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Burn-in revisited

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: And the rest
Forum Name: Amplification
Forum Description: Share your interests or views on amplifiers, preamps, etc
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=547
Printed Date: 13 Nov 2019 at 8:16am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Burn-in revisited
Posted By: Graham Slee
Subject: Burn-in revisited
Date Posted: 08 Jul 2009 at 11:12pm
Unfortunately all audio electronics have a burn-in time and I for one wish they didn't...

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 perecentage. 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.

The reason why we advise the user to leave equipment powered on is to avoid going through this process over and over, because as soon as the equipment is powered down capacitors loose their charge (but should not completely revert to their as-new state). Because our designs ensure electrolytics always have a DC polarising voltage across them it can be seen that a signal isn't necessary during burn-in (or is it?)


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Replies:
Posted By: mikebailey61
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2009 at 9:27am
Thanks for the reply Graham and for putting this up for everyone. I guess then that it's not just a case of allowing a burn-in period with any audio product but to keep it smouldering  too!
I'm not sure about the necessity of a signal during burn-in either. I would guess that driving everything to its quiescent state and holding it there may be good enough and that any additional ac burn-in can be ignored. On the other hand ....


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To err is human, to really mess things up takes a software engineer


Posted By: pompeyexile
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2009 at 3:40pm
Graham I now see the reason to keep equipment fired up but  I posed a question ages ago on the previous burn in thread but never got an answer so can I have your advise on this?
 
My Musical Fidelity NuVista CD player has valves inside and naturally they have a limited life-span which I know should be quite a few hours worth of listening. I rang Musical Fidelity who said there was no need to keep the CD player fired up as the valves needed only about twenty minutes to warm up; still they are considering only the valves and not the rest of the electronics. However, will in your very knowledgeable opinion keeping the CD player switched on still benefit it's sound as much considering it uses valves? I assume the sonic signature of the CD player changes from cold valves to fully warmed up ones.
 
The replacement valves will cost me about £100 according to MF (and will no doubt rise year on year so I suppose I really should get a spare set in) and I know I have to weigh up if the improvement in sound will be worth the reduced valve life, but your opinion/advice would be appreciated.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2009 at 5:06pm
It is possible that the product has been "adjusted" to sound best within a matter of minutes from switch on, let me explain...

Some circuits can actually start to sound worse after being on a long time, and indeed, capacitors are mainly to blame. A valve or other device (semiconductors) should not need hundreds of hours to "burn-in", however passive components, which all circuits have to have, do require hundreds of hours to reach their optimum values. In the case of a metal film resistor for its temperature coeffiecient to stabilise, up to 4 thousand hours ellapse.

Having designed on-all-the-time circuits (the type switched on for life in radio studios - not forgetting the transmitter audio gear which can't really be turned off apart from when another piece is put in circuit while the first one goes for service/repair) I noticed things do change - the question is what things and by what mechanism?

I am currently experimenting with differing voltages of electrolytics from general purpose to exotic audio versions. One expert, Walt Jung reckons that the lowest disipation factor sounds best (he is what I'd call a reputable expert) but I find that on-all-the-time their sound deteriorates where those of high disipation factors don't so readily (it is obviously important to me to find the parts that have the required staying power).

It is very difficult to answer a question about another manufacturer's product - it would be good if they could do so themselves but I either had it from you or heard it somewhere else that MF shrugged it off as a failure function of things being switched on and off - unfortunately other products than audio that use the same type of components demonstrate the statement is false - I have not only made audio in this life but a number of control systems which do one heck of a lot of switching without prematurely breaking.

The best I can really say is this: I once attended a municipal theatre play, and being careful with the pennies the sound system was switched on just prior to the start of the performance - it sounded dire!

About half way through the dialogue became intelligable, and by the end (after the interlude in which I heard the speakers pop indicating they'd turned it off again) the sound had just started to become enjoyable.

When a band goes on tour or in the west-end theatre a sound system must be at its optimum full time - very little differs from the radio studio or recording studio - technicians don't go round turning things off to save a few pennies - if they did I'm sure somebody would start singing on stage without a sound and the technician would be picking up his P45 shortly afterwards.

What I envisage is that by leaving your MF CD on all the time is that the passives will eventually reach their optimum but the valves will have passed theirs, maybe reaching a plateau somewhere in between.

Sorry I could not be of better help but valves are something I learnt about but don't design with.




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Posted By: cattle prod
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 10:52am
Sorry if this is a dumb question - but how do I burn-in my newly built Novo kit and the Grado RS-2 I will be using with it?

Actually, all my kit is pretty new (less than 6 months old) and gets far less use than I would like, mrs Cow Prod is not a fan of my music - hence the purchase of 'cans'.

The cans have been running for the past 12 hours continuously off my iMac running a 'play-list' via iTunes - is that the best way to do this but I can't do this with the CD player.

The Novo needs 400 hours of burn-in - is that correct? How should it be done? Thanks in advance.

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cheers

Ian


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 11:20am
The way amplifiers "burn-in" is through being left on. With some whacko DC coupled amps that could be bad advice because having worked in the industry... Censored (I can say no more because I value the few quid [GBP] I have)

You're safe as far as not having any damaging DC on the output of our gear (if you built it right and I have no doubt you did).

Headphones are a little different (as are all transducers) - they get their power as the signal driving them so need some signal to "free-up" the new "tightness" of the moving parts. A little warmth in the form of an airing cupboard or similar (a problem for me as my matchbox doesn't have an airing cupboard) also helps the modern plastics used in headphones "relax" from the deformations the moulding processes can leave behind.

After a few weeks of such treatment things will sound noticeably different and more enjoyable from when new.


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Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 4:27pm
I have found that with some gear it is good to expose the components to on/off cycles while doing the initial burn in. By this I mean to leave the gear on for 20-22 hours of every day w/ the remaining 2-4 hours the unit off. Repeat this cycle until you achieve 200 hours of actual burn in and for most gear that should be sufficient. Of course there are a few items which require far more burn in, ...

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Miguel


Posted By: cattle prod
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2009 at 8:49am
Graham/Miguel

Thanks for the advice.

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cheers

Ian


Posted By: iansheadphones
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2010 at 11:42pm

400 hundred hours burn in must see if i can find a new bit of string for the electric meter coin Cry



Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2010 at 3:05am
Originally posted by iansheadphones iansheadphones wrote:

400 hundred hours burn in must see if i can find a new bit of string for the electric meter coin Cry



Too much ironing? Wink

I had exactly the same problem, but then she said yes and we moved to a place with a proper meter - and for many years now we put up with creased clothes.... Wink

Oh Censored! you mean that sort of burn in...

