Home of the Squeezebox™ & Transporter® network music players.
Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 76
  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mlsstl View Post
    But aren't guitars, even solid body electrics, still a mechanical device? You know, vibrating strings and all that...
    Yes they are. And that's the point -- speakers too are mostly mechanical devices.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    751
    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Yes they are. And that's the point -- speakers too are mostly mechanical devices.
    But the "break-in" fuss isn't so much about speakers but rather when one gets to electronics, and in particular, speaker wires and interconnects. One has a real gulf between the two camps for those.

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,685
    I've actually looked into this quite a bit. Originally I was very skeptical of burn in, but after having experienced it I set about trying find out whats going on.

    What I found was that there are two classes of componants that can exhibit significant burn in effects, capacitors and magnetic components (chokes, transformers).

    ALL magnetic devices in the audio path that have magnetic "cores" exhibit burn in, its a property of the magnetic materials. These work by collections of atoms called magnetic domains chainging orientations due to applied magnetic fields. For a freshly manufactured piece of the metal the properties of this "orientation flipping" change as they are flipped. As they flip back and forth the amount of energy required to make the flip and various other properties change slightly. After a while things stabilize and it stops changing. Some of these materials will tend to gradually revert to their original state if you don't use them for a long time, so you have to burn them in again after a long period of unuse.

    Capacitors are more interesting. A capacitor consists of two metal "plates" separated by an insullator (the dialectric). When a voltage is developed between the plates it creates an electric field between them which produces a force between when. When that force is varying (say from a music signal) that force also varies. This creates vibrations between the plates, causing the distance between the plates to vary, changing the capacitance along with the signal. This gives rise to distortion of the signal. Its not very much but it IS there and is measurable.

    To make this worse almost all capacitor construction techniques produce mechanical resonances in the audio band. These resonances particularly affect transients, again its not a large affect, but it is measurable.

    Thus changes to the mechanical resonances of a capacitor can affect what it does to a signal.

    Take for example a film and foil polypropelene cap, as its used the "micro vibrations" can slightly change the relationships between the film and the foil, changing the resonant properties. Sort of like "the contents of this box may have settled due to handling".

    There is a type of capacitor that exhibits this effect to a very large degree: the paper in oil capacitor. The dialectric is a sheet of paper soaked in oil. As the cap is used the vibrations cause the oil to further penetrate the paper matrix, significantly changing its resonant properties. After about 50 hours this process reaches a stable point. In this condition the capacitor is very well damped and has very low resonance effects, which makes it one of the best sounding capacitors. BUT during the "burn in" period those resonances vary significantly, causing the cap to sound horrible for part of that time.

    Its really startling how bad these caps sound during the burn in, its like everything is getting sent through a guitar fuzz box! The first time I built something with these caps I was very perplexed by this, it sounded very good at first, but after about 5 hours it sounded terrible, I thought something had burned up, come un soldered etc. But everything seemed fine, all the voltages were right where they were supposed to be. I let it play for another day, and it started sounding much better, after two days it sounded way better than it had originally.

    I have tried several different brands of paper in oil caps and they ALL do this, but the time frame can vary from one to another.

    One primary feature of paper in oil caps is a high voltage rating so they tend to only get used in tube circuits. They work VERY well in SS circuits as well, but are rarely used commercially because they are fairly expensive and are large.

    Because metalic cored magnetic components and paper in oil caps are almost exclusively used in tube circuits, people with SS gear may notice very little burn in. (anything with caps in the signal path will have SOME burn in, but its probably pretty small)

    There is a lot more to say on the subject, but thats all the time I have right now.

    John S.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, England
    Posts
    9,983
    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    There is an exception to what you've enlisted above -- audiophiles are not the only ones affected by the burn-in woes. I'm a musician, and I know that for guys like myself, guitars are the nasty bitches that need plenty of burn-in. A spanking brand new guitar, no matter how fabuloutasic is sounds right out of the case, will only improve its sound the longer you play it.

    Urban myth? I personally don't think so. As one guy said, I'm with Monkees on this one -- I'm a believer. I've had many guitars in my life, and I can testify that all of those guitars tended to really improve and bloom with prolonged playing.

    Guitars NEED to be played. That's why I willingly limit myself to always have only a few select guitars in my house, so that I can afford to give them the much deserved attention. If I find the guitar sitting on a stand for months on end, I sell it -- it needs a new home, a pair of greedy hands to mess with it each and every day. Each and every guitar needs to be caressed daily (can you tell that I'm a guitar nutcase?)

