Speaker/ Electronics burn-in, does it exsist?

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I was reading on another thread where another forum member claims that he doesn't believe and has found reliable sources that show that burn-in doesn't exist and it is all-in-the mind. I've always found that after 50 - 100 hrs new products generally do sound better (especially with speakers).

I would just like to know what others thoughts are?
 

Mooly

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Speakers are mechanical devices and so their properties change slightly with use. The surround and suspension components and their characteristics will subtly alter with time and use. Same for cartridges.

As to electronic parts, and I am speaking as an electronics engineer... they do not require burn in or conditioning or anything else. An exception to this is the "forming" of electroylitic capacitors that have been out of service for many years but that is another issue.

To all those that believe they do, then I say ask yourself why the "change" in sound that you claim to to hear is always for the better. Why would any change (if it existed) not be for the worse ?

Ultimately if you are a "believer" then yes, the sound will improve for burn in.
 
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Anonymous

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I've never thought there has been much change in electronics due to burn-in. But with speakers, as I've said before the difference is plain to see, or, errrr should I say heard ;)
 
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Anonymous

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IF burn in really does exist or help might I suggest that manufacturers supply their equipment already burnt in as I don't see why I should be lumbered with something that requires, at my expense, a shed load of Kilowatt Hours before it sounds as it should.
 
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Anonymous

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nick8858 said:
IF burn in really does exist or help might I suggest that manufacturers supply their equipment already burnt in as I don't see why I should be lumbered with something that requires, at my expense, a shed load of Kilowatt Hours before it sounds as it should.

This would probably end up with us waiting longer and spending more ££££'s on the products in the first place. I have issue with 'running-in' a product. I was just asking to see others views and comments.
 

Sliced Bread

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I was fortunate enough to be able to test this.

Twos week after I bought my cm8's (when they were burnt in), I had to change my them for another pair due to a small cosmetic difference. The new speakers didn't sound quite as good when I received them and they took a bit of run in to get back to the same place.
 
nick8858 said:
IF burn in really does exist or help might I suggest that manufacturers supply their equipment already burnt in as I don't see why I should be lumbered with something that requires, at my expense, a shed load of Kilowatt Hours before it sounds as it should.

In that case why not have new cars with their engines already run in? Just not practical.

If you really dislike the concept of spending a week or so to hear a difference then buy ex-dem or s/hand.
 

chebby

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Floydian said:
...another forum member claims that he doesn't believe and has found reliable sources that show that burn-in doesn't exist and it is all-in-the mind.

Aren't there any religions left any more?

What is all this 'belief' business surrounding cables and 'burn-in' ?

If any of it happens (or doesn't happen) then fine. It is at most a temporary thing that lasts minutes or days and is then no longer a problem.

It's really not worth a debate, let alone the hundreds of threads that obsess over it.

There is only one controversial aspect. If a dealer is recommending a 'burn-in' time that is longer than his returns period to a customer who is unhappy with the sound of a new component or system.
 
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Anonymous

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chebby said:
Floydian said:
...another forum member claims that he doesn't believe and has found reliable sources that show that burn-in doesn't exist and it is all-in-the mind.

Aren't there any religions left any more?

What is all this 'belief' business surrounding cables and 'burn-in' ?

If any of it happens (or doesn't happen) then fine. It is at most a temporary thing that lasts minutes or days and is then no longer a problem.

It's really not worth a debate, let alone the hundreds of threads that obsess over it.

There is only one controversial aspect. If a dealer is recommending a 'burn-in' time that is longer than his returns period to a customer who is unhappy with the sound of a new component or system.

I never said it was an issue, in fact I said it wasn't an issue. I just wanted to hear others thoughts surrounding this topic. Surely, this is the whole point of a forum???
 