On all the time the PSU1 costs about £10 (GBP) per annum in electricity. Big%20smile

(with the "green" power supply it's about £1 (GBP) per annum)


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Posted By: Fattybatty
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2010 at 7:42am
So if I paint my PSU1 green, apart from the tin of paint, I'll save £9.00 per annum Shocked

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Fattybatty


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2010 at 12:15pm

And if that works paint the whole house green and go on holiday on the savings Wacko




Posted By: Fattybatty
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2010 at 6:09pm
They'll be paying me LOL

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Fattybatty


Posted By: andy w
Date Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 5:58pm
Hello to all members.With all this talk of burn in;my question.. how long does it take for the fanfare3 phono stage and the psu1 unit to burn in.Some say 50 hours;others say more,so Graham maybe yu can tell me.Andy.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 6:57pm
In my experience most of the burn-in is over after about 3-4 weeks but resistors (metal film - the type we use) can take up to 6 months, but that's going to be less noticeable.

http://www.analog.com/library/analogdialogue/archives/39-05/Web_Ch7_final_J.pdf - http://www.analog.com/library/analogdialogue/archives/39-05/Web_Ch7_final_J.pdf

See page 7.13 (page 15 of 166)


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Posted By: hotmog
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2010 at 10:01pm
Graham - can you clarify to what extent simply leaving the unit switched on over the required period is sufficient to achieve burn in, or whether a source input signal is also required.
 
If the latter, will it harm the amp if no headphones are connected? I only ask because I'm sure I remember reading somewhere many years ago that amps could be damaged if they were being driven with the speakers disconnected.  


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 12:08pm
The unit simply being switched on will do most of what's required as the DC voltages will be on the circuit. The signal (ac voltages) will in a way be there all the time also as all amplifiers produce what is termed as self-noise. Although this is only around -80dB on a Solo or -70dB on a phono stage it has some effect. Normal usage (which I would expect to be regular) in the meantime will apply the intended ac voltages. In the case of all of our designs, every electrolytic capacitor is always "biased on" with charge. Further reading on this subject can be found on the 'net authored by J L Hood who was an "authority" on the use of electrolytic capacitors in audio. Another "authority" on capacitors in audio, and much under-sung is Walt Jung who used to be an Analog Devices development engineer.

All our products are safe to power up without an output (or even an input) being connected. I once had an Amstrad IC2000 Mk.4 amplifier (circa 1972) on which the speakers had to be connected or the amp would burn-out. A friend had the receiver version and disconnected the speakers whilst switched on, which resulted in black smoke from the back of the unit. Obviously this was because of instability, and Mr Sugar is now in the House of Lords - God help us!


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Posted By: germanjulian
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2010 at 10:35am
Hi,

good to read a bit more about burn in. Even computer processors take a while to burn in and leak less.... only important if you overclock the hell out of them though :)


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Novo + HD650


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2010 at 10:55am

Came across the following snippet while pursuing other things - as one does Wink

http://www.acoustic-dimension.com/blackgate/techEcap.htm

Quote

The Idling Process
If a Black Gate capacitor mounted on an electronic device is actuated, a signal current flows into it and the electrodes are gradually activated, reducing non-linear distortion and phase distortion substantially while improving the efficiency of power transfer efficiency. The time required for this process varies widely with the capacity, voltage and signal level a total of about 30 hours is the standard level. Once this process of idling is completed. The effect continues as long as the capacitor Is kept at the same place and the operating environment does not undergo a substantial change The effect of idling has been proved with all types of electronic equipment - analogue, digital, high-frequency and other devices. It must be noted that idling is different from ageing, which applies a direct current voltage without giving signals.

Goes some way to explaining the behaviour I have observed particularly with the Marantz CDPs I compared in another thread that both use a significant number of Blackgate caps, but also by extension to other electrolytics and explains, to me at least, why well burned in units such as a Solo or Reflex will take some days to arrive in full song after being powered off.

I have observed this behaviour in products from other manufacturers also and it suggests that passing a signal will speed the re-settling time to stable performance.



Posted By: Palladio
Date Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 10:56pm
I am using an Ortofon Rondo Blue in an Origin Live Illustrious arm.
I have also recently up-graded my Fanfare 3 to a Reflex C +PSU1.
I feel the "C" is now burnt in and settled down and looking to complete the final link.
The OL arm is hard wired, so no change of inter-connrct there.
However, from the "C" to the amp is a Van den Hul Thunderline (some 15 years old)
The big question is........Is the Cusat 50 going to show any improvement?


Posted By: Kasper
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 4:35pm
This was very useful information. A lot of stuff I had no knowledge about. I now also know why it´s good to keep the equipment powered on. Thanks.


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 6:19pm
Hi
I've had my Solo UL plugged in for about 10 days now and using it a fair amount of hours daily, both listening to music and also just running it through to maybe hasten the burn-in (I sadly have no tuner currently to just leave on for this purpose). And the last few days I have really heard a great improvement in soundstage and detail but I still feel that the bass is a bit restrained and almost a bit weak sometimes. Does anyone recognise this and could tell me if a richer and fuller bass is to be expected after more burn-in time or if my cans are just that midrange to treble oriented with this amp?


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2011 at 9:47am
10 days is a quarter to a third into the burn-in period. The initial bass is a bit flabby and the electrolytic capacitors responsible for it are now reaching their fully formed condition (the unanodized slit edges of the foils are now becoming coated). However, the metal film resistors require much more time and also the ceramic multilayer capacitors that stabilise the circuit (references available for evidence if required). Film capacitors also require a considerable time to reach their maximum insulation resistance. The resistors and capacitors each have their own temperature coefficients which change with time. It will have reached a much better state within 21 or so days and will continue to improve but by then the changes will not be so apparent.

Some headphones are bass light - some are neutral - some are bass orientated. Most headphones from new will not sound right for a couple of months. I found the AKG 701 took 6 months. The old Sennheiser HD250 II took around three, however, not having the "following" on the forums, its initial sound led to its downfall, whereas the 701 received much forgiveness. The torch and pitchfork brigade tend to rule people's minds.Wink

Headphones seem to respond to warmth - try keeping them in an airing cupboard or at some similar temperature... try the greenhouse if you have one (but watch out for spiders and insects getting in the earpieces... LOL)


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Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2011 at 12:01pm
Thanks for the tip and info!


Posted By: abjacobs
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 6:28pm
Is there really a noticible difference if you've not burned in a preamp? If so, do you supply them already burnt in ;)


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 1:48am
Does anyone have any solid facts on cable burn in, is it in any way scientifically plausable or just pure bosh? I have recently changed the rca cables running from my amplifier tape loop to my Solo UL and since it hasn't fully burned in yet I can't really tell if any changes are completely due to the headphone amp burn in or if there is some hocus pocus going on in the cables as wll. Ermm
Also would any signal direction noted on cables matter at all since the current running through is AC?


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 9:13pm
Originally posted by suede suede wrote:

Does anyone have any solid facts on cable burn in, is it in any way scientifically plausable or just pure bosh? I have recently changed the rca cables running from my amplifier tape loop to my Solo UL and since it hasn't fully burned in yet I can't really tell if any changes are completely due to the headphone amp burn in or if there is some hocus pocus going on in the cables as wll. Ermm
Also would any signal direction noted on cables matter at all since the current running through is AC?
I would also be interested in the reply to this.

