rather than constantly fluctuating between cold and warm/hot.  I would not turn my components on and off more than once/day regardless unless it was a tube amp, but that’s just me.  Maybe call Classe and see what they recommend as they’d know better than anyone.

Not an expert but if a variac would not harm anything, you could dial back the voltage when not in use. The reduced voltage would keep things warm and charged (capacitors) when not in use.

Also, being warm in the winter would just contribute to keeping your living space warm which is what you furnace does anyway.

It's funny, some people think leaving an amp turned on is "bad" (constant heat causes deterioration) and some think it's good (hot/cold/hot stresses internal components). 

My time is pretty structured, so I act accordingly. Warm the big Macs up when needed and leave them off when not. I get caught with my pants down once in a while but not often. If you listen a lot, you should leave the amps on all the time.

Luxman Class A owner here, 400 watt dissipation when on. Usually allow 30 min warm-up; leave on most of the day on weekends.  Keeps the room nice and warm during the winter.

There really is no need to run an amp 24/7 unless you’re listening to it. Apart from the electricity usage, there’s too much wear and tear on the components in terms of heat. I know A lot of audiophiles leave ss gear on but not me. That’s my 2 cents.

Wow! That is some monthly bill, like going to a concert every day! So I got tho thinking, can that actually be true! Yes I know, the mind of an engineer goes in the wrong direction for some. Anyway, for only $14 on Amazon USA, you can get a a SURAIELEC Watt Meter tool that will measure the electricity of any plug in appliance. I'm getting one so I have something to do this winter! If you do it, let us know in a new post what you find.

240 watts is still a lot of heat.  This costs you twice in the summer since you put that much heat in the room and then remove it with your air conditioner.  In the winter, you get some of it back on your heat bill.

that much heat also degrades components.  As a rule of thumb, electrical components that run cool will last forever and the warmer they are, the shorter thier life.

Turn it on, go to the kitchen and get a drink sit down and listen.  Maybe it will sound better after a while, enjoy.


3 Tube amps here....Must be turned on and have a signal going thru them for at least 1/2 hour to perform properly AND YOUR SPEAKERS need at least 30 minutes for their voice coils to warm up and expand to function to their highest potential according to Steve Deckert.....He's Right.....30 minutes of warm up on ALL equipment to reach full potential.


There really is no need to run an amp 24/7 unless you’re listening to it. Apart from the electricity usage, there’s too much wear and tear on the components in terms of heat. I know A lot of audiophiles leave ss gear on but not me. That’s my 2 cents.

Regardless of whether it's tube or SS, anytime an electric current is running through a device, it's being used up and dying a slow death. Why would you fritter away potential enjoyment time of your expensive gear to keep something you aren't listening to warmed up for when you do get around to actually using it?? In this case, the cost of the fix doesn't seem to be a viable solution to the questionable problem. Besides that, any man who has been married for any amount of time knows that once a woman gets a bee in her bonnet, everyone else in the house will suffer until she is sure the bee is gone.😉


Heat kills is true but as long as components are operating below their rated temperature they should be fine.  My Pass Labs mono amps, in fact most Pass amps operate at 20C above ambient.  I've used my low cost laser thermometer to confirm that.  They will last a few decades operating at that temperature.  And I have found that they sound better after being on for a few days.  The problem is my conservative midwestern upbringing prevents me from leaving my amps on if I am not listening to the music.  Once in a while on cold winter days I might leave them on overnight.  And in reality it's only going to add a couple of dollars to the power bill leaving them on for a few days.  It's still hard for me to do.  Growing up, if a room was empty there better not be a light on.

I'd be reticent to turn my high powered gear on/off a couple of times a day everyday.  The thermal cycling for hot running gear could be detrimental.  Maybe don't leave it on overnight but turn it on in the morning and leave it on for the day.  Cut the thermal cycling in half.

Here's a cool story:  I worked out at a large railroad yard the summer of 1976, just before starting college mowing the grass, trimming trees, unloading wrecked railroad cars and other odd jobs.  One day I was mowing and stopped at a shack that was across from the "hump".  The hump, or hill was used as a gravity feed to build the trains.  The railroad cars would be cataloged, roll down the hill and were then fed to various spurs to build the trains going to their new destinations.  This shack was a radar shack.  It's sole purpose was to read the speed of the railroad cars going down the hill and apply brakes to slow them down as needed.

The railroad by then had seen their heyday.  Most of the technology being used there was from the 1940s and 1950s.  I walked into this shack and  I saw a room to my left full of wet cells.  On down was another large room and a man sitting at a desk.  This room had two large banks of vacuum tubes, one on the left and one on the right.  These were several refrigerator sized cabinets full of vacuum tubes.  At the end of the room were some windows with a view of the hump and one small meter reading out MPH.  He explained to me the purpose of this shack.  It was a large vacuum tube powered analog computer whose sole function was to read the speed and apply the brakes.  It was amazing.

I commented to him that with hundreds of tubes in these cabinets he must be busy changing them out all of the time.  He said that he hadn't had to change a tube in 11 years.  I was amazed.  He said it is never turned off.


500 watts is a lot of power to use 24 x 7 for an hour or two of listening. At very least I would turn off over night.

Pass has an idle mode where a trickle of current is used to keep the circuits warm, Audio Research now has a 3 1/2 minute soft startup. Too bad they did not implement something.

Don't most of the new components these days have a standby option? My Marantz unit uses 0.03w/hr in standby mode as does my CA streamer per the apps. I don't let my gear stay on all day and night. If it stays on overnight it's by accident. If it's on all day it's because I'm actively listening to music. My speakers get warmed up by playing music, vs just letting them sit there "warming up" with nothing being played. 

If I found my gear was consuming $150+ of electricity a month just in idle mode, I'd be replacing them with equipment that had a standby mode or just turn the gear on a little while before listenings. But then again...I don't have such exotic gear to tend to. 

@bipod72 . I was going to post the same thing. I have 2 sets of amps, the grand daddy to your Omega’s

The CAM350’S, Oddly enough they don’t consume as much as my Acoustat TNT200’s

I don’t have the idle consumption for the Classe’s, but the TNT200’s consume 100 watts each, Even at 8 cents a KWH for me, leaving them on 24/7 seems wasteful. I don’t listen every day. Usually I know when I’m in that mood to listen for hours, I power the amps up a day before, which keeps the heat and the energy bill down. The funny thing is, I can look at hourly consumption from my provider and know exactly when I have my music marathons....One other note, my TNT200’s drive my Acoustat Spectra 33’s, (Electrostats)which I do leave plugged in 24/7

Enjoy the Music

If you really want to monitor your usage, several electrical manufacturers have monitoring systems. I use on of the major manufacturers setups, not to get to geeked out but ct’s added to your main panel and multiple monitoring at the output source and I get a total view of usage and monitor (as granular as per device).

This has become, more widely use in the green (solar markets) but I found for a few hundred dollars I get a complete picture of usage. Just for complete disclosure I do work in the industry that sells these type of products, but that is why I don’t specify any manufacturer.