For a project i plan to use my good Neumann TLM 103 mics with a sound devices usbpre2 + laptop for 24 hours non-stop. Those 24-hour "sessions" will happen probably 5-6 times. (Not in a row)

Could using the mics that way be problematic and cause any issues/damage, (overheating or something similar) or will they be fine if i use them for extended periods like that?

Thanks for any insight!


  • 1
    Back in the day, studios used to never switch anything off. The prevailing theory being that it caused more damage to power-cycle than not. [I have no real clue as to whether that is actually true or not]
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 19 '14 at 19:15
  • Interesting point. I never used mics for longer periods than a few hours... but what you wrote above probably means it will at least not immediately destroy them. :)
    – dadad
    Sep 19 '14 at 20:50
  • Any other thoughts on the subject, anyone?
    – dadad
    Sep 19 '14 at 20:51
  • 1
    More vaguely relevant factoids... My Mac & USB mic pres get power-cycled for OS updates, rest of the time they're on. 6 years old & no signs of quitting. My 1970's BBC Neumann U87 has been through thousands of power-cycles, but used to be on all day when it was in service. Still going strong.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 20 '14 at 6:47

Your gear should be perfectly fine, provided proper ventilation (especially for the laptop), and controlled/limited exposure to moisture (esp. the mics and laptop). Don't let it get wet, don't cover stuff up so the heat builds up - and you should be fine.

Especially large consoles are supposedly left on. This is mostly because of what power on/off spikes might do to the thousands of capacitors in them (and maintenance is expensive on those big consoles). Leaving them on reduces power spikes, thus (hopefully) reducing blown caps in old consoles.


The valves of your preamp will run out after some time. So if you use expensive valves, be sure to turn the equipment of if not needed.

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