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  1. #1
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Whats the best burn-in for headphones?

    I'm about to burn a pair in. I have always used pink noise, but I am thinking of switching to a frequency sweep. I think the sweep just makes good logical sense. Any thoughts out there?

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Just play 'em

    If they don't sound good in a day or so, then they ain't gonna.

  3. #3
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    If they don't sound good in a day or so, then they ain't gonna.
    right....so the diaphragms will break in after a day or 2 of casual use/listening? What's that maybe 4 or 5 hours? Sorry Mark, but I'm seeking opinions from people who believe in the "burn-in". However, I am totally good with your view, thanks for responding...

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    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    not a problem

    All religions are welcome here.

  5. #5
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    ...indeed...hey sick system by the way, once again we differ, as sadly, audio improvement ended for me in the late 70's/early 80's. If it ain't analog and tubed up, it ain't worth a thing to me. Seems like the only room in your house that isn't wired is the bathroom. Let me tell you Mark, it's a glorious experience and far better than any fiber...

  6. #6
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Might help to get a wax remover for your ears....Does wonders for me!

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    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    This is funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    ...indeed...hey sick system by the way, once again we differ, as sadly, audio improvement ended for me in the late 70's/early 80's. If it ain't analog and tubed up, it ain't worth a thing to me. Seems like the only room in your house that isn't wired is the bathroom. Let me tell you Mark, it's a glorious experience and far better than any fiber...
    If you stick around here long enough and get to know a bit more about me, you'll realize exactly how stupid that tirade was.

    Now, go get tubed up. I think you're long overdue for a big, chubby one.

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    A frequency sweep makes sense. I just don't like leaving my player on that long. I just plug mine into my Adcom preamp/tuner, tune it to a Pop station, give it a healthy listening level and let it play overnight. Sometimes maybe two nights.

    The difference after break in is very obvious on Sennheisers. So much so I think they need to add a note to the instructions or package. It would probably prevent a lot of returns. They typically need several hours too before noticing them open up and the frequency response level out.

  9. #9
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    If you stick around here long enough and get to know a bit more about me, you'll realize exactly how stupid that tirade was.

    Now, go get tubed up. I think you're long overdue for a big, chubby one.

    ...hahha...man relax, I was shootin the **** and kiddin around, far from a "tirade". Forget it...

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    A frequency sweep makes sense. I just don't like leaving my player on that long. I just plug mine into my Adcom preamp/tuner, tune it to a Pop station, give it a healthy listening level and let it play overnight. Sometimes maybe two nights.

    The difference after break in is very obvious on Sennheisers. So much so I think they need to add a note to the instructions or package. It would probably prevent a lot of returns. They typically need several hours too before noticing them open up and the frequency response level out.

    Yes Peabody, I've had long discussions about what type of music to play, for how long, etc...I think whatever sound you want them to have should reflect in the music selection. This sweep program i have is great because I can program the exact range and know that the speakers will receive the full gambit.

  11. #11
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    But don't you think running such a "burn in" through speaks or 'phones takes away from the experience of letting things just bloom on their own? Seems a lot less fun....

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    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I'm about to burn a pair in. I have always used pink noise, but I am thinking of switching to a frequency sweep. I think the sweep just makes good logical sense. Any thoughts out there?
    Charles Hansen of Ayre has some interesting comments about what to use (and not use) for break in here. FWIW, he does not recommend using sweeps. For an ongoing basis, you might try getting one of the "Irrational But Efficacious" Disks. I just got one, but don't yet have much track time on it.

    rw

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    Auric, it depends on how annoying the sound is right out of the box. Many of my Senn's I couldn't tolerate out of the box. Another reason too, is if you are buying on a 30 day return you want to see if things are going to improve a bit quicker.

    In the case of my Contour t2.5 I didn't have a choice unless I wanted them to play 24/7 for a long period. It seemed like it took months for them to break in.

    This idea of "system tuning" is a bit hard to buy into but I will keep an open mind. I know MD sells an LP that is supposed to do stuff and the link E-stat provided Charles mentions using his disc for system tuning, I just can't imagine what difference would one hear and how could just playing a disc do anything to your system? I mean what is there to tune, all the parts have set values.

  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Great post E-stat. I have up to this point used natural sounds as a proving ground rather than a burn in. http://www.burninwave.com/#testsound Here are some natural sounds for anyone interested.

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    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Well, you guys make an interesting argument....Let me know how it goes. Are you going to try an A/B?

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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I'm about to burn a pair in. I have always used pink noise, but I am thinking of switching to a frequency sweep. I think the sweep just makes good logical sense. Any thoughts out there?
    Much of your question relys on the make of the cans. Some of AKG's higher line require anywhere from 250-450 hours to reach their sonic potential.

