Denon PMA-800NE disappointment...burn in ?

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Hawkmoon

Active member
Feb 19, 2020
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I think that could certainly be true, the change in sound can be quite a shock.
I hope you will notice that I did not seek to admonish you - as far as I saw, you hadn't even mentioned returning the Denon!
All talk was of shop returns policies in general and a reaction to Gasolin's assumption that anything goes when it comes to buyer's rights. (Seems like it does in Denmark, for him at least!).
Hope your health is better and that it's just a case of getting used to what is actually a superior amp.
thanks for your good wishes Gray, no worries. I’m aware some folks take returns a bit too far and that this can hurt small bricks and mortar stores. I try my best to audition when I can but as I said, in this case I had to just rely on internet research. The happy outcome is that I’m warming to the different sound of the Denon, so all is good.
 
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MeanandGreen

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Dec 26, 2012
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I don’t believe in burn in, I do believe in expectation bias. Or maybe even being over analytical when making a component change like this.

Years ago, my old NAD C350 amplifier broke down. I replaced it with a NAD C326 BEE. I was convinced the newer 326 BEE was bright and lacking in bass.

I lived with it for a while until I just stopped over thinking it, I ended up enjoying the C326 just as much as the old C350. Anyway a few years later I managed to fix my old C350 and was in a position to do direct comparisons. I honestly can’t tell them apart. I can happily live with either.

I don’t think the C326 changed or burned in. I don’t think I had to adapt to it. I think I just had to ignore my mind playing tricks on me because I‘d swapped out a major component.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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I don’t believe in burn in, I do believe in expectation bias. Or maybe even being over analytical when making a component change like this.

Years ago, my old NAD C350 amplifier broke down. I replaced it with a NAD C326 BEE. I was convinced the newer 326 BEE was bright and lacking in bass.

I lived with it for a while until I just stopped over thinking it, I ended up enjoying the C326 just as much as the old C350. Anyway a few years later I managed to fix my old C350 and was in a position to do direct comparisons. I honestly can’t tell them apart. I can happily live with either.

I don’t think the C326 changed or burned in. I don’t think I had to adapt to it. I think I just had to ignore my mind playing tricks on me because I‘d swapped out a major component.
I agree that expectation bias and over analysing / thinking are responsible for a lot of the differences that people think they hear.
End of last year though, I spent well over a month severely deafened with hearing very slowly returning to what it was. This really made me think about the spectrum of difference between people with 'normal' hearing - and we all know that hearing deteriorates from around age 20, especially at HF and in males.
My point is that I'm in no doubt that some people actually hear things that others don't.
How about this theory in your case?:
There was a real difference between your 2 Nad amps which, years ago, you easily heard.
These days, the difference is as real as it was - but you no longer hear it.
Would be interesting to get someone (that you knew wasn't over-thinking) to compare your 2 amps wouldn't it?
 

MeanandGreen

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2012
101
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18,620
I agree that expectation bias and over analysing / thinking are responsible for a lot of the differences that people think they hear.
End of last year though, I spent well over a month severely deafened with hearing very slowly returning to what it was. This really made me think about the spectrum of difference between people with 'normal' hearing - and we all know that hearing deteriorates from around age 20, especially at HF and in males.
My point is that I'm in no doubt that some people actually hear things that others don't.
How about this theory in your case?:
There was a real difference between your 2 Nad amps which, years ago, you easily heard.
These days, the difference is as real as it was - but you no longer hear it.
Would be interesting to get someone (that you knew wasn't over-thinking) to compare your 2 amps wouldn't it?

Interesting way of putting it.

My wife has compared the two NAD amps as well. She agrees there’s nothing significant in it. I can currently hear up to 16khz, which I don’t think is bad for a 40 year old. My hearing isn‘t perfect perhaps, but it’s good enough to hear differences in frequency response and timbre.

The two NADs both have a flat response across the audible spectrum with similar damping factors. Only the the 326 has lower distortion, but both are so low in this regard that it’s not even an audible factor. There shouldn‘t be a reason for one to sound significantly different to the other with the same speakers and kept within their power limits.

Also I can very easily hear the difference between original masters and remasters of the same records, so based on that I think if my two amps were different I’d hear it.

I really believe that at the time of changing amps, I was over thinking it.

I moved house in June and it took me a good couple of weeks to settle on speaker placement and then months on final sub settings. Because we can’t always totally rely on what we hear. What sounds right one day and after a few hours of analysing/listening can - and will sound completely different the next day with fresh ears.

