Will Sound improve?

Fahad

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Jan 30, 2020
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Just today, I got a project tube box ds2 for trial which is expected to replace my Rega Fono MM MK2 phono stage. Now from an A-B test, the difference seems very subtle, and at some point, I keep wondering whether it as an improvement at all.
I get to keep it for a week before I make the final decision. Any experience in similar situations? I have heard of (or maybe witnessed) speaker break in, but does a tube pre amp like this get noticeably better over a month's usage? I could probably try an arrange for a good deal by trading in my Rega but still struggling to justify additional money that needs to be spent.
 
Just today, I got a project tube box ds2 for trial which is expected to replace my Rega Fono MM MK2 phono stage. Now from an A-B test, the difference seems very subtle, and at some point, I keep wondering whether it as an improvement at all.
I get to keep it for a week before I make the final decision. Any experience in similar situations? I have heard of (or maybe witnessed) speaker break in, but does a tube pre amp like this get noticeably better over a month's usage? I could probably try an arrange for a good deal by trading in my Rega but still struggling to justify additional money that needs to be spent.
In my opinion you are unlikely to hear any improvement if you don't like what you first hear. Yes tubes warm up but that should happen pretty rapidly. You have a good cartridge and it is this that is providing the sound initially. If you don't like it think about changing the cartridge
my question would be why did you think the Project would be better than what you had?
 
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millennia_one

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Just today, I got a project tube box ds2 for trial which is expected to replace my Rega Fono MM MK2 phono stage. Now from an A-B test, the difference seems very subtle, and at some point, I keep wondering whether it as an improvement at all.
I get to keep it for a week before I make the final decision. Any experience in similar situations? I have heard of (or maybe witnessed) speaker break in, but does a tube pre amp like this get noticeably better over a month's usage? I could probably try an arrange for a good deal by trading in my Rega but still struggling to justify additional money that needs to be spent.
As long as the tubes have been given some time to warm up ?
But no in all honesty its going to be at best a side step. It might give you a different flavour with the tubes in the chain but if you can’t hear the difference I’d say save your money.

You generally have to spend a fair bit to better things like phono stages. Even a 600quid spend wouldn’t yield night and day differences.

You would get more swapping your cartridge out.

Just my my opinion. You might see different by the end of the week
 
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aversaurus

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I love tube amplifier,s there my new obsession.i Agee with the other answers .the sound won't change that much as they burn in but you will get a slight change over time.but if you change the valves in it you will get a massive change depending on what valves are in it . changing the valves will make a night and day difference for the better.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Just today, I got a project tube box ds2 for trial which is expected to replace my Rega Fono MM MK2 phono stage. Now from an A-B test, the difference seems very subtle, and at some point, I keep wondering whether it as an improvement at all.
I get to keep it for a week before I make the final decision. Any experience in similar situations? I have heard of (or maybe witnessed) speaker break in, but does a tube pre amp like this get noticeably better over a month's usage? I could probably try an arrange for a good deal by trading in my Rega but still struggling to justify additional money that needs to be spent.
Well I don’t even begin to judge any electronics in HiFi until it’s had at least 40 hours running in. Some people just don’t want to believe in ‘burn in’ and say it’s not ‘scientific’. Rubbish…Naim equipment can take WEEKS to run in……
 

aversaurus

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Hifi burn in well it's a small difference over time depending on the construction of the equipment.you will notice a difference with valves but as I say it's small .
 
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DougK

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Totally agree with Millennia and Al, better phono-stages cost more than you'd expect.
As for burn-in, I think it's more a case of ear or brain burn-in. The only things I've heard change with hours on them have been speakers and cartridges.
 
