• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

Burn in

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Another thing to bare in mind is that if there's any EM interference then you may need to use shielded cables. This is more likely to be a problem for interconnects rather than speaker cables though.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Pete68 said:
steve_1979 said:
Good analogue cables don't add any noticable distortion so they will all sound the same because they can't make the original signal any better than it already is.

Bad cables that do add phase distortion can make it worse though and I suspect this is what often gets mistaken for an 'improvement' with some of the overpriced audiophile cables.
This hits the nail on the head for me.

Poor cables can hold a system back and good cables will let the signal pass through without fuss or colouration.

So...what consitutes a good cable?
The sound changes whenever there's an excessive amount of either capacitance or inductance so any cable that doesn't have an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance will do the job without adding any audible distortion.

The link that I posted explains how and why this happens but all that you really need to know is that oxygen free copper cables will work perfectly provided that they are of a thick enough guage and not excessively long.

You can use silver cable too but the same rules apply to this as with copper. Provided there isn't an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance there won't be any audible distortion so they will sound the same.

Copper cables will work just as well as silver cables and will sound identical (provided there isn't an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance). As copper cables cost less than silver cables you're better off using these.
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
TRUST YOUR EARS ........!!
But what a phool believes ... he hears

No wise man has the power to reason away

- With apologies to The Doobie Brothers
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
Lol.... so what is being said in this thread, there is no such thing as 'burn in' or 'running in' of electrical components/conducters. That any differences heard is an illusion, the ears cannot be trusted, or getting used to...... why do some people even get out of bed? So for the record none of you have heard your kit improved over time (you just got use to it). - and since this kinda boils down to the cable argument all cables sound the same? Do any of you remember that experiment in physics with the metal dust/shreds on a piece of paper and magnets, getting all the individual strands to line up or creating patterns of the magnetic field - it had something to do with the way conducters work and was related to electrical flow (which is related to real world applications) or something like that .... any of you remember and you belittle others education.... head so far up your own ---- (fill in the blank) come to mind. TRUST YOUR EARS ........!! The differences heard are real be it burn in, tempreture, direction of electrons or what ever. Whats ironic about these topics is the whole concept of stereo reproduction is based on illiusion - if 250years ago any of you presented 2 wooden boxes placed a couple of metres apart and generated a 3d audio image between and around them you would have been burnt at the stake
No doubt you've seen those line drawings of optical illusions - they are fairly entertaining & give a glimse into the inner workings of how we process data. At the minimum they show that things are not quite as simple as expected. From this example, I'd suggest that ALL our senses can be fooled to some degree including hearing. Consider a noisy party where many are talking yet we are able to somehow block out much of the extraneous sounds & hold a conversation. Not an example of fooling as such but illustrates the complexities involved.

Most of our perceptions happen not with our sense organs but in our brain where a great deal of filtering of uneeded data allows us to make out our surroundings pretty efficiently. I used to think that my hearing was consistent & the idea it could be fooled - impossible, I now know this is not the case. Many changes we hear are generally pretty subtle - it's not as though we are talking about going from not being able to understand speech to be able to understand it. Reality is experienced as a heavily filtered time-delayed illusion & a damned clever one at that! It feels so real.

I'm far from being an objectivist - if was, I would have spent a fraction on Hi Fi equipment but having a technical background does mean a degree of understanding of was is probable & what isn't. This allows me to concentrate on proven concepts before exploring the more left-field ones without dismissing them utterly as some seem to. Ultimately, it's my ears I listen with. Looking at measured data is a chore, not a pleasure, despite understanding much of that data & knowing how it was obtained. It's not as though looking through measurements gives much of an insight on how something will sound - not to me anyway. I invite you to rethink the idea that your hearing can't be fooled - I say if it wasn't capable of being fooled, music would be meaningless.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
0
0
Pete68 said:
steve_1979 said:
Good analogue cables don't add any noticable distortion so they will all sound the same because they can't make the original signal any better than it already is.

Bad cables that do add phase distortion can make it worse though and I suspect this is what often gets mistaken for an 'improvement' with some of the overpriced audiophile cables.
This hits the nail on the head for me.

Poor cables can hold a system back and good cables will let the signal pass through without fuss or colouration.

