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Old 13th March 2010, 08:27 PM   #1
Robcrx is offline Robcrx  Canada
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Question Playing stereo in cold temperatures ?

Is it harmful to run amps and or headunits in very cold temperatures ??
Should the stereo be played at low volume to allow everything to warm up before raising the volume ?
I ask because I know heat is the worst enemy !
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Old 13th March 2010, 08:38 PM   #2
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Unless you are talking less than -40C then i don't see a problem In fact your amplifier or should i say power amp will actually last longer as the power transistors will be running at a lower temperature due to the low ambient temps

Like you said, cooler is better, just watch out for condensation when things get chilly
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Old 13th March 2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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How cold are you talking about ?
If its below the dew point moisture can develop on the circuitry. I have seen this cause corrosion and shorts.
If your talking arctic cold level then you have to worry about the wet caps lower operating temp.
Semiconductors also have a lower temp limit depending on there manufacture spec. Mil-spec has the best temp range available but few use this grade of component especially nowadays. < very expensive devices >

remember silicon has temp spec's and out of the normal range we live in most electronics just plain fails or just does not work at all. If you have ever seen electronics used in satellites and spacecraft that you would understand a bit better about the engineering involved to make these device work in +250 and - 250 environments like that of orbiting the earth or going to the moon.
Then think about what has to be done to visit Venus at +900 < molten solder range > and pressures higher then the bottom of the Ocean here on earth and Sulfuric acid atmosphere etc...no wonder the craft sent there only last 10 to 20 minutes before failure...

Oh I have repaired the vacuum stress test systems here at Lockheed M&S that test satellite packages for space worthiness. Plus I also have seen some outrageously expensive circuitry over the years headed for space duty....

Last edited by 1moreamp; 13th March 2010 at 08:59 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 15th March 2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Cars are routinely torture tested at -40 C and below so I doubt you would see a problem with audio equipment in most habitable regions of the world. Except maybe for CD players / auto changers. As they are electro mechanical it is conceivable that they could throw out their dummy at very low temps. Having said that , the UK has had it's coldest winter in decades this season and my CD changer worked fine at -12 C one morning.
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