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Tinman1952

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Totally agree with Millennia and Al, better phono-stages cost more than you'd expect.
As for burn-in, I think it's more a case of ear or brain burn-in. The only things I've heard change with hours on them have been speakers and cartridges.
Ears and brains don’t ‘burn in’ 🙄
Electrical components do…. Stable temperatures and molecular alignment affects electron flow. I can just see your eyes rolling at that one! 😁
 

Gray

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Ears and brains don’t ‘burn in’ 🙄
Call it what you like Tinman, but the brain most certainly acclimatizes to differences in sound.
When new things change from sounding wrong to right (for 'no' reason) it's much more down to mental adaption than any external physical changes.
(Note that I'm not saying that there are no audible physical changes to components over time - of course there are).
 

Tinman1952

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Call it what you like Tinman, but the brain most certainly acclimatizes to differences in sound.
When new things change from sounding wrong to right (for 'no' reason) it's much more down to mental adaption than any external physical changes.
(Note that I'm not saying that there are no audible physical changes to components over time - of course there are).
Yes I agree with your first sentence. We are particularly good at adapting to different sound sources. I can enjoy FM radio even though I know it’s only equivalent to say 95 Kbps mp3 !
With respect though, your next two sentences seem to contradict each other…..🤔
 

Gray

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Yes I agree with your first sentence. We are particularly good at adapting to different sound sources. I can enjoy FM radio even though I know it’s only equivalent to say 95 Kbps mp3 !
With respect though, your next two sentences seem to contradict each other…..🤔
To be clear, I'm saying that component burn-in is given undue credibility for the changes that some people perceive.
 
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Fahad

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Jan 30, 2020
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In my opinion you are unlikely to hear any improvement if you don't like what you first hear. Yes tubes warm up but that should happen pretty rapidly. You have a good cartridge and it is this that is providing the sound initially. If you don't like it think about changing the cartridge
my question would be why did you think the Project would be better than what you had?
Uh…I initially went in to the store to get 2m black which replaced the blue. I had no plans for getting a phono stage. Since i got the option to try them out for free for a week…I thought it cant hurt. Also, well, this is not very scientific, but thought same brand may have a synergistic impact 😃
 
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Fahad

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As long as the tubes have been given some time to warm up ?
But no in all honesty its going to be at best a side step. It might give you a different flavour with the tubes in the chain but if you can’t hear the difference I’d say save your money.

You generally have to spend a fair bit to better things like phono stages. Even a 600quid spend wouldn’t yield night and day differences.

You would get more swapping your cartridge out.

Just my my opinion. You might see different by the end of the week
Think i have given the tubes quite some time to warm up, i have a tube preamp in the chain. To be honest, it does sound different, dont think its “better” or “worse”, just different which. If it stays as it is, would be pointless to spend money on.
 
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Fahad

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I love tube amplifier,s there my new obsession.i Agee with the other answers .the sound won't change that much as they burn in but you will get a slight change over time.but if you change the valves in it you will get a massive change depending on what valves are in it . changing the valves will make a night and day difference for the better.
Oh yes, when i put in Brimar in my primaluna pre-amp, it did something amazing to the overall sound
Unfortunately, if i swap out the tubes in the phonostage i am trying, i wont be allowed to return it
 

abacus

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Yes I agree with your first sentence. We are particularly good at adapting to different sound sources. I can enjoy FM radio even though I know it’s only equivalent to say 95 Kbps mp3 !
With respect though, your next two sentences seem to contradict each other…..🤔
Mp3 removes information to make the file smaller, FM only rolls off the frequency above 15 KHz which is out of most users hearing range, it does not remove any information in the main frequency bands, so that it is equivalent to 95kbs mp3 is a complete nonsense. (You are confusing it with DAB which depending on the station can have a low bitrate)

Bill
 

abacus

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Ears and brains don’t ‘burn in’ 🙄
Electrical components do…. Stable temperatures and molecular alignment affects electron flow. I can just see your eyes rolling at that one! 😁
No such thing as burn in in electronic components, however it can sometimes take a few minutes for all the components to stabilise when first switching on, (The more expensive equipment that uses more expensive and quality components suffer less from this) however this will occur every time you switch it on, so using it for hours on end to try and prevent non-existent burn in is nonsense.