So...what consitutes a good cable?
Thats the thing, is it cost or construction?
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
0
0
pauln said:
Thompsonuxb said:
TRUST YOUR EARS ........!!
But what a phool believes ... he hears

No wise man has the power to reason away

- With apologies to The Doobie Brothers
and the ignorant just try to hide their ignorance with really really weak sarcasm...no its not even that, I have challenged you and others to prove my points and have also been willing to make a wager. Wise men....prrrft!
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
0
0
busb said:
Thompsonuxb said:
Lol.... so what is being said in this thread, there is no such thing as 'burn in' or 'running in' of electrical components/conducters. That any differences heard is an illusion, the ears cannot be trusted, or getting used to...... why do some people even get out of bed? So for the record none of you have heard your kit improved over time (you just got use to it). - and since this kinda boils down to the cable argument all cables sound the same? Do any of you remember that experiment in physics with the metal dust/shreds on a piece of paper and magnets, getting all the individual strands to line up or creating patterns of the magnetic field - it had something to do with the way conducters work and was related to electrical flow (which is related to real world applications) or something like that .... any of you remember and you belittle others education.... head so far up your own ---- (fill in the blank) come to mind. TRUST YOUR EARS ........!! The differences heard are real be it burn in, tempreture, direction of electrons or what ever. Whats ironic about these topics is the whole concept of stereo reproduction is based on illiusion - if 250years ago any of you presented 2 wooden boxes placed a couple of metres apart and generated a 3d audio image between and around them you would have been burnt at the stake
No doubt you've seen those line drawings of optical illusions - they are fairly entertaining & give a glimse into the inner workings of how we process data. At the minimum they show that things are not quite as simple as expected. From this example, I'd suggest that ALL our senses can be fooled to some degree including hearing. Consider a noisy party where many are talking yet we are able to somehow block out much of the extraneous sounds & hold a conversation. Not an example of fooling as such but illustrates the complexities involved.

Most of our perceptions happen not with our sense organs but in our brain where a great deal of filtering of uneeded data allows us to make out our surroundings pretty efficiently. I used to think that my hearing was consistent & the idea it could be fooled - impossible, I now know this is not the case. Many changes we hear are generally pretty subtle - it's not as though we are talking about going from not being able to understand speech to be able to understand it. Reality is experienced as a heavily filtered time-delayed illusion & a damned clever one at that! It feels so real.

I'm far from being an objectivist - if was, I would have spent a fraction on Hi Fi equipment but having a technical background does mean a degree of understanding of was is probable & what isn't. This allows me to concentrate on proven concepts before exploring the more left-field ones without dismissing them utterly as some seem to. Ultimately, it's my ears I listen with. Looking at measured data is a chore, not a pleasure, despite understanding much of that data & knowing how it was obtained. It's not as though looking through measurements gives much of an insight on how something will sound - not to me anyway. I invite you to rethink the idea that your hearing can't be fooled - I say if it wasn't capable of being fooled, music would be meaningless.
busb, I read you - but consider this - you have a system on it you play the same track over and over again - as the system warms the sound changes, subtle changes maybe. But from cold you hear the bass becoming fuller, vocals more projected instruments becoming more realistic with a fuller tone. Are we to believe this is not real, we the listener are only fooling ourselves - creating our own illusions.

That maybe we are just getting into the music or is the reality that performance does change and the system does change the presentation of the music its playing as it gets to its optimum tempreture?

Maybe it depends on the quality of your speakers - maybe with poorly designed speakers you really cannot hear any difference or maybe the listener really needs to get a match and give his/her ears a clean.

To expand you listen to your system (its fixed) one track - you notice a triangle left of centre its clarity striking, you hear a hand clap outside of the right speaker only, it sounds like a hand clap - you change nothing more than a cable suddenly that triangle does not sound so sharp, the hand clap sounds more like a slap on a table, distinctly different than what you heard a few moments before....you must dismis that down to your ears fooling you?....seriously?

People accept it, have faith in your ability to differentiate changes in sound....... it does not make you a wizard or a witch and no one will be knocking at your door to burn you at the stake.
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
To expand you listen to your system (its fixed) one track - you notice a triangle left of centre its clarity striking, you hear a hand clap outside of the right speaker only, it sounds like a hand clap - you change nothing more than a cable suddenly that triangle does not sound so sharp, the hand clap sounds more like a slap on a table, distinctly different than what you heard a few moments before....you must dismis that down to your ears fooling you?....seriously?

