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Old 25th April 2009, 08:12 AM   #1
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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Default burn in of components

Thesis: changes in sound are not caused by burning in of new components, it's caused by the listener's brain slowly adjusting to them.

Do you agree?

Reason for me posting this thesis are my experiences switching between headphones. I'm an avid headphones user. I've gone through several, and every time I get a new one I really hate the sound. But I always give a new one some time, and without exception I've come to like them within a week or two. IMHO this is 99% attributable to my brain slowly adjusting. In other words I think it's the brain that needs "burn-in" rather than components...
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Old 25th April 2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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I think your hypothesis is quite reasonable. I have noticed the same things with headphones.
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Old 25th April 2009, 10:09 AM   #3
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I dunno...

I bought these Tang Band drivers that I thought sucked when I put them in....

... now 600 break-in hours later and I still think they suck

Cheers!
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Old 25th April 2009, 10:22 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geek
I thought sucked when I put them in....

... now 600 ..... hours later and I still think they suck
that tells you that you don't like them.
It neither proves nor disproves the hypothesis.
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Old 25th April 2009, 11:28 AM   #5
sandyK is offline sandyK  Australia
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Quite a few members of the Headphone forums cover their new headphones with pillows, and feed them fairly high level, but not distorted, audio from a FM tuner or similar for 48 hours or more continuously. A friend of mine did that recently with my AT W1000, which hadn't seen many hours on them, and now I am having trouble getting them back after the marked improvement. (this was from a Stax lover !)
Many years ago, quite a few Loudspeaker manufacturers advised you to slowly bed in their products,before using them at high level.
As regards semiconductors, it has been my experience, and that of quite a few other Rock Grotto members, that the metal can LM4562HA markedly improves as it approaches 48 hours of use. Many people leave their new headphone amplifiers switched on 24/7 for several days to allow the electrolytic capacitors in particular, to form, as well as some of the active devices to "burn in"
SandyK
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Old 25th April 2009, 12:47 PM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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electrical to mechanical transducers have many properties that change with time and use and non-use.

Expect all speaker drivers to change their T/S parameters with use.
This is not burn in. This is natural ageing.
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Old 25th April 2009, 12:59 PM   #7
sandyK is offline sandyK  Australia
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Andrew
I prefer to think of it as freeing up. BTW, I can't personally confirm the audible "improvements" in the AT W1000, as I haven't got them back yet. It could certainly be a case of wishful thinking on the part of my friend.
Alex
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Old 25th April 2009, 01:40 PM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
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When transducers are involved, it's not really "burn-in;" the changes that happen are often measurable, large, and well over the threshold of "well-established audibility criteria." Not always, but often.
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Old 26th April 2009, 07:43 AM   #9
jitter is offline jitter  Netherlands
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My last headphones change was from a Sennheiser HD600 to a... uhm... Sennheiser HD600. Not really a change, you'd say. You'd be right and you'd be wrong too!

I recently ran into a new HD600 by chance and managed to knock a bit off the price by mentioning they were an old type. The HD600 I used until then had suffered serious damage from falling once too often, so this was a welcome find.
I had expected a slight difference in sound between the old and the new HD600, but it turned out to be huge. It was as big a difference going from an HD560 Ovation to my first HD600. But after a week or two it started to sound fine, as expected...

Is this break-in, adjustment of my brain or a bit of both?
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Old 26th April 2009, 08:45 AM   #10
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally posted by jitter I had expected a slight difference in sound between the old and the new HD600, but it turned out to be huge.
Worn ear pads?

/Hugo
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