"Break in" time of audio equipment

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by rfrenkel, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. rfrenkel

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Can someone please explain why and how speakers,solid state amplifiers, cd players, and audio cables require a "break in" time to reach their peak performance, or do they really? Also why does a solid state amplifier supposedly work better when it's been on for a few hours?
  2. TrevorP

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    I've never heard of a "break in" time. They aren't exactly a pair of shoes. Perhaps there is an effect on sound of using a speaker for a while but I really don't know if that would be considered a good thing.

    A solid state amplifier probably sounds better when it's been on for a while because their performance does change a bit as they heat up. You can even determine the ambient temperature of a diode based on it's Current-Voltage relationship. Tubes you wouldn't really notice the difference because they generally are always pretty hot, where-as transistors probably take a bit more time to heat up.
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Sounds like more audiophile horse pucky. It's hard to imagine for any of the other items.

    A car's engine is the only thing I have ever heard of (until now) that needs breaking in. Audio cables, indeed!
  4. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    I think he means "burn in" time. Supposed to find any faults in components by getting them to operating temp and keeping them there. Usually for 24-36 hours.
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Audio cables? Loudspeakers?

    Most active devices that are going to fail do so in the first 10 hours of use. That is definitely burn in time, vice break in.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  6. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    As a rule of thumb, the electrical device should be appropriately tested by the buyer during the warranty period. I believe this is what the you are asking!!
  7. S_lannan

    Active Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    na it's just plain audio-phoolery
  8. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
    What about the reforming of electrolytics that may have been on the shelf for quite some time?
  9. Audioguru


    Dec 20, 2007
    The suspension of a speaker might become more flexible after it has been operating for a while. Then its resonant frequency is reduced. That is its break in period.
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    And the cardboard cone will soften a little. Normally they run the speakers for X amount of time before they do the final testing of the driver's freq response. Well the good manufacturers do.
  11. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    This phenomenon applies to the main capacitor in an electronic flash unit, which are usually apx 350 volt, 200 - 2000 μfd, singly, or higher when ganged in studio setups. If not used for awhile, their "capacity " seems to go south.