Is burn in real or placebo?
May 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM Post #76 of 835

Takeanidea

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I have become lost in it all and am caught between 2 worlds of give me proof and this sounds good to me although all the evidence shown to me says it shouldn't be any different. Some very credible views in both camps. I concentrate on the headphones first and work my way down the chain from there and have a lot of fun doing it. All the folks I've met from headfi share broadly the same love
 
May 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM Post #77 of 835

ACDOAN

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There's exceptions to pretty much everything you mentioned except demagnetization. For example, nobody says all amps sound the same. Only if they show similar performance they sound the same regardless of price.
 
Could you name a non-personal hobby?
I guess you wanted to say "human questions". Well yeah, it doesn't, but for blatant claims like cable X sounds better than cable Y science can provide answers.
Anyway, what makes you think science does not make extensive use of human perception?

 
1.Fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, golfing...a maybe a million more ...but why wasting time and energy ? 2. Similar performance they sound the same. Really, that's new revelation but that's one' s man opinion, yours. " Performance" is based on what ? There is thing the designer call it specification. 3. Al Gore makes big money on "Global warming", still there is not one scientific answer that is agreed upon among the nay and yea camp. ANW, I am out of here. You guys can go visit AVS forum and debate to death these old, endless, non constructive questions while I am enjoying my hi-end sound. Happy listening.
 
May 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM Post #78 of 835

jaddie

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Quote:
 
1.Fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, golfing...a maybe a million more ...but why wasting time and energy

I find all of those fairly personal.
Quote:
2. Similar performance they sound the same. Really, that's new revelation but that's one' s man opinion, yours. " Performance" is based on what ? There is thing the designer call it specification. 

Better make that two men's opinions...at least.  He's right.
 
Global warming has been confirmed, it's real. Small, but measurable. The cause is what's open for debate, as is the question of it being anomalous or cyclical,  but it's all pretty pointless because it's way too late to do anything about it anyway.
 
Sorry if you feel you have to run off.  There are plenty of forums where you may feel more at home, but this is, after all, "Sound Science".  Just try not to go away mad, I'm sure nobody means any of this personally. 
 
May 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM Post #79 of 835

jaycee1

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When people say they "burn in" their headphones, it could mean that they leave them on and don't listen to them, or they wear them and play stuff through them for extended periods. There's been claims that this 'improves' the sound. Is this measurable, or what? I don't know how people come up with this stuff, but if it's actually true then I'd be interested in an explanation of "burn in".

Aside from intellectual curiosity, there's no way to know if YOUR headphones will benefit unless you try. At the very worst, there will be no change, and you will have spent a few extra pennies on electricity. At best, you may find a major change for the better. 
 
There's no possibility of harm, assuming you keep the sound level reasonable during burn in (under 70 dBA for me). 
 
May 19, 2013 at 7:04 AM Post #80 of 835

streetdragon

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Is there any chance it burns in for the worse?
 
May 19, 2013 at 7:56 AM Post #81 of 835

xnor

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Well I've seen people using very low frequency sine and even square waves. Or running sweeps through their headphones at high SPL for countless hours non-stop. This can definitely damage the drivers.
 
 
As for the "it doesn't harm anyone" comment, that's a bad argument. Have you filled your room with stones? No? It doesn't harm anyone but the stones radiate positive energy. At worst there won't be any change, at best you will feel a lot better.
It reminds me of Pascal's wager..
Also, it kinda shifts the discussion away from the actual issue. "Break in makes a positive difference" is a claim. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim.
 
May 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM Post #82 of 835

ACDOAN

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Better make that two men's opinions...at least.  He's right.
 
Global warming has been confirmed, it's real. Small, but measurable. The cause is what's open for debate, as is the question of it being anomalous or cyclical,  but it's all pretty pointless because it's way too late to do anything about it anyway.
 
Sorry if you feel you have to run off.  There are plenty of forums where you may feel more at home, but this is, after all, "Sound Science".  Just try not to go away mad, I'm sure nobody means any of this personally. 

 
No, I am not running away. I never left. Again, you said " Better make that two men's opinions...at least" . I take just that as OPINIONS. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but it is just opinion nothing more ,nothing less. It only has any value at all to those who have the same OPINION. Sound Science,Audio Video Science forum....you cannot prove one's perception to sound that does not mean it does not exist, placebo or not. Science or not, it does not prevent people who listen to to BOSE 321 at retail store with WOW factor. Their perception are the Bose 321 is it. They do not know what to look for ,even when somebody tells them it's nothing the loud distortion with the low frequency dissipates probably around 50Hz. Now go tell these people their Bose are POS. so they will return their POS. It ain't happen. You cannot hear the difference among cables since your are : 1. Not be able to afford them. 2. Do not know what to look for . I bet you. Having a binocular does not mean you can see what others can see unless you know what you are looking for. Stop them flame.
 