People accept it, have faith in your ability to differentiate changes in sound....... it does not make you a wizard or a witch and no one will be knocking at your door to burn you at the stake.
Have just been reading a thread over on PFM: "The cost of leaving your amps on all the time" - interesting mixture of responses & justifications for doing so. A similar subject - I generally no longer leave my stereo powered up & plug my already frugal power amp into an RF controlled remote switch as the on/off switch is inaccessible. I'm not sure how much time the various components take to reach optimum SQ because I'm too busy listening to the news or watching a TV program before I start listening to music. A particular track does not sound identical every time I listen. This can be down to how alert, distracted, etc I'm feeling or maybe mains "quality" - I'm less convinced of the latter. Not only that, some tracks I have to be in the right mood for so my enjoyment of music varies - enjoyment is an emotional state - to the extent that I often can't keep still. This enjoyment eclipses the small-scale potential differences between either burnt-in or fully warmed up equipment - because it doesn't matter! Equipment is merely the means & not the end! Good equipment like mine & no doubt yours only ices the cake - it certainly doesn't turn bad music into good.

I played a trick on a friend not so long ago. I'd bought a new set of interconnects & pretended to swap them for an older pair then back again a couple of times. My friend definitely heard an improvement when I supposedly used the newer ones. I did lead him on deliberately by saying how much I preferred the newer set. I kept my mouth shut otherwise. There was a slight difference but very, very subtle, unlike changing amps - that did make a difference. The friend owns a decent system as it happens. Can I say if I'd done this to you, you'd not have noticed? Of course not but it did illustrate the concept of expectation bias rather well in this case. Trust your ears certainly but only up to a point. I don't fully trust mine but they sure as hell enrich my life!
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
pauln said:
Thompsonuxb said:
TRUST YOUR EARS ........!!
But what a phool believes ... he hears

No wise man has the power to reason away

- With apologies to The Doobie Brothers
and the ignorant just try to hide their ignorance with really really weak sarcasm...no its not even that, I have challenged you and others to prove my points and have also been willing to make a wager. Wise men....prrrft!
The Jehovah's Witness line was better but I've used that before.

I believe you're the one that ignores all the blind testing and the science? That's ignorance.

:wall:
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
246
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
and the ignorant just try to hide their ignorance with really really weak sarcasm...no its not even that, I have challenged you and others to prove my points and have also been willing to make a wager. Wise men....prrrft!
pot

kettle

black
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
busb said:
Thompsonuxb said:
Lol.... so what is being said in this thread, there is no such thing as 'burn in' or 'running in' of electrical components/conducters. That any differences heard is an illusion, the ears cannot be trusted, or getting used to...... why do some people even get out of bed? So for the record none of you have heard your kit improved over time (you just got use to it). - and since this kinda boils down to the cable argument all cables sound the same? Do any of you remember that experiment in physics with the metal dust/shreds on a piece of paper and magnets, getting all the individual strands to line up or creating patterns of the magnetic field - it had something to do with the way conducters work and was related to electrical flow (which is related to real world applications) or something like that .... any of you remember and you belittle others education.... head so far up your own ---- (fill in the blank) come to mind. TRUST YOUR EARS ........!! The differences heard are real be it burn in, tempreture, direction of electrons or what ever. Whats ironic about these topics is the whole concept of stereo reproduction is based on illiusion - if 250years ago any of you presented 2 wooden boxes placed a couple of metres apart and generated a 3d audio image between and around them you would have been burnt at the stake
No doubt you've seen those line drawings of optical illusions - they are fairly entertaining & give a glimse into the inner workings of how we process data. At the minimum they show that things are not quite as simple as expected. From this example, I'd suggest that ALL our senses can be fooled to some degree including hearing. Consider a noisy party where many are talking yet we are able to somehow block out much of the extraneous sounds & hold a conversation. Not an example of fooling as such but illustrates the complexities involved.

Most of our perceptions happen not with our sense organs but in our brain where a great deal of filtering of uneeded data allows us to make out our surroundings pretty efficiently. I used to think that my hearing was consistent & the idea it could be fooled - impossible, I now know this is not the case. Many changes we hear are generally pretty subtle - it's not as though we are talking about going from not being able to understand speech to be able to understand it. Reality is experienced as a heavily filtered time-delayed illusion & a damned clever one at that! It feels so real.

