audio_PHIL_e

Power switch location

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Prompted by @Ganders' pix of the 405 he's selling. The power switch is on the back. It is on my Radford STA25 too. Why would you want that? Why fiddle round the back to switch things on & off? IIRC there was once a thing for leaving stuff switched on all the time but tbh I can't afford the lekky bills and neither do I want the power surge after a power cut to take out the gear I left switched on. I have my gear on switched power distribution boards but I can't help thinking life would be easier if the power switch was on the front ...

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, audio_PHIL_e said:

Prompted by @Ganders' pix of the 405 he's selling. The power switch is on the back. It is on my Radford STA25 too. Why would you want that? Why fiddle round the back to switch things on & off? IIRC there was once a thing for leaving stuff switched on all the time but tbh I can't afford the lekky bills and neither do I want the power surge after a power cut to take out the gear I left switched on. I have my gear on switched power distribution boards but I can't help thinking life would be easier if the power switch was on the front ...

I agree with you entirely  - i keep getting an itch to change my amp (or as has happened in the past slotted a new one in then slotted it back out again) but fortunately many of the amps I seem to fancy fail on two counts - an on off switch on the rear (my missus would never get on with rare entry) and less than 1 volt input requirement for the preamp (even more annoying than an on off switch in the wrong place.   I have however been considering some Class D amps as it seems they use very little power if left on all the time (which alleviates the problem of having to bend down and reach round the rare to switch the bloody thing off).

I also want to shoot all designers that do not do a balance control .. it is an actual fact that the majority of the population do not have equal hearing with both ears and that coupled with trying to shoe horn speakers into a non dedicated room sometimes means that reflections can alter the balance as well .. the only solution being for me (being a pre and power amp man) would be to have a power amp with gain controls for each channel .. that limits the choice even further).   I did ask one notable designer and producer why he left them off and was told "keeps costs down and keeps reviewers happy and is theoretically better from a noise point of view" which was strange as I was also told the much the same thing by a loudspeaker designer about bi wiring terminals on loudspeakers.  Who knows what the true answer is, all i know is I need a balance control.  I did laugh at a review of a Croft Pre amp where the reviewer moaned about two volume controls (L&R) as it was impossible to set them identically ...  I do say though I quite like the split pot idea (as on the Pioneer A400) 

So my wish for design requirements is an on off switch on the front .. variable output (not the volume control) on Preamps, a Balance control (or left and right volume and a master gain if they want) and as a belt and braces approach variable input level control on power amps.   

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@uzzy yes, and another thing:

all the inputs are round the back. Why can't we have those racks with patch panels like they had in studios? I agree (in theory) about the least connectors and the shorter the signal paths the better, but if this stuff works in a recording studio why won't it work on your domestic HiFi?

Likewise most of the connections on your PC are round the back. That is also a PITA.

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Super Wammer

(my missus would never get on with rear entry)  :rofl: :shaggers:

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Change your missus then. ;-)

Or have some alternatives available. :whistle:

Edited by JANDL100
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Super Wammer

I’d somehow thought that putting power switches out of reach coincided with the widespread adoption of remote control switching.  I have owned one exception, with no power switch, so that lived for decades in standby.  My present amp survives on a fraction of a Watt while in standby.  

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On 17/11/2020 at 17:03, JANDL100 said:

Change your missus then. ;-)

Or have some alternatives available. :whistle:

7E8B80B5-7C20-4E4F-A9B2-A200E1599576.jpeg

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On 17/11/2020 at 14:16, audio_PHIL_e said:

Prompted by @Ganders' pix of the 405 he's selling. The power switch is on the back. It is on my Radford STA25 too. Why would you want that? Why fiddle round the back to switch things on & off? IIRC there was once a thing for leaving stuff switched on all the time but tbh I can't afford the lekky bills and neither do I want the power surge after a power cut to take out the gear I left switched on. I have my gear on switched power distribution boards but I can't help thinking life would be easier if the power switch was on the front ...

I fully agree unless there's a front panel and remote control switch to Standby, that should consume a fraction of a watt, so no drain on power bill. Some amps such as Class D installed in subs or active speakers use very little power and remain very cool when there's no signal, so they should possibly be exceused front panel switches.

I've boycotted many amps that would probably be ideal with my speakers for just that reason - no accessible means to switch off or put into Standby.  First Watt amps are probably the worst offender as they are Class A.  Also many valve amps need fumbling around amongst the cables to switch off. 

Edited by hearhere

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I may be wrong but I've generally taken a power switch on the rear to be a sign that a device is not meant to be regularly switched off. The components I've had like that I've left on, but they weren't components that used much power.

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In today's world, there is and should be no place for the vast majority of electronics being left powered up when not in use. Apart from one TV (which plays merry hell with the settings) and obviously digital clocks, everything here is turned off when not in use. Quite apart from the ecological impact, I hate paying utility companies any more than strictly necessary.

