• 04-29-2010, 08:35 PM
    Ajani
    Pre "Burned In" with Room Size & Setup Instructions?
    Some of RGA's comments in my thread about room treatments and a post on Audio Asylum from John Marks (complaining that manufacturers, who require ridiculous amount of burn in hours for their gear, should send already burned in units for review) got me thinking about whether manufacturers should sell their gear already burned in, with recommended room sizes and optimal setup instructions....

    I think doing so would end all these claims of "the customer/reviewer didn't let the gear burn in properly" or "they didn't set it up correctly" or "used it in an inappropriately sized room"....

    Ideally I think all components should be "plug and play", but that is rarely the case, so these steps would at least make it easy to audition gear...

    The manufacturer must know what sized room he designed his gear (speakers really) to work in, so why not share that info with potential customers?

    Also, considering how much effort is put into setting up some speakers, I think an instruction manual is in order unless there are no setup requirements...
  • 04-30-2010, 05:01 AM
    poppachubby
    Yes I agree. Not so much with the burn in.

    A good comparison in this regard would be a car. Many engines don't "break in" until roughly 75 - 100 000 kilometers. No one would want a vehicle sold as new with this much wear. Similarily, I would want my drivers to be brand spanking new.

    As far as instructions go, my Sound Dynamics have their original manual. It's pretty basic stuff, but they do outline how to set them up.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3363/...b3fe8aacb8.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3476/...bcfb8a80da.jpg

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4070/...40d906ebb0.jpg
  • 04-30-2010, 06:16 AM
    Ajani
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Yes I agree. Not so much with the burn in.

    A good comparison in this regard would be a car. Many engines don't "break in" until roughly 75 - 100 000 kilometers. No one would want a vehicle sold as new with this much wear. Similarily, I would want my drivers to be brand spanking new.

    Cars aren't really a good comparison as:

    1) People buy cars based on minimal usage (also age and condition); so the less kilos the more you can charge. So having 100,000 Kilos on the Odometer, would imply that you are buying a used car. HiFi is purchased based on condition and age: There is no Odomoeter or equivalent on an amp or speakers, so factory new is factory new, regardless of whether the manufacturer broke in the gear for you...

    2) Cars perform fine before hitting the 100K mark, they just get better after break in... Whereas many audio manufacturers claim that products that sound like utter crap will turn into sonic gold after break in/burn in of several hundred hours... So the products are unfit for use until that time... When you buy a car you don't need to turn on the engine and leave it running for 4 days to break it in before you take the first drive....

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    As far as instructions go, my Sound Dynamics have their original manual. It's pretty basic stuff, but they do outline how to set them up.

    Yep, some manufacturers are helpful, but more should be... Especially the ones whose products are finicky about placement and room size...
  • 04-30-2010, 09:33 AM
    poppachubby
    Car manufacturers could very simply run an engine to the 100K mark before it is installed, without affecting the odometer. As they did, issues would reveal themselves and could be worked out. But they don't. Everyone knows a car's engine needs this time to work out issues and hit it's stride.

    How are speakers any different? They are every bit as usuable before break in as the car is.

    I certainly don't want to argue about a silly example.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    Whereas many audio manufacturers claim that products that sound like utter crap will turn into sonic gold after break in/burn in of several hundred hours... So the products are unfit for use until that time...

    Links please.
  • 04-30-2010, 10:28 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    ...complaining that manufacturers, who require ridiculous amount of burn in hours for their gear, should send already burned in units for review) got me thinking about whether manufacturers should sell their gear already burned in

    I think they should not. As a potential buyer, I would like to hear the reviewer's comments based upon what is presumably the same thing I would buy - not a "ringer". If the reviewer sees fit to comment about that, then do so in the body of the text and get over it. That is not a topic I've heard the three reviewers I've known complain about. One of them typically powers up all the gear in the morning for the evening's listening session.

    I purchased a Blue Jeans digital cable a while back and found that it was intolerably bright out of the box. I stopped listening to it immediately and brought out an old DVD player to use as a burn in transport. I swapped out my usual transport, connected it to the DAC and played a CD nonstop for five days while I listened to vinyl and the other system. Afterwards, the result was much smoother. My speakers took quite a while to break in as well. Similarly, I just played the system without listening. Big deal.

    rw
  • 04-30-2010, 10:43 AM
    3LB
    I don't refute the "break in" phenomina, but I refuse to buy any gear I didn't think sounded good new, based on the premise that it'll one day change...maybe our ears break in more than the gear does, i.e. we get used to how something sounds. I laugh at the notion someone would invest money in audio gear that they found less than satisfactory, thinking that hundreds of hours of break in will result in something opposite. Now, if you tell me that I can buy gear that really impresses me and in a hundred hours it'll just get better, then sign me up.
  • 04-30-2010, 11:03 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    ...but I refuse to buy any gear I didn't think sounded good new, based on the premise that it'll one day change

    That is one role of reviews from the press or other users. I've been fortunate in hearing several of my components in advance from a reviewer's system who had already used them for months. Similarly, the shop where I used to work back in the 70s would loan gear over the weekend with a customer's charge card imprint (in case he didn't return it). You could try a well used demo unit in your own environment and judge for yourself.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    I laugh at the notion someone would invest money in audio gear that they found less than satisfactory, thinking that hundreds of hours of break in will result in something opposite.

