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Thread: Burn-in or gradually getting accustomed to the sound?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    In my opinion, all manufacturers of audio electronics should 'burn in' their products before they are sold. That way the purchaser can use the item straight away.

    .
    And miss out on the value added 'burn in service' charge? Not likely.

    If it hasn't got moving parts it doesn't need to burn in. It might need a brief warm up, lets be generous and say ten minutes. And that's it. Never mind all this ' I've got 200 hours on it and it is still getting better' nonsense. Aside from anything else, how do you know the improvement isn't one of the other components in the system that is still burning in? How are people able to distinguish the DAC burning in from the mains cable burning in?

    Maybe they keep a log, so once the DAC has reached 300 hours they know it won't be burning in any more so any additional sonic improvements must be the mains cable burning in? At least that would be logically consistent, but I bet they don't do that. They just know.

    Utter bollocks.
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  2. #22
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    The 'burn in' argument falls a bit flat when you change well used components over for other well used components and realise that another 'burn in' is happening, when in actual fact, all that's occuring is just (yet another) reacclimatisation to a change in the sound.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    The 'burn in' argument falls a bit flat when you change well used components over for other well used components and realise that another 'burn in' is happening,
    Never experienced that - Warm up period yes, but new burn in no.
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  4. #24
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    There's something to be said for initial 'burn in' I think in the first few hours after construction, although I've never found the sonic change a large one myself. Some makes in the past (Naim) used to drift all over the shop both in the first few minutes' use on the bench, then again subjectively in the first six months, remaining stable for a while and then drifting off into harshness and distortion a very few years later. I suspect they've fixed it by now as modern amps have totally different boards and layout, but so many CB and Olive models almost had a 'timer' built in to them (for apparently genuine reasons according to an electronics design engineer I trust). This latter isn't burning in as such, it's the circuit drifting (DC offsets and so on).
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  5. #25
    Join Date: May 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    And miss out on the value added 'burn in service' charge? Not likely.

    If it hasn't got moving parts it doesn't need to burn in. It might need a brief warm up, lets be generous and say ten minutes. And that's it. Never mind all this ' I've got 200 hours on it and it is still getting better' nonsense. Aside from anything else, how do you know the improvement isn't one of the other components in the system that is still burning in? How are people able to distinguish the DAC burning in from the mains cable burning in?

    Maybe they keep a log, so once the DAC has reached 300 hours they know it won't be burning in any more so any additional sonic improvements must be the mains cable burning in? At least that would be logically consistent, but I bet they don't do that. They just know.

    Utter bollocks.
    The argument is that, for instance, a brand new cartridge has moving parts that are rigid. Sort of like brand new shoes. You need a few days of walking in new shoes before the initial rigidity goes away and shoes become comfortable. There is a point where cantilever meets the cartridge body and some models have a circle made of some kind of rubber. That part needs to be broken in, allegedly.

    OK, so that makes sense to me. And yes, I think I've heard the difference between brand new, rigid cartridge and a broken in cartridge (say, 20 hours of use).

    But then again, I am perfectly willing to accept the fact that this perception is merely me getting used to the new sound a new cartridge brings in. So the mystery continues...
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  6. #26
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    heard a cart that took about 80 hrs to break in, then sounded great
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  7. #27
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    A cartridge is always going to be changing as the diamond wears, if nothing else. Whether this can really be heard until the point where the tip is so worn the degradation becomes audible is debatable, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I've heard them wear out but never heard them break in. The same applies to speakers, I've had plenty of new speakers and never heard them get any better than they started out. But again this is debatable.

    Methodology is not consistent. If someone gets a brand new component and sits there playing the same bit of music over and over again for however many hours as the burn in happens, and says that they heard it improve over that time, then that at least would be something. The reality is that no-one does that. What happens is we put in the new component, listen to a record, listen to another, listen to another, then we have to do other stuff. Maybe the next day or a few days later we sit and listen again, probably to completely different music. Then another gap. Then more different music.

    So how anyone doing that can confidentially claim that the sound has improved (and it always improves) over 2 or 3 hundred hours of listening to all sorts of different music, different production styles, different production values, over weeks or maybe months, I have no idea. Do they have any idea how poor their memory is for this sort of application? How their constantly changing physical and psychological mood will affect how they think and feel about what they are hearing?
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  8. #28
    Join Date: May 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    The 'burn in' argument falls a bit flat when you change well used components over for other well used components and realise that another 'burn in' is happening, when in actual fact, all that's occuring is just (yet another) reacclimatisation to a change in the sound.
    Or is it that throwing a new piece of the puzzle into the mix triggers the entire system to 'burn in', that is, adjust to the new member of the family?
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpy View Post
    Next you'll be wanting car manufacturers to run your car in for you
    How come new shoes require 'burn in' period, however really high end expensive designer shoes feel perfect from the moment you start wearing them?
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

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  10. #30
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    I'm very sceptical about burn in because of our inability to avoid confounding variables.

    It is hard as a species, because of our biology to be rigidly of a fixed standpoint with which to evaluate external changes.

    We are wired to detect relatively fast changes, and we adapt to the change after a while; habituation.

    There is one real case of what might be called burn in; my new ATC 50s were stated as having a woofer which port-resonated at 33Hz until after some time it would drop to 30Hz. That is exactly what happened, suspension softening.
    Last edited by Pharos; 05-04-2018 at 20:58.

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