I'm far from being an objectivist - if was, I would have spent a fraction on Hi Fi equipment but having a technical background does mean a degree of understanding of was is probable & what isn't. This allows me to concentrate on proven concepts before exploring the more left-field ones without dismissing them utterly as some seem to. Ultimately, it's my ears I listen with. Looking at measured data is a chore, not a pleasure, despite understanding much of that data & knowing how it was obtained. It's not as though looking through measurements gives much of an insight on how something will sound - not to me anyway. I invite you to rethink the idea that your hearing can't be fooled - I say if it wasn't capable of being fooled, music would be meaningless.
busb, I read you - but consider this - you have a system on it you play the same track over and over again - as the system warms the sound changes, subtle changes maybe. But from cold you hear the bass becoming fuller, vocals more projected instruments becoming more realistic with a fuller tone. Are we to believe this is not real, we the listener are only fooling ourselves - creating our own illusions.

That maybe we are just getting into the music or is the reality that performance does change and the system does change the presentation of the music its playing as it gets to its optimum tempreture?

Maybe it depends on the quality of your speakers - maybe with poorly designed speakers you really cannot hear any difference or maybe the listener really needs to get a match and give his/her ears a clean.

To expand you listen to your system (its fixed) one track - you notice a triangle left of centre its clarity striking, you hear a hand clap outside of the right speaker only, it sounds like a hand clap - you change nothing more than a cable suddenly that triangle does not sound so sharp, the hand clap sounds more like a slap on a table, distinctly different than what you heard a few moments before....you must dismis that down to your ears fooling you?....seriously?

People accept it, have faith in your ability to differentiate changes in sound....... it does not make you a wizard or a witch and no one will be knocking at your door to burn you at the stake.
Please do not confuse warming up with burning in or other such imagined effects. The parameters of electronic components are temperature sensitive. Designers spend a long time trying to iron out these dependencies in their designs, but there is every chance that the overall response of an analogue electronic system will change as temperature changes. In systems that need high degrees of stability, it is common to have temperature controlled 'ovens' to maintain a constant temperature for the more critical components. Whether these temperature effects are audible in a home setup with a 'normal' amplifier is another matter, but the effect is real.

As for 'Trust your ears', human perception is extremely unreliable, and subject to all kinds of bias. The last thing to do is trust your ears, they really are not trustworthy. Have a google around on the extreme lengths that go into reliable human testing - double blind being a good example.

It is worth looking at. Just as an example, in drug trials, it was found that if the clinician administering the drug knew which was real and which was placebo, that the unconcious cues given to the patient (who didn't know which was real and which was placebo) were sufficient to skew the results. That's bias one step removed. So all the 'well my girlfriend could tell the difference immediately' posts probably have more to do with the enthusiastic owner of a new mains lead / squidgy acoustic pad / speaker cable saying 'you can hear the difference, cant you??' than any perception change on the part of the long suffering girlfriend.

It is also noticeable that when tests are conducted to remove bias (ABX or similar) most of the differences disappear. One can only guess why the HiFi press shy away from such testing.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
341
149
19,070
Thompsonuxb said:
Pete68 said:
steve_1979 said:
Good analogue cables don't add any noticable distortion so they will all sound the same because they can't make the original signal any better than it already is.

Bad cables that do add phase distortion can make it worse though and I suspect this is what often gets mistaken for an 'improvement' with some of the overpriced audiophile cables.
This hits the nail on the head for me.

Poor cables can hold a system back and good cables will let the signal pass through without fuss or colouration.

So...what consitutes a good cable?
Thats the thing, is it cost or construction?
For speakers, thick conductors work best.. Lots of strands make it flexible.

The phase distortion stuff is more balderdash!
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
andyjm said:
As for 'Trust your ears', human perception is extremely unreliable, and subject to all kinds of bias. The last thing to do is trust your ears, they really are not trustworthy. Have a google around on the extreme lengths that go into reliable human testing - double blind being a good example.
In the interests of balance it's worth pointing out that your hearing is both less consistent than you think and also more sensitive than you think. Our ability to pick up seemingly inaudible sound is remarkable.

andyjm said:
It is also noticeable that when tests are conducted to remove bias (ABX or similar) most of the differences disappear. One can only guess why the HiFi press shy away from such testing.
One can certainly speculate on why the hi-fi press doesn't do (much) blind testing. But I can give you one good reason, and it's the same reason why drug companies do as little blind testing as the regulatory authorities will let them get away with: scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.