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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: ellisdj
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2011 at 8:50am
no science, but I have found even if you havent used a cable for a while it takes a while to sound normal / its best again.

I use all Chord cables now and noticed it most with these.

some science would be extremely interesting


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2011 at 3:14pm
A while back I found that cable direction really can matter, so now I'm a firm believer in that at least. As to cables I understand they change properties insulationwise and so forth so it may not be as far fetched as I before held it to be.
Since I started caring more about quality sound reproduction or true HIFI about a year ago I have found that the most mysterious aspect is hands down the power or electricity bit.  For instance changing the position of a power cord in the wall socket by 180 degrees (I live in Sweden which has two pin mains outlets so this is possible) can have tremendous impact on the sound quality going from slightly boxy and a bit boomy to clear as day.
So the idea of, basically, power or at least current handling interconnects maturing seems absolutely plausable.


Johan


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2011 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by suede suede wrote:

For instance changing the position of a power cord in the wall socket by 180 degrees (I live in Sweden which has two pin mains outlets so this is possible) can have tremendous impact on the sound quality going from slightly boxy and a bit boomy to clear as day.


And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we use the old fashioned and completely non-trendy two way figure of 8 PSU1 mains inlet Clap

(which means it has to be class-2 and class-2 means double insulated/no earth)


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Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2011 at 7:09pm
The last two posts inspired me to quickly unplug and replug the mains lead of my PSU1. It does seem less boomy but I may just be listening for the change Johan described above.
 
Time for some tea and then some more vinyl listening!
 


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 10 Oct 2011 at 9:39am
As phono stages are, by their nature, very difficult to burn in by playing music through them (unless there is anyone out there using an autochanger for their discs!Shocked), there is a device manufactured by a USA company called a stereo reverse RIAA filter. This enables a CD player to be connected to the phono stage and a CD played on repeat for as long as is necessary to effect burn-in.
The company is Hagerman technologies and their web-site is http://www.hagtech.com

As I am just about to buy a new phono stage, I plan to buy one of these devices (only 49$US) and see if it works.

I'll report back when it's finished and maybe offer to loan or sell this on to another member


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 10 Oct 2011 at 1:43pm
Yes, they usually work and at $49 US it's better than DIY for most users.

I've made a few but I don't think I could match that price.

An audio signal is only really necessary to burn in components that are not powered (that do not draw direct current - DC - when switched on) - those only in the signal path or those with zero volts at either end as in dual rail supply equipment. The vast majority of components inside our unipolar supply products intentionally draw DC so the burn in device may not achieve much, but worth a try.


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Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 10 Oct 2011 at 6:47pm
I used this trick for a phono preamp I had before I discovered GSP, on a preamp with dual supplies:
If you have an iPOD, turn the iPOD volume very low i.e. one bar and use the EQ to cut the bass. Then use a 3.5mm stereo to phono lead. Have a quick listen to check the preamp output isn't too distorted, if it is cut the middle and treble as well. Set it to play all songs and then  do something else for several days.


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: wozdj
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2011 at 9:33pm
I have been experiencing some distortion with tracks and after pausing the track for even a few short seconds the distortion disappears. My headphones are a few months old but have never been properly amped and my 3.5mm to phone cable and novo amp are brand fire new I was just wondering if it's the amp needing to burn in or whether it's low quality sound files or worse case knackered headphones. Obviously I'm not asking for a diagnosis but some simple advice on bedding in for amps headphones and cables.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2011 at 11:16pm
First I would make sure all your connections are tight, including your headphones. Next if you are using the SMPS wall wart PSU I would make sure you ground the amp using the post on the back. Play a track you know well to make sure the distortion is or is not coming from the tracks you were playing. If you have a 2nd cd-player use it to feed the amp to check if the original cd player is performing right or not.

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Miguel


Posted By: wozdj
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2011 at 12:00am
Thanks for your suggestions. I'm using an iPhone. I've converted my files to apple lostless versions and things seem much better although I have not tested these over a extended playback. All my connections are tight and I will look into grounding the amp. I'm currently using the green power supply that comes with the amp.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2011 at 9:44am
woz,
the amp will require a period of "burn-in" to reach maximum sound quality, but should not sound as you describe during that period.
Sometimes new cables can have some lubricant residue on the connectors (or even occasionally a protective film of some kind) this can hinder proper electrical connection and cause something like you describe.
If the problem continues you could try using some methylated spirit or an electrical contact cleaner product such as Caig De-oxit on all connectors.
Should the problem continue to be evident, try wriggling the connectors whilst continuing to play music and see if this has any effect.
With a quality amplifier like the Novo and reasonable phones any problems or lack of quality in the source material will be more noticeable, using ALAC or even Aiff should result in the best source material being available to your amplifier.
Let us know how you go with it.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2011 at 12:14pm
How are you getting the music out of the iPhone? If via the headphone out you are amplifying the signal twice since the iPhone internal amp is in use. Doing so is not the best solution specially if you have the volume louder than 75% - 80%. A better method is a line out doc (LOD) which can be had for about $15, for example: http://www.ibasso.com/upimg/2008824205427.jpg

Of course you could go WILD and buy a Wadia or similar to extract the 0's and 1's out of the iPhone and send the signal to a dedicated external DAC which in turn would feed your amp. Yes it is a bit crazy but not all the way in that you could then get a dedicated linear and regulated PSU for the Wadia unit bringing the total price (sans iPhone nor the amp) upwards of $1,000 USD upwards (depending on the DAC). So go WILD and help the world economy! Wink


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Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2011 at 4:06pm
Hi Wozdj, I plug my iPOD into an Onkyo NS-D1 digital dock (approx £130) and use my CD player's DAC. It may be worth trying that as the lossless/high bitrate music on your iPhone will sound much better than using the built in DAC and a cable. I suggest asking for a demo in a hifi shop.
 
As well as the Onkyo there is a new Cambridge Audio dock that seems to offers video out as well.


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: wozdj
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 8:50pm
I managed to get to the bottom of it. It was a faulty cable. I was using a black rhodium prelude musiclink and when you bent the jack end slightly the inference comes and goes. After emailing the company directly they sent a replacement the next day and the problem is solved. They seem like a very helpful company to deal with.


