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My theory as to why headphones appear to 'burn in'. - Page 18

post #256 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Even Jack Woo will tell you not to run his amps for more than 8 hrs at time so they have time to cool off.  And when heat is not the enemy, there is still is failure......  I have a Zhaolu dac that never even got warm, but one day just stopped working. I have a barely used Yamaha CD player that also stopped working, and my favorite SS vintage amp abruptly quit producing bass one day.  I had a new HD fail in one month.  I could go on but you get the idea.  Most electronics  begin deteriorating from the minute you turn them on and mechanical stuff deteriorates faster.  There are exceptions, of course.  Cars have improved over the years but still need maintenance.  Some of the newer electronic devices and components have a pretty long MTBF, if you get a good one.

 

Deterioration and burn out can be argued but I'm not married to either concept.  The decline can slow, the decline can be fast, and the decline can be abrupt, and some of the stuff, like the Mars Rovers, works well past their expected life times under the harshest conditions.

 

Um...no.  You restated what I said in a different way.  I said that most electronics work fine one day and then suddenly break instead of suffering a slow decline in quality before they stop working all together, which is exactly what you described.  They don't slowly wear out like a tire, they burn out like a light bulb.  They usually suffer a sudden catastrophic failure.

 

The parts in them may be "deteriorating" slowly, but until this "wear" reaches a certain threshold it does not effect the operation of the device.  The majority of the time you never notice anything wrong with a piece of electronics until the whole thing just dies.  Its like a regular light bulb.  The filament starts deteriorating from the instant you turn it on but do you ever notice anything wrong until its completely burned out?  It works perfectly right up until the instant the filament breaks.  Most electronics are the same way.  They usually operate with no noticeable decrease in performance right up until something major breaks.

 

That's exactly what you said happened to your DAC, CD player, amp, and hard drive (even though that's more mechanical than electronic).  They worked fine until some part drifted out of spec and then they suddenly broke in some fashion.  Your DAC didn't slowly get worse and worse sounding until it was unlistenable.  It just died.  Same with your CD player.  The bass didn't slowly disappear from your vintage amp.  It stopped abruptly.

 

Things that slowly get worse over time are usually mechanical.  Your tires wear and give you less traction, spark plugs corrode away, seals deteriorate, bearings wear away, etc.  These are easily noticeable, cause degradation in function, and usually don't cause the whole system to catastrophically fail.  You can easily notice a worn out suspension and still drive your car to the shop to get it fixed.  Things with very tight tolerances like optical and hard drives are more likely to suffer catastrophic failure, but thanks to today's amazing manufacturing processes even they manage to soldier on in a half working state quite often.  I didn't say electronics don't eventually break and wear out, just that they do it differently from most mechanical systems.

post #257 of 261

theres no harm in trying to "burn-in" new headphones, as for me atleast youll know that its in good perfect condition after buying it


 

post #258 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 

You seem to be making a logical leap that if Psychoacoustics > Burn/Break-in then Psychoacoustics = Burn/Break-in.  This distinction has been discussed earlier.  I think we are in the data interpretation phase atm.  Also using 99.9999% is not only a random hypothetical figure but irrelevant.  If I buy a car which is a 2001 zzw30 chassis w/ a 1zz-fe engine and compare it to a 2003 zzw30 chassis w/a 1zz-fe will they drive exactly the same from 0 miles to 50k miles?  They are 99.9999% the same over that period of time and 99.9999% the same vehicle off the assembly line.  Whether it's product variation or use over time, measurements would vary between the two in MPG, Output power, Compression testing , etc, etc.  You would likely notice differences just from driving both of them at either stage of the experiment.  How do I know?  My friend and I have two 2005 zzw30's bought and received at the same time and are factory certified to work on automobiles and track our cars.  The point is not to say a car = a headphone.  The point is to say that your perceived sameness in content and construction does not guarantee or translate into sameness in audio reproduction.  I think you might be misunderstanding the concept of Burn/Break-in as it's being used here and making a lot of intuitive leaps of faith along the way.


Its a random hypothetical figure to hardly any audible change occuring.  I don't think you can headphones suffer anywhere NEAR the amount of deterioration as a car.  The amount of oil, junk, gas, or fluids is not 99.999 percent the same every time.  I'm not saying it may not exist; I don't believe it.  Have any type of graphs been provided here that provided a distinctly audible change?  It takes more of a leap in faith to assume the headphones are changing in sound without hearing any linear change?  If you read my posts I don't have a perceived sameness in sound;  I perceive different than normal sounds in my headphones all the time-  I don't attribute this to burn in, however

 


Edited by DivergeUnify - 4/28/11 at 12:25pm
post #259 of 261


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

Um...no.  You restated what I said in a different way.  I said that most electronics work fine one day and then suddenly break instead of suffering a slow decline in quality before they stop working all together, which is exactly what you described.  They don't slowly wear out like a tire, they burn out like a light bulb.  They usually suffer a sudden catastrophic failure.

 

The parts in them may be "deteriorating" slowly, but until this "wear" reaches a certain threshold it does not effect the operation of the device.  The majority of the time you never notice anything wrong with a piece of electronics until the whole thing just dies.  Its like a regular light bulb.  The filament starts deteriorating from the instant you turn it on but do you ever notice anything wrong until its completely burned out?  It works perfectly right up until the instant the filament breaks.  Most electronics are the same way.  They usually operate with no noticeable decrease in performance right up until something major breaks.

 

That's exactly what you said happened to your DAC, CD player, amp, and hard drive (even though that's more mechanical than electronic).  They worked fine until some part drifted out of spec and then they suddenly broke in some fashion.  Your DAC didn't slowly get worse and worse sounding until it was unlistenable.  It just died.  Same with your CD player.  The bass didn't slowly disappear from your vintage amp.  It stopped abruptly.

 

Things that slowly get worse over time are usually mechanical.  Your tires wear and give you less traction, spark plugs corrode away, seals deteriorate, bearings wear away, etc.  These are easily noticeable, cause degradation in function, and usually don't cause the whole system to catastrophically fail.  You can easily notice a worn out suspension and still drive your car to the shop to get it fixed.  Things with very tight tolerances like optical and hard drives are more likely to suffer catastrophic failure, but thanks to today's amazing manufacturing processes even they manage to soldier on in a half working state quite often.  I didn't say electronics don't eventually break and wear out, just that they do it differently from most mechanical systems.


 

First of all, we're on the same side, so let's end it with this:  

 

6 months after Bob won the challenge, an opportunity arose to compare the two amps again, but they didn't sound the same any more.   This is documentation of slow continual deterioration.

 

 

 

post #260 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivergeUnify View Post

Have any type of graphs been provided here that provided a distinctly audible change?  


That's the million dollar question that has yet to receive a proper answer either way.

 

post #261 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

First of all, we're on the same side, so let's end it with this:  

 

6 months after Bob won the challenge, an opportunity arose to compare the two amps again, but they didn't sound the same any more.   This is documentation of slow continual deterioration.

I missed something somewhere.  I think I'm following too many threads...

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