Audio Myths... A mostly civilized discussion
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OK before this even begins.. STOP!
Many myths have existed for many years and while I am sure heated debate will arise I want to ask everyone to respect the rules of these forums. Act civilized. State your point of view, be open to other peoples point of view and hopefully we can at least UNDERSTAND where people are coming from and not just arguing for the sheer joy of it.
I guess I will start.
HEADPHONE and SPEAKER BURN-IN
A topic that comes up for me pretty often and yes.. I do think something happens when you take a BRAND NEW off the assembly line moving driver dynamic speaker with suspensions and surrounds and webbing and run it for X hours. Now I am not saying you have to do this. It may not even benefit you or if there is a change it might be so small it isn't worth even thinking about. But Physics dictates if a precision device has a job of moving hundredths of a millimeter then I expect if it gets used initially then the moving fabric, foam and rubber parts may stretch and wear and perform differently then bone dry stock parts that have never moved before.
So can it be real? I say yes. Can it be measured. It should be possible. Is it worth fighting over? Of course not. Many people attribute the change you "hear" during burn-in to the human ear simply adapting to the sound. Like listening to a tone for long enough that it disappears. But my usual advice is .. "If you like it out of the box, enjoy" I usually just put headphone and speakers I dislike though the hours of hard running, away from my ears and then assess later.

I will let you guys take over the next topic, Tone Arms, Headphone Cables, Interconnects, Cable Risers, Tubes..
thumb_upThierry1617, nyj585, and 122 others
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titaniumtv
0
Sep 18, 2019
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ElectronicVices
1997
Sep 18, 2019
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This is an extremely suspect post... flagged
Sep 18, 2019
GuitarStruck
21
Aug 14, 2019
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Question: I've read that if you play headphones continuously for over 4 or 5 hours, that can damage the headphones, at least with certain amp designs. Something about the components overheating. Is this true? Doesn't make much sense to me.
Aug 14, 2019
ElectronicVices
1997
Sep 17, 2019
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If you stay within the max power rating you will be just fine. The power rating usually results in deafening volume levels that you could not sustain for 4-5 hours at a time. Now cheap headphones may grossly overstate their maximum input power and die from being overdriven but that does not translate to properly designed products with valid specifications.
Sep 17, 2019
Mowgli66
1
May 13, 2019
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ANY dynamic driver will looses up and sound better after a while. While working in the business for 30 years, I have had many opportunities to experience that difference first-hand. Some drivers don't need muc, but some reuire a very long time. Pink noise generator run at low, but incresing volume was what I found the best way.
May 13, 2019
sszorin
0
Aug 14, 2019
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loosens up
Aug 14, 2019
wireal
5
May 9, 2019
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my hd559 sounded like crap in the first 10 hours it had thupn base and crap. like a 10$ headphone. it was way worse than my HD449 then it balanced out. and sounds great now! with the hd 6xx in the other hand there was no burn in.
May 9, 2019
TheRequiem
79
May 9, 2019
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Some brands burin in their units in the factory. Look at Audeze.
May 9, 2019
emkay
44
Apr 18, 2019
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I tested the whole burn-in thing on my own ears, now I'm deaf. Saved me a fortune.
Apr 18, 2019
Mi.Rog
12
Apr 15, 2019
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Myths usually don't drive me crazy. In myths we believe or we believe not. If someone believes in stands for speaker cables for instance....
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...that's fine with me. If one can stand paying $30.000/2m and it makes him happy, no problem. The question is how close from FRAUD is selling such staff. I wonder what do you think about that. Not in the scale like above, but once it happened to me too - a seller tried to fraud me and I recall this experience every time when talking about audio myths. Some 30 years ago, looking for some decent interconnection cables (decent=well done, robust) I dropped into an audio shop and asked a seller to show me some stuff with moderate price. He did but looked very unhappy with that so I asked him if he can recommend something. He glared immediately! He grabbed a cable from behind and showed me like it was a Holy Grail: DIRECTIONAL interconnect. With an arrow on a plug showing... direction? It was plain fraud, so I was stonewalled for a minute or more, standing with the cable in my hand like an idiot in front of the professor and I didn't know what to say. Then I asked him what is the arrow for and the answer was what I did expect: I should connect transport to preamp according to the direction of sound (SOUND!!!). And then he looked at me, looked at my face which probably looked like the face of a mime who didn't get applause, and he explained that sound (SOUND!!!) flows from the source (=transport) to destination (preamp). The cable costed $100. Looked like $30 cable (IMO expansive) + an arrow engraved on the plug for $5. Which makes it a pretty good margin. I didn't discuss, didn't argue, just left. Maybe he believed in it? Than was it a fraud or not?