Posted By: J.Coade
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2012 at 11:49pm

Hi everyone ,I recently bought V Era Gold unit , just wondering if  I can speed up my burn-in process by using higher output cart .At present I have a Dynavector 10X5 at 2.5mV and an Ortofon Bronze at 5mV .These are on two separate TT's so no trouble fliping phono IC 's.  Happy New Year  Jim



Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2012 at 2:05pm
Hi

I bought a Reflex M and Elevator toward the end of last year and speeded up burn-in by using a reverse RIAA amplifier. This little circuit can take a CD input and then output it to the input of your phono stage. Just leave a CD playing on repeat and it'll be done in  a fraction of the time it takes using LP's.Big smile

If you are interested I can sell you this board for £25.00 plus postage from me here in France...It's the sort of thing that you can use once and then sell on to someone else.Smile Please send me a private message if you want to go ahead with this

Cheers


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Derek


Posted By: J.Coade
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2012 at 2:31pm
Good day  Suggs ,thanks for you most generous offer .I will have to decline , as I already have week of  natural burn-in(powered up) playing records..By the time it gets to Ottawa Canada most likely 2 weeks my VEG will be nearing its optimal .. Thanks Jim


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2012 at 9:18pm
If I understand the physics it takes some time (several weeks) for the components to settle and so I empathise with Jim's approach. To try 'more loud for less long' please see my earlier post on using an iPOD on low with EQ bass cut.
Jon


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2012 at 4:22am

Thought it worth while to add the following snippet from a review of the Exp at http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0210/vinylly_yours.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0210/vinylly_yours.htm  

Quote When the combination showed up some time ago, rather than placing them in my system I set them up in my shop and began the burn in process. I use an old Walkman CD player with a pair of external pots so I can adjust the output of the CD player down to a point where I won't overload the EXP or the phonostage. In turn I took my meter and set the output levels of the burn in sweep noises to about .2mV. In turn, on the output jacks of the Reflex I installed a bleeder resistor to emulate the input impedance of a preamp. This allowed me to burn in the head amp and phonostage as a whole without wearing out an expensive LOMC cartridge. I let this setup run for about two weeks straight before I put it in my system. As I learned, this wasn't enough time. Even though that is the best part of 300 hours, that still wasn't enough. The reason I say that is when I installed it in the system and gave it a listen, there was a distinct midrange bite. Then thinking about the design and the low level signals that are being passed, I knew this burn in was going to play out more like a DAC chip rather than a typical OpAmp which only needs a hundred hours or so to settle down. So back on the bench for another couple hundred hours she went.

The "combination" referred to being the Reflex/Exp.  The bolding is mine for emphasis.

The review is linked from GSP on the Exp page, but the above seemed pertinent to this thread and worthy of inclusion.



Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2012 at 8:03pm
If a phono stage or headphone amp is being fed a signal without having an active receiving end (Line amp switched on/headphones plugged in), does it then work just as if it did? For example burning in those few parts that need the signal processing for this?


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 7:25am
I believe that it does, at least as long as the "load" is connected to it. Graham will be the best man to answer this of course, from a technical point of view.

You could always leave the line amp switched on but with it's output muted or turned all the way down (or the headphones connected but with the output level from the headamp set very low).


-------------
Derek


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 7:06pm
Originally posted by suede suede wrote:

If a phono stage or headphone amp is being fed a signal without having an active receiving end (Line amp switched on/headphones plugged in), does it then work just as if it did? For example burning in those few parts that need the signal processing for this?


The Solo UL has a 1kOhm load resistor in parallel with the headphone output (each channel) and the phono stages have larger value resistors across their outputs. Therefore there is always some light load for the products to drive when there is nothing connected to their outputs. As such and if a signal is present, all parts of the circuit will eventually burn-in.

Just to be repetitive for the sake of the new reader, burn-in is a process in which whilst the equipment is powered on, the components go through adjustive cycles until they settle at their final operating values. There are some equipment manufacturers who dismiss burn-in but I'm afraid to say they are in denial. You would need a holier than thou attitude to assume all items made by man are perfect in every way. If we were all so perfect then why so many troubles in the world? The fact is that any new electronic component is an approximate of what it is intended to be - made out of minerals dug up from the earth and mixed with atmospheric gases usually with some form of heat (fire) process. Man is still learning about the elements discovering unknown things year on year. There is nothing man made that is perfect although those in denial keep telling you they are perfect - it's a great sales tool!

Using the best components we can lay our hands on - and we test several different brands and types of components for suitability year over year - we can make a Reflex phono stage whose RIAA filter can measure within 0.1dB from 20Hz to 20kHz and then measure it 3 or 4 weeks later after continuous use to find it settles to within 0.3dB for the same frequency range.

True, a thing called "drift" is sometimes specified in data sheets but the drift referred to assumes the part is already run-in or "burned-in".

I once remember a news story where Mr Blair was getting very exasperated because a very costly new government computer ID system would not give reliable results every single time. And it would take a miracle for it to work to such a high standard. So best for us not to laugh at those who don't understand these things in Hi-Fi. If such a prominent world leader can't or won't understand..... ???Wacko

I have had people pour scorn over me about burn-in suggesting we should do this ourselves. I don't mind doing it at all, but I would obviously have to charge for tweaking it little by little over many months, and if they'd be happy to pay a thousand percent premium...... ???


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Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 9:56pm
It be a remarkable service if every unit was individually burned in and retested like that. And it would take the prices from affordable to scary! I think the consistent reports from owners of how the sound of GSP equipment refines over hundreds of hours reflect the extensive product development and careful component selection. Thumbs Up


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 11:13pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

I think the consistent reports from owners of how the sound of GSP equipment refines over hundreds of hours reflect the extensive product development and careful component selection. Thumbs Up


Hear, hear! Couldn't have said it any other way myself. I'm very grateful for all the hard work and countless hours Graham and his team put in developing their products, making music a bit more magical for all of us lucky enough to know this small scale Yorkshire company and what they stand for. Thumbs Up


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2012 at 7:23am
Absolutely! It also serves to remind how important it is to make sure that any demo of GSP products are conducted with well burnt-in and warmed up gear.

-------------
Derek


Posted By: J.Coade
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2012 at 5:49pm
Hi every one, bought an ipod at local pawn shop.Then found an app that has white and pink noise,frequency sweeps etc. ., just wondering if the pink or white noise might help on burnin .Cheers Jim


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 1:43pm
The pink/white noise would assist if burning in speakers or dynamic cans. For electronic components regular music would work fine, personally I would use the iPod and just enjoy it while it settles down if any (it is used so it may already have several hours under its belt).

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Miguel


Posted By: J.Coade
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 2:03pm
Thanks for reply Miguel ,I should have said that I want use the ipod to help further bunin my ERA GOLD( not quite a mounth old) Thanks Jim


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 8:43pm
Welcome to our online community! I suggest you use a stereo 3.5mm (1/8") to phono plug cable, set the iPOD on its lowest volume and use the iPOD EQ to cut the bass i.e. the bottom 3 or 4 sliders.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: J.Coade
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 9:10pm
I have ipod connected as you have suggested  , My question now is to use music or pink noise  to maybe speed things up  Thanks Jim


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 10:06pm
Hi Jim, I would use music. I have no scientific evidence the following conjectures:
 
Feeding the (bass cut and very low volume) music into your phono preamp might speed up burn-in
Feeding unEQ'ed music into a headphone amp with headphones attached could speed up burn-in
Turning the power off for an hour or so in the first few weeks or burn-in may speed up burn-in
 
Best wishes
Jon


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: garygillespie
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2012 at 12:03am
I think Graham may have answered this on page 2, but I'm still confused.
I think I'm going to get the Era Gold V w/PSU1, and I'm going to connect my set up to a
Monster Cable PRO 1000.
So I wanted to know once I burn in the Gold V, would it shorten the life of the unit if I always
leave the power on, or should I turn the power off when not in use?


