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Burn-in/Break-in...are you a believer?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
No replies necessary, just a vote...
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey View Post
No replies necessary, just a vote...
Damn you again!!!
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey View Post
No replies necessary, just a vote...
You need a poll to take votes...
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
You need a poll to take votes...
I was writing the questions...first you post, then it lets you add them...
post #5 of 32
Gosh! Let's do ghosts and ESP next!

See ya
Steve
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
26 votes so far, and not ONE for taking things on faith, yet people here spend insane amounts of money for things that give no audible improvement whatsoever (like CD treatments, tourmaline ionic generators, Virtual Dynamics power cables, etc.). I find THAT hard to believe...
post #7 of 32
I'd imagine people who do that would be embarrassed to have their ridiculousess spelled out like that for them, and would avoid voting.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, that's why I made the poll results (who voted for what) anonymous. O ye of faith, rejoice, for thou art free from persecution!
post #9 of 32
My problem was that I could have picked about three of those. Based on what I learned in college about chemistry, physics, and engineering:

I believe phones break in mechanically.

I believe components break in due to minor chemical changes that take place in capacitors and resistors. I believe solder joints are affected depending on the compound (I'm not saying I know the difference between compounds, just that current affects different metal combination differently and causes them to bond or breakdown.)

To what level any of this is audible varies.

YMMV

AR
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Redneck View Post
My problem was that I could have picked about three of those. Based on what I learned in college about chemistry, physics, and engineering:

I believe phones break in mechanically.

I believe components break in due to minor chemical changes that take place in capacitors and resistors. I believe solder joints are affected depending on the compound (I'm not saying I know the difference between compounds, just that current affects different metal combination differently and causes them to bond or breakdown.)

To what level any of this is audible varies.

YMMV

AR
a poor solder joint will definately cause problems but ascribing a perceptible sonic difference due to alloy mix vs. mechanical integrity is pushing it IMO.

Tubes degrade over time...caps, resistors, etc... also "age" and lose their orignal electrical characteristics, quicker if they're subjected to excess heat...but at what point can an individual honestly notice a sonic difference???

I find it more realististic that component warm-up (especially with tubes) can have subtle but noticeable effects in certain circuits.
post #11 of 32
The burn-in process is not a matter of faith ("believe"/'not believe"). I have some experience with engineering and I know for a fact that the "burn-in" process is real for many components and is not only "reserved" for headphone/speaker transducers.

Capacitors undergo this process - especially electrolytic caps. Semiconductors also do but to much lesser extent (in practice can be neglected when other components in the circuit are considered). Inductor cores change their properties with time. And so on..

For some components the "burn-in" may take hours, for others years.

As an example, to achieve high stability oscillators, the circuits are often "baked" in ovens to "settle down" their parameters faster.

On the other hand, the term "burning in" is often abused (what does "burning in" interconnect cables supposed to do still remains a mystery to me) and maybe that's why it is surrounded by controversy.

Again, the "burn-in" exists and is as real as laws of physics.

Just my $0.02 worth...
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Redneck, that's why multiple choices were an option...I didn't want to limit it too much, as you may believe that components require break-in, power cables don't, but you can't explain why, etc.

@ pbalcer: yes, the actual process of burning in is real, but the big debate is "is there any appreciable audible difference or not". It comes down to belief that it is or isn't, because no one has ever proved in a measureable and repeatable way that it does.
post #13 of 32

AKG's $0.02 (circa 2003)

"Hello Frederick,

From our experience and knowledge we cannot confirm that there is a burn in effect of the transducers taking place.
Normally the sound of headphones changes only over many years and then mainly in caused by the earpads (less low end since the ear pads get more densily by sweat etc.).
The reason for loosing bass can also be caused by a less tight contact between the earpads and the head. This can happen due to wearing spectacles, long hair etc.

--
kind regards

Horst
AKG hotline "

--------------------------------------------------

"Hi Michael,

From our experience and knowledge we cannot confirm that there is a burn in effect of the transducers taking place.
Normally the sound of headphones changes only over many years and then mainly caused by the earpads (less low end since the ear pads get more densely by sweat etc.).
However, during the first hours of use of headphones, the ear pads - in the beginning a little stiff � start to accommodate to the users ears and head and therefore the distance between the headphones and the ear may become closer, i.e. fewer air volume between ears and headphones is available and thus less bass.


--
kind regards

Horst
AKG hotline"

-------------------------------

Emphasis mine
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Know Talent View Post
I find it more realististic that component warm-up (especially with tubes) can have subtle but noticeable effects in certain circuits.
Funnily enough, I do too. I usually leave my rig powered on for about 30 mins or so before listening, usually, even though it's all solid state. The DAC especially improves by doing this. I notice no difference in the amp or source however, but it can't hurt...give those caps a chance to charge up, everything to reach a steady temperature, etc. I only do this because when I'm not using it, I keep the master power switch on the power conditioner off.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Know Talent View Post
a poor solder joint will definately cause problems but ascribing a perceptible sonic difference due to alloy mix vs. mechanical integrity is pushing it IMO.
Not so much to the alloy mix as to how the alloy mix throughout a component is affected by heat and electrolysis over time. Electricity flowing through different metals causes a measurable molecular change over a given time period.

How or if this is sonically perceivable would be largely dependent on large number of factors.

Keep in mind that while wire and solder are conductors, they are also resistors to some extent. And this factors into the overall electrical signature of a give component.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Know Talent View Post
Tubes degrade over time...caps, resistors, etc... also "age" and lose their original electrical characteristics, quicker if they're subjected to excess heat...but at what point can an individual honestly notice a sonic difference???
Again, this would be largely dependent on large number of factors: predominately, the sensitivity of the output component to the changes. Tubes, caps, resistors etc. degrade: but does this cause a degradation in sound or an improvement? Or no difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Know Talent View Post
I find it more realististic that component warm-up (especially with tubes) can have subtle but noticeable effects in certain circuits.
I agree (I have certain components I never turn off for this reason). But, what is that "warm up" doing to the circuits that causes the audibly perceptible difference?

Speakers are inherently intended to react to minute fluctuations in amperage and voltage. ANYTHING that can have a measurable net effect on either can possibly create an audible difference.

So if, say overall resistance and/or capacitance changes x% after y hours of burn in, it is possible to have z affect on some headphones/speaker that is audible to people with certain hearing.
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