I don't buy the argument about things 'needing' to be left powered up and I never have. The only aspect is that degradation of electronics is often the consequence of inrush current, but any properly designed power supply should account for this.

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On 17/11/2020 at 16:26, uzzy said:

I agree with you entirely  - i keep getting an itch to change my amp (or as has happened in the past slotted a new one in then slotted it back out again) but fortunately many of the amps I seem to fancy fail on two counts - an on off switch on the rear (my missus would never get on with rare entry) and less than 1 volt input requirement for the preamp (even more annoying than an on off switch in the wrong place.   I have however been considering some Class D amps as it seems they use very little power if left on all the time (which alleviates the problem of having to bend down and reach round the rare to switch the bloody thing off).

I also want to shoot all designers that do not do a balance control .. it is an actual fact that the majority of the population do not have equal hearing with both ears and that coupled with trying to shoe horn speakers into a non dedicated room sometimes means that reflections can alter the balance as well .. the only solution being for me (being a pre and power amp man) would be to have a power amp with gain controls for each channel .. that limits the choice even further).   I did ask one notable designer and producer why he left them off and was told "keeps costs down and keeps reviewers happy and is theoretically better from a noise point of view" which was strange as I was also told the much the same thing by a loudspeaker designer about bi wiring terminals on loudspeakers.  Who knows what the true answer is, all i know is I need a balance control.  I did laugh at a review of a Croft Pre amp where the reviewer moaned about two volume controls (L&R) as it was impossible to set them identically ...  I do say though I quite like the split pot idea (as on the Pioneer A400) 

So my wish for design requirements is an on off switch on the front .. variable output (not the volume control) on Preamps, a Balance control (or left and right volume and a master gain if they want) and as a belt and braces approach variable input level control on power amps.   

Agree totally with your views on hearing imbalance and the need for a balance control.  If you also take into account speaker imbalance, often greater than + or - 3db.  The minimalism in many Amps is a hair shirted philosophy, never understood it.  Yet if you have a Devaliet Amp.  Send them your speaker details and they may be able to match the Amp and Speakers.  This is without having any info on your room size, speaker locations and the room's acoustics.  May have been better when  graphic equalisers were in fashion?

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The only hifi component I leave powered up is my miniDSP SHD, as it doesn't have a way to properly shutdown the streaming service (Volumio) and so turning it off is a bit like switching a PC off at the wall. Stupid I know. 

I have a Raspberry Pi I use in the kitchen that I leave on too actually, as although it can be shutdown properly it's a bit of a faff. That's being lazy though if I'm honest. It doesn't use much power though.

My power amp is always off when not being used as it uses 30 W doing nothing otherwise.

Edited by MartinC

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Super Wammer

I have monoblocks that use the same casework for both amps & the switches are on the rear and to the right. This means the right channel is easy to get too from the side but the left is only reached by sliding your hand between the two amps and very close to rather hot valves which is a bit risky to say the least.

I would'nt dream of leaving them powered up unattended under any circumstances (who would) so putting the power switches on the back is quite frankly just daft.

I agree about having some channel balance control which my pre amp has in it's menu so not a knob on the front, It gives me + or - three db & I need it as my left ear is weaker than my right. Not my reason for buying the pre but very happy it has been included.

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On 17/11/2020 at 11:16, Nopiano said:

I’d somehow thought that putting power switches out of reach coincided with the widespread adoption of remote control switching.  I have owned one exception, with no power switch, so that lived for decades in standby.  My present amp survives on a fraction of a Watt while in standby.  

I remember when early PCs, like the IBM XT and such, had their power switches on the back/back side of the computer.  In fact, on those computers, the power switches were directly on the power supply itself.  Eventually, the hard power switches moved up front somewhere around the 386/486 era.  Eventually, computers with power management took over and the front power switch was merely a 'soft' power switch.  Some power supplies have hard power switches on them still.

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I have a London Chinese HD radio component tuner which has a hard power switch on the back and a soft power/standby switch on the front.  That's not an unusual thing, of course, but the odd thing is that the London tuner uses just as much power in standby as it does when it's fully turned on!  :doh:  So, yeah, I have to use the back power switch or else all I'm doing is turning off the front panel LCD display.  :?  HD radio (our version of DAB, but component HD radio tuners are hard to find) is such London anyway that I rarely use that tuner.  Thus, it's not even in my main stack right now.  It's sitting in the closet unplugged. 

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@Klassik Then there's the Rasperry Pi which doesn't even have a power switch. Fortunately the processor draws so little current that it doesn't matter if you leave it switched on. Unfortunately the web browser s/w is badly written (either that or the OS scheduler is a PoS) so when (as happens several times a day) the broadband fails to deliver a requested page the whole machine locks up and the only answer is to power-cycle it. Wait for the silly little plug to disintegrate ...

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