    I reckon same is with other products built out of wood, such as speakers -- they NEED to be played, and the longer you play them, the vibrations travelling through the wood encasement tend to make them sound sweeter.

    That's my bed time story for you, children.
    There's plenty of guitar players on this forum - including me - and I think we'd all agree that GOOD guitars improve with age and playing - lots of playing...


    But this has zippo to do with "burn in". Guitars are mechanical. The timbers age and mature - they change.

    Electronics don't age in the same GOOD way - they only age in a bad way...eventually.

    So I agree with what you say, but it's NOT burn-in as discussed in the context of "these cables sound a bit rough at first, but give them 200 hours and a veil will lift..."
    You want to see the signal path BEFORE it gets onto a CD/vinyl...it ain't what you'd call minimal...
    Touch(wired/W7)+Teddy Pardo PSU - Audiolense 3.3/2.0+INGUZ DRC - MF M1 DAC - Linn 5103 - full Aktiv 5.1 system (6x LK140's, ESPEK/TRIKAN/KATAN/SEIZMIK 10.5), Pekin Tuner, Townsend Supertweeters,VdH Toslink,Kimber 8TC Speaker & Chord Signature Plus Interconnect cables
    Stax4070+SRM7/II phones
    Kitchen Boom, Outdoors: SB Radio, Harmony One remote for everything.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, England
    Posts
    9,983
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSwenson View Post
    I've actually looked into this quite a bit. Originally I was very skeptical of burn in, but after having experienced it I set about trying find out whats going on.

    What I found was that there are two classes of componants that can exhibit significant burn in effects, capacitors and magnetic components (chokes, transformers).

    ALL magnetic devices in the audio path that have magnetic "cores" exhibit burn in, its a property of the magnetic materials. These work by collections of atoms called magnetic domains chainging orientations due to applied magnetic fields. For a freshly manufactured piece of the metal the properties of this "orientation flipping" change as they are flipped. As they flip back and forth the amount of energy required to make the flip and various other properties change slightly. After a while things stabilize and it stops changing. Some of these materials will tend to gradually revert to their original state if you don't use them for a long time, so you have to burn them in again after a long period of unuse.

    Capacitors are more interesting. A capacitor consists of two metal "plates" separated by an insullator (the dialectric). When a voltage is developed between the plates it creates an electric field between them which produces a force between when. When that force is varying (say from a music signal) that force also varies. This creates vibrations between the plates, causing the distance between the plates to vary, changing the capacitance along with the signal. This gives rise to distortion of the signal. Its not very much but it IS there and is measurable.

    To make this worse almost all capacitor construction techniques produce mechanical resonances in the audio band. These resonances particularly affect transients, again its not a large affect, but it is measurable.

    Thus changes to the mechanical resonances of a capacitor can affect what it does to a signal.

    Take for example a film and foil polypropelene cap, as its used the "micro vibrations" can slightly change the relationships between the film and the foil, changing the resonant properties. Sort of like "the contents of this box may have settled due to handling".

    There is a type of capacitor that exhibits this effect to a very large degree: the paper in oil capacitor. The dialectric is a sheet of paper soaked in oil. As the cap is used the vibrations cause the oil to further penetrate the paper matrix, significantly changing its resonant properties. After about 50 hours this process reaches a stable point. In this condition the capacitor is very well damped and has very low resonance effects, which makes it one of the best sounding capacitors. BUT during the "burn in" period those resonances vary significantly, causing the cap to sound horrible for part of that time.

    Its really startling how bad these caps sound during the burn in, its like everything is getting sent through a guitar fuzz box! The first time I built something with these caps I was very perplexed by this, it sounded very good at first, but after about 5 hours it sounded terrible, I thought something had burned up, come un soldered etc. But everything seemed fine, all the voltages were right where they were supposed to be. I let it play for another day, and it started sounding much better, after two days it sounded way better than it had originally.

    I have tried several different brands of paper in oil caps and they ALL do this, but the time frame can vary from one to another.

    One primary feature of paper in oil caps is a high voltage rating so they tend to only get used in tube circuits. They work VERY well in SS circuits as well, but are rarely used commercially because they are fairly expensive and are large.

    Because metalic cored magnetic components and paper in oil caps are almost exclusively used in tube circuits, people with SS gear may notice very little burn in. (anything with caps in the signal path will have SOME burn in, but its probably pretty small)

    There is a lot more to say on the subject, but thats all the time I have right now.

    John S.
    I'm familiar with the PIO cap problem - but they are exotic components - likewise chokes.