    A dealer warned me of unusual break in characteristics of some cables I purchased from him. With a 30 day money-back guarantee, I wasn't concerned.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    Now, if you tell me that I can buy gear that really impresses me and in a hundred hours it'll just get better, then sign me up.

    With speakers, the effects have been a matter of degrees for me. The stats starting sounding more open and bass extension got better. There were no fundamental changes in their personality.

    rw
  • 04-30-2010, 11:58 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    A good comparison in this regard would be a car. Many engines don't "break in" until roughly 75 - 100 000 kilometers. No one would want a vehicle sold as new with this much wear.

    Pops, I gotta call you on this. What are your sources? 7000 to 10000 Km maybe but not 75000 to 100,000 Kms. Man, the engine is half worn out at that period.
  • 04-30-2010, 02:19 PM
    3LB
    as far cable break-in goes, I always thought that speaker and signal cables were supposed to be transparent. If different cabling injects their own artifact on the music, why would't I choose the least impacting ones. If I liked messing with the sound that much, why wouldn't I just buy a parametric EQ or something.

    as far as speakers go, I think break-in is more relevant since there is physical movement involved. But I also think there break-in period for our ears as well. I think one could experience sonic epiphany migrating twix differring speaker concepts. I have conventional 3-ways, single drivers, open baffles, and of course they sound different, but each concept brings out nuances in music that I didn't hear before, but seemingly carries over to the other speakers, once I've picked up on it.
  • 04-30-2010, 02:59 PM
    Ajani
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Car manufacturers could very simply run an engine to the 100K mark before it is installed, without affecting the odometer. As they did, issues would reveal themselves and could be worked out. But they don't. Everyone knows a car's engine needs this time to work out issues and hit it's stride.

    How are speakers any different? They are every bit as usuable before break in as the car is.

    I certainly don't want to argue about a silly example.



    Links please.

    No point debating with you on this... I think most persons understand what I'm talking about: Products that don't sound good until after burn in... I find it shocking that you've never heard of such thing... I don't see the need to provide links... just read the very next response where E-Stat talks about his digital cable being unbearable initially and it is clear what I am talking about...
  • 04-30-2010, 03:05 PM
    Ajani
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I think they should not. As a potential buyer, I would like to hear the reviewer's comments based upon what is presumably the same thing I would buy - not a "ringer". If the reviewer sees fit to comment about that, then do so in the body of the text and get over it. That is not a topic I've heard the three reviewers I've known complain about. One of them typically powers up all the gear in the morning for the evening's listening session.

    I purchased a Blue Jeans digital cable a while back and found that it was intolerably bright out of the box. I stopped listening to it immediately and brought out an old DVD player to use as a burn in transport. I swapped out my usual transport, connected it to the DAC and played a CD nonstop for five days while I listened to vinyl and the other system. Afterwards, the result was much smoother. My speakers took quite a while to break in as well. Similarly, I just played the system without listening. Big deal.

    rw

    Are you opposed to manufacturers doing break in for everyone (reviewer and consumer) or them just doing it for reviewers alone? If they only do it for reviewers then I'd have an issue... but I see no reason for them not to break in all their equipment (unless it already sounds good out of the box)... What benefit do I get from having to play a CD nonstop for 5 days? I don't do that with a car and see no reason to do that for my audio gear...

    If the gear sounds bad straight out of the box it should go back to the manufacturer... What if I burn it in for 5 days and it still sounds bad? Do I burn it in for another 5? 10? Until the 30 day trial is up? And if it still sounds bad at the end of 30 days of continuous play and I return it, will the manufacturer refund my electricity bill? I Just don't see the benefit to me....
  • 04-30-2010, 03:39 PM
    poppachubby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    I don't see the need to provide links...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    Whereas many audio manufacturers claim that products that sound like utter crap will turn into sonic gold after break in/burn in of several hundred hours...

    You say many, I'm simply wondering who. Can you name a couple perhaps?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    I find it shocking that you've never heard of such thing...

    Hahahahaha

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ajani
    just read the very next response where E-Stat talks about his digital cable being unbearable initially and it is clear what I am talking about...