Bill
 
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abacus

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Well I don’t even begin to judge any electronics in HiFi until it’s had at least 40 hours running in. Some people just don’t want to believe in ‘burn in’ and say it’s not ‘scientific’. Rubbish…Naim equipment can take WEEKS to run in……
You can provide verifiable evidence of this of course, or is it your usual I believe it so everyone else is wrong. (including all professionals)

Bill
 
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DougK

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Fahad, some years ago, with a previous amp, I dabbled with an external phono-stage in an attempt to better the one in my amp. Using Audacity I recorded both phono-stages and A/B tested them, to my surprise the one in the amp was better. The phono-stage was returned, the shop tried to push a more expensive one but I was not prepared to take the risk as they charged a 15% handling fee for returns.

In this instance the amp was £1K and the phono-stage was £250 so I am not surprised with your findings. Hence why these days I do not necessarily consider internal phono-stages to be poor quality, as some take some beating.

I guess you are looking at a lot more cash to better the Rega, the big question is, how much are you willing to spend and is it really worth it to you?
 
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daytona600

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nopiano

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I owned a Rega Fono II which was excellent for the money. It was slightly quieter that the Fono mini that it replaced. The biggest difference was that the mini was permanently powered up, but the II has an on-off switch.
The Pro-ject stage is from another turntable specialist, and I’m not surprised it isn’t significantly different. If you think what they’re doing - amplifying and equalising a very weak signal - they should sound similar, unless one is noisy, distorting or otherwise.
If you’re happy with your very nice 2M Black then I think the Rega is all you’ll need. However, as others have said, if fancy tinkering then the Project might be a bit of fun. It’s unlikely to change sound dramatically from now unless there’s something very odd in the design
 
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Fahad

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Fahad, some years ago, with a previous amp, I dabbled with an external phono-stage in an attempt to better the one in my amp. Using Audacity I recorded both phono-stages and A/B tested them, to my surprise the one in the amp was better. The phono-stage was returned, the shop tried to push a more expensive one but I was not prepared to take the risk as they charged a 15% handling fee for returns.

In this instance the amp was £1K and the phono-stage was £250 so I am not surprised with your findings. Hence why these days I do not necessarily consider internal phono-stages to be poor quality, as some take some beating.

I guess you are looking at a lot more cash to better the Rega, the big question is, how much are you willing to spend and is it really worth it to you?
Honestly, i wasnt looking at phonostage upgrade at all, just the cartridge. Since the project was on sale and the dealer agreed to let me try it out (would probably be around 400-450 dollars) if i trade in my old Rega stage.
 
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Fahad

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Jan 30, 2020
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Have you set the loading correctly for the 2M black ( Selectable input capacitance )
or you could try " tube rolling " replacing the valves with new types like EAT or NOS new old stock mullard/telfunken etc
or fit the upgraded PSU to the phono stage , will also power the turntable
ECC83 (12AX7)
E.A.T. ECC803S Cool Valve | EuropeanAudioTeam.com

Power Box DS2 Sources – Pro-Ject Audio Systems (project-audio.com)
I actually have a few tung sol and prima luna tubes (although AU7s) lying around but the dealer will not take it back if I go for tube rolling.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Mp3 removes information to make the file smaller, FM only rolls off the frequency above 15 KHz which is out of most users hearing range, it does not remove any information in the main frequency bands, so that it is equivalent to 95kbs mp3 is a complete nonsense. (You are confusing it with DAB which depending on the station can have a low bitrate)

Bill
Well FM radio is limited in many ways….severe dynamic compression being only one of them! I am certainly NOT confusing it with DAB !
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
369
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No such thing as burn in in electronic components, however it can sometimes take a few minutes for all the components to stabilise when first switching on, (The more expensive equipment that uses more expensive and quality components suffer less from this) however this will occur every time you switch it on, so using it for hours on end to try and prevent non-existent burn in is nonsense.

Bill
“In your opinion….”
You obviously won’t accept continuous casting copper and cryo treatment has any effect….🙄
You need to drag yourself into the 21st century…..
 

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