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Ho do you run in a new separates system

shep1968

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2007
99
2
18,545
I've just bought some new Naim kit and it says it takes a long time to run in. How would you propose that i do this and how long will it take? Should i simply leave it switched on all day or do i need to play a CD for seven or eight hours at a time?
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
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It depends. Many speaker's drivers need music at low to medium volume to loosen up the suspension that may take 100hrs whereas some electronics only needs to be left on continuously for a week. Many will leave a CD on repeat. Some will advise just to use the equipment as you would normally. Improvements are usually fairly subtle. Other's claim that running in anything but speakers is unnecessary.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
shep1968 said:
I've just bought some new Naim kit and it says it takes a long time to run in. How would you propose that i do this and how long will it take? Should i simply leave it switched on all day or do i need to play a CD for seven or eight hours at a time?
There are four important steps to running in.

1. Switch on hifi.

2. Play music.

3. Enjoy music.

4. Stop worrying about running in. :)
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
steve_1979 said:
shep1968 said:
I've just bought some new Naim kit and it says it takes a long time to run in. How would you propose that i do this and how long will it take? Should i simply leave it switched on all day or do i need to play a CD for seven or eight hours at a time?
There are four important steps to running in.

1. Switch on hifi.

2. Play music.

3. Enjoy music.

4. Stop worrying about running in. :)
+ living it ON 24/7... :grin:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
And I quote:

"Running in is a myth propogated by the expensive 'hifi' manufacturers so a. you get used to the sound and b. you can't return it via distance selling."

Speakers? Maybe. Solid state equipment? Nope.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
steve_1979 said:
shep1968 said:
I've just bought some new Naim kit and it says it takes a long time to run in. How would you propose that i do this and how long will it take? Should i simply leave it switched on all day or do i need to play a CD for seven or eight hours at a time?
There are four important steps to running in.

1. Switch on hifi.

2. Play music.

3. Enjoy music.

4. Stop worrying about running in. :)
Not too sure about that Steve. Current experience suggests that when something's not right audibly, it needs looking at. In my case, I needed to shift the speaker positioning to combat the UD7007's neutral and somewhat bass light presentation. Now I can play and enjoy the music. But sometimes it takes a little work...
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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Q: how do you run in a hifi separates system?

A: through the back door so the neighbours don't notice.

(I got that one in a Christmas cracker.)
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Running in electronics is a nonsense, just a device to get the owner to take a little time to adjust to the new sound or presentation.

Optimum temperature is a different issue, the measured characteristics of individual components (transistors, capacitors etc) will vary with temperature and competent design will take this into account. Most pieces of hi-fi equipment sound better at thier optimum temperature, in the case of high current devices such as power amplifiers, they reach this temperature quite quickly, low current devices such as dacs or pre-amps may take a lot longer to come up to temperature and may work best if left permanently powered up.

Speakers are different, they are mechanical devices and surrounds, spiders etc, may be a little stiff when new. Some usage will soften them and once again competent designers will have taken this into account, they will sound better after some use, how much use in impossible to say, but more than a week or so of normal use strikes me as excessive.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
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0
davedotco said:
Running in electronics is a nonsense, just a device to get the owner to take a little time to adjust to the new sound or presentation.

Optimum temperature is a different issue, the measured characteristics of individual components (transistors, capacitors etc) will vary with temperature and competent design will take this into account. Most pieces of hi-fi equipment sound better at thier optimum temperature, in the case of high current devices such as power amplifiers, they reach this temperature quite quickly, low current devices such as dacs or pre-amps may take a lot longer to come up to temperature and may work best if left permanently powered up.

Speakers are different, they are mechanical devices and surrounds, spiders etc, may be a little stiff when new. Some usage will soften them and once again competent designers will have taken this into account, they will sound better after some use, how much use in impossible to say, but more than a week or so of normal use strikes me as excessive.
Dave explains it very well - I agree with all his points.

I have searched the web for some justification of Naim's position on running electronics in, as well as their 'directional speaker cables' claims. I have been unable to find any justification from them for either position. You would have though that if they had solid reasons for this that they would explain them.
 