    So we're using claims about cables to make your point? I thought your point was about speakers.
  • 04-30-2010, 03:40 PM
    poppachubby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    Pops, I gotta call you on this. What are your sources? 7000 to 10000 Km maybe but not 75000 to 100,000 Kms. Man, the engine is half worn out at that period.

    Hmmmmm.
  • 04-30-2010, 03:50 PM
    Ajani
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    You say many, I'm simply wondering who. Can you name a couple perhaps?



    Hahahahaha

    Are you seriously claiming that I need to list manufacturers whose products don't sound good without substantial burn in time?

    OK, you win PC, clearly no such products exist and I'm just imagining that many brands claim their products need substantial burn in time...

    Great so we can stop these pointless debates now, I hope....


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    So we're using claims about cables to make your point? I thought your point was about speakers.

    My point was never restricted to speakers: I'm talking about HiFi equipment; whether cable, CD player, speaker, amp...

    Anyway, I'm too tired for this pointless debate... so let's just agree to disagree as usual...
  • 04-30-2010, 04:11 PM
    poppachubby
    It's not a debate. I would like to see what these manufacturers are saying. It seemed by the words you wrote, that you knew of some making claims.

    Furthermore, your first post mentions speakers twice and discusses room treatments. I figured this is what you were talking about.

    To add onto what 3LB said, I don't think most people want to buy a product that is going to sound like garbage intentionally. I would think companies would downplay this issue. I am curious to read some claims from these manufacturers...
  • 04-30-2010, 04:36 PM
    Ajani
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    It's not a debate. I would like to see what these manufacturers are saying. It seemed by the words you wrote, that you knew of some making claims.

    Furthermore, your first post mentions speakers twice and discusses room treatments. I figured this is what you were talking about.

    To add onto what 3LB said, I don't think most people want to buy a product that is going to sound like garbage intentionally. I would think companies would downplay this issue. I am curious to read some claims from these manufacturers...

    Hmmmm maybe my wording is making you think that the manufacturers will state "our products sound like Sh!+ until after a few hundred hours of burn in"...

    That's more how forum posters would describe the sound of the products at that point... The manufacturers tend to just say that several hundred hours of burn in are required for optimal performance... and use that as an excuse when customers or reviewers complain about the sound: "it needs more time to burn in"...

    However, Odyssey Audio, breaks down burn in into 4 phases in their manuals (on page 14):

    http://www.odysseyaudio.com/odyssey-...ersmanual.html

    Notice the description of sound in Phases 1 and 2 is most unappealing: So you should expect the products to sound bad straight out of the box... But after 6 weeks of continuous play they should sound near optimal... whooppeeee... just 6 weeks!

    Note however, that they do offer you a very generous 30 day in home trial.... so essentially 4 weeks to not hear their amps at "optimum" performance... and then you can either forfeit the return and assume that in the next 2+ weeks the amps will sound optimum or return them before they are "fully broken in"... How wonderful... Now don't get me wrong: I have heard great things about Odyssey gear, but you see the catch involved here....
  • 04-30-2010, 08:51 PM
    3LB
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Car manufacturers could very simply run an engine to the 100K mark before it is installed, without affecting the odometer. As they did, issues would reveal themselves and could be worked out. But they don't. Everyone knows a car's engine needs this time to work out issues and hit it's stride.

    I'm sorry Chubbs, but I'd go medieval on somebody's ass if I found out my new car's engine already had 100,000 kilometers on it. :p

    But yer right on one thing, I don't think there's any reasonable, rational notion that suggests the more money you spend on something, the more persnickety one should expect it to be. If I pay big bucks for something, it better work near to perfect off the floor or outta da box. If it don't, I don't want it. Asking me to invest a bunch of money on speakers or cables that don't sound good to me from the get go, on the premise that they'll get better after many hours of break-in, is tantamount to faith. As magical as music is, the act of reproducing it is science, not religion, or seemingly in some cases, voodoo.
  • 05-01-2010, 06:54 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    as far cable break-in goes, I always thought that speaker and signal cables were supposed to be transparent.

    And to have a low enough dielectric coefficient to ensure that in concert with the devices at either end of them, the results are likewise not effected.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    If different cabling injects their own artifact on the music, why would't I choose the least impacting ones.

    I can't think of any good reason.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    If I liked messing with the sound that much, why wouldn't I just buy a parametric EQ or something.

    Well, if someone actually did choose cabling for equalization at least there are no active gain stages to degrade the signal integrity.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    as far as speakers go, I think break-in is more relevant since there is physical movement involved.