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2012 at 12:22am

Gary,

not only is it not harmful to leave the unit powered on, it is the recommended practise.

Mine have been powered on for years, only occasionally being powered off to change power boards or during power outages.



Posted By: cykelmyg
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2012 at 1:36pm
Having just purchased the Reflex M less than a week ago, and surely very happy with the sound, even though it`s far from the best performance after just one week.
I would like to ask, if somebody in this forum have some experiences - or GS himself -with the following issues:
The power supply to my Reflex M is (naturaly) the PSU1. When my Reflex at the time is proberly burnt in (a month or two, I guess) will it then make any sonic differences, if the power plug is oriented one or another way in the wall outlet. Here in Denmark we use power plugs with to pins (phase and zero). When twisting the power plug from my amplifire, there is sonic differences, most to be heard, most to the 3 dimensional soundstage, depending on the positioning of phase and zero in the power plug in the wall outlet. Is that an issue with the Reflex? My own guess is, that it should not be an issue, due to the fact, that there always is 24 volt DC out of the PSU1, no matter how the power plug is oriented.
What says the experts?
When the unit is proberly burnt in, and you shortly disconnect it from power, say to changes cables or whatever, would a new burn in time then be an issue? Or will the sonics be, as if nothing have happened?
I hope my few questions are understandeble, even I am not an expert in the english languaqe :-)
Best regards Thomas, Denmark


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2012 at 7:32pm
Graham Slee has noted the option of changing the position of the 2 pin mains connector going into the PSU1, which seemed to be about the orientatation of the coils and core lamination. I tried it and think it changed the sound but was hard to be sure as the effect was to power down the Reflex M temporarily and restart some of the burn-in.
1) I think it did change the soundstage, and 2) I trust Graham, so it is worth trying IMO.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 22 Mar 2012 at 11:32pm
Hej Cykelmyg
As I understand it you shift the polarity by 180 degrees when you turn the mains plug (or figure 8 lead in the PSU) around. Sadly there is no one way that is the right way with all your music as some labels put out their music in correct absolute phase and some in reversed. Sad but true. I just connect it either way and let it be. It's too much of a bother to switch back and forth manually by turning leads every other record. I wish I had a switch control on my amp though, then life would be bliss Smile


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2012 at 1:00am

Just to recap a little of previous discussion on this topic,

one member, Han (cyreg) has done a deal of experimentation and considered it worthwhile to him.

Graham has contributed the information that the polarity of the windings in the transformers used in the PSU may vary from batch to batch and is not specified and hence the "best" way for one PSU may not be the best for another.

Powering the unit off for long enough to reverse the plug will not, IME, degrade SQ as noticeably as a longer period of absence of power to the circuit.

After a more extended period of power down, it may take up to 72 hours to regain full quality, which is in line with the observations on capacitor behaviour and stabilisation previously referred in this thread.



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Tony G


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 10:39am
After reading (fairly quickly) through this thread I don't seem to have found a definitive answer to the question:

When burning in a phono stage (Reflex M in my case) does playing records through it actually speed up the process?

My QL1 has a repeat function, and with one of my cheap cartridges and a less well regarded record I could leave it playing for weeks . . .  But do I need to?

Edit: It's the little aside from Graham in the first post in this thread that has me asking this:

Quote Because our designs ensure electrolytics always have a DC polarising voltage across them it can be seen that a signal isn't necessary during burn-in (or is it?)


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: jrhughes
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 8:21pm
The impression I have from reading around is that it will happen without a signal, but that it may be accelerated if a signal is present. I would just leave it on (of course) and play records as you'd normally play them. Out of interest, are you noticing much of a difference between your new RM and the one you've just had on loan (which would be well burned-in)?


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 8:52pm
John Linsley Hood was probably the first in the UK to make the point amongst amateur constructors regarding polarising voltages on electrolytic capacitors "in the signal path". He found an improvement in sound with his dual supply powered circuits if he engineered in some DC voltage across them (otherwise they'd have 0 volts either end).

In the US, Walt Jung was talking on similar lines.

There is an alternative to electrolytic capacitors which are used to couple ac and decouple DC voltages in avoiding output offset voltages, and that is the "servo". It's a complicated way of achieving the same end, and it relies on... capacitors! However, it's supposed to be better because its capacitors are small enough to be film caps instead of electrolytics. However, it needs two. Anybody having followed Walt Jung's choosing and using capacitors articles deeply enough will have noticed how he derived a comparison between electrolytics and film caps to find their equivalent dielectric absorption and the alarming (to the enlightened) comparisons... often an electrolytic can beat the pants off a film cap! Therefore a single large electrolytic can and often does beat the two servo film caps, with one proviso - it has to have DC bias, just like John Linsley Hood used to bang on about.

Electrolytics have one other major problem - because of the bias voltage they are essentially semiconductors. Therefore, in an ac coupled circuit there are more semiconductors to burn-in - 300% more in our case.

However, by careful choice our circuits use the lowest dielectric absorption electrolytics, often on par with polypropylene dielectrics. In my opinion they obstinately refuse to be hurried. And here we have the answer to another question posed by another member - the dearth of magazine reviews on our products...

We know just how many rushed reviews there are in disorganised Hi-Fi magazine land - too many! Often we are approached by a couple of well known UK Hi-Fi magazines on a making up numbers basis. It often results in a protracted argument on burn-in - we know they simply could not discover the good things we can deliver within the limitations of their deadlines. Both these magazines became like this on replacing outgoing editors and until these self acclaimed editors accept a proper education in reviewing equipment they will not receive any product from us.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 11:10pm
Originally posted by jrhughes jrhughes wrote:

. Out of interest, are you noticing much of a difference between your new RM and the one you've just had on loan (which would be well burned-in)?


The loan Reflex must have a fair few hours under it as my new one sounds flat and rather uninvolving in comparison. Had this one been the demo kit I'd have stuck with the EGV! I can imagine a magazine reviewer with a deadline to meet dismissing a pristine Reflex as an also-ran. But having heard what it will be like, I'm just waiting for the greatness to descend on it!

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: jrhughes
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 11:50pm
Interesting. My Solo UL has been powered on for ten hours now and it's just so much better than my already excellent always-on Novo that I can't imagine how good it's going to sound in three weeks' time. 

When I first got (built) my Novo I didn't subscribe to this always-on theory (how uneducated I was!) so I'd usually switch it off at the end of the day. Then I thought I'd at least see what happened by leaving it on. After a few days I noticed a difference: more body, focus and energy, and so it remained on ever since. 

