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Burn-in, Break-in

bobfa

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I am sure that many of you have been told to be careful with your car or your new lawnmower to break-in the engine properly.  You manage speed, vary the load, etc.  until there are a certain number of miles or hours.  The oil is changed early, etc..  Many mechanical devices need this period to run properly over the long term.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Break-in_(mechanical_run-in)

 

Electronic and electromechanical equipment has some of the same needs.  The mechanism is different but the need is there.  Capacitors have to form up, and more.  Some equipment has this done at the factory.  The equipment is put in a chamber that is hot and the gear is operated. This burn-in period can vary a lot depending upon the gear.  One example I have heard more than once is a new phono cartridge.  After it has been installed and you play the first couple of records the sound can be thin.  You can hear it open up over 20 to 30 minutes.  It is wonderful. 

 

Here are a couple of links about burn-in that may be helpful to you:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn-in

 

https://www.tested.com/tech/accessories/459117-science-and-myth-burning-headphones/

 

Bob



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Whenever I read about an audio product that “needs” burn-in, I always wonder why the alleged change in SQ is invariably assumed to be, and experienced as, an *improvement*. 

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3 hours ago, HalSF said:

Whenever I read about an audio product that “needs” burn-in, I always wonder why the alleged change in SQ is invariably assumed to be, and experienced as, an *improvement*. 

It is due to neural adaptation.

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4 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

It is due to neural adaptation.

I do not like absolutes. I would beg to be a bit more open to something more.  

 

 

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It's a generic behaviour of audio sound that it varies over time - there are a myriad number of factors all contributing to the audible distortion, and these factors alter over periods of time for a multitude of reasons. My earliest good rig, once fully warmed up and conditioned, had a severe problem in that the SQ degraded from a standing start of sounding good - the only solution I had at the time was to switch off, allow the power supplies to discharge, and switch on again - this always restored peak sound quality.

 

It's not so much dealing with break-in, but trying to make the overall setup so robust that the SQ is 'guaranteed' to maintain at an adequate level, no matter what. From experience, this is quite a severe hurdle ...

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I am trying to stick with the technology and the terminology here.  I am not sure I want to branch out into other areas.  I guess I am taking a personal bias for now to not take on human factors yet.  I do not even know I am going to simply address some of the more complex technical subjects.  Thank you all for your comments.

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8 hours ago, HalSF said:

Whenever I read about an audio product that “needs” burn-in, I always wonder why the alleged change in SQ is invariably assumed to be, and experienced as, an *improvement*. 

 

Only if it turns out to be an audio product I enjoy hearing my music through and intend to keep. If burn-in makes the sound worse said product goes back and my money is refunded.

 

Thus it is not always an improvement, it can go either way.

 

Also I don't know if its the product being burned-in or me getting use to its sonic qualities. I don't care because either way my action is the same. I have to listen to a wide variety of music I love to decide if I like or dislike an audio product. In other words the issue of burn-in is a non issue IMHO.

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