  17. #17
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Let me start this by saying, "I don't like headphones". That said, I have to question what I'm reading here about the type of sound used to burn in headphones making a difference. Bear in mind that I believe in the concept of break-in in just about everything including cables and IC's. To suggest that whatever music or signal you use to break-in/burn-in something makes a difference boggles the mind. Other than a wide band signal that encompasses the entire audio band at varying levels, requiring a specific type of sound or music to do so Is a concept I really can't get behind.
    C'mon guys. What's next, using only Jazz to burn in a system that Jazz is to be played on?
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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Joe, It's feeding the speakers the frequency range that they are expected to encounter, therefore loosening the diaphragms and helping them to meet their potential. Different methods to deliver those frequncies, thats the issue at hand. I've chatted with alot of guys who think burning-in a total load, but once you experience the benefit, it's hard not to become a beleiver. Kind of like seeing an alien...man I'm liking 2left more and more each post.....2left my brutha!!

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    The cans that fit two left ears would be something to behold

  20. #20
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yes Peabody, but would we burn-in those 2 left eared cans?!? That's the question...

  21. #21
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    No, burn in is a fact of audio, whether to do it during usage or at blocks at a time and why should it make any difference what so ever if we use Rock, Jazz, Pink Noise or Sweeps to do it as long as the unit being burned in gets a full frequency signal, that my dear boy is the question.

    My personal thought on the matter is music, whatever the genre, would be best because that would give the unit a full array of frequencies at one time for a duration where a sweep does a certain frequency at a time. Like a Zepplin song for instance has drums, bass, guitar and vocals for a several minute assault where a sweep may hit 20 Hz move to 30, move to 40 etc. but while at 40, 20 gets nothing, 10 kHz is getting nothing etc. Even though the sweep may be rapid it still cycles rather than a full range assault the way music will do.

  22. #22
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Wow, well that settles it. Natural sounds and music for the next couple pairs. You make a great point Peabody. Your method I think would help to speed things up when you put it that way. I think I'll take it a step farther and try to find a musical soundbite with a wide range of frequency and let it repeat. Like a wild and crazy 30 second guitar solo with the band really cookin in the background...I'm picking up a lightly used pair of AKG K240M's tommorrow...any suggestions would be welcome for "our" little experiment...

  23. #23
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    Stretching the materials and burning in voice coils on the larger diaphragm models do help with harshness and a little better low end weight. The 701s did "mellow out" after a few hundred hours. New, they were chalkboard annoying with no mid-bass impact. A little tubin finally made them sound decent. Every time you fire up your system, the parameters need to be re-memorized by the materials until optimum but I suspect you will get better performance quicker with a good break/burn in when new.

    This ritual is similar to burn in of capacitors, signal cables, power cords, passive and active power filtering etc. The true formulas are held close to the vest by the silverbacks and gear*****s.

    I've used an ipod feeding pink noise through my portable amp or fm hash with both my cans when I wasn't using them for the first couple weeks. I'll fire up the hp rig on Friday after work and leave it on for the weekend running foobar randomly. Come Sat. morning both the tube dac/amp and hp are singing their best. By Sunday night, mama better be offering or I'm usually deep into tunes, reading something on the web.

    Guess it's time for bed, night boys.
    d HC b

  24. #24
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Joe, It's feeding the speakers the frequency range that they are expected to encounter, therefore loosening the diaphragms and helping them to meet their potential. Different methods to deliver those frequncies, thats the issue at hand. I've chatted with alot of guys who think burning-in a total load, but once you experience the benefit, it's hard not to become a beleiver. Kind of like seeing an alien...man I'm liking 2left more and more each post.....2left my brutha!!
    Let me begin by saying that I believe in and rely on burn in of all the devices in my system. I believe in and hear IC and speaker cable differences. I have heard for myself that IC's can be constructed to be directional. However, to suggest that a device should be burned in with the type of music it will be used to primarily reproduce is utter and absolute nonsense.
    As an EE I am aware of and understand that some signal types and or combination's of waveforms may do a better job than others. However, to suggest that the 1812 should be used on a system that is primarily used for listening to classical music while Ray Charles should be used if the system is for an R&B lover makes the term snake oil seem like a compliment. C'mon guys I would lighten up on this if there was just "anecdotal proof" from widely separated sources.
    In response to your opening sentence. I expect my speakers to encounter any and every frequency between 20Hz and 20KHz. What do you do if your listening is rather eclectic? Do you survey your listening patterns? Do you determine what percentage is devoted to each kind of music? Do you then burn in your devices with the same percentages of burn in material? The mind boggles at such a thought.
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  25. #25
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I have up to this point used natural sounds as a proving ground rather than a burn in.
    I really like "storm". I bought a Mobile Sound Fidelity LP ages ago of a thunderstorm. If you're interested in sonic fireworks (quite literally!), then go here and download Tom Danley's fireworks recording. Be vewwy, vewwy careful on playback as it has super wide dynamics and will quickly chew up all the head room you've got.

    rw

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