After that, it always struck me that magazine reviewers never seem to comment on whether any kit mentions that it's designed to be left on all the time, let alone how long they've left it powered-up before testing. How much of this kit is designed to sound good cold (and may actually sound worse later on, if left on permanently), thereby gaining an unfair advantage in these reviews? The words "pinch" and "salt" may come to mind, perhaps more with some magazines than others.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 8:45am
Unfortunately some part of the "from new experience" is a downhill slide. It still gets at me even though I know the process only too well. The first couple of hours often sound great - the bass would seem to be superb, but in-fact it's overblown. This could be the back end of the capacitor leakage curve. After a day or two it all starts going the wrong way and there is often some bass loss coupled with a loss in definition. After reaching its minima it starts digging itself out of the confusion. This is where the foils begin to take on an anodic film on their slit edges...

Elna produced a considerable amount of data on the subject on their old website but since cleaning it up I'm unable to find it. However, the sound of capacitors according to them, is due to the degree of foil etching, how coarse or smooth such etching is, and the depth of the anodic film - which is actually the electrolyte and not the oil as many people believe.

The point about the "quality" of anodic film I try to get across is that you can only etch and anodise the two flat surfaces. It is done as large sheets or rolls of aluminium foil on an industrial scale. A capacitor requires a roll of some of this foil which may be a few millimetres wide by anything up to half a metre long. It is slit from the donor sheet and therefore its edges are raw aluminium. This represents a percentage of the foils surface area.

Because of the polarising voltage there will be electron flow from one "plate" to the other through the dampening solution just as there is in a car battery or electroplating line. Therefore whilst switched on, the circuit supplies current for this electron flow which has an anodic effect on the raw slit edges. This cannot happen in an instant at switch on (these magazine editors don't half show their arrogant ignorance...), it takes time. Now, at this point please realise that I'm not the only manufacturer using electrolytic capacitors.

There is at least one other analogy with the car battery. If you charge a car battery too hard - too much current - you can actually distort (bend) the plates. At the very least you will notice some bubbling of the acid. Companies who play about with electrolytic capacitors to try and get them to perform better for audio such as Elna, also see such analogies. The foils of a capacitor do actually flex on a micro level when charged and discharged including the partial charge and discharge of the signal. Therefore Elna have often used fibres to damp such flexing. Rather than a plain smooth piece of separating paper, they are known for impregnating it with different fibres such as silk (the Silmic) and differing coarsenesses of manila (hemp) as in the Elna ROD (not ROB) Stargets (which are now banned from use by RoHS legislation). Another important part of the capacitor is the bung and its hardness. The micro-flexing if not damped can cause cyclic differences in lead out wire inductance - the lead-out wires of a capacitor are responsible to some degree for the series inductance. Let me point out that this micro-flexing is due to the operation of the component and nothing to do with air vibrations surrounding it. If you shout at a car battery its not going to change its charge rate.

Rubycon go to the extreme of explaining that if a "unit" is removed from a circuit board its position should be noted and it should only be re-used in that position. Why you may ask? Obviously the "unit" has settled into use in that part of the circuit.

Here we've only been looking into one component type. It seems obvious to me that this type of component needs time to settle and we don't release any new design until it has proved its worth after a considerable burn-in period - we experience the same burn-in trials as do our customers.

The magazines will often lead you down silly paths discussing rainbow foil, little paper dots inside loudspeakers and pieces of wire with reef knots, and at the same time dispel burn-in as being a fallacy. You can obtain rainbow foil from Sydney Beaumont (Leeds) Ltd for sod-all a sheet so why are tiny little strips of it so expensive, and just who do you believe about what's good and what's bad in audio equipment... the magazines? Only when they get their acts together!

EDIT: 1] There are a number of other capacitor manufacturers other than Elna who make good capacitors for audio use, but unlike Elna they don't talk about it much, or at all. 2] Some magazines are quite careful about getting their facts straight and I find Stereophile, What Hi-Fi and Hi-Fi Plus "not guilty".


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Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 1:32pm
Graham, thank you for sharing your expertise on this and for making it so clear. I can tell from the hi-fi magazines that some learn, reflect, and educate whereas others are simply lifestyle magazines.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: jrhughes
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 3:52pm
Many thanks Graham. I'd be interested to know where you'd place Hi-Fi News, since you've already mentioned some others. I note that they like your Fanfare and also that they have commented that they usually test an item over several days. 


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by jrhughes jrhughes wrote:

Many thanks Graham. I'd be interested to know where you'd place Hi-Fi News, since you've already mentioned some others. I note that they like your Fanfare and also that they have commented that they usually test an item over several days. 


I must have not read that review. Several days doesn't tell me much. With today's made over there components often sounding catastrophic until fully burned-in a circuit needs 4 weeks before I will give it the go-ahead. Often we've ditched complete component ranges which have wasted too much of my life. You'd at least hope they'd recognise what we go through to give so much to the customer, but I'm afraid to say that Mr PM is always in a hurry - too much of a hurry to risk all our hard work on. So if his staff reviews any of our products they did it behind my back.


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Posted By: jrhughes
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 7:43pm
Just to clarify, if they gave it a full review I've not seen it either (but then I don't get every issue by a long shot). I've seen them mention that it's excellent - or words to that effect - during some research so assumed they must have reviewed it at some point. In fact, I was quite disappointed that in all the (admittedly sporadic) HFNs that I've bought, there has never been a full review of one of your units. Not that I specifically need them to, mind you; I just like reading that stuff.

I guess I was thinking that "several days" may be OK if the review unit is, say, like one of the loan units in that it's had the initial burn-in and just needs the few days to warm up again after a power off. But if the plan is to supply a new one with little notice, then yes, quite understandable that a few days isn't enough. 

(I'm listening to my new Solo UL whilst writing this. It's been powered on for 30 hours now and I still think it sounds fantastic. I know it will change over the next couple of weeks or more as my Novo did once I left it on, seemingly going though great -> ok -> excellent)


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2012 at 8:35pm
It's about the only one I read regularly and I can't recall a GSP review in the last couple of years either.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: SteveB1
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 11:22pm
Dear All....I have recently joined this Forum and read through this thread several times in the hope I might be following the correct procedure to 'burn in' my Solo SRGII/PSU1.

This unit was bought back in December 2009 and I set up the unit with my Linn Kairn pre-amp using the 'tape loop' connection method - listening then with my Sennheiser HD650s.The quality of the sound was disappointingly poor - it was harsh, shrill and quite underwhelming .... I couldn't listen to it and failed to understand accolades for the Solo.  I thought I had wrongly connected the unit but 'loop in' via the tape output seems to have been the best option using high quality cables.  I was so disappointed with the sound that I rather neglected the unit in favour of my various iPods and less expensive headphones which have given good service and very good quality (@320 kbps).  Ridiculous to have swapped a Linn based system for this and  I know this is considered by many to be sacrilege.

