Do pedals have breaking in period?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by lightningsmith, Mar 24, 2008.

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  1. lightningsmith

    lightningsmith Member

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    Just wondering, cause cables and tube amps have 'em.
     
  2. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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  3. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    Yes. 124 hours is the usual break in period. If you want to break them in faster, play them through a loud amp....or run your iPod/home stereo through them
     
  4. demiruyar

    demiruyar Member

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  5. Lt_Core

    Lt_Core Supporting Member

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    My pedals are broken-in after beer or shot spillage during a gig then they're all good! :)
     
  6. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    Pedals, like cables, CDs, and computer software, need to be broken in for optimal haunting mids. Think electrons running around and around like little horseys on a racetrack. As everyone knows, horseys sound best if they've been ridden hard. The usual duration is 896 hours continuous running time. Before then, it will certainly sound like crap, especially if it was very expensive. You might also try soaking your pedals in Earl Grey tea, for greatest tone optimization.
     
  7. improv4

    improv4 Member

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    The break in period is as long as it takes to make the decision, am I keeping this pedal or getting rid of it.
     
  8. QOTSA

    QOTSA Senior Member

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    Pedals no, but my ears do seem to take a while to get used to a new sound. So there is the appearance of change.
     
  9. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    "Lightning" eh? Is this because you were hit by lightning?
    ;)
     
  10. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    My cables are still breaking in...Hmmm....
     
  11. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    Yes - this is also what happens with perceived cable "break-in." They don't actually break in, but after a while your ears become accustomed to the sound. There's nothing really TO break in.
     
  12. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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    iirc, the manual for the Barber /Clark Gainster talks about breaking-in of the pedal, 10 hours, if memory serves...
     
  13. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    I'd be interested in hearing his explanation.
     
  14. David B

    David B Silver Supporting Member

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    Allow me to explain for you then...:AOK

    We noticed that to our ears, Gainsters that we used for comparison when testing (a reference pedal) would sound better than the pedals that had just been freshly built with the same components and even from components that arrived in the same batch. After noting that the reference unit while still have the basic soundprint (sounded like a Gainster) , the pedal that was simply in use longer just edged out the fresh off the press units, so we noted it in the manual as an opinion we had noted empirically...without science, cost or any pre-purchase hype (ei; nothing to gain in finance or persuasion). I do hear this in other pedals we build as well, except this was a joint venture between Clark, TPNgear.com and Barber, after discussing it with Clark and TPN, they thought it should be in the Clark manual as a point of interest/entertainment.

    We build a few thousand pedals a year and test all of them here in the shop, "break in" is not an uncommon phenomenon for the person testing to have an opinion that it may very well exist within the early hours of use. The nice thing about "break in" if it does exist, is that it is free, I also think that if it does indeed exist it should happen somewhat equally in all audio devices, so there is nothing special about the Gainster that makes it break in where other pedals don't, so it is trivial except for entertainment.


    No measurable science with meters and scope were used, just the lowly human ear and some possible imagination...enjoy! :D
     
  15. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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    Phew, I thought I remembered reading that in my Gainster manual, but couldn't find it. Thanks Dave.
     
  16. michael dukes

    michael dukes Member

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    I have found especially with transistor-based pedals (and especially Germanium) that sometimes 10-20 hours in, they do seem to settle in and just plain sound better. I have had extensive conversations with one of the most visible high-end boutique guys. These focused on one specific model of pedal he builds, and there was no question in his mind that they required a burn in period to sound their best. Based on these conversations, I actually hooked my new pedal up to a synthesizer and ran a wide-ranging sequenced pattern into it for two days straight before using the pedal for real. After this cruel and unusual punishment, it sounded "right," just like another example of the same pedal that I had played before ordering one.

    I haven't noticed this phenomenon with a lot of pedals, but with a few it was definite.

    I wonder if any other builders can chime in?
     
  17. giggedy

    giggedy Member

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    short answer - no
    long answer - no, they don't
     
  18. jazzandmetal?

    jazzandmetal? Supporting Member

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    John Landgraff breaks all of his pedals in before shipping. Plugs them in and turns all the dials to 10 for at least 24 hours. Not sure what it does, but he does it.
     
  19. jcat

    jcat Member

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    Disclaimer:
    No pedals were harmed in the assembly of this thread.
     
  20. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

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    Well, that proved for me!:jo

    Just like the little animations you see in washing powder, air freshener (insert product here..........) ads.

    I'm particularly convinced when a long haired brunette in a white labcoat and glasses (WITH CLIPBOARD) explains the science to me.

    HOW COME NO ONE EVER SAYS THEIR GEAR SOUNDS WORSE AFTER A BURN IN?

    There's not logical reason for a burnt in component to sound BETTER.
     
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