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Effects of leaving a mic pre "on" for long periods of time?
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
808 Jake's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Effects of leaving a mic pre "on" for long periods of time?

I ask because I am bidding on a nice solid state preamp on eBay that's been used in a smoke free studio for the last few years, though the seller admits daily use. I have no control over and no way of knowing how long the thing was run for, and that's the gamble you take with used gear. But I am curious, anticipating the worst with long hours of use-- What kind of wear on the internal components can I expect?
Old 30th January 2013
  #2
Here for the gear
 
808 Jake's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Bump
Old 30th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Depends on the product, how well it was taken care of, etc. A smoke-free studio doesn't mean that it's been in a dust-free environment, or a mildew area, etc. As you said it's used and that's a risk you take. The reality is that 90% of the used gear out there is fine, but there's enough issues to make that still hard to fully trust.
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I wouldn't care if a solid state device was powered on for 2 years if it was taken care of. I'd rather buy a very used piece of gear from a responsible and appreciative owner than a new piece of gear from by a slob.

Sometimes you just have to roll the dice.
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar ➑️
I wouldn't care if a solid state device was powered on for 2 years......
Well then I guess that means it at least works, huh?
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons ➑️
Well then I guess that means it at least works, huh?
True!

Seems to me that constant warming/cooling from on/off would do more harm to SS components than a sustained temp. I could be out of my mind wrong, but I leave things on all the time based on that assumption. My home stereo only get shut down if the power goes out.
Old 30th January 2013
  #7
Here for the gear
 
808 Jake's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Highs and lows in temperature and voltage are definitely hard on electronics. But sometimes I feel like things need to take a break!

I just restored a Juno 60, which needed all the usual things. Cleaned contacts, new battery, replace a broken jack, get rid of the corrosion on the pots... I was curious what goes first on regularly used pre's... I'll cross that road when I get to it, though.

I had bidders remorse like 15 seconds after I bid. I psyched myself out reading the description. But I think it should be fine. It's looking like I'm going to win, and I'm actually very excited about it.
Old 30th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 808 Jake ➑️
I ask because I am bidding on a nice solid state preamp on eBay that's been used in a smoke free studio for the last few years, though the seller admits daily use. I have no control over and no way of knowing how long the thing was run for, and that's the gamble you take with used gear. But I am curious, anticipating the worst with long hours of use-- What kind of wear on the internal components can I expect?
I've never turned my GML 8302 off and I've had it for 2 years. still sounds as it should in my opinion.
Old 30th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
shortstory's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
We own not only mic pres but a ton of gear that has been on & off and heavily used over 15 years without issue. Dirty pots are the usual issue not electronics. For what it's worth- I once overloaded a mic pre with a 1k tone for a week to see what would happen--- and nothing. Perfectly fine. It's the mechanical stuff like pots that get you.

I do however believe in turning off tube gear nightly.
Old 30th January 2013
  #10
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Oldone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've run the same Vibrolux guitar amp for 30 years. Thousands of hours of use. Off/On/Off/On. Left it on for days once before discovering it on.

It still runs fines except I decided to swap out the tubes a couple of years ago.

Electrical devices are meant to be on.
Old 30th January 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I never had any bad things happen to analog gear, but I had protools converters drift off clock if left on for days.

On a old b studio I had a Tascam DM24 lcd screen go haywire, but that was more of a problem with them.
Old 30th January 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 
kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I usually power my studio up and down daily. Got rack gear that I've had for 30 years. Everything works fine, no down time ever. Only thing that ever went bad on me was a PCM42 and a 10 year-old 828 that lost its LEDs but still works perfectly.

From what other people say, I don't think it really matters; leave on or power up and down. Constant heat has its deteriorating qualities, just as expansion and contraction does.

Hard drives wear out if left on all the time. I have G4's from the 90's that have been powered up and down thousands of times, and they all are still running perfectly, original HDs.
My office computer stays on all the time, and I've replaced the HD twice in 4 years. Moving parts eventually wear out.
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
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Marcocet's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➑️
From what other people say, I don't think it really matters; leave on or power up and down. Constant heat has its deteriorating qualities, just as expansion and contraction does.
Bingo. Plenty of vintage desks have been left on for decades, and they get way hotter than any individual mic pre. Eventually the electrolytic caps will dry out but it takes a LONG time.

Some of our gear has the power switch on the back. That stuff stays on all the time. It doesn't seem to develop significant problems any more often than the stuff that gets turned off.

Heed the warning about hard drives though. They're delicate beasts.
Old 30th January 2013
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Should be a non issue. My main stere system has a Musical Fidelity A3cr amp and pre that I bought from the prigenal owner. He left them on 24/7 (except power outages and when he took long trips) and I have done the same. They are probably 10 years old if not more with no problems. Well designed analog electronics are supprisinly hardy. Though, like mentioned above, electrolitic capacitors eventually wear out or dry up. Also, carbon comp resistors will absorb moisture and drift over time as well. I have heard you can actually bake them at low temperature (120f or so) for a few days to dry them back out and most of them will come back into spec. I have not tried it myself though.
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