 

Just recently I thought I'd give the Solo another go with a more recent pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 PROs...but this time I had researched and come across the issue of 'burn in' ..... but not just for the headphones but also for the higher quality headphone amps.

 

I have spent much time Googling and have now seen further evidence in this Forum thread that the Solo seems to require a very, very,very lengthy period of 'burn-in' and that the unit should also be left 'on' continuously.  Therefore I have been 'burning -in' both headphones and Solo continuously now since last Saturday 27 October with constant play from the DAB Tuner and 'Planet Rock'.    I have since played a few CDs on my Linn Ikemi CD player and it's possible the quality of the sound may have shifted but it still very bright, still harsh (in my opinion) and worryingly lacks bass.   I have also read in the forum, and other online info, that burn in can take well in excess of 300 hours (rather than the 72 hours given in the accompanying instructions) and that bass is the last area to improve.   In fact, I read that one chap had a 'magical experience' just after 12 days of continuous 'burn in' and couldn't beleive it was the same headphone amp!

 
I have avidly read the previous and valued advice given by Graham Slee who is rightly passionate about his products  and clearly has a thorough technical expertise.  I have no such expertise but I do enjoy my music and frustratingly I continue to wonder (despite the all the foregoing points made) if I am doing something fundamentally wrong or made the wrong type of connection to the pre-amp. I am embarrassed to have stumbled upon this issues so late after the initial purchase of the Solo but I am excited again at the prospect of being able to enjoy music with the DT770 PROS and HD650s and my Linn system.
 
I would be grateful for any comment, view or steer mindful that I do not have a great technical understanding in this area.  Thanks in anticipation.  Steve 

 

 

 

 



Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2012 at 12:31am
Steve,

It shouldn't be like this. Try one or two of your music sources direct into the Solo. Then if it's still the same there is obviously a fault and we will sort it out by extending the warranty cover seeing you've been disappointed. But try other music sources first, and try different interconnects too.

Graham


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Posted By: SteveB1
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2012 at 10:40am
Graham,
Thanks so much for a personal reassuring response.  I have immediately taken your advice and have tried a direct connection from the Linn Ikemi CD player to the Solo using a set of high quality Linn cables. There is a discernible difference but will want to keep listening to appreciate the change.  I've been listening so intently the last few days that I need to reflect on this in case I'm imagining things...but there does seem to be an improvement.  My initial response is that the sound continues to be 'bright' and that the bass is still rather light, however, it could be that I am now into the 'burn in' period and that this can only improve with time. 
This may present another issue in that it is quite annoying to have to unplug and reconnect cables when I want to listen to the Solo.  I wonder if this can be resolved with some form of adapter/connector for the phono leads?
So I will continue to monitor for the moment, but would certainly like to thank you for your very kind offer regarding the warrantly and this totally accords with your 'sound' reputation.  Best wishes,  Steve


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2012 at 10:58am
Hi Steve,

Before upgrading to a Solo ULDE I used my HD650s with an SRGII and there was plenty of bass present right from the start. The burn in process tightened it up as well as making it deeper, along with attendant improvements higher up. Putting a PSU1 on it improved dynamics and focussed it more clearly. So you *should* be getting a really great sound. I'd never characterise my 650s as "bright". They have a clear top end, but a "warm" presentation.


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2012 at 11:32am
Originally posted by SteveB1 SteveB1 wrote:

 
This may present another issue in that it is quite annoying to have to unplug and reconnect cables when I want to listen to the Solo.  I wonder if this can be resolved with some form of adapter/connector for the phono leads?

You may want to consider a phono t-adaptor. I use this http://www.maplin.co.uk/gold-plated-phono-t-adaptor-218473 - Maplin one to split the output on my Reflex to feed the pre-amp and an ADC for ripping duties. I've heard no lessening of sound quality with these plugged into the outputs on the Reflex.

I only started to use these after seeing a diagram Graham had done for putting a Solo into a "tape loop" . . .

Edit: Actually I also these use on my DAC - one output going direct to an input on my Solo, thus by-passing the pre-amp for a really minimalist system, which is, I'd guess, how you would use them . .              


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2012 at 4:21pm
Steve, just to eliminate everything but the Solo from the equation, can you try something that isn't Linn?

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: SteveB1
Date Posted: 29 Nov 2012 at 10:16am

Thanks so much to ‘Morris_Minor’ and Graham for your valued comments.

 

Sorry not to have responded sooner but I have found this issue to be so bewildering.  In short, yes, there has been an improvement….but I don’t think I can explain why!

 

I thought the connection direct from the Linn Ikemi (CD player) to the Solo gave rise to an early improvement, but I have now been able to revert to the ‘looped’ playback connection with the same result.   Thanks to Morris_Minor for the T adaptor advice, however, I then discovered the Ikemi had 2 sets of phono outputs – one went to the Linn Kairn (pre-amp) and the other direct to the Solo.

 

Stumped for an alternative source, I thought I’d try playback from my iPod docked via a Pure i20 and the quality was amazing for MP3 files (320 kbps).

 

I also tried other headphones I had access to including my Bowers & Wilkins C5 in-ear phones and a pair of Dr Dre Beats Pro (not everybody’s taste this verified the presence of bass).

 

For the hell of it I also followed other advice on this thread and unplugged the PSU1 and reconnected the rotated cable 180 degrees. For the first time I noticed that the base of the PSU1 near the that power connection end had grown very slightly warm to the touch, whereas it was previously quite cold.  ??...whether this makes a difference or not I have no idea.

 

The Solo is now continuously powered up and I gave it 2 full weeks of continuous music.  I also followed separate advice on the Internet that suggested the Sennheiser 650s would also benefit from a long burn in period.

 

During the past weeks something has happened or something has changed and the Solo appears to be working fine and I’m now enjoying the Sennheiser 650s.  Perhaps I had gone through the magical ‘burn in’ period?

 

This is also a chance to say how much I have enjoyed Graham’s ‘Audio Soapbox’ newsletters, in particular the recent one which shares his ‘Secret’.  I suggest ‘the application’ is also based on the ‘the law of attraction’.  This is where ‘like attracts like’ and your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest.  And so your positive thinking and passion in what you love doing has created life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness which you attribute to your ‘application’ but it’s probably therefore much more than this.   Thank you for your interest and support with my issue, I wish you continued success as you follow your dream.   Wink



Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 29 Nov 2012 at 10:25am
It's good news you're enjoying your Solo/650 combo now!

It's nice when can you stop worrying about the "sound" and just enjoy the music. Big smile


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 29 Nov 2012 at 11:18am

Sounds right on target,

many of us consider it to take 400 - 600 hours of power on for the circuit to fully stabilise.  My own experiences are that full bass development is the last part to fall into place.

Good that you can now look forward to years of enjoyment.



