Burn in , best practices with a new build

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by plexified, Dec 16, 2009.


  1. plexified

    plexified Member

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    I was wondering what you all use as a practice for burning in a new build on an amp . Alot of manufacturers state that after burn in the product sounds better . It goes for caps and speakers for the most part . What is a low cost remedy for the amp and then the speakers that leads you to an end result . I want to be able to evaluate components fairly before I come to a conclusion without proper break in . Thanks in advance .
     
  2. Trout

    Trout Member

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    I only burn in amps for 1 reason, to insure reliable performance and build integrity.

    When I have extra time, I actually sit there and play it for several hours often with breaks just like it was being used live.

    Other times I simply plug in a modded CD player and let it rip for a few hours.
    This allows everything like the sockets, chassis & components to heat up. Any potential weak solder joints can often show up at that point.
    I often check and re-check critical operating voltages during the beginning and near the end of " break-in ".

    More often than not it ends up just being a time killer or a reason to get a few hours of practice.:D
     
  3. WesKuhnley

    WesKuhnley Member

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    If you're project is a DIY homebuilt amp, there is no reason to do anything other than play your amp to break it in. If you're producing amps, as Trout said, break in is necessary to weed out infant death in components, and ensure everything is 100% with the build.

    On a side note, contrary to what you may have read on teh interwebz, plastic capacitors (the variety used as coupling and tone caps) do not break in over time. As you mentioned speakers in fact do, but this is a function of the mechanics of the speaker cone, and spider.
     
  4. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Agreed with Wes. Generally anything with moving parts will benefit from break-in, be it a motorcycle engine or loudspeaker. I find that there is merit in burning in new tubes too. That's about it. Everything else ought to work fine from the get go.
     
  5. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    But Wes, haven't you heard about them Bozo caps that sound better after 100 hours use? ;)
     
  6. djroge1

    djroge1 Member

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    I don't know, I have heard a difference in my amps after a break in period and it's not just speakers because I have a separate cabinet where the speaker is already broken in.
     
  7. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    So have a bunch of other people. But hopefully this won't be "that" argument again.
     
  8. Raybob

    Raybob Member

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    Adjusting the bias on new power tubes, that can seem to change after the first 24 hours. I always run the tubes 24 hours before doing the final bias adjustment. It's not a big difference but it is a difference.
     
  9. TungstenAmp

    TungstenAmp Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with most of what has been said above. After slow charging the capacitors on the Variac, I run my customers' amps for 24-72 hours to screen out bad tubes and listen for any sonic anomalies.

    When purchasing an amp, the only break in I do is to play it loud and play it often. :)
     
  10. WesKuhnley

    WesKuhnley Member

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    Argh! :dunno

    Why isn't there a smilie that is shooting himself in the face?

    BINGO! Thanks Trout!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  11. Trout

    Trout Member

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    This One??


    [​IMG]

    Save It LOL
     
  12. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    Sorry if this is a dumb question, does leaving your tube amp on standby have any break in benefits?
     
  13. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers.

    The answer in this case is "no."

    When your amp is on standby, the only thing that's really happening is that your tubes' filaments are getting juice. That means they light up and the cathode stays warm and ready, but there is no high plate voltage, no audio signal anywhere, etc. In the very rare instance that a tube is itchin' for a filament failure, maybe it could be exposed that way, but that's very rare.

    There will be nothing vibrating the speakers to loosen them up, no high volts on the tubes to stabilize their operation and weed out failures, and no signal through the caps to break those in, if you are one of the people who feels that makes a difference (I happen to feel it does, but obviously many others here feel equally certain it does not).
     

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