Johnno2

New member
Feb 2, 2009
45
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Only thing I havereally noticed run in / break in is on a AT95E moving magnet cartridge, the cantiliver must loosen up and the tip gets a little polished well thats my take on it ,

I 'think' I have noticed it on speakers, But never on amps and CD players
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
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Johnno2 said:
Only thing I havereally noticed run in / break in is on a AT95E moving magnet cartridge, the cantiliver must loosen up and the tip gets a little polished well thats my take on it ,
You might be right about the cantilever but a diamond being polished by vinyl?
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
1
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davedotco said:
Speakers are different, they are mechanical devices and surrounds, spiders etc, may be a little stiff when new. Some usage will soften them and once again competent designers will have taken this into account, they will sound better after some use, how much use in impossible to say, but more than a week or so of normal use strikes me as excessive.
I'm sure last time this topic came up someone posted a link to a survey of speaker manufacturers asking them their thoughts on this matter, I believe, with one noticable exception, they all pretty much agreed that whilst speakers do need breaking in, it actually occurs in the factory during testing as it takes in the region of 10 seconds or so.
 

Johnno2

New member
Feb 2, 2009
45
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0
The_Lhc said:
Johnno2 said:
Only thing I havereally noticed run in / break in is on a AT95E moving magnet cartridge, the cantiliver must loosen up and the tip gets a little polished well thats my take on it ,
You might be right about the cantilever but a diamond being polished by vinyl?
but the diamond tip does wear eventually ?

along with the records :roll:
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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The_Lhc said:
davedotco said:
Speakers are different, they are mechanical devices and surrounds, spiders etc, may be a little stiff when new. Some usage will soften them and once again competent designers will have taken this into account, they will sound better after some use, how much use in impossible to say, but more than a week or so of normal use strikes me as excessive.
I'm sure last time this topic came up someone posted a link to a survey of speaker manufacturers asking them their thoughts on this matter, I believe, with one noticable exception, they all pretty much agreed that whilst speakers do need breaking in, it actually occurs in the factory during testing as it takes in the region of 10 seconds or so.
Interesting.

I recall that in my days as a dealer a fair number of speaker manufacturers with whom we had good relations were quite adamant about their products needing runing in. They may of course simply have been playing the 'give yourself time to adjust' card.

When I worked for a major loudspeaker (driver) manufacturer our 'official' view was as described, run in took place during testing but as someone who often worked in the field I found that most drive units required some run in, in some cases such as heavy duty bass and musical instrument drivers, rather a lot.

Replacing bass drivers in studio monitors could be enlightening, a fairly obvious difference, and although few minutes of uncompressed drum kit would probably have sorted them out we recomended leaving music playing overnight at a moderate level.
 

shep1968

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2007
99
2
18,545
Many thanks for all your comments. Before posting i tended to leave the Amp and CD player on whilst out for a couple of hours or more but not all day. I'll stop doing this and just listen to what is a sonic jump up from my Rotel Marantz combo. And to think that i thought that the speakers would make the biggest difference tonally.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
davedotco said:
I recall that in my days as a dealer a fair number of speaker manufacturers with whom we had good relations were quite adamant about their products needing runing in. They may of course simply have been playing the 'give yourself time to adjust' card.
Being cynical, that could have been the "keep them running in until the returns period has expired" card :)
 

Cockroach

New member
Jan 6, 2014
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0
andyjm said:
davedotco said:
Running in electronics is a nonsense, just a device to get the owner to take a little time to adjust to the new sound or presentation.

Optimum temperature is a different issue, the measured characteristics of individual components (transistors, capacitors etc) will vary with temperature and competent design will take this into account. Most pieces of hi-fi equipment sound better at thier optimum temperature, in the case of high current devices such as power amplifiers, they reach this temperature quite quickly, low current devices such as dacs or pre-amps may take a lot longer to come up to temperature and may work best if left permanently powered up.

Speakers are different, they are mechanical devices and surrounds, spiders etc, may be a little stiff when new. Some usage will soften them and once again competent designers will have taken this into account, they will sound better after some use, how much use in impossible to say, but more than a week or so of normal use strikes me as excessive.
Dave explains it very well - I agree with all his points.