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Anonymous

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The other problem then would be auditioning equipment. Is the dealers kit already burnt in for example, coulkd be brand spanking new for all we know. Wonder also regarding speakers if burnt in or not, does air temperature have any effect given flexible rubber surrounds etc? With main stream mass produced ex China kit pre- burning in is probably not practical but with high end kit I think its an affront, IF of course one thinks it is actually a phenomenum. In the end I'm happy with my lot, sounds fine to me. Just off to pop my NAS drive in the microwave for 10 seconds, have a theory it may produce a warmer sound?
 
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Anonymous

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Unless the product is brand spanking new and your hearing it on first day the dealer receives it, then I can only imagine that 'most' dealers would ensure that their dmonstration equipment is fully burnt in. If it wasn't I guess it would down to them to tell you, after all -- that is who we are relying on as well as our own ears when buying new stuff.
 
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Anonymous

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Mechanical components may 'run in' as their properties change through use, electronic components do not 'burn in'. When the term is correctly used, it refers to running equipment at elevated temperatures and voltages to weed out units that would fail early in use.

Every manufacturer of electronic components produces data sheets to help engineers use their products. These datasheets are freely available on the web. If anyone can link to a data sheet that shows that the electrical properties of the component change over time, or with use, then I stand corrected. Otherwise 'burn in' is just another HiFi old wives tale.

That is not to say equipment doesn't need to warm up and reach a stable operating temperature, or that speakers and cartridges may sound different over time, but that is nothing to do with 'burn in'
 

datay

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Floydian said:
chebby said:
Floydian said:
...another forum member claims that he doesn't believe and has found reliable sources that show that burn-in doesn't exist and it is all-in-the mind.

Aren't there any religions left any more?

What is all this 'belief' business surrounding cables and 'burn-in' ?

If any of it happens (or doesn't happen) then fine. It is at most a temporary thing that lasts minutes or days and is then no longer a problem.

It's really not worth a debate, let alone the hundreds of threads that obsess over it.

There is only one controversial aspect. If a dealer is recommending a 'burn-in' time that is longer than his returns period to a customer who is unhappy with the sound of a new component or system.

I never said it was an issue, in fact I said it wasn't an issue. I just wanted to hear others thoughts surrounding this topic. Surely, this is the whole point of a forum???

What are you going on about? The post you quote does not say you are making it an "issue". You yourself said in post #4 "I have issue with running in". You "just wanted to hear other thoughts", but then reject these perfectly reasonable thoughts on the matter. Your opening post references the divisive nature of the topic, so don't act offended when you get strongly expressed views. (You also seem to claim in the opening post you have noticed this with components and speakers, then after an electronics engineer says that's not possible, you claim it's just speakers).

Anyway, I really can't say I have noticed components burn/run in. I had an awful time with a pair of AKG K701 headphones that really did change over a few hundred hours, particularly in the upper midrange. They still remain forward in that area but not as ear-splitting as before.
 

Richard Allen

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Mooly said:
Speakers are mechanical devices and so their properties change slightly with use. The surround and suspension components and their characteristics will subtly alter with time and use. Same for cartridges.

As to electronic parts, and I am speaking as an electronics engineer... they do not require burn in or conditioning or anything else. An exception to this is the "forming" of electroylitic capacitors that have been out of service for many years but that is another issue.

To all those that believe they do, then I say ask yourself why the "change" in sound that you claim to to hear is always for the better. Why would any change (if it existed) not be for the worse ?

Ultimately if you are a "believer" then yes, the sound will improve for burn in.

Absolutely right Mooly.

When I took delivery of my Nait 5i, it sounded the same from the time i took it out of the box to now. No difference at all. However, I also have a Roksan Caspian amp. When I fire that up, it 'appears' to take some 20 minutes to come up to full bandwidth. If I had nothing better to do and if I was sad enuff, I could sit there and listen to it open up ( I have done it once ).

As regards speakers, again Mooly is right. Taken fresh from the box, they don't sound right. The 'burn in' period is to allow the adhesives that secure the front surround and the inner spider to flex a little. When speakers are designed, they are done with well worn drive units so that the parameters are constant.

