- Jul 18, 2020
If burn in was real, there would be an ENTIRE industry dedicated to burning in industrial level applications of what we do here. I'm sure Apple would pay several billion dollars for a company that does burn-in better than the next company if it means their A15 chips are that much faster than the competition.
Some things that I do agree exist:
1) large woofers need break-in, like maybe a few hours to loosen, but post those there is nothing more. My SVS subwoofer was pretty crap when I first bought it but after a few hours, it really opened up.
2) mechanical things do have a break-in period, but it doesn't last too long, and well engineered mechanical items have very little break in period. So as you go up to more expensive, the break-in period should be less not longer.
3) mechanical also have a warmup period as well that’s independent of break-in.
4) electrical circuits have no moving parts.
I take claims of break in with quite a few grains of salt. But I have also learned that entering into arguments about it with some of my fellow audio enthusiasts is not a beneficial use of my time.
But I do think that there may be something to claims of break in with the items you mentioned above, and I would respectfully add that there may be something to claims of changes during the first few hours of use with vacuum tubes.
But in the case of vacuum tubes there are actual changes in some of the physical properties of some of these devices that could account for these changes. There are devices called getters in vacuum tubes that are designed to scavenge any last remnants of gas left inside the vacuum envelope and ensure the best possible vacuum. But any changes cause by these devices must surely be completed very early in the process, minutes or at most hours. In fact, these changes are probably well done before the tubes are packaged for sale. At any rate these could never take the hours or weeks that is claimed as required by those who insist that burn in is real.
Additionally, the actual physical dimensions of the internal components of vacuum tubes will change a little as they warm up, but this is not the same phenomenon as so-called break in or burn in.
I don't believe that the physical changes are large, and I don't believe that changes that occur during so called burn in with respect to tubes are drastic. But I do concede they may be possible.
When I read someone claim that when they first power on a device it sounded like shit but after a few hours or weeks it is now amazingly great, I just keep moving. Perhaps they will eventually come to a different conclusion after learning more, perhaps not. But trying to convince them of the error of their ways is a fool's errand.