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hornet burn stages

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
can we see if there's some kind of consensus on the stages of hornet burn in sound quality? i'm currently on 175 hours. out of the box was a bit on the harsh side, treble was a bit brittle and bass was punchy, soundstage narrow. between 50-100, soundstage started to open up, treble mellowed, bass became very controlled, and tight. 150-175, soundstage compressed a bit in the vocals, but drums, strings, and horns grew impressively in imaging. treble came back, but a bit harsh - not at all like out of the box, but i was reminded of it. vocals are a bit further back. certain tracks are starting to demonstrate a bit of liquidity in parts which highlight the midrange. is this anyone else's experience? and since i'm sittin' around burning this thing in, maybe some people can talk about the final burn stages and what happened in their experience. i have to say, out of the box there was a close race between the hornet and the ipod headphone jack. hornet definitely had tons more texture and speed, but the soundstage was almost similar. now there's a drastic difference between the amp and the headphone jack...
post #2 of 104
I think with most of the amps you need at least 300 plus hours for real settling to begin. A good dark beer also helps. I am sure, from what I have read, that once it settles in you will be smiling. Now for a good beer.
post #3 of 104
PM Romanee, I'm sure he'll be happy to give you his blow by blow, or at least point you to one of his insights on it elsewhere on the threads.
post #4 of 104
Thread Starter 
umm... thanks for the advice on beer drinking, but let's try to stay on point here... trying to 'qualify' the stages of burn, because i'm bored. i know it takes 350+ hours, that's not the question...
post #5 of 104
I'll try to give a really brief take.

My experience was that by roughly 300 hours or so the soundstage was much wider and deeper, the sound more open, imaging better -- but though the bass was tight I felt it was still somewhat anemic, which made me very anxious. The highs were improved, but not quite as clean and sweet and I would have liked. Close to 350 hours the bass became deeper with more energy and impact, and the highs were more lucid and nuanced (clean edges to notes, finer inner detail). I thought that was it, but between 350-400 hours the bass actually improved more, with more punch/impact/energy, and the mids-on-up became sweeter. The overall sound became more "liquid" as in flowing and musical, without loss of detail. The final result is a energetic, quick, extended, but fast, punchy, rich and a lot of fun.

All this is totally subjective and very un-scientific, so it's just my feeling about it.

Look forward to hearing your experiences, good-bad-or-indifferent (I doubt it'll be the last one).

Forget the beer until AFTER you've done listening. Then quaff with impunity (and gusto).
post #6 of 104
popped in a nasty 200 mah nimh powerex (not going to put my 270mah accupower through this burn-in) and the charger, and running the Hornet nonstop for a while (well except when i take the hornet to work and dogwalks!) it'll get a nice listen everyday for a few hours, and otherwise be chugging away on the desk.
post #7 of 104
300+ hours is the general consensus after reading so many posts about the hornet. so just hang in there.
post #8 of 104
What takes 300 hours to break in? The only part in an amplifier that might need such settling time would be if very old electrolytic caps were used. I had some old panasonic HF that took several days of use before the harshness disappeared.
post #9 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEATTEFLON
What takes 300 hours to break in? The only part in an amplifier that might need such settling time would be if very old electrolytic caps were used. I had some old panasonic HF that took several days of use before the harshness disappeared.
It's called placebo. You think you hear changes because it's expensive gear. My dad, as electrical engineer, tells me there's virtually nothing that needs a few minutes of 'burn-in', let alone 300 hours. The electronic stuff inside needs a few seconds, at most, to settle. Oh well, it's another burn-in debate and above all, things that audiophiles 'can hear' and other people cannot
post #10 of 104
Aged electrolytics is not a placebo. I think I can tell when the sound is very shrill due to the lack of capacitance.
post #11 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEATTEFLON
Aged electrolytics is not a placebo. I think I can tell when the sound is very shrill due to the lack of capacitance.
Old equipment is indeed different from new. But this is besides the burn-in factor I talked about earlier. My dad also states that a new speaker amp would do well, cause the Marantz has been doing 20+ years of service by now (so does the CDP), and the SQ has degraded over the years.
post #12 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee
My experience was that by roughly 300 hours or so the soundstage was much wider and deeper, the sound more open, imaging better -- but though the bass was tight I felt it was still somewhat anemic, which made me very anxious.
I'm glad to know the bass impact will improve with use. I didn't realize how anemic the bass was until I started using my SR60 + Porta Corda MkII combo again.
post #13 of 104

A little chat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder
It's called placebo. You think you hear changes because it's expensive gear. My dad, as electrical engineer, tells me there's virtually nothing that needs a few minutes of 'burn-in', let alone 300 hours. The electronic stuff inside needs a few seconds, at most, to settle. Oh well, it's another burn-in debate and above all, things that audiophiles 'can hear' and other people cannot
There's no magic. (I won't mention "placebo" one way or the other.) If a $60 amp did the same I'd post my impressions accordingly. In fact I have posted very favorable comments (in perspective) about the $60 PA2V2, which I believe is a tremendous value. Though not a high-end contender, I heartily recommend it for those on a really tight budget. It may not be refined, but it's got big caps and lotsa guts for a tiny price. I'm not a big ticket snob by any means. I can't even afford the high end gear that I love to hear, and understanding budget constraints very well I would never suggest anyone spend their hard-earned cash on something I didn't feel was well worth it -- based solely on my own extended listening and comparisons.

Your ears, anyone's ears - assuming their ears aren't seriously impaired - can hear the difference if you have a "new-out-of-the-box" M-Hornet next to one that's had about 400 hours of play time. More than one Head-fi member has done this and posted findings, though it might help if there were some more of these from different listeners. I say "might", since I expect that those who adamantly refuse to believe that this is possible will be prepared to deny it at all costs.

Even if you can't/don't have the patience to listen to any subtleties (soundstage width, cleaner highs, imaging, inner detail, etc.), the difference in bass energy and impact, if nothing else, is audible.

A while back I had a chat with Filburt, who explained that, technically, nothing actually burns in. Since then I still use the term "burn in" (though I usually enclose it in quotes to accommodate the technical objections) since it's now the most commonly-used term for this process of maturing, or settling (or whatever you choose to call it) that any piece of audio equipment goes through from new to "optimal".

I also told Filburt that I have no EE-related expertise and I would look to members like him to hopefully discover what technically may be occurring to account for audible changes -- because there are audible changes with some equipment. I've experienced some equipment that does not change significantly (if at all), some that changes for the worse, and some that audibly improves with play time. Some require relatively little play time and a few require relatively long periods.

The only way a decent pair of ears won't hear the difference between virgin and "optimal" M-Hornet -- or any equipment that exhibits perceptible changes -- is if the mind is so closed as to filter out all but "sameness".

There are, of course, people who have no interest in any of this, and whose minds are closed to hearing any but the grossest differences (and sometimes even those are interpreted in unusual ways). I know one such person who, when first presented with very cheap headphones, connected to a cheap and noisy source -- and then a much better pair of headphones connected to a good transport/DAC/Amp, both systems level-matched for perceived volume, listened just a few seconds to each (no patience for more) and said, about the better system, "I don't know -- is this one louder or something?" and quickly walked away, disinterested. It is very possible for the mind to be incapable -- or at least unprepared -- to hear equipment differences that others perceive as clearly audible (technical considerations aside).

In the 1980s, many mid-fi gear manufacturers -- large and small -- published their products' specs (often in large, expensive ads in glossy magazines) to "prove" how great their products sound. Then, as now, there were plenty of electronics experts (EE or other otherwise) who asserted that high-end audiophile pursuits were a lie, unnecessary, impossible to prove, and merely a pursuit of self-delusion.

Then, as now, people just had to listen to hear. Yes, then as now there were lots who wanted to believe they could choose "the best" or were easily persuaded, one way or another, to spend lots of money unnecessarily. There are a goodly number, however, who are intelligent and independent, and who have pretty good hearing and judgment.

I'm a perennial skeptic and have a knee-jerk reaction again peer pressure, group dynamics, fads, trends, and persuasion. I'll question my own ears before posting my own impressions. If I discover I've made an error, I'm always willing to listen again and post a correction if needed. Of course there's nothing to stop you from saying my perceptions are illusory -- and yes, I can make mistakes just like everyone else. I only post any comments as reference or recommendation for others to listen for themselves. I don't expect anyone to accept anything I say as true for them, but regarding the M-Hornet I suggest that others listen to the new unit versus 400+ hour unit and report.

I certainly don't expect you to believe anything I say, and I would never try to pressure you to acknowledge anything I say as true. After all, you don't know me, never met me, and we have no history together for you judge whether or not there's any value to my judgments.

I might venture a guess, from your post, that it is fairly unlikely that anything will move you from your position, which is fine. Diversity is interesting.

However, if you ever happen to be somewhere, an audio event, friends house -- whatever -- and actually happen to have the opportunity to hear a virgin-vs-400+-hour M-Hornet, just give a listen with an open mind. Obviously don't try to hear anything one way or the other. Just hear, and if that ever happens I'll be very interested to hear your comments -- whatever they may be "good, bad, or indifferent". I couldn't tell you what a good set up for this might be in terms of ancillary components, connectors and power -- I'm sure there are enough audio experts to offer suggestions.

BTW - Hopefully this is a friendly discussion and not a debate. I've tried to explain myself as well as possible. If there are flaws in my discussion, my apologies -- and for the length of it.
post #14 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by socrates63
I'm glad to know the bass impact will improve with use. I didn't realize how anemic the bass was until I started using my SR60 + Porta Corda MkII combo again.
Along the way I called Ray and discussed the lean bass with him (I worried he might have just shifted the whole balance up the frequency spectrum at the expense of the deep bass...) and he just said "be patient, it will be there -- you're in for a surprise", or something like that (I don't remember exactly what -- it was a long chat). The lows just took a long time to arrive. With this amp the bass seemed to have blossomed between 300-350 hours, but surprisingly improved more between 350-400 hours (no more changes after that)! I don't know if there's any unit-to-unit variation, or if they'll all follow a similar "curve". Let us know what happens with yours.
post #15 of 104
nice post, romanee. i think for the simple-minded people like myself, if someone mentions to me that there will be a change in sound after 400+ hours of burn in, then i'll take the advice and see for myself. it doesn't hurt... if after 400+ hours and there is no change, then start debating on the matter. debating is always fun!
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