Electronics burn in?. Not convinced it needs it. Loudspeakers?. Absolutely true.
 

eggontoast

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Richard Allen said:
Mooly said:
Speakers are mechanical devices and so their properties change slightly with use. The surround and suspension components and their characteristics will subtly alter with time and use. Same for cartridges.

As to electronic parts, and I am speaking as an electronics engineer... they do not require burn in or conditioning or anything else. An exception to this is the "forming" of electroylitic capacitors that have been out of service for many years but that is another issue.

To all those that believe they do, then I say ask yourself why the "change" in sound that you claim to to hear is always for the better. Why would any change (if it existed) not be for the worse ?

Ultimately if you are a "believer" then yes, the sound will improve for burn in.

Absolutely right Mooly.

When I took delivery of my Nait 5i, it sounded the same from the time i took it out of the box to now. No difference at all. However, I also have a Roksan Caspian amp. When I fire that up, it 'appears' to take some 20 minutes to come up to full bandwidth. If I had nothing better to do and if I was sad enuff, I could sit there and listen to it open up ( I have done it once ).

As regards speakers, again Mooly is right. Taken fresh from the box, they don't sound right. The 'burn in' period is to allow the adhesives that secure the front surround and the inner spider to flex a little. When speakers are designed, they are done with well worn drive units so that the parameters are constant.

Electronics burn in?. Not convinced it needs it. Loudspeakers?. Absolutely true.
+1 on both of these posts
 

Farmitou

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Speakers - Yes, Earphones - Yes, Electricals (Excluding Valves) - No, Cables - No, Valves (Not too sure... I think so but the sound was smooth at the start and is now after 20min warm up... if there is a difference it's to gradual to tell)
 

dalethorn

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nick8858 said:
IF burn in really does exist or help might I suggest that manufacturers supply their equipment already burnt in as I don't see why I should be lumbered with something that requires, at my expense, a shed load of Kilowatt Hours before it sounds as it should.

I remember from years ago that makers of the better hi-fi gear usually put their final assembled product on a bench made for burn-in, not so much to do a burn-in per se, but just to make sure the product would play for a decent length of time before shipping it out. If makers of the better gear today can't afford to have a bench set up for that purpose, then that seems rather peculiar.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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dalethorn said:
nick8858 said:
IF burn in really does exist or help might I suggest that manufacturers supply their equipment already burnt in as I don't see why I should be lumbered with something that requires, at my expense, a shed load of Kilowatt Hours before it sounds as it should.

I remember from years ago that makers of the better hi-fi gear usually put their final assembled product on a bench made for burn-in, not so much to do a burn-in per se, but just to make sure the product would play for a decent length of time before shipping it out. If makers of the better gear today can't afford to have a bench set up for that purpose, then that seems rather peculiar.

absolutely correct! I was just about to write it but you were quicker :)

as part of manufacturing QC procedure electronics go through comprehensive testing process. but the purpose is not to "burn in" the device for your enjoyment. electronic components/ devices have this property that they tend to fail at the beginning or the end of their estimated lives. so the testing/ "burn in" process is to assure no malfunctioning units are shipped. and we, as consumers get fully "burnt in" products by the way (if "burn in" of electrical devices even exists, which I personally doubt). so, I can't understand why so many people keep hearing "the difference". the only plausible explanation that I came up with is that hi-fi gear by a large margin sounds rubbish and all you get over the "burn in" period at your home is merely a psycho-acoustic process of getting used to that bad sound of your equipment, hence "burn in" only brings in "improvement" in perceived sound quality. this is only my hypothesis but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in fact true.

another thing is warming up of electronics and changing of perceived sound quality over time, which is a fact. you can be quite sure, if you've got a lot of caps or/ and tubes in signal path, that the sound will change slightly. in case of my gear it's usually 1-2 CDs time to reach full fluidity (not really an issue with me as I usually run very long listening sessions, when I decide to listen to music).

