High performance audio products need a burn-in period before they'll give you their fabulous musical results.
Some manufacturers rubbish the idea of burn-in, saying it's a con. They ought to realise how out of date they are.
Burn-in is real and was discovered many years ago in Silicon Valley by engineers whose job it was to make the high performance semiconductors required to digitize analogue signals.
Their findings indicated that all electronic components needed to be "burned-in" or operated continually in an application for some time, after which the apparatus would deliver the full expected performance.
The high performance audio equipment we manufacture is just the same. It processes analogue signals in one way or another, and to reach its designed performance, it also has to be "burned-in".
There is nothing magical about burn-in. All that it requires is for the equipment to be 'given chance' to settle - for all its electronic components to fully stabilize - and that means leaving it powered on. And that's why we don't fit an off-switch.
The broadcast-audio equipment both Graham Slee and John Cadman worked with some years ago, was left on all the time after it was commisioned.
This was for two reasons, one obvious that the equipment had to be always ready for use; and the other less-obvious to the layman, being that the equipment was needed to always perform with the stability essential for broadcast transmission.
Only after being on for several hours (or days) would a circuit reach the stability required.
Our products also need to perform at their best for you so it makes sense, that 1] you leave them on so they can "burn-in"; and then 2] you leave them on so they're always ready to deliver their optimum performance.
In some situations things cannot be left on: One being battery operated equipment.
If left on the battery or batteries would be quickly drained. That's why we include in our battery operated equipment (i.e.: the Voyager) the option to receive power from an outboard power supply or USB voltage. Leaving it hooked up to these 'sustainable' supplies improves their performance.
In the case of our Bitzie USB audio DAC, it can be left connected to a USB 5V charger when not in use.
There will obviously be cost involved in power consumption, but our products aren't incredibly power-hungry, and average out at around £20/$20 for a whole year (5p/5c a day).
But won't they wear-out sooner? No. Because we design our products for always-on we design them to last.
Our products don't get hot to the touch, although some do get warm. Products that get hot don't last when always-on because component stresses are increased, especially with electrolytic capacitors (metal can capacitors) which "dry-out" in heat.
We use life projection modelling as well as long-term trials to ensure our products last the course. We don't use our own life projection modelling - we use those from respected well-established component manufacturers who know what they're doing.
Additionally, we only use quality electronic components of known origin, and refuse to use experimental and quirky components often referred to as "specialist hi-fi components".
It's best for all-out performance to leave our products on, but what if you're going away?
Then it's wise to switch off all power, because even though our products meet rigorous safety standards, it gives you peace of mind.
Once you return get the power back on and after a period of 72 hours they will have returned to their previous level of performance.