Originally Posted by thezaks
I understand what you are saying, and yes, my perceptions are purely subjective. However, when doing an A/B of a new vs. used cable or component, there is a difference that I can hear, and it is repeatable.
If it's repeatable, then it's not subjective, it's objective. Which means it is measurable and (more importantly) falsifiable through simple experimentation and testing.
I learned about break in by personal experience. I received a power cord, and it did not sound as good as the one loaned to me by my dealer. I thought something was wrong with the power cord. I went back/forth between the two many times, and I was convinced that the new power cord had an issue. As it turned out, after a period of time (several weeks), the power cords sounded the same.
I'm willing to bet at some point your dealer suggested "break in" as the cause of your initial unhappiness.
I never have a preconceived notion about break in.
Of course you do. You're expressing it very strongly right in this thread. And frankly, you don't get to the point of buying expensive power cords without having been exposed to the claims of break in along the way.
I answered Gizmo's question, but, I spoke from the other side of the coin.
No, you didn't answer Gizmo's question, because you can't. The question was about what physically changes during break in. The "other side" is nothing but a euphemism for just recounting your own subjective (unqualifiable, unverifiable) impressions. That has nothing to do with physics, and everything to do with psychology.
There are two sides here - those who experience break in/burn in, and those who do not believe in it.
No, there are not two sides here any more than there are two sides to the evolution vs. creationism debate. There's one side, which is supported by evidence and experimentation, and then there's "belief". Beliefs that contradict all empirical data do not constitute a "side". Sorry if I sound harsh, but as a lifelong skeptic I have little tolerance for the "two sides" argument because it's simply an attempt to elevate unsupported beliefs to the same stature as factual reality.
I answered it from my perspective, by describing what happened during the break in, with regards to subjective listening. Regarding the side that you and Gizmo sit on, I have no explanation, no claim, and no answer. And, I don't care to know.
Don't care to know? Hmmm.
I disagree with your point about the same break in time. I've seen many different numbers, for many different items. For example, on the Classe SSP800 forum, posters have shared that the Classe manual mentions 300 hours for break in.
They can say whatever they want in their manual, can't they? Why not 1000 hours? Why not 5000 or 10000? How come you never see a company say their product requires 15 minutes (or 15 seconds) of break in?
The answer is because it's the CUSTOMER'S BRAIN that is getting "broken in", so the length of break in reflects that. That's where the 100 hours plus or minus comes from. I guess when you spend $8000 on a pre-amp, though, it can take a little longer...
I know full well that some products do change during a break in period. Car engines. Blue jeans. Bicycle seats (a Brooks leather saddle takes a hell of a lot more than 100 hours...) From personal experience buying way more of them than anyone in their right mind should, headphones (especially IEMs) do change their sonic characteristics pretty dramatically in their first dozen or so hours of play. But that doesn't mean any new gadget in an audio system produces even the slightest audible changes over their first hours of use, least of all things like power cords.
There's been 1-2 posters who claimed that they do not believe in break in, yet, they were not satisfied the sound of the SSP800 when they got it. After a period of time, they liked the change in the sound. This was difficult for them to explain, especially considering their beliefs.
And they no doubt saw the nonsense in the Classe manual, or heard about it from other owners. But really, it isn't difficult to explain; as AX9 put it, "They got used to it." Their brains became accustomed to their new equipment, and they got past the inherent tension of having just spent a large sum of money on a new toy.
I think it's true that some folks become accustomed to the sound after a period of time. No argument there - however, I don't think it's always the case. The best test for this is to take a component or cable, the SSP800 for example, which claims a break in period is necessary to sound its best, and A/B it with a unit that has 300 hours or more on it. Again, this would be subjective.
To quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." An A/B test (or in the case of simply validating differences, an A/B/A test), properly run, is objective, not subjective.
You could even do DBT and then see if it is repeatable. Have you done anything like this? If so, I'd be interested to hear the specifics.
There's lots of information available about DBTs that have been conducted in this area, this thread has gone over and over it. If you really want to know more (which you've already said you don't) it is readily available.