I also confirm other people's findings with relation to speaker "burn-in". an example. when I got my Dyns they sounded great right out of the box. during initial few weeks of use their character didn't change at all but what happened was they became even more detailed and subtle than when brand new. the effect was I had to change the electronics because I couldn't listen to music any more, it did sound quite crappy... well, but I'm not complaining at all as the Pathos gear I have right now is really great to my ear :grin:
 
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Anonymous

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Speakers...potentialy. My ADMs sounded better after a couple of weeks. From rxcellent, to subime. And I base that on a very non-subjectibve set list of criteria, even if the CE of the company says they are 100% from day 1, I tend to disagree.Saying that, they are better from day 1 than any other speaker I've heard...but that's another story.

Electronics...yer avin a larrrfff. Total bunkum. Any dealer that says wait a few weeks is banking on the "getting used to the sound" factor, and should be treated like a cold caller on the telephone...IMO. ie wide berth and a cold shoulder.
 

Richard Allen

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snivilisationism said:
Electronics...yer avin a larrrfff. Total bunkum. Any dealer that says wait a few weeks is banking on the "getting used to the sound" factor, and should be treated like a cold caller on the telephone...IMO. ie wide berth and a cold shoulder.

Hang on Sniv. Don't knock it completely. Valves do need a bit of it due to the cathodes needing to be at optimum temperature for electron flow to the anodes. In the case of My Caspian amp, I think it's down to lazy smoothing caps. Might change them in the near future.

Other than that, I concur with you. 100%.
 

eggontoast

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Richard Allen said:
Valves do need a bit of it due to the cathodes needing to be at optimum temperature for electron flow to the anodes. In the case of My Caspian amp, I think it's down to lazy smoothing caps. Might change them in the near future.

But this is not burn in it is just a warm up period.

Valves only take a couple of minutes to reach their optimum working temperature.

Some solid state amplifiers (the old Audiolab 8000A immediately springs to mind) can take up to 20 minutes for the quiescent conditions to stabilize but most take just 5 minutes.
 
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Anonymous

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Apologies, that was me thinking faster than I was typing, it was meant to say that I DON'T have an issue with running in. Anyway, thanks for your comments and I haven't been offended by any comments and I've enjoyed reading all the different views and comments.
 
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Anonymous

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Richard Allen said:
snivilisationism said:
Electronics...yer avin a larrrfff. Total bunkum. Any dealer that says wait a few weeks is banking on the "getting used to the sound" factor, and should be treated like a cold caller on the telephone...IMO. ie wide berth and a cold shoulder.

Hang on Sniv. Don't knock it completely. Valves do need a bit of it due to the cathodes needing to be at optimum temperature for electron flow to the anodes. In the case of My Caspian amp, I think it's down to lazy smoothing caps. Might change them in the near future.

Other than that, I concur with you. 100%.

Possibly valves, but I didn't factor in that, as I don't really understand the fascination.
 
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Anonymous

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From what I've read, a manufacturer test/burning-in is in fact nothing more than a sine wave signal that allows the drivers to work one full push/pull. Mainly for the spider to "relax" from it's original new state rigidity... and make sure the unit is A-Okay.

And with a very limited experience, I can tell a dealer does not burn-in speakers before demoing them. Not only the demoing will be the actual "burn in period", but also, those things cost quite a lot of money, and the main goal is to sell them... on the floor upon reception. Another thing : of course the speakers will have a good couple of hours of music/movie before the first actual interested customer will give it more than the appreciative indifferent nod. Did someone ever went to a dealer where all the TV's were shut off, and where absolutely no AV/Hi Fi gear was used? :? The real "fear" in buying ex-dem is actually because they were USED, is it? :p And, last but not least, how would one recognize the actual burning-in of the speakers he's interested in buying without having experienced the whole long getting-used-to at home - hence already possessing the said speakers. Have you ever heard a friend visiting after a couple of weeks and exlaiming : "Whoa dude that burning-in is really showing!". If burning-in does change something over time, it will be for the owner to experience and no one else. Or speakers do sound good (for someone) straight out of the box, or they don't. Burning 'em in, for any subtle difference it could make, won't change anything.
 

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