May 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM Post #84 of 835

xnor

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At first I didn't want to reply since you said you left the thread, but since you didn't..
 
Quote:
1.Fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, golfing...a maybe a million more ...but why wasting time and energy ?2. Similar performance they sound the same. Really, that's new revelation but that's one' s man opinion, yours. " Performance" is based on what ? There is thing the designer call it specification. 3. Al Gore makes big money on "Global warming", still there is not one scientific answer that is agreed upon among the nay and yea camp. ANW, I am out of here. You guys can go visit AVS forum and debate to death these old, endless, non constructive questions while I am enjoying my hi-end sound. Happy listening.

1) Maybe you understand something else when using the term "personal" as in only one individual is involved .. which btw doesn't make much sense since this community is part of your hobby. Also, I know people who go fishing alone...
 
2) It may come as a surprise to you, so what? Audio performance is based on measurements. Even the difference in sound can be measured, but to find out if someone can hear a difference he/she obviously has to do a blind test.
Of course, once thresholds of audibility are reached you can measure relatively "huge" (actually tiny) differences in performance which aren't audible.
 
I can add examples but it should be obvious what I'm talking about.
 
3) Utterly off-topic.
 
Quote:
No, I am not running away. I never left. Again, you said " Better make that two men's opinions...at least" . I take just that as OPINIONS. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but it is just opinion nothing more ,nothing less. It only has any value at all to those who have the same OPINION. Sound Science,Audio Video Science forum....you cannot prove one's perception to sound that does not mean it does not exist, placebo or not. Science or not, it does not prevent people who listen to to BOSE 321 at retail store with WOW factor. Their perception are the Bose 321 is it. They do not know what to look for ,even when somebody tells them it's nothing the loud distortion with the low frequency dissipates probably around 50Hz. Now go tell these people their Bose are POS. so they will return their POS. It ain't happen. You cannot hear the difference among cables since your are : 1. Not be able to afford them. 2. Do not know what to look for . I bet you.Having a binocular does not mean you can see what others can see unless you know what you are looking for. Stop them flame.

What I was talking about is fact, but maybe you misunderstood.
You seem to be of the opinion that you can hear any kind of measurable difference? Maybe you haven't tried, but process a file with an EQ adding a peaking filter with a bandwidth you choose. Start with +6 dB, decrease the gain until you cannot hear differences in an ABX test anymore.
If we go by your opinion, you can distinguish the files until the gain is exactly 0.0 dB, i.e. no gain which is like no equalization at all.
If we however go by facts, we'd expect that below a certain gain ("similar performance") participants cannot hear a difference anymore. This threshold of course depends on the bandwidth of the filter.
 
I have no idea where you're going with the Bose thing. I'm not talking about personal preference here at all.
 
I have taken part in several public blind listening tests, some with high bitrate lossy files, and my results were always pretty good.
Also, your reasons for not hearing a difference among cables are a complete non sequitur.
1) I know a local hi-fi dealer very well that has several really expensive cables that I can virtually test as long as I want either at home or in his treated listening room. We've done listening tests with several other people and the results with speaker cables always were statistically insignificant.
2) Actually, when you measure stuff you can see the differences and therefore get a very good idea what to listen (not "look") for.
 
You're also wrongly assuming I've never heard differences with any kind of cables, but I have, for example with extension cords ... and you tell others to stop flaming??
rolleyes.gif

 
May 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM Post #85 of 835

SoundFreaq

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Have not read this thread, looks like it's pretty tense. I'll just throw in my philosophy. 
 
Burn in is both real and placebo. Or what I can physical, and mental. 
 
It's just common sense that when you have objects like dynamic drivers moving back and forth thousands of times a second, the physical properties of things like the cone will change with time. This could mean flexibility and many other variables. 
 
I also think your brain definitely gets used to a certain sound signature. And the more your brain spends with a headphone, the more familiar it sounds, everything else aside. So of course your brain burns in. 
 
Things like cables and electronics may settle to some minor degree straight out of the factory, but it can't be much IMO. 
 
