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Warm vs cold computer.


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I have mostly turned off my laptop after listening but the dac is on most of the time. Yesterday I left my laptop on for many hours before listening and I think I got a better sound. Is this logical or am I just fooling myself?

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I have mostly turned off my laptop after listening but the dac is on most of the time. Yesterday I left my laptop on for many hours before listening and I think I got a better sound. Is this logical or am I just fooling myself?

 

I don't know about the SQ, but I keep my MBP plugged into the AC charger all the time, and just put it into sleep mode when I'm not playing music, which also spins down the bus-powered FireWire HDD. I also run the battery down once a month then recharge it to keep it healthy, as per Apple's recommendation. No audible SQ difference between AC and battery operation.

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I have mostly turned off my laptop after listening but the dac is on most of the time. Yesterday I left my laptop on for many hours before listening and I think I got a better sound. Is this logical or am I just fooling myself?

 

 

You are fooling yourself.

 

No matter what you have heard, a computer either produces the right data or it doesn't. There's really no place for ambiguity here. If there were, your OS would boot sometimes and other times it wouldn't or perhaps Word would launch when the computer was "warm" but, perhaps, wouldn't launch when the computer was cold...

George

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I have mostly turned off my laptop after listening but the dac is on most of the time. Yesterday I left my laptop on for many hours before listening and I think I got a better sound. Is this logical or am I just fooling myself?

 

I can't specifically speak from experience with a laptop, but I can certainly say my workstation built around both Xonar ST and Meridian soundcards definitely sounds better after extensive warming up, both via the digital and analogue outputs and even the inputs. Best sound seems to come after 24 hours continuous use, so if I have a batch of transfers I need to make I will warm the machine up prior to making them.

 

At first I thought I was just hearing the influences of the analogue amplification warming up, however I've made recordings via the digital out and digital in loops that I can use (from one soundcard to the other which I use when doing certain mixing tasks) and I could hear the difference in those resulting "pure" digital recordings - warm and versus cold. I was also able to successfully blind ABX the cold versus warm files (via Foobar ABX) so as to eliminate placebo and expectation bias effects.

 

Bottom line is that if I doing something critical I let things thoroughly warm up first. My experience is that the purely digital parts of the audio chain - whether it be standalone or inside a computer - are just as effected by warm-up as anything else, though the effect is much more subtle than the effects of warming up an amplifier or say, a CD player connected via it's analogue outputs.

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