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Thread: Caiman -- three weeks of burn-in

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,166
    I'm Alex.

    Default Caiman -- three weeks of burn-in

    I am a software developer by profession, so I like the divide-and-conquer approach (good for taming complexities). Hence, I'm chopping the discussion into separate threads, which seems to confuse some inmates here. Apologies, I just prefer to have things neatly compartmentalized.

    In today's installation, I'm offering some observations and comments on a never ending saga with the Caiman burn-in (this may come in handy for some future Caiman-heads, while they're impatiently waiting to hear this DAC's full potential).

    So, after three weeks of constant burn-in, the DAC continues to improve This morning, it presented the music material with full authority, balls-to-the-wall and all, but also with gentle tenderness and delicacy. How can that be? Dunno, but that's how I felt it while listening to Stevie Wonder's "Blame it on the Sun". Also, Blood Sweat and Tears rip through "Hi-De-Ho" with such aplomb, that it left me absolutely speechless. The soaring choir and the mock-muffled brass, with swampy mouth harmonica on top, never sounded this much in focus, sharp and at the same time emotionally engaging, fully musical.

    I also feel that the bass is becoming more airy. Not as hard as it sounded last week. Not sure if I prefer that, but just goes to show you how this DAC keeps changing constantly. I just keep it running, and wonder in awe at what it's capable of, with the passage of time. One thing is for sure: with burn-in, I'm progressively hearing more and more previously undetected details, especially the quieter ones.

    I just feel at this point that I really, really need to get me a top-shelf mighty power amp, something that will take the juice that oozes from the Caiman and push it to the Maggies without losing control.

    Also, I've switched back to my DSP 200s preamp; the Caiman preamp just couldn't deliver enough juice to my DPA 200s power amp. That may change, however, if I get lucky and get me a power amp upgrade.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 512
    I'm Twisted.

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    Is it conceivable that the dac isn't changing at all, but that you are listening more attentively?
    Simon

    Pi, Allo Katana+Isolator; Longdog 300b; Reiver Fenwicks & Edingdales; Mark Grant G1500; Colin Topps wires; dedicated mains, chair.

    Twitter @siashmore

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashmore View Post
    Is it conceivable that the dac isn't changing at all, but that you are listening more attentively?
    It is. I would say, however, that if indeed I'm listening more attentively now, this is thanks to learning, from this DAC, about how to listen more attentively.

    In my prior experience, when I would get a component that would make an audible difference in the sound quality, that difference didn't seem to improve over time. It is only with this DAC that I'm noticing the almost tangible change with the progressive burn-in. One could argue that, while I was evaluating my previous components, I was also listening to them more and more attentively, however, I wasn't able at that time to detect any improvement from one week to another.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Wythall, Worcestershire, UK

    Posts: 804
    I'm Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Also, I've switched back to my DSP 200s preamp; the Caiman preamp just couldn't deliver enough juice to my DPA 200s power amp. That may change, however, if I get lucky and get me a power amp upgrade.
    If you are changing other parts of your system how on earth can you ascribe differences in what you hear soley to the dac? As a software developer by profession you surely appreciate that when drawing conclusions you dont introduce variables or if you do at least acknowledge their contributions to the outcome.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanS View Post
    If you are changing other parts of your system how on earth can you ascribe differences in what you hear soley to the dac? As a software developer by profession you surely appreciate that when drawing conclusions you dont introduce variables or if you do at least acknowledge their contributions to the outcome.
    Yeah, I know, wanky, isn't it? The thing is, in real life there's a lot of compromises to be made. We cannot assume that this is exact science, you know.

    In my view, the difference in the sound between using the DAC as a pre-amp vs. using the DSP 200s as a pre-amp are nowhere close as obvious as are the differences between the Caiman out of the box vs. the Caiman after three days of burn-in vs. the Caiman after three weeks of burn-in vs. the Caiman after four weeks of burn-in. Because of that observation, I attribute most of the audible differences to the Caiman burn-in.

    There are many other varying factors that I do not include in the equation. For instance, we keep changing the furniture arrangement in the living room, where my Maggies are. Surely, that must affect the sound, but I just don't factor that in. Also, the weather patterns keep changing on a daily (I should say hourly) basis, especially now in the spring, and surely the barometric pressure and the humidity and the temperature etc. all have certain effect on the sound. Not to mention my mood, level of tiredness, house and street noises that keep varying uncontrollably.

    So it's all pretty much a moving target, and we're sitting here trying to make some sense out of it. Compromises...
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Worcester

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    I'm Hamish.

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    With respect, I'd say moving the speakers and room around during this break in period close to makes your findings meaningless!
    Moving a room around can have vast effects on the sound. I recently moved my kit in my room and it's like a different hifi!
    Hamish

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish View Post
    With respect, I'd say moving the speakers and room around during this break in period close to makes your findings meaningless!
    Moving a room around can have vast effects on the sound. I recently moved my kit in my room and it's like a different hifi!
    No, I didn't touch the speakers. nor did I touch any other hi fi gear. The only things that kept changing are rearranging the chairs, the sofa, some bookshelves, throwing in a larger rug, replacing it with a smaller rub, throwing in some extra cushions on the sofa, opening the curtains, drawing the curtains, that sort of thing.

    That, plus having several people in the room at once, then dropping down to one person only (me), then two people, then several again, etc., you get the picture. All that commotion affects the sound, of course.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Lancaster(-ish), UK

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    I'm ChrisB.

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    The only things that kept changing are rearranging the chairs, the sofa, some bookshelves, throwing in a larger rug, replacing it with a smaller rub, throwing in some extra cushions on the sofa, opening the curtains, drawing the curtains, that sort of thing.
    That's a hell of a lot of 'only's' - that little lot adds up to a significant change - acoustically, a completely different room in fact.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2010

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Grand Wazoo View Post
    That's a hell of a lot of 'only's' - that little lot adds up to a significant change - acoustically, a completely different room in fact.
    Yeah, that's what I was alluding to in reply to the member who complained that my findings are not exactly based on what some might call 'scientific methodology'. And they sure aren't. That's real life for you, folks. A web of compromises, out of which we're trying to find some rhyme or reason.

    Many of us do not have a luxury to afford a dedicated, locked-at-all-times-keep-the-cleaning-maid-out listening room.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Worcester

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    I'm Hamish.

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    Moving book shelves and sofas are fairly big things and certainly not day to day in my house...
    Hamish

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