    I don't accept that there is an as yet undocumented law of the universe that states that certain things (but not other things!) ALWAYS get to sound better after a period of burn-in... in fact it would be contrary to the second law of thermodynamics...

    Why does nothing get worse? - what about entropy?
    You want to see the signal path BEFORE it gets onto a CD/vinyl...it ain't what you'd call minimal...
    Touch(wired/W7)+Teddy Pardo PSU - Audiolense 3.3/2.0+INGUZ DRC - MF M1 DAC - Linn 5103 - full Aktiv 5.1 system (6x LK140's, ESPEK/TRIKAN/KATAN/SEIZMIK 10.5), Pekin Tuner, Townsend Supertweeters,VdH Toslink,Kimber 8TC Speaker & Chord Signature Plus Interconnect cables
    Stax4070+SRM7/II phones
    Kitchen Boom, Outdoors: SB Radio, Harmony One remote for everything.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Curt962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    There is an exception to what you've enlisted above -- audiophiles are not the only ones affected by the burn-in woes. I'm a musician, and I know that for guys like myself, guitars are the nasty bitches that need plenty of burn-in. A spanking brand new guitar, no matter how fabuloutasic is sounds right out of the case, will only improve its sound the longer you play it.

    Urban myth? I personally don't think so. As one guy said, I'm with Monkees on this one -- I'm a believer. I've had many guitars in my life, and I can testify that all of those guitars tended to really improve and bloom with prolonged playing.

    Guitars NEED to be played. That's why I willingly limit myself to always have only a few select guitars in my house, so that I can afford to give them the much deserved attention. If I find the guitar sitting on a stand for months on end, I sell it -- it needs a new home, a pair of greedy hands to mess with it each and every day. Each and every guitar needs to be caressed daily (can you tell that I'm a guitar nutcase?)

    I reckon same is with other products built out of wood, such as speakers -- they NEED to be played, and the longer you play them, the vibrations travelling through the wood encasement tend to make them sound sweeter.

    That's my bed time story for you, children.
    Hang on there Grasshopper...I did specify electro MECHANICAL devices as an exception. You'll get no dispute from me there. As has been more than adequately illustrated in other posts, it is the mega, craptastic, monumental "improvements" that occur in purely electronic devices that a good many of us are taking issue with.

    We mostly all agree here.

    Let's talk about "Brilliant Pebbles", "Shumann Wave" devices, "Energy Focusing Rings" for your interconnects, etc...

    Ya know....things that make a REAL difference...
    Life is precious. Celebrate every day!

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    147
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt962 View Post

    Let's talk about "Brilliant Pebbles",

    Ya know....things that make a REAL difference...
    Whenever you need an audiophile chuckle, visit the Machina Dynamica site for Brilliant Pebbles, etc and my favourite, the Teleportation Tweak.

    "The Teleportation Tweak is a phenomenal new product discovered and developed by Machina Dynamica for improving audio and video systems remotely over long distances. The fundamental principle of operation of the Teleportation Tweak is quantum teleportation. How the Teleportation Tweak works is the proprietary property of Machina Dynamica.

    The Teleportation Tweak is independent of distance and will work anywhere in the world you happen to be located. The Teleportation Tweak is performed frequently for distances between 1000 and 4000 miles and has been performed for distances greater than 10,000 miles. The Teleportation Tweak works equally well using your landline phone or cell phone.

    The Teleportation Tweak has a profound effect on the sound of your system: (1) Clearer, (2) More information, (3) Greater frequency extension and (4) Lower distortion. You obtain the the Teleportation Tweak during a phone call to Machina Dynamica from your landline phone or cell phone; you can make the call from any room in your house. The tweak itself takes about 20 seconds and will sound like a series of sharp, mechanical pulses."

    And it's only $60! People may actually buy this stuff, which is scary!

  8. #28
    Senior Member Curt962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    192
    Well....it seems there is at least ONE satisfied customer...

    (copied from Head-Fi.org)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Hi Geoff,

    You cetainly have an unusual job. Tweaking people's minds as well as their systems.

    I promised to write and relay my experience of the Teleportation Tweak. I spent a half hour listening before I called you today, and focused on the first few minutes of a Willie and Lobo song with lots of percussion instruments like cymbals, tinkling bells, rattles and the like. Then we had our brief phone conversation and you did the tweak. Upon returning to my headphone system ( I listen exclusively on headphones for the sake of domestic bliss) I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was much more detail and resolution to the sound. As a result the various percussion instruments sounded more lifelike and real. In fact they sounded more like musical instruments and less like interesting noises.