Posted By: kgilroy
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 1:15pm
I realise that this is a well worn topic but I am curious about the warm up phenomenon after a well burned-in phono amp has been turned off. I noticed somewhere that it can take up to 72hrs to get back to peak performance. Is this an asymptotic thing where most of the recovery takes place in a few hours? Also is this affected by how long the unit has been powered off?
I ask because I travel quite a bit and switch everything off when I go.
Thanks,
Keith


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 2:27pm
Electronic circuits from switch on need to stabilize. There are many functions taking place after power has been connected. A simple one is the charging of a power supply capacitor, but then consider other capacitors in a real circuit: they are charging too, and nothing really happens in an orderly fashion, so the power supply capacitor doesn't charge in isolation - it charges at differing rates - the bucket fills whilst being emptied to fill other buckets.

The above happens relatively quickly... that is, capacitors reach 60% of charge within their own "time constant" (whatever that may be) but then take another time constant amount of time to reach 60% of the remaining charge, then the same time again to reach 60% of that remainder, and...

Do they ever get to 100%? It could be argued that they don't, that the 100% charging time is infinity. So, here we have an example of stabilization time. Our own senses tell us things don't sound right straight away, but at some point in time we find the performance satisfactory.

Capacitors are also used for stability rather than just storing energy. Show me a manufacturer who disagrees with this and I'll show you a guy who isn't an electronics engineer! Take a look at the vast numbers of low dropout voltage regulators which require an output or even input capacitor for stability... to prevent them oscillating. OK, you may not be able to track down the data sheets I'm talking about nor understand them, and most high street brands don't either, but their low paid Taiwanese and Chinese technician designers do!

Then there's the recovery time after a ceramic capacitor is subject to the heat shock of soldering which can be up to six weeks! OK, that only applies to new products.

Makes certain industry gurus who tell you burn-in is imagined, look like liars doesn't it? But people still buy their wares... on average in 1,000:1 ratios compared to what we sell...

To do justice to burn-in or circuit stabilization would take a book but unfortunately whilst writing it people would forget about me, and when it was published, do you think anybody would give a **** about it?

No.

I spend an inordinate amount of time on here for an imagined almost 1200 members and who knows how many guests, but does it make any difference? Yes, for about two or three people, full stop. Others in this "game" simply wake up on a morning and rake in another £100K by bed time...

To all: just buy what everybody else does - don't bother about ultimate performance...

Graham




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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: kgilroy
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 2:45pm
Thanks Graham. Am I correct that the capacitors lose charge over a relatively short time once current is turned off and therefore stabilization after powering on again will take about the same amount of time whether the amp has been off for a day or a week?


Posted By: digital man
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 5:17pm
Hi Keith,

I think I understand what you're talking about. I leave my cd player (transport and DAC) powered up 24/7. I just bought a Reflex, so it will be powered up 24/7 also. When I leave the house for more than a day I like to shut everything down completely. It's something that I do that makes me feel better. I have observed that the CD player consistently takes about a day and a half to get back to sounding normal. (Not sure how the Reflex will respond yet as I have not fully burned it in yet.). However, if I unplug the CD player for a short time, say an hour or so, just to rearrange the rack or do some housekeeping it recovers much quicker. Usually within a few hours.

Hope that helps.
Dave


Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:


Then there's the recovery time after a ceramic capacitor is subject to the heat shock of soldering which can be up to six weeks! OK, that only applies to new products.



Recovery time after soldering .... Brilliant!
Yes, I was wondering about that myself. Thanks for confirming this.


Posted By: kgilroy
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 5:25pm
Hi Dave,
Yes that's what I was getting at. Just trying to get a feel for it. It seems that turning off for a few hours may not need a long warm up but otherwise just have to use the old ears I guess


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 5:38pm
My experience is the same, with a briefer shut-down period it doesn't take as long to recover, just a few hours or so.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 5:44pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

 To all: just buy what everybody else does - don't bother about ultimate performance...
I hope you know that you do have a very loyal following who appreciate your efforts to follow your own path to ultimate performance rather than follow the herd to mediocrity. . . . 


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 6:06pm
Originally posted by digital man digital man wrote:

When I leave the house for more than a day I like to shut everything down completely. It's something that I do that makes me feel better. I have observed that the CD player consistently takes about a day and a half to get back to sounding normal. (Not sure how the Reflex will respond yet as I have not fully burned it in yet.).


We went to much trouble to ensure the PSU1 power supply was certified safe (IEC CB certificate NL8023). Our workshop has quite some value: for example if we lost it we could lose the business.

We leave the PSU1's (and the "greens" which also have certificates) on all the time except if I'm on holiday (that'll be the day...)

Provided they're properly ventilated - not buried under clothes or magazines, and stood on something like a laminate floor or a solid table mat if you have carpet, then they should be safe.

Disclaimer: nothing can be declared to be absolutely safe forever. Let common sense always prevail.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 7:45pm
Sound advice as always and that is a great strapline, Graham!


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 06 Jan 2013 at 8:38pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

Sound advice as always and that is a great strapline, Graham!

Second that LOL


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 2:49pm
I must say that I'm also the kind of person who switches off all electronic items when I'm not going to use them for a few hours. I could leave an ULDE plugged into a power source for all/most of the time but I would not be able to keep a Bitzie powered up permanently, not without a 5V DC power adaptor with a USB cable.

Although, I do have one of those... I use it to charge my Kodak camera. I assume that it emulates a USB connection almost absolutely. I wouldn't want to risk wrecking a Bitzie with it though... Ouch Pinch


Posted By: BackinBlack
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 4:19pm
Interesting point. I keep my Genera, Reflex, ULDE and Marantz preamp constantly powered. I wonder if there would be a perceptible difference if it were continuously powered?


Posted By: dillon
Date Posted: 30 Dec 2013 at 1:59pm
Just gone through 100 hours of burning in my new Senn HD650 drivers...and the ever changing sound is pretty much the absolute proof that burn in is real. Some days it's boomy and bass ridden, others the highs are too high...from muddied to brightness..from speed to snails pace. Changes now settling down to a stable balanced sound today. Probably needs a few more days and I'm there!

I have always kept every single unit in my rigs powered up. Switching off means another 8 hours or so of use to go back to where they were. It's easy to notice.


And notes. I'm not imagining it.

Dil

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Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace w Space Arm & Dynavector 10x5 HOMC/GSP Revelation M/John Sampson upgraded Meridian 508.24 CDP/Sony 777ES SACD/ProAc Response D18/GSP Solo ULDE/GSP cables and ICs


Posted By: Hoy-m
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2014 at 8:46pm
I have the solo ULDE loaner for the next few days, will I hear the best of it during this period?

Mike


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2014 at 9:02pm
Welcome to the forum, Mike!

Just leave the ULDE continuously powered up and it will perform its best after a couple of days. What headphones will you be using with it?

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Hoy-m
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2014 at 9:48pm
HD 650s, at present the loaner is just a latent possibility in the hands of parcelforce (week overdue) hoping to collect it tomorrow. I have used a Novo for a couple of years now, and think it's excellent but looking forward to the Solo. I plan to give the PSU a go with the Novo as well.

Mike 



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