I have searched the web for some justification of Naim's position on running electronics in, as well as their 'directional speaker cables' claims. I have been unable to find any justification from them for either position. You would have though that if they had solid reasons for this that they would explain them.
Obviously not all engineers agree on this. I quote another:

"It's mainly a complex function of capacitors, especially electrolytic types which audio circuits cannot get away with not having. Initially (as data sheets describe) leakage and dissipation factors are high but after some time of the equipment being switched on leakage diminishes to a fraction of its initial state and the dissipation factor adopts its specified percentage. The rate at which this happens depends on where the capacitor is in the circuit: if it is straight across the power supply the time involved can be pretty-short, but if it's in a potential divider with a resistance much higher than say 1k or the voltage at that point in a circuit is substantially lower than the capacitor's rated voltage (which often it needs be to obtain the lowest DF), that takes substantially longer. If one cap is seen as a falling curve on a graph, then many are seen as superimposed falling curves - like a downward staircase - once all have adopted their end values regarding leakage and DF, it's burnt-in - but that can be weeks.

Further to that, metal film resistors (best for audio in my opinion) are known to take months, but that applies to almost all audio gear and this effect is much less noticeable.

An RIAA stage cannot avoid large numbers of capacitors because they're needed for frequency correction of the replay curve. These however are film capacitors and of smaller value and will adopt their final values sooner, but the twist to the tale is the RIAA stage also has electrolytics at places where there are potential dividers having considerably higher resistances than 1k.

The phono stage will unfortunately take a bit longer - about 3 weeks."
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
51
40
18,570
The_Lhc said:
I'm sure last time this topic came up someone posted a link to a survey of speaker manufacturers asking them their thoughts on this matter, I believe, with one noticable exception, they all pretty much agreed that whilst speakers do need breaking in, it actually occurs in the factory during testing as it takes in the region of 10 seconds or so.
This is absolute rubbish. New speaker drivers change as they are played - often for hours. It depends on the surrounds - hard rubber surrounds and drivers with low mechanical Q need more running in. This isn't just a golden ears thing - as woofers are broken in their Fs (resonant frequency) goes measureably lower. There is plenty of data about this available. A speaker with really stiff woofers (e.g., Gallo Reference 3.5 comes to mind) will see a drop in Fs of 20 or even 30 Hz over 50 or even 100 hours.

Capacitors take some time to stablise as well, also measureable, but I doubt you can hear it. Maybe the big super caps in a crossover. I have never heard an amp change its sound and I am very sceptical that electronics break in much, if at all. But speakers - there's no debate, though it depends greatly on the speaker.
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
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The purchase of my audiolab M-DAC was based on its price, reputation, facilities & hearing this unit. The one I bought a month or two later sounded quite harsh for the first week but got better over the following week. The Designer who frequents another forum regularly, stated that many customers had commented on this. He speculated that the cause was the organic electrolytic caps in the PSU sections - probably the ESR dropping to the expected value. My class D Primare amp's manual states a 24 hr period from new to reach optimum SQ.

Speakers, like cartridges, have compliant suspension that supposedly need exercising to reach their design parameters. My Totem Arro speaker instructions suggest 100 hrs before sounding their best. My new DALI Kubik Free is still running in - their instructions mention a running-in period.

I'm far more willing to accept the possiblity that capacitors need some running in than believing that cables are directional! More important (to me at least), is the power used/wasted keeping stuff powered up in the belief it either sounds better or will last longer due to less heat cycling is actually worthwhile or not.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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I have never owned or even lived with the MDac for any length of time.

I have heard them on a number of occasions and they invariably sound 'hard' to me,very Audiolab.

On the two occasions I had comparitive dems I was very relieved whenever the switch to an alternative dac was made.

Maybe if I lived with it longer............ :doh:
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
246
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0
funny how it's only hifi equipment that seems to need "running in" isn't it? Computers - bang out the box turn on everything works. TV's same, phone, same..... just sayin...
 

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