    What you fail to realize is that the the wire and dielectric undergo changes initially. That is what folks notice.

    rw
  • 05-01-2010, 05:17 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Well, if someone actually did choose cabling for equalization at least there are no active gain stages to degrade the signal integrity.

    Same thing can be said about cables, even more so since cables are passive components.

    Quote:

    What you fail to realize is that the the wire and dielectric undergo changes initially.
    If the wire and dielectric are quality made, then it shouldn't.
  • 05-01-2010, 06:25 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    Same thing can be said about cables, even more so since cables are passive components.

    Interesting. Do you find that resistors and capacitors distort more than active devices? Really? Are you serious? What is the spectral distortion distribution of a Vishay resistor?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    If the wire and dielectric are quality made, then it shouldn't.

    According to whom? Roger Russell? Any other engineer who makes simplistic assumptions based upon a resistance chart? He doesn't even know teflon exists, much less what experiencing Odin is like. ;)

    rw
  • 05-01-2010, 09:33 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Interesting. Do you find that resistors and capacitors distort more than active devices? Really? Are you serious?

    Although technically capacitores can distort by acting like a filter, but generally resistors and Caps do not distort (I am assuming you talking about cablle's R and C). But they do degrade the signal integrity which you said EQ does also.

    I think if you look at quality EQ, you will find their specifiations such a THD (distortion), noise ratio, frequency responce are way way below amp's specs which make it practically invisible to the Amp. The same thing can not be said about cables.

    Quote:

    According to whom? Roger Russell?
    I don't know who he is :)

    I find it amusing that we always need some big head audio goru guy to support our arguments. Known properties of wires and dielectric can be learned by anybody that want to dig deeper in these subjects.
  • 05-02-2010, 05:15 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    I think if you look at quality EQ, you will find their specifiations such a THD (distortion), noise ratio, frequency responce are way way below amp's specs which make it practically invisible to the Amp.

    That would be true for anyone who draws conclusions from simplistic metrics. When I was a teenager, Dave O'Brien measured and demonstrated via a graph that he gave me that my AR integrated had specs that made it invisible. NOT! :)

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    The same thing can not be said about cables.

    I'll ask again. What is the distortion spectra of cables? Show me where even the meaningless THD metrics are worse for cables than active electronics.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    Known properties of wires and dielectric can be learned by anybody that want to dig deeper in these subjects.

    So from where does your speculation come? You don't know what you don't know.

    rw
  • 05-02-2010, 04:42 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I'll ask again. What is the distortion spectra of cables? Show me where even the meaningless THD metrics are worse for cables than active electronics.

    As I metioned before, I thought we're talking about signal intergrity, not distortion (post #18). And cables do degrade signal integrirty more than active electronic such as EQ. Just look at this cable characteristic.....

    http://home.mira.net/%7Emarcop/graphics/ciocah2.gif

    Any part of signal that is lost due to these parameters (L, R, C, G) are not recoverable. That is why cables are called passive.

    Quote:

    So from where does your speculation come?
    From Wikipedia :D

    I have few electrical related books laying around. It is not rocket science :)
  • 05-02-2010, 07:16 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smokey
    Just look at this cable characteristic...From Wikipedia

    Just like I thought. The voice of non-experience. And zero substantiation.

    rw
  • 05-03-2010, 09:28 AM
    3LB
    hey E-Stat, just for clarification, what (and from whom) would you accept as 'substantiation'?
  • 05-03-2010, 12:17 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    hey E-Stat, just for clarification, what (and from whom) would you accept as 'substantiation'?

    Relevant data that addresses the two specific points: That cable dielectric (if quality made) undergoes no break in characteristics and that passive devices have greater non-linearity than active devices (which necessarily must also have some passive devices in order to function).

    Show me a study that actually tests the very highest quality stuff (teflon) as a dielectric that has proof there are no audible changes found over time. It is obvious that Smokey has never used a Conrad-Johnson line stage like the ART which uses teflon caps or that he has used Nordost Odin or another cable that uses teflon in its dielectric. Both require fairly lengthy break in periods. So far, he has dodged the dielectric question and posted a schematic that *proves* that passive devices have some degree of non-linearity. No $hit. That's why the very best audio components use polystyrene, teflon and oil-in-paper caps instead of the electrolytics found in cheaper gear. Which does not prove that active stages are perfectly transparent. They aren't!

    The challenge is for him/you to prove that passive devices have less distortion / non-linearity than real world active stages like his EQ example. And he may not be aware of professional passive models like the Langevin Massive Passive. Does that make sense? Answer the questions directly with real answers. Text book theory is useless in the real world.

    rw

    edit: Here are some links regarding the use of teflon capacitors and one very detailed story of an upgrade and the break in experience.

    Conrad-Johnson upgrade.

    ARC's Anniversary Linestage