Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice
No, because even when faced with incontrovertible facts people will believe what they want to believe. All you can do is provide the facts to those who want to learn, and ignore those who don't.
I just completed a set of DIY monoblock tube amps, and from personal experience, I can state that burn very much exists. At first, my amps sounded pretty good, but I dismissed that as being the joy of finishing a two year long project. After about a week of listening on a DAILY BASIS for several hours a day, they began to sound like absolute crap. They were sounding so bad that I was embarrassed to have my best friend even hear them, and I was certain that I had wasted almost 4k of my money in the process.
Then I swapped out a single tube in each amp. There was minimal improvement, so I kept listening, and they kept getting better. The amps have been run daily now for a month and have perhaps a hundred hours on them they continue to open up and sound better and better every time I listen. They are powering a set of Magnepan MG-20's and they reveal everything. You can believe that burn-in exists or not, that's on you. I am far less inclined to believe in such things for cables, but components is another story. And yes... cables do make a difference, provided you have gear able to utilize the benefits.
When the wife or significant other is not around, try this little experiment. Take out your favorite recording and listen to your favorite song at your reference volume. Close your eyes and really immerse yourself in the moment and the music. Then replay the same track with your hands gently cupping your ears. Notice the tremendous difference in what you are hearing! Details that are in the recording but are hidden from your ears come to life. It will be like you have never heard that recording before.
The point is that this last little bit of information is what is missing in most systems that I listen to... stuff that is there and needs to be heard to complete the experience, and this is what the right speaker(most important) amplifier(second) source(tied for second) and cables(third) are supposed to dig out. Being a vinyl guy, I can honestly say that I don't get much difference out of CD players, whether SACD or not and FLAC files, but my cartridge is as important to sound as the source, and it too sounds better after it has danced across more than a few LP's...