Burn-In Question (and no, not "does it work?)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by NicholasL, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Hi guys, so here's the deal:

    I have several new components and a box full of brand new powercords, XLR, and RCA interconnects. I need to burn/break them in as soon as possible so I can fully enjoy what they all have to offer.

    My question then, is whether this will work by having multiple source components (SACD player, dedicated CD player, etc.) playing their respective discs, but either having the preamp select a different source that is turned off (like "VCR," so that no sound is actually coming through the speakers), or simply having the volume turned all the way down with one of the applicable sources selected?

    What I'm trying to do is break-in everything at the same time, but wasn't sure if electric current was passing through the componenets and interconnects if they are not actually selected via the preamp, and/or the volume is turned all the way down (especially during sleeping hours)? Because with the volume off, doesn't that mean no signal is needed?

    The "normal" way of doing this, I realize, is to have each player play their disc for 100+ hours with the volume cranked, and then switching to the next component, and repeating.* I was wondering if there's a kill-2-birds-with-1-stone method here.

    And I'm very sorry for the lack of eloquence in my inquiry...
     
  2. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    You need a special function generator to break them in for you properly.
     
  3. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

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    Before plugging anything in, you might want to freeze everything first.[​IMG]
     
  4. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    A special function generator? Are you being serious? I have no clue what that is?
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You're going to get flamed for the burn-in question, but if a source is not selected, then the circuit is essentially open, thus nothing flows, so if youo're trying to break in wires like that it won't do anything.

    I guess it might affect the physical components, and having a unit on and operating would warm the internals, yadda yadaa, but it won't do anything for the interconnects.
     
  6. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    I find it very weird/strange/interesting/funny that most people on online communities fight adamantly against the "break-in" theory, and yet almost all magazine reviewers, boutique owners, and companies via their websites talk about break-in like an end-all, be-all rule. And yet they don't make any extra money off of it, so why would they lie?

    Scientifically, it makes sense as well. What only has yet to be proven is how much of the sonic changes in characteristic are subjective.

    Oh, and thanks for the reply, Chirs. =)
     
  7. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Just let the components break in as you enjoy them.

    But before you hire somebody to do TV or speaker calibration, or before you set aside a lengthy session to tweak it yourself, it is a good idea to have about 100 hours of viewing/listening first, and have the TV on for at least half an hour before the calibration starts. For speakers, have a good amount of loud bass during the 100 hours so if the suspensions could use some loosening up that will happen.

    A signal generator, occasionally called a function generator, can be used to give a low frequency sine wave to exercise speaker suspensions with. Not worth the cost or effort of renting and using one, ordinary audio works just as well, and incorrect usage (selecting the square wave if available) could blow the tweeters given moderate to high volume.

    Burn in at the factory is to help catch faulty electronic parts inside, not to break in as suggest above. If a capacitor or something inside is faulty there is a very great chance it will fail in the first 2 or 3 hours of operation.

    Prety much all of the audio circuits except int he power amplifier stages are class A (the significance is that the same amount of electricity is consumed regardless of the output sound volume). Power amp circuits are class B or (a blend) class AB where the power consumption is greater for higher volume. Still, endless debate will go on whether excercising the internal parts at high current (or even the speakers at good volume) will make any more difference in the first 100 hours compared with gradual aging.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    * Class AB -- The power consumption varies with volume but not below a certain minimum consumption. The circuits are less susceptible to distortion of soft volume material as a result of aging.
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Wire companies and the retailers, the companies that support the magazines with advertising, do make money off break in, if you imagine that the "break in" time is about one hour over the average 30 day return policy. Imagine this scenario:

    After 20 days, a person decides the ultra-gold googleplex wires that he paid $600 for do not sound better than the Rat Shack $20 wires he had before. He takes them back and wants a refund. The salesman tells him he must break in the wires in order to hear the difference. The customer is intrigued and asks how long the break in period is. The salesman replies "About 10 more days, plus one hour".
     
  9. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I've never considered breaking in simply because: I figure me actually using the equipment is good enough. And I think it is.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Jeff, very good point. I never thought of it from that angle. That break in is simply to pass the 30 day return gaurantee. If that really is the case (cynical as an assumption as it may be), that's SHADY!

    Allan, thanks for such detailed insight. Since I'm not breaking in my speakers at all, but only the new source components and interconnects, it's therefore ok to just leave it at a low volume (or none at all?) because the components will be drawing the same amount of power regardless? But then how am I supposed to break in the interconnects if no musical signal is needed (since volume is low or off?) Does that make sense?
     
  11. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I used to work in retail. Two of the things they pushed the most (along with service agreements) was maximizing profit margin (high end cables are like 100-300% profit) and minimizing returns. Kill two birds with one stone and save your job at the same time, I'd say the majority of salespersons would resort to this "little white lie". Actually, I've seen them do it, along with the old "you have to buy extra speaker wire to make your runs even length or else the sound will not arrive at your ears at the same time" BS.
     

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