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The Inherent Value of Burn-In - Page 2

post #16 of 372
I'm utterly sceptical on it, although I can't really debate that prior to some 20 to 50 hours of use for my HD600s, low bass distorted enormously. There's no way I can just put that down to my hearing adjusting, I know as a fact that prior to that time, a lot of songs were completely unlistenable and I was almost suspecting I'd received a dud pair.
post #17 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Drubbing, lots of questions. If you want to think and not follow then find the answers yourself.
I already have, I'm asking others to do the same, the questions were rhetorical. Sorry for being too subtle for you.
post #18 of 372
I'm sure in your little theoretical fantasy land you have asked manufacturers why they don't burn in their equipment themselves.
post #19 of 372
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABathingApe View Post
Wow Vince, well written. Is this what they teach you in the Chemistry department? :P
Thanks very much, ABathingApe! I actually wrote this while I was in the lab, supposedly writing my thesis. I definitely need a break from the organic chemistry from time to time. That's where having some good tunes to relax to and vibe off of comes in handy. Once I graduate, I'd like to switch gears a bit, perhaps do some popular science writing. So thanks for the support!

In retrospect, it may sound that I view the process of burn-in as some sort of magical process that defines the listening experience. While I'm sure that part of it is purely psychological and keeping the phenomenon in mind is merely a pleasant placebo that adds depth to the listening experience, that's not exactly it. It's also perfectly fine to listen without keeping it in mind. Your music should be music to your ears, regardless.

The fact that burn-in generally improves the sound of your headphones rather than degrades sound quality is something to celebrate. Headphones are "alive" in that way, and hearing them "grow" is a pleasant experience. I most certainly am of the school of thought that it's best to listen to them as-is out of the box and be content with that, so not much pink noise exercises here. Just a lot of listening to myriad genres, plain and simple. It's nice, though, that these sound sessions are duly noted in the folds and contours of the drivers, marginally improving the smoothness of the ride the next go around. With less bumping and jostling going on, it's easier to focus on the scenery!
post #20 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I'm sure in your little theoretical fantasy land you have asked manufacturers why they don't burn in their equipment themselves.
Firstly, look up the term 'rhetorical question'. Don't belittle my personal experience, sunshine, and I'll afford you the same courtesy. It's a valid question, the only fantasy land is perpetuated by those who aren't prepared to ponder questions like it, or listen to their own ears first and foremost.

Again, I'm not telling anyone what to believe, only that they think and experience for themselves.
post #21 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post
Nothing has any "inherent value." Value only exists in the mind of the person doing the valuing.
Really? So then our human minds are THE sum total of existence then? There was nothing ever here before human minds showed up? You see what was here first, that is the value of all values.

There HAS to be an ultimate value that is above all values or else nothing would be here to be valued by anyone.

Maybe you could say that no material man made object has any "inherent value" but only a subjective value based on personal preference. However; to say NOTHING has any inherent value is just poppycock. A man's human mind is not the sum total of all existence.

Sorry, anyway...burn in is very real in my experience. Things smooth out and settle down in some equipment and in other equipment it does not. if it were all in my mind all gear would settle down and I would never sell anything, I would love everything eventually. This is not the case with anyone however.
post #22 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Think about this, people. When was the last time you heard of a component that was burned in incorrectly?

If there's a "right" way to do it, then there also must be a wrong way. That necessarily means that there are poorly burned-in components that sound bad as a result of the poor burn-in.

So where are they?

Also, if burn-in is integral to sound quality, why don't manufacturers burn-in before they ship the product?

It's very simple to construct a burn-in board where components can be left to cook for X number of hours before they're installed. So why doesn't anyone do that? It wouldn't cost anything and then you'd have a "burned-in" product that customers could enjoy straight out of the box. So why doesn't this happen?
Uncle E...I believe Bryston does exactly that don't they? They have a unique very grueling burn in procedure that all their 20 year warranted amps are subjected to before they ship. Some mfgs just want to get stuff out the door and get dat money! maybe? oh what the **** do I know?
post #23 of 372
You don't know nothing fido2, in theoretical fantasy land all manufacturers don't burn-in their gear and people who believe in burn-in are wrong.
post #24 of 372
Burn In hasn't in most cases improved the sound quality, but has made my phones so far more relaxed, and has allowed for cleaner high end volume. If I turn it up on a fresh pair of cans they grunt and distort... give it a few hundred hours and that fades away. Hell after 10 hours of use yesterday my ATH-AD700'd were already sounding cleaner than they sounded off my am directly from my PC.

Burn IN doesn't magically make them more precise, it removes some of the stiffness that's inherent in putting a product together fresh. By burning in, you're basically bringing it into it's own, and getting a bit of wear and tear and a bit of give to the product.

My experience thus far at least with my V6's, is above. Looser, more fluid, warmer.
post #25 of 372
I think we are discussing a few different things here:

Headphone "burn in" - ie sound change after a week of playing I have experienced - however I can not say that its a mechanical change or a mental change.

Electronic "burn in" - this is a total crock, like an amp or DAC - have never experienced this with 25 years of a/v purchases - I have later decided I liked one versus another, but it never changed.

10 years ago "DAC is a DAC" was my mentality, now I can clearly hear the difference between <100 DAC and better ones, even in cars/receivers/old CDPs - but I think it was more learning the music and training my ears.

I can not explain why both my Denon sets in my sig sounded much different over the course of 200+ hours of casual listening and burn in. This is not an endorsement of burn-in electronically, but something changed...

