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Can an input signal damage a switched off audio device?

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Can an input signal damage a switched off audio device?

Postby forumuser935193 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:24 pm

In my home studio, I often leave some audio equipment powered off when I do not need it, for example, effects units, an analog compressor, an analog mixing console, or an external headphone amplifier. However, due to the cabling and signal routing, I may still send some healthy line-level signals to the inputs. Can this cause damage?

The question is rather precautionary, I have not yet come across a problem caused by it.

Many thanks in advance!
Ron
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Re: Can an input signal damage a switched off audio device?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:21 pm

Hi Ron, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

I think it's highly unlikely that you'll do any damage applying healthy line-level signals to gear that's powered down.

Always happy to be proved wrong, but I haven't heard even anecdotal evidence of this occurring during the last 50 years ;)

Just don't try plugging in any AC mains voltage into your line inputs :beamup:


Martin
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Re: Can an input signal damage a switched off audio device?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:25 pm

No. Provided the signals you're sending are within the normal operating levels the unit would expect anyway, it won't be damaged if turned off at the time.
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Re: Can an input signal damage a switched off audio device?

Postby forumuser935193 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:28 pm

Martin and Hugh,

Many thanks for your super-fast replies! :D That is reassuring to know, then I am a bit relieved.

Best,
Ron
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