MPX3 Transformation
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woodcans

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Short version:

Whoah!!! the soundstage, detail and liquidity of this amp has improved considerably following ~300 hours of break-in.

Long version:

After originally setting up my amp and doing some tuberolling, it sounded incredible. I did take note of Mikhail's comments and the comments of a few others that it would only sound better after extensive break-in. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical.

Well, after the Ohio mini-meet, Mikey01 and SACD commented that having only ~80 hours on my amp that it was nowhere near broken in. Still skeptical, I figured, what the hell, I'll break it in some. So basically, ever since the Ohio mini-meet I have been running my amp anywhere from 8-23 hours/day. I now have at total of ~300 hours on the amp. The last few days I have been quite busy with work/family etc. and haven't had time to listen other than to change a disc here and there or to turn off the amp for a break from burn-in.

Well, last night I sat down and began listening to a few discs that I feel have excellent recordings that I hadn't listened to since the first week or two of having the mpx3. It was almost as if I were listening to another amp. Other than the sonic signature and similar tonality, the fantastic qualities of this amp have improved significantly. The most noticable is the soundstage. There is now much more width than before but even better is noticible depth providing a 3-dimensional stage on which I can almost picture the musicians playing.

As tom hankins said of his sds, I feel less like I have headphones on my head and more like I'm listening to speakers, the sound is so life-like. (Although I'm quite sure I'm not in the same league of his amp). Additionally, the liquidity and smoothness is as nice as ever but without any loss of detail whatsoever. In fact, I think the level of detail is just as high if not higher than before.

In summary, I was quite skeptical of all this 'burn-in' business, but now I am a full-fledged believer. Back to listening....
 
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sacd lover

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After I heard your amp I sent my mpx3-6/12sn7 #1 back in to have the blackgates added. I know I will suffer going through blackgate burn in. But I know the results will be worth it in the end.
 
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Mikey01

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Attaboy for belivin in burnin. It's always worth the wait.
 
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Glod

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My MPX3 (Solen1, Jensen caps) certainly needed burnin. Nevertheless, I was mighty impressed by it right out of the box. Then later, oh boy, did I get surprised!


There were two major events in time I remember: After 40h, the sound stage loosened up considerably and after 80h the extension and the control of the deepest bass was greatly improved.

Changes after that have been more subtle. The amp has matured in that the soundstage has expanded and got a kind of confidence and the whole amp sounds more - well mature and grown up, if you know what I mean.

Last thing I read here about Black Gates was that the polar one's could take 500hours to eventually show what they are able of
 
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BrainFood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by woodcans
Short version:

In summary, I was quite skeptical of all this 'burn-in' business, but now I am a full-fledged believer. Back to listening....



It's not always easy, though. When you've paid a lot for a product (be it speakers, cable, a new amp or phones) and the sound is a slight dissapointment- even though EXPERIENCE is telling you to be patient and wait the required burn-in period of a few days, weeks or even months (in the case of speakers). But things definitely open up more as time goes by
 
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Yada

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Hi SACD Lover - what prompted you to go for the blackgates? What sonic attribute do you expect to gain with them vs. without them? Thanks
 
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sacd lover

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Yada
Hi SACD Lover - what prompted you to go for the blackgates? What sonic attribute do you expect to gain with them vs. without them? Thanks



All things else being equal the blackgates make the amp sound faster. I liked this with the paper-in-oil coupling cap optioned mpx3. I had the one paper-in-oil optioned mpx3 I was going to send in for added power supply filtration anyway.... so I decided to add the blackgates while the amp was at Singlepower.
 
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palchiu

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Dear sacd lover

Blackgates with Jensens in MPX3, it's sounds a great combo.

Can't wait your reviews, maybe add them in my next Singlepower's option list.



Pal
 
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Sleestack

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All I know is that it is 4:30 in the morning and my MPX3 has kept me company throughout the night while I have been reviewing business proposals.

I'm not sure how many hours my MPX3 has on it, but I do know that I never could have imagined that it would sound as good as it does. I would love to hear a MPX3 with a different configuration.
 
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grox

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Yeah. Straight out of the box my mpx3 was impressive but boy did it start to sound more controlled and authoratative after a while. I didn't take note of hours but the soundstage has definately developed a bit and the bass has changed a little: a tad more precision i guess.

Could it just be the tubes burning in? I noticed that tubes do definately change as they burn in.

According to the pc I've got about 100 hours on it, although that seems kind of strange since I've had it for approx. 10 months and I listen every day for about 4-5 hours.
 
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sacd lover

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grox said:
Yeah. Straight out of the box my mpx3 was impressive but boy did it start to sound more controlled and authoratative after a while. I didn't take note of hours but the soundstage has definately developed a bit and the bass has changed a little: a tad more precision i guess.

Could it just be the tubes burning in? I noticed that tubes do definately change as they burn in.

From the mpx3's I have had to break in,the soundstage opens up, the bass tightens and gains some extension and any edginess or sibilance disappears.

The tubes are burning in too and this added variable can be perplexing when you trying to get a handle on the changes. Thats was a good point grox.
 
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Hirsch

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sacd lover said:
Quote:

Originally Posted by grox
Could it just be the tubes burning in? I noticed that tubes do definately change as they burn in.


I don't think so. I think part of it is burn-in. I've experienced an "AHA" moment on every SinglePower amp I've got, when the amp suddenly starts sounding much better than I'd ever heard it. It sneaks up on you...you're listening as normal, and suddenly realize that the amp's sound has come together. The soundstage gets both larger and more precise simultaneously. It's almost as though something that had been holding the amp back is gone...even if you thought it was a great amp prior to the transformation. This may make absolutely no sense to someone who hasn't experienced it, but once you've heard it, you'll know what I'm talking about. This may have something to do with the big caps, because it has taken my Supra's and SDS several months before it hit (and their reservoir caps come in two sizes: large and huge).

It's also possible that a perceptual learning process is also part of this "aha" moment, but describing why I think that would involve a rather long dissertation on the way perception works, and I need to find time to write something like that.
 
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Glod

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Spot on Hirsch AFAIC, almost like a switch had been turned.
 
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woodcans

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Glod
Spot on Hirsch AFAIC, almost like a switch had been turned.


I'm with you both, Glod & Hirsh. The differences are not subtle, and it did not happen gradually.

Edit:
Can anyone with black gate experience tell me if they think these caps have broken in yet? I can't even imagine how this will sound if they're not broken in!
 
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grox

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Well I don't know whether I've had the AHA moment yet (what a great term for it
) but if I haven't I'm most certainly looking forward to it. I've got nothing but praise for my mpx3 this far. I'd never had an amp before and I was incredibly impressed by the sheer authority it imparted unto the sound, the expansion in soundstage. The first time I turned it on my jaw literally dropped and I had to remember to take a breath


Maybe the sonic change is a combination of psychological (listener) and the amp +tubes but whatever it is, I've certainly noticed changes; in the first few hours (20? 50?) i recall the bass developed more extension and control. Don't take that as gospel though, these are vague memories I'm relying on. Sometimes I wish I had perfect memory (except when I do stupid things, heh).

(well maybe the fonts on the front panel are aesthetially jumbly and I could do with a remote for the volume. oh, and one more thing: the dust the dust! I'm going to crazy cleaning this thing!)
 
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