Burn in vs perception

Posting here in speakers, but could probably go in any of the forums. Question of the night: how much of burn in of components is actually burn in of our perception? That is, is burn in partly us becoming accustomed to a change in sound.

I’m listening to my SF Amati Traditions that at first I found a bit strident, but I now find lush, dynamic, and generally brilliant. I bought them as 1-year old demos so theoretically they should have been played enough to be broken in. I haven’t changed anything in my system—I have been working on my room with more stuff, but that’s it.

Sometimes reviewers or arm chair audiophiles (me) will state that said component needs to be plugged in and left alone for weeks until it gels with the system. Could this simply be our own perception burn in OR is something real happening here?

For speakers I can buy it (woofers need to loosen up and all), but I almost always buy used, and I almost alway a) find a difference of a new component (good or bad), and b) in time, I couldn’t tell you what the change was. Maybe just me, but our brains are pretty good level setters.

I willing to bet this can be a large part of “burn in”.






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Actually waiting at emergency would be more beneficial lol

Classy…builds up credibility. 

According to my loudspeakers owner's manual (2-way cone type) recommendation: They should be "run-in" for a minimum of 200 hours prior to any critical listening.  I found that they required at least 300 hours before the magic began.  Fortunately, my preamplifier has a white noise generator input, which helped out.  Not only did the loudspeakers benefit but my interconnects and loudspeaker cables as well.  Really, it did.

This applies to loudspeakers that have magnets, surrounds, crossovers, etc.  True full-range ESLs would be excluded as they have none of these components.  

I prefer the term "run-in" to "burn-in" as I try not to let the "smoke out."  LOL


Has anyone bought two power cords and left one in the box and used the other one for a few months?  Then pulled out the unused pc and done a A/B test?

I haven’t, but would be interested in hearing the results from someone who has.

Just Curious.

I can't speak for cables, but some speakers and headphones most assuredly do need some break in time; there is nothing psychological about the difference between some headphones right out of the box and the same headphones 100 hours later if the only listening in the meantime was done by the headphone stands. I've had speakers that sounded great right out of the box, and I've had some where the different frequencies sounded like they'd never met each other for the first several weeks, but when that changed, that changed fast. Can't make any blanket statements.