Matt
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
341
149
19,070
matt49 said:
andyjm said:
As for 'Trust your ears', human perception is extremely unreliable, and subject to all kinds of bias. The last thing to do is trust your ears, they really are not trustworthy. Have a google around on the extreme lengths that go into reliable human testing - double blind being a good example.
In the interests of balance it's worth pointing out that your hearing is both less consistent than you think and also more sensitive than you think. Our ability to pick up seemingly inaudible sound is remarkable.

andyjm said:
It is also noticeable that when tests are conducted to remove bias (ABX or similar) most of the differences disappear. One can only guess why the HiFi press shy away from such testing.
One can certainly speculate on why the hi-fi press doesn't do (much) blind testing. But I can give you one good reason, and it's the same reason why drug companies do as little blind testing as the regulatory authorities will let them get away with: scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.

Matt
http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/receivers/amplifier-sound-quality.aspx

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
TrevC said:
matt49 said:
scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.
http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/receivers/amplifier-sound-quality.aspx

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm
I expressed myself quite carefully: "scientifically robust blind testing". Without knowing more about how these tests were conducted, it's impossible to say how robust they were. Judging by the pictures, the Spanish test looks pretty amateurish. Certainly it wouldn't be publishable in any of the psychology journals I'm familiar with.
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
246
0
0
matt49 said:
I expressed myself quite carefully: "scientifically robust blind testing". Without knowing more about how these tests were conducted, it's impossible to say how robust they were. Judging by the pictures, the Spanish test looks pretty amateurish. Certainly it wouldn't be publishable in any of the psychology journals I'm familiar with.
with regards to the home theatre one, this is the company that conducted the tests http://www.dlcdesignaudio.com/

I've posted this before, but it's an interesting article and covers a lot of the phsycology of how and why we purchase things http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/05/19/fanboyism-and-brand-loyalty/
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
341
149
19,070
matt49 said:
TrevC said:
matt49 said:
scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.
http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/receivers/amplifier-sound-quality.aspx

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm
I expressed myself quite carefully: "scientifically robust blind testing". Without knowing more about how these tests were conducted, it's impossible to say how robust they were. Judging by the pictures, the Spanish test looks pretty amateurish. Certainly it wouldn't be publishable in any of the psychology journals I'm familiar with.
It was robust enough for a trivial matter IMO.
 

Ben K.

New member
Nov 6, 2010
54
0
0
I don't want to get involved in these endless debates on whether cables can or can't make a difference but I can't help but wonder why people keep referring to science? I'm a biologist which does not qualify me to comment either way in this debate however I have yet to see someone produce an article that has been published in a scientific journal supporting either side of the argument. Links to websites and things found on google are not credible in the world of science I'm afraid. I know some people are in engineering and I respect your views from that point of view but could other people stop referring to science unless they can produce published articles.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Ben K. said:
I don't want to get involved in these endless debates on whether cables can or can't make a difference but I can't help but wonder why people keep referring to science? I'm a biologist which does not qualify me to comment either way in this debate however I have yet to see someone produce an article that has been published in a scientific journal supporting either side of the argument. Links to websites and things found on google are not credible in the world of science I'm afraid. I know some people are in engineering and I respect your views from that point of view but could other people stop referring to science unless they can produce published articles.
I agree. Too much Googling being passed off as 'science'.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
Ben K. said:
I don't want to get involved in these endless debates on whether cables can or can't make a difference but I can't help but wonder why people keep referring to science? I'm a biologist which does not qualify me to comment either way in this debate however I have yet to see someone produce an article that has been published in a scientific journal supporting either side of the argument. Links to websites and things found on google are not credible in the world of science I'm afraid. I know some people are in engineering and I respect your views from that point of view but could other people stop referring to science unless they can produce published articles.
Davis, Fred E., "Effects of cable, Loudspeaker and Amplifier Interactions", JAES, vol. 39, no. 6 Jun 91

Used to be easy to find, the JAES (Journal of the Audio Engineering Society) have now put a paywall for non members. You may be able to find a pdf copy on another site to download. The paper is over 20 years old, but not much has changed in electrical conduction theory since then (or for the 100 years prior to that).
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
TrevC said:
For speakers, thick conductors work best.. Lots of strands make it flexible.

The phase distortion stuff is more balderdash!
I have to agree with you there. :)

What I was trying to explain is that only in the most extreme of circumstances with a badly designed cable that has an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance it is possible to alter the tone slightly be altering the phase.

However I hope that these comments haven't confused the issue. Any normal OFC speaker cable will work perfectly without adding any audible distortion. Normal OFC speaker cables won't have an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance so they will all sound the same because they don't introduce any audible distortion.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts