Amp running a bit hot... is this dangerous?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Reznik, May 21, 2002.

  1. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently purchased a B&K Ref 7270 power amp. I have it plugged into a monster hts2600 surge protector/line conitioner. I leave my amp turned on all the time and it runs a little warm even when not in use. Is this normal? Is this bad for the amp? Can this cause dammage?

    I've read several posts on this forum where people suggested good ventilation... can someone please suggest a good ventilation system and/or fan. Something that won't be too loud.

    Thanks!
     
  2. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Mike,

    There's a bias voltage/current running through the amplifier while it's on at all times.

    It's the bias that sets your minimum draw from the wall. Since there is no output to speakers, there's nowhere for the consumed electricity to go.

    Any power not output to the speaker binding posts will be radiated away as heat.

    Regards,
     
  3. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Thanks for your reply. So I now understand why the amp runs warm... but is this bad for the amp? Should I turn off the amp when I'm not using it? Is there any harm in leaving it turned on at all times?
     
  4. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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    Most amps do run warm when left on without any signal thru them. This is normal and as long as you have about 4" along all sides of the amp you dont need an external fan etc. In a 7270 there are seven channels in one box so its bound to heat up. Mosfet amps esp., someone correct me if I am wrong, dissipate more heat then bipolar amps.
     
  5. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Is this amp in a closed space like a cabinet? If so you may wish to use a small fan to vent out the warn air out the back. Ideally you would want atelast two ventilation holes, one at the bottom to bring in cool air and one at the top to vent out the warm air. You would want to place the fan at the top to force the air out.

    You can easily build a fan by purchasing a computer case fan. Quite often it will even tell you how loud it is in db. I bought one that was only 21db at full speed. Can't remember the brand name but I can look it up if you wish. Anyways, then go to radioshack and buy a 12V Dc converter or a 9V to make the fan spin slower and quieter). Now take the power cable from the DC converter and the fan, strip off the ends and join the. When you plug it in the fan will start to spin. Since you run your amp at all times you can simply lug it into the wall, otherwise you can plug it into the back of the amp so it's on only when the amp is on.

    This should cause enough circulation to keep things cool. If it's not enough add more fans.

    Btw, you could even just place a fan on top of te amp's vents to suck out and hot air. That should make a big difference.

    - Mike
     
  6. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    Amps that are biased high into Class-A normally run warm and hot, even during idle. If that is the case, it should be more overbuilt as to handle the extra stress that it takes the whole time instead of just during sustained power demand.

    I had a old B&T ST-202 and the external heat sinks are always hot to the touch, and the driver stage transistors has heat sinks attached to it.

    I would not use a fan if there is no operational problem with the amp, since for an amp to sound optimally, it has to be at operational, stable temperature.
     
  7. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    I'd say a seperate power amp can tolerate higher temps then an integrated amp or receiver, simply because of the electronics on board. The new digital receivers are practically a computer with an amp.
    If not properly ventilated the heat could build up. Heat sinks rely on a well ventilated area. If your amp or receiver is in a poorly vented area (eg cabinet) then there might be cause for concern. If however the amp/receiver is in an open area then it should be okay. My only concern there would be that dust could get into the amp and hinder the natural cooling process by blocking the amps internal vents. You can always use a fan with a small filter in all the intake vents to reduce that, but that might be a little bit overkill. [​IMG]
    - Mike
     
  8. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the replies!

    My amp is sitting on the lowest shelf of a bel'ogetti rack. So there is about 3-4 inches on all sides except the back of the amp. It sounds like this should be enough room to "breathe". I have not experienced any problems with it, the amp is working great. I guess am just being a little over-protective.

    But it sounds like it wouldn't hurt anything to put a fan on anyway. There were several good suggestions posted. I'll try one of those.

    Thanks again!

    -Mike
     

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