    I went back for another longer listening session this evening to see if the effects would still be there and they definitely were. The increased lifelike quality to the music extends to all instruments and to human voices. You may have saved me $600 as I was thinking of upgrading my "Monica" NOS DAC as I felt it was too congested on busy complicated music, and would sometimes distort on louder passages, but now I am not so sure I need a new DAC. I could just hear a little of that same congestion as before but not anywhere near as much, and the distortion at higher volumes or louder passages seems to be gone.

    Thanks,
    Nirmala

    And I just wanted to add a thought for those who are convinced that this is purely placebo, especially since some people hear no difference with tweaks like this. There is another phenomenon known as the nocebo effect which suggests that someone who does not believe in a well-proven medical treatment will often experience no benefit as a result of their belief. It is kind of a negative placebo effect that has been shown to sometimes interfere with successful treatment.

    So, if it is possible that some people hear a benefit that does not actually exist from a tweak only because of their belief or desire to hear the beneficial change, then it is also possible that someone who does not believe in these kinds of effects will not hear a benefit or change that is actually there.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Good heavens. It's really tempting but I think I'm gonna hold off until the Teleportation Tweak Mark II comes out.

    I asked the Easter Bunny to bring it. He promised he would.
    Last edited by Curt962; 2011-03-16 at 19:52.
    Life is precious. Celebrate every day!

  9. #29
    Senior Member iPhone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,996

    Terminology

    Quote Originally Posted by maggior View Post
    What about burn-in of speakers and headphones? I never bought into the whole equipment burn in idea as it regards sound quality. However, in the past year I bought a pair of headphones (Grado SR-225i) and speakers (Polk Monitor 70) that to my ears sounded better over time.

    The Grado headphones sounded as though they developed more bass to me over time. The Polk speakers sounded as though the harshness of the highs smoothed out and the mids became smoother.

    In the past I have owned equipment (portable cd player, various portable headphones, stereo receiver as examples) that to me sounded "bad" which did not change over time. So I don't think I'm overly susecptable to adapting to poorly sounding equipment because of an investiment I made in it.

    Even still, I'm skeptical about "burn in", even for speakers and headphones. What do you guys think?
    The problem here is TERMINOLOGY. Burn-in refers to the process of powering up newly manufactured electronic equipment (mainly a Mil-Spec thing) to make sure its not DOA when its needed in the Field. Most transistors, ICs, and such are going to fail in the first 72 hours if they are poor, weak, or bad. So putting them on a Burn-in rack for 72 hours at operating temperatures and then doing a final alignment/performance check on them before boxing and shipping greatly reduces the probability of a unit arriving to the Field DOA. Burn-in has nothing to do with "Improving" the operation, performance, or sound of electronics, period! Its a reliability thing.

    As far as dynamic speakers go, it is not Burn-in, it is Break-in. A speaker driver is a mechanical piece of hardware. And as such, the drivers need a Break-in period to find their working area and reach their sweat spot. Similar to a new motor, needing a Break-in period.
    iPhone
    Media Room:
    ModWright Platinum Signature Transporter, VTL TL-6.5 Signature Pre-Amp, Ayre MX-R Mono's, VeraStarr 6.4SE 6-channel Amp, Vandersteen Speakers: Quatro Wood Mains, VCC-5 Reference Center, four VSM-1 Signatures, Video: Runco RS 900 CineWide AutoScope 2.35:1, Vandersteen V2W Subwoofer

    Living Room:
    Transporter, ADCOM GTP-870HD, Cinepro 3K6SE III Gold, Vandersteen Model 3A Signature, Two 2Wq subs, VCC-2, Two VSM-1

    Office: Touch with Vandersteen VSM-1s
    Kitchen: Touch in-wall mount w/ Thiel Powerpoint 1.2s
    Bedroom: Squeezebox BOOM
    Bathroom: Squeezebox Radio
    Around the House: SliMP3, SB1, SB2, SB3
    Ford Thunderbird: Duet, Mac Mini
    Ford Expedition: SB Touch, USB drive

  10. #30
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    26
    As yet another guitar player, and former hi-end hi-fi manufacturer employee, I'd have to agree that 'mechanical' items DO change with time. Usually this is in a good way (guitars, speakers, turntables) We used to run amplifiers 'flat-out' into a dummy load for around 72 hours before shipping them, because as mentioned above anything that is likely to go 'bang' will do so in that period. As to any 'burn-in' period for a purely electronic device 'improving' the sound - nonsense (IMHO)
    SB3 -> Roksan DA1 -> DIY passive pre -> Roksan S1 power amp -> modified Musical Technology Kestrel speakers :-)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •