Will the CD laser burn out faster if the player is left on all the time?
I was told that if I leave my CD player powered on all the time, the CD laser head will burn out faster. Is this true?
Basically, when the disc is seeking it is working more of the gears and mechanicals, moving the head in and out and altering the disc speed. Burned discs, being harder to read, will require longer seeks to find the relevant data, meaning this mechanical process may take longer, with more movement on the parts.
Since I was not sure of the answer, I decided to ask Mr Oh Sing Her, the well-regarded repairer of hi-fi components.
According to Mr Oh, it is actually better to leave the CD player powered on all the time as the components would probably last longer, especially the capacitors.
Also, the warmth inside the player would prevent fungus from growing on the prism and lens of the laser unit.
When the CD player is powered on, the laser head will not be turned on (except for a few units like the Arcam Alpha and some Sony models which have the laser light on even when it is not reading a CD).
Mr Oh reckons that some 95% of CD players and all of the newer models would have the laser turned off when the CD player is powered on. So the laser will not burn out faster when the player is left with power on.
What about integrated amps? Better to leave them powered on?
Mr Oh added that perhaps it is not advisable to leave CD players with tube outputs powered on all the time because it may shorten the lifespan of the tubes.