Stuff can sound different from one day to the next, but that’s not the gear being unstable, it’s down to state of mind, how rested we are and even the body’s own metabolism. This all plays a significant role in what we perceive from our ears.

Anyway going I’m off on a tangent. My post was meant to give the OP some food for thought.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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I don't want to discuss if can hear 12, 14 og 16 khz, i want to listen to music, i wanna read about hifi,i wanna try tweaks, new cable (or one i have with my current system). I know one great danish artist in his 70's (76), he has tinitus and uses a hearing aid, in the 1960 he was ar rock n roll musician like the rolling stones, led zeppelin, he retired in 2017, he was soooo bored that he 1 year later started to tour again, just fewer concerts

When i was 18 i wanted some ugly jamo i want to play loud disco,pa speakers with a horn tweeter and i think i could at that time i could afford the model with a 12" woofer same as dantax and eltax speakers, lots of bass, sharp highs, loud, cabinets had gaps, build quality was below avarage.

25'ish years ago i bought 2x rotel rb-980bx 2x120 watt in 8 ohm and 1x360 watt and had horrible speaker placements, audiovector 5 to the right and of course left of my listening possition, not in front of me, horrible.

later when midrange started to deteriorate i had to have speakers in mint condition so i bought new dalis instead of new midrange surrounds,foam (fooled by there brighness thinking they reveal more details) later because i could afford it cerwin vega ve-28s to get mere bass, not very deep but pretty loud despite only having 2x8" woofers, my audiovectors had 4x8" woofers.

Now i have speakers smaller than harbeth p3esr 85db,4.5" woofer, 2x 45 watt (tested to be 2x51 watt in 8 ohm)with 85 db speakers i would have liked if it could play the power it has now 100% clean, meaning 70-80 watt would have been perfect when i play 40-50 watt, although it's still loud.

My speakers for there size have lot of bass, not just i was made for beeing used as rear channel speakers in a surround sound system, nice highs not to bright and a non thin bass,bottom like the wharfedale diamond 225 i had and Dynaudio EMIT M10 (also small and cute) that was brighter than my current speakers and only had enough bass playing edm, most pop,rock needed a little more bass.

Still listening to rock music (alot of metallica on youtube),pop,edm,blues,jazz it just has to have a good balance not to much highs, and not a thin bass, bottom, the diamond 225 with a 6.5" bass are actually thinner sounding than my Definitive Technology D7 but had no listening fattigue, they still lack some bass as the diamond 220 does.

My point is that despite being older and can't hear 16-20khz any more, that our music taste,how we listen (streaming (tidfal,spotify),bluetooth, music streamer, sonos), what system we use, can easily have change compared to 15-25 year ago, that still doesn't mean we can't enjoy music as much or even more than 15-25 years ago.

Like sex, even when it doesn't last an hour it can stil be alot of fun, even when your over 40 or 70 and half deaf, hell even when your half blind women can still be nice to look at :innocent:
 
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gasolin

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How hifi sounds in 2020 with a new system could also sound different than in the early 90's, in the early 90's we didn't have loudness war
 
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DomCheetham

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Aug 6, 2011
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Music just sounds great now. Joni Mitchell, Clannad. Sounded wonderful then, but technology has meant higher production value. Deeper bass, shimmering highs, even more realism. If I compare Aliens to Prometheus's sound track the difference is night and day.
 

Hawkmoon

Active member
Feb 19, 2020
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Music just sounds great now. Joni Mitchell, Clannad. Sounded wonderful then, but technology has meant higher production value. Deeper bass, shimmering highs, even more realism. If I compare Aliens to Prometheus's sound track the difference is night and day.
Talking of Joni, have you heard the high res versions of her albums on Amazon HD? They sound fantastic
 

Hawkmoon

Active member
Feb 19, 2020
24
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As I said earlier on in the thread, I'm now 100% satisfied with my PMA-800NE - it has a different presentation to my old Kenwood, but I have grown to like it and recognise it is more detailed and transparent, which is not a bad thing. It lacks the warmth of the old Kenwood but this is replaced by detail and great stereo image so I'm happy. Moral of the story is, I think, to give your ears time to adjust to a new hi-fi component before you decide you don't like it - for me it took a week of listening to fully make an informed judgment on it. food for thought given that a lot of folks base their judgment on a few minutes auditioning a component in a store
 
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