I just think it's funny that burn-in around here is ALWAYS a positive thing and makes everything always better. That just cannot be true. Maybe the stiff cones of a driver sound better factory fresh, than after they've been run in for hours. If burn-in exists, it must SOMETIMES have a negative affect!
 
May 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM Post #86 of 835

HPiper

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In the "Now I've heard Everything" category. In the main forums there is a post in which a person says that his headphone CABLES need some burn in time!! Are you kidding me...cables..what happens, do the molecular properties change over time....LOL...give me a break.
 
May 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM Post #87 of 835

streetdragon

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Quote:
In the "Now I've heard Everything" category. In the main forums there is a post in which a person says that his headphone CABLES need some burn in time!! Are you kidding me...cables..what happens, do the molecular properties change over time....LOL...give me a break.

In fact it should actually reduce clarity and induce muddyness as the cable heats up from the current passing through it which will cause the atoms and molecules (just atoms if it's pure copper) to move around and bump into the moving electrons. 
If you want to increase the performance of your cable you should submerge it into liquid nitrogen/oxygen for at least 10 minutes to ensure the purest signal.
Do be careful when handling the supercooled cable, it just might shatter upon excessive headbanging due to the new clarity of the sound due to the super high undistorted distortion level pure signal.

Speaker burn in? Maybe, just maybe due to moving parts and stretching.
Cable burn in? *crickets*
 
May 19, 2013 at 6:28 PM Post #88 of 835

xnor

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The biggest reason for break-in in woofers is the spider. Spiders are usually made of cloth hardened with epoxy. When you play a low frequency tone at high SPL for a while the structure of the epoxy gets damaged adding small cracks which effectively make the spider softer. So the suspension loses some stiffness (T/S parameter Cms gets bigger) . This in turn reduces the total Q (T/S: Qts) of the loudspeaker, the resonant frequency (Fs) drops a bit and so on..
 
The problem is that headphone drivers usually do not have a spider. The diaphragm is both centered and suspended by the surround. The surround must be airtight and flexible, so there's no epoxy used there either. Also, the material mustn't break due to stress for hours on end.
Some headphones use the diaphragm as surround (thinner of course than the actual diaphragm), others seem to use some kind of soft rubber/y glue.
 
Unless anyone can show that these materials change their properties after break-in AND some cooldown period we can dismiss the claim of dynamic headphone driver break-in.
 
 
 
We've also seen some measurements which show that measured differences (for whatever reasons, e.g. environmental factors, earpad wear, heating up ...) are negligible compared to what reviewers attribute to break-in ("day/night differences").
So atm the only rational position to take is to say that break-in is not at all what people claim it to be. Put it stimply, it's the reviewer that changes, not the drivers. Call this however you will: placebo, getting used to, mental break-in ... but not headphone break-in.
 
May 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM Post #89 of 835

jaycee1

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The biggest reason for break-in in woofers is the spider. Spiders are usually made of cloth hardened with epoxy. When you play a low frequency tone at high SPL for a while the structure of the epoxy gets damaged adding small cracks which effectively make the spider softer. So the suspension loses some stiffness (T/S parameter Cms gets bigger) . This in turn reduces the total Q (T/S: Qts) of the loudspeaker, the resonant frequency (Fs) drops a bit and so on..
 
The problem is that headphone drivers usually do not have a spider. The diaphragm is both centered and suspended by the surround. The surround must be airtight and flexible, so there's no epoxy used there either. Also, the material mustn't break due to stress for hours on end.
Some headphones use the diaphragm as surround (thinner of course than the actual diaphragm), others seem to use some kind of soft rubber/y glue.
 
Unless anyone can show that these materials change their properties after break-in AND some cooldown period we can dismiss the claim of dynamic headphone driver break-in.
 
 
 
We've also seen some measurements which show that measured differences (for whatever reasons, e.g. environmental factors, earpad wear, heating up ...) are negligible compared to what reviewers attribute to break-in ("day/night differences").
So atm the only rational position to take is to say that break-in is not at all what people claim it to be. Put it stimply, it's the reviewer that changes, not the drivers. Call this however you will: placebo, getting used to, mental break-in ... but not headphone break-in.

This is a great post but my igrado's sound signature did change very noticeably after 60+ hours of burn-in. It was not a subtle difference. 
 
May 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM Post #90 of 835

xnor

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This is a great post but my igrado's sound signature did change very noticeably after 60+ hours of burn-in. It was not a subtle difference. 

How should I know? Can you rule out the possibility that the drivers got damaged? Can you rule out that you got used to the sound signature?
 
Without details this is a pure guessing game.
 

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