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DAC burn-in/break-in? My Gustard X16 measurements

Pdxwayne

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#1
This is a post copied from my other thread at https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...echo-trails-length-illusion.20618/post-684254.

When I first got my X16 into my stereo setup, my first impression was E30 have better highs. Because I did voltages measurements before when I did my KTB vs E30 listening tests, I did measurement on x16 when it was like brand new (when it was powered-on for less than 10 hours total).

So, at least for my X16, burn-in/break-in happens?

Direct quote from my other thread:



Again, my multi-meter is not accurate, but it is consistent within 0.001V, and can show trend. See my KTB vs E30 thread posts, like https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...topping-e30-listening-tests.17988/post-665605 for more information.

Again, I measured multiple times when X16 was basically brand new because I could not believe the 2Khz difference and +5KHz difference as compared to E30. 100% confidence with my previous measurements.

This is comparison between KTB (measured at about 2 months old), E30 (measured at about 2 weeks old) and X16 (measured about 10 hours old, Edit: It was constantly on for at least 8 hours before I did measurements):






This is comparison captured today. E30 (measured at about 2 months old) and X16 (measured at about 3 weeks old):



 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #4
What do you mean, that you heard an audible change?

New caps that have never seen power do settle a little, but nothing that would be audible. Over time capacitors gradually fail... a long time usually.



JSmith
Yup, initially I thought the optical in of x16 is inferior to E30 and I even bought a brand new coaxial cable to try.

I have enjoyed this first song from https://tidal.com/album/158086085 on E30 for 2 weeks before switched in the x16. X16 just didn't sound right in the beginning. As I initially described it, lack the "sparkles" of E30.
 

pozz

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#5
Multimeters are made to be accurate for mains frequencies only. If you are testing voltage beyond 50/60Hz expect your test rig to be influencing a lot of what you see.
 

chris719

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#6
That is not exactly a Keysight or Keithley bench meter. I would barely trust it at mains frequencies, nevermind higher. Are you controlling for ambient temperature too?
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #7
No significant difference. Error bars can be your friend.
Sure, but what component/components could caused such difference in the beginning? Why not right away I get same measurements I get from 3 weeks old X16?
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #8
That is not exactly a Keysight or Keithley bench meter. I would barely trust it at mains frequencies, nevermind higher. Are you controlling for ambient temperature too?
I don't know how many times I need to repeat.....How many "Again" should I repeat what I said in initial post. It is NOT accurate, but consistent. Hope you get the idea.
 

chris719

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#9
Sure, but what component/components could caused such difference in the beginning? Why not right away I get same measurements I get from 3 weeks old X16?
Temperature or other sources of drift, etc. This is a $50 meter with a bunch of trimpots inside according to an eevblog forum teardown.
 

chris719

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#10
I don't know how many times I need to repeat.....How many "Again" should I repeat what I said in initial post. It is NOT accurate, but consistent. Hope you get the idea.
You haven’t proven that, just because you think it is. Nor would a small gain drift over time be “break-in”.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #11
Temperature or other sources of drift, etc. This is a $50 meter with a bunch of trimpots inside according to an eevblog forum teardown.
I have measured E30 multiple times over the span of days and weeks. I got consistent results. Same for KTB. I have yet to see E30 or KTB changed more than 0.001V over long time period.
 

chris719

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#12
Even if it’s not the meter, you still have no idea what the temperature is, what the DAC reference voltage is, and what the tempco of any passives in the box are, for example. A small drift may be completely normal. Jumping to break-in as an explanation based on some DMM measurements is a logical leap you can’t support.
 

JSmith

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#13
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #14
Even if it’s not the meter, you still have no idea what the temperature is, what the DAC reference voltage is, and what the tempco of any passives in the box are, for example. A small drift may be completely normal. Jumping to break-in as an explanation based on some DMM measurements is a logical leap you can’t support.
E30 was also remeasured at the same time and same location when I first measure x16. It was to double check my previous results for E30. Same as today. Both times, DAC were/are in same location. Ambient temperature should be consistent both days.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #15
Good to know the cheaper one sounds "better" to you, from a user feedback perspective.

They both tested very well (but differently) with the X16 coming out on top;

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/gustard-x16-balanced-mqa-dac-review.17419/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-e30-dac-review.12119/



JSmith
The x16 sounded decent now playing the same test songs. That is why I have been curious about what could be the cause of the initial issues observed.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #17
@Pdxwayne , your personal hearing the differences are via headphone, speakers or both? Thanks
It was with speakers setup. DAC direct to amp (Parasound A21). Speakers are Paradigm Persona B. In a large room, sitting about 10 ft away.

The headphones setup not able to compare the highs initially because of Tidal Windows app. The app caused significant dB difference (~12db) between DAC, playing same song. X16 was significantly louder. Also, I was using cheap headphones.....
 
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SIY

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#18
Claiming significance at the <0.1% level with a cheap multimeter, no temperature control, and measurement far outside the design range is egregiously wrong.

Did I tell you about the time I measured a bacterium with a yardstick? It was very consistent. And the hell with you stuffy scientists with your insistence on things like gauge R&R and error bars.
 
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Pdxwayne

Pdxwayne

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Thread Starter #19
Claiming significance at the <0.1% level with a cheap multimeter, no temperature control, and measurement far outside the design range is egregiously wrong.

Did I tell you about the time I measured a bacterium with a yardstick? It was very consistent. And the hell with you stuffy scientists with your insistence on things like gauge R&R and error bars.
Please look at https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...topping-e30-listening-tests.17988/post-665605

Look at filter 5 measurements. Look at consistency of all other filters (filter 1,2 3,4,6).

Then please explain why my poor multi meter can show a drop of power from 3khz on, just like the correct measurements a post above from Topping engineer?
 

SIY

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#20
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