I ordered a pair of custom speakers this week (Salk Sound) and I will listen to them on the same rig for an hour or two...then I am going to burn them in for 100+ hours with the isotek CD at 95+ db and listen again. Same electronic gear that is already nice and old in comparison. See if I can tell.

Uncle Erik - Audio-GD states burn in periods for their gear before it leaves the factory - is it real or just pandering to us? I dont know...
post #26 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by twylight View Post
Uncle Erik - Audio-GD states burn in periods for their gear before it leaves the factory - is it real or just pandering to us? I dont know...
It's not really for burn-in purposes but for quality control purposes. If they will fail they are much more likely to fail within the first 100 hours.
post #27 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
Really? So then our human minds are THE sum total of existence then? There was nothing ever here before human minds showed up? You see what was here first, that is the value of all values.

There HAS to be an ultimate value that is above all values or else nothing would be here to be valued by anyone.

Maybe you could say that no material man made object has any "inherent value" but only a subjective value based on personal preference. However; to say NOTHING has any inherent value is just poppycock. A man's human mind is not the sum total of all existence.

Sorry, anyway...burn in is very real in my experience. Things smooth out and settle down in some equipment and in other equipment it does not. if it were all in my mind all gear would settle down and I would never sell anything, I would love everything eventually. This is not the case with anyone however.
Not necessarily, there are two options. First you could argue that both the human mind and the external world are meaningless. This is the basis of existentialist philosophy; that there is no inherent value to anything. Science has shown us that the physical world is inherently meaningless, it is not subject to a personality but only to arbitrary laws. Still, I believe that our personal choices do have value. They have clear affects on our quality of life, as well as the lives of others. Just because that value is only meaningful mentally does not mean that it isn't real.


Quote:
Originally Posted by twylight View Post
I think we are discussing a few different things here:

Headphone "burn in" - ie sound change after a week of playing I have experienced - however I can not say that its a mechanical change or a mental change.

Electronic "burn in" - this is a total crock, like an amp or DAC - have never experienced this with 25 years of a/v purchases - I have later decided I liked one versus another, but it never changed.

10 years ago "DAC is a DAC" was my mentality, now I can clearly hear the difference between <100 DAC and better ones, even in cars/receivers/old CDPs - but I think it was more learning the music and training my ears.

I can not explain why both my Denon sets in my sig sounded much different over the course of 200+ hours of casual listening and burn in. This is not an endorsement of burn-in electronically, but something changed...

I ordered a pair of custom speakers this week (Salk Sound) and I will listen to them on the same rig for an hour or two...then I am going to burn them in for 100+ hours with the isotek CD at 95+ db and listen again. Same electronic gear that is already nice and old in comparison. See if I can tell.

Uncle Erik - Audio-GD states burn in periods for their gear before it leaves the factory - is it real or just pandering to us? I dont know...
If there's no there is no physical basis for headphone burn-in, then there is no basis for headphone burn-in. Headphones are physical objects subject to natural laws. The non-physical factor in burn-in can only be the human psyche.

Edit: has burn-in ever been subject to blind testing?
post #28 of 372
Thread Starter 
Wow. I had no idea that there was so much contention when it came to this subject. I didn't mean to start a Head-fire. That said, I'd firmly assert that burn-in is real and makes a notable difference to the workings of a driver. I need not bring up the AKG K702 and its steep listening curve to bolster this fact. Whether or not this is always a good thing is certainly up for debate, but as we experience music and other sounds of interest independently, it is clearly subjective. No rights or wrongs here. Just interesting insights in between, I'd hope.
post #29 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
It's not really for burn-in purposes but for quality control purposes. If they will fail they are much more likely to fail within the first 100 hours.
Exactly. I usually leave a new piece of gear on for a few days after I get it. If there's a weak component it usually fails then, well inside of warranty. that's also the same reason I try to buy refurbished equipment - it usuall gets subjected to a lot more testing than a brand-new unit.

There might be a sight change in mechanical units (e.g. headphone drivers) but there's no reason to perform elaborate rituals. Just use it straight out of the box and let what happens happen. Anything else is a waste of time.
post #30 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post
has burn-in ever been subject to blind testing?
First, sampson_smith, great piece of writing. Some style amidst the 1's and 0's.

Second, re your question -- I think Uncle Erik, as usual, put everything into perspective very quickly, getting to the heart of the issue. If burn-in is so critical, then why isn't it best practice in the manufacture of audiophile gear? (Yes, it's a rhetorical question, but that doesn't lessen its value.) Twylight mentions a company that does it, but I believe Haloxt's reply explains that.

Third, I think Antony6555 offers a way to resolve this (and many other Head-Fi issues) -- blind testing. Headphone A and B, the same in every way except one has been burned in for 300 hours and the other just long enough to pass final inspection at the factory. The subject doesn't know which is which. Which is better?

I guess there are other ways to test the burn-in question. Perhaps before and after FR (or other) charts. Are there significant differences in the charts after, say, 500 hours.

Personally, I listen to 'phones and equipment out of the box and don't hear any significant difference after dozens or hundreds of hours.

A number of people have said that the improvements, if any, are probably all in our minds. I tend to agree.

Finally, re the discussion about Tvrboy's comment: "Nothing has any 'inherent value.' Value only exists in the mind of the person doing the valuing." It may or may not be off topic, depending on how you look at it. I don't think it's OT. I agree with Tvrboy. Things, 'phones, amps, etc., in and of themselves, have no value. Value is in the mind of the beholder. It's like the conundrum of a tree falling in a forest. Does it make a sound if no one's around to hear it?

When human judgment enters the picture, room for error increases exponentially.
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