(Edited)
Apr 15, 2019
Mowgli66
1
May 13, 2019
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Single end grounding doesn't have much effect, but interconnect quality is way more important than speaker cable. Very low voltage and much more susceptible to (particularly) RF interference and small changes in capacitance and inductance. Is it useful on a Bose system? (Not an effing chance).
May 13, 2019
nick_t
166
May 20, 2019
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How do you afford all these ?
May 20, 2019
psuKinger
88
Apr 12, 2019
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The myth that drives me the most crazy? HAS to be when people (mostly on the internet) INSIST that it is a SCIENTIFIC FACT that "human beings can't hear the difference between 320 kbps MP3/AAC/OGG whatever and 1411.7 kbps CD." Meanwhile, these sorts almost always own a soundbar for their TV and rock a pair of earbuds that came for free with some other high-end-electronic purchase... and listen to pop-y synthetic, electronic, intentionally-distorted music with very little dynamic range. When they say they can't hear a difference listening to their music in their room using their gear? I don't doubt them for a moment. But it blows my mind when they go on and on about telling me how I can't (physically impossible) hear a difference either.....
Apr 12, 2019
psuKinger
88
Jun 19, 2019
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"You guys have a nice day sucking each others D's." Classy.
Jun 19, 2019
psuKinger
88
Jun 19, 2019
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Agreed completely... I don't like the concept/idea of MQA. I've not heard it. I don't think any of my gear supports it... I've not bought/own anything MQA, and I don't currently have a subscription to Tidal. I'm "all-in" though on the value of CD quality (or higher) FLAC > compressed MP3/AAC/whatever. 100%.
Jun 19, 2019
Mi.Rog
12
Apr 12, 2019
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IMO if something needs "breaking" or "burning" it should be stated in device manual. I can hardly imagine such necessity, however. Personally I put it to the drawer "MYTHS". If some devices really would need any "braking" or "burning", whatever, it would mean that it was poorly designed, or was intentionally designed with the use of materials which are unstable, resonant or prone to aging. Just think: if driver suspension needs to be "settled" - doesn't it suggest that the material is improperly chosen? Or it was build intentionally like that to achieve some specific goals, but that should be plainly put in the manual. If the sound of any audio device - hypothetically - is to change in first 24 hours, what with the rest of its lifespan? What is logical explanation of this phenomenon? LOGICAL - it means with the use of science tools. However, I see some cases when "braking" can be observed, like TUBES. But, again, the user should be warned that the sound perception can change in time because of the device electrical nature. The sound perception is a very misleading human sense, what everyone here probably know. We all are prone to suggestions and marketing bullshit. And there is an internet... with incredible amount of INFORMATION, information and "information". Choose what you like.
(Edited)
Apr 12, 2019
BurntVillage
3
May 13, 2019
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Howdy! Yeah, tubes can make a big difference in the sound. Preamp tubes, depending on their gain stage function and power tubes depending on bias and overall volume. However in the case of the two HRD amps, both were biased similarly and while the preamp tubes were different, those choices will affect clarity, snap and bloom... (how's that for nonsense adjectives!) but speaker smoothness is a different kind of sound. It's difficult to explain, but when a guitar speaker has had years vs. hours of use, the difference is significant. One thing to note about guitar speakers vs. home audio, is that the cones are generally paper or hemp and often use alnico magnets... though ceramic and neodynium are common as well. They are also voiced specifically for their mid range and low frequency reproduction. You certainly don't have to take my word, but having listened to hundreds of guitar speakers, new, old and in between... I'll take a well made, well used speaker 90% of the time. They just sound better for guitar once they've been "broken in." I have no idea if this translates into home speakers or headphones that typically have much stiffer driver materials.
May 13, 2019
Florianski
28
May 15, 2019
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Finally, an intelligent human beeing with the ability to think rational. Thank you for your comment, i absolutely agree with you.
May 15, 2019
stod
15
Apr 11, 2019
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I never had an opinion if there was any benefit to burning in headphones, electronics ect, but I recently picked up a cheap pair of iSK HP-980's & out of the box the highs were so harsh that I was going to send them back. I left them running overnight for about 12-hours & the highs had settled down a bit. After another 12-hours they was even better. I have about 30-hours on them now & they are still improving...a lot. They have gone from sounding like they have pre-emphasis, to becoming enjoyable. I'm sure in most cases the improvement with burn-in would be small or none existant and I don't know the theory behind it, but in this case the improvement was HUGE.
Apr 11, 2019
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