Burn in - a myth?

Re burn in phases: I also wonder if there’s also a case for we as listeners can be ‘off’ for day or so? Weather, mood etc.

Rather than the gear sounds off then improves again, it could be the ear.

Dunno. All of my stuff is pretty much a) old or b) second hand but there have been odd days where it sounds a little ‘off’…I tend to think it’s my ears, mood, something environmental and just wait awhile &/or do something else. One can do too much listening sometimes imho.


It is also about warming up. A couple of days ago I turned off my system. After power up again, 2 days later it still dont sound good. Very soft and bloated bass. It is ok, bit not for critical listning. I suppose its back on song after one week.
System: Core - 252 - NDS - 300 - Kudos T707

A small scale manufacturer recently wrote this about burn in of their new power amp…

However, some people just become fixed to their beliefs.

If comparisons are impossible and our ears are always changing how can they adapt to the sound?

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I often think of 1. It’s such a shame, the OP there was very reasonable, accepting all input. Any possible outcome, any adjustments to the test were welcome.

Just some people (from both sides to be clear) starting to dig trenches before anything was even determined.

There were a couple of attempts to revive the test, but I guess our moderator had no faith in any new thread resulting in anything more civilised.

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Why would they be mutually exclusive?

I have wondered if it was me having an off day myself. But I think it is different with burn-in to off days.

Since my cancer, or more accurately the treatment, I have become a bit of an expert in assessing off days, whether things taste dull or my energy levels are flat or other enduring after effects, I am in the fortunate position to be around notice and sometimes complain about. The taste one is easy to test out, try different foods to see if everything has a subdued flavour, if it is just one food, then it is the food, if several then it is me. I am very fortunate to have two systems, this means that I can listen to both and if both sound off, then it is me and in the past, this has happened. Since getting the 222/300, my second system hasn’t noticeably sounded off on the days that the new kit has, which to me suggests it is a burn in effect.


IME experience Naim Gear, especially preamps and amps, break-in like phono cartridges. They sound pretty good right off the bat but they sound tight and the extremes are cut off as well. Then the sound opens up across the frequency band. Some days they are bass heavy, some days forward in the mids some days bright and edgy. About 4-6 weeks things start to open up and more depth and space appear. Then things settle and they experience a nice up lift around the 6 month mark.

As far as power supplies, they tend to settle the quickest and the preamps take the longest.


“……and after 6 months the sound takes another jump that’s simply sublime”.

Come on guys do you ever consider that perhaps after 6 months there may be some other factors involved?

After 15 years my NAC 552 sounds so much better tonight, who would have thought it - burn in after 15 years !



How do they design stuff when it takes 12+ months to run in.? :thinking:


I may be off my rocker but that’s my experience with New/Recapped Naim amps and preamps. Nothing else I have owned has done it…

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Agree with u as i have 552 dr n yep is sounded great out the box … N sum days sounded better and also worse …n went on for months …n was beginning to wonder if i was right to get rid of the 252 …n then after about 6 months it sounded awsum …and i wasnt a big believer in cables n burn in …but there u go​:flushed::crazy_face::wink::loud_sound::notes:


Cables I think is more settling-in vs burn-in. As after few days to a week they do tend to smooth out a bit and don’t change after that. The only cable I had that took longer than that to settle were the Witch Hat Phantoms.


Yes, IMHO I think this is most likely often the case. I even notice it when playing the guitar, or just singing. And not because my fingers are clumsy or my throat is sore or something; my ears aren’t hearing things accurately.

However, I do believe I have experienced some burn-in affects with a variety of audio components.

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Cause it’s developed with burn in in mind meaning when it settles it is what developers targetted.

If what is perceived as burn in was entirely the result of having physiological good or bad days, burn in would never end, would it?

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As n-lot asked.

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That hasn’t been suggested as an explanation for “burn in” effects, but just pointing out that the human ear is not an absolute reference for sound.

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Burn in, after an initial few weeks, is most likely (IMHO) a mix of the psychological and your ears/brain compensating.

The burn in you reference never ends - it gets mopped up in poor electric, noise on the Ethernet, cables touching and any other myriad of reasons when it cannot be blamed on burn-in.

I often have magical days when the stars seem to align and my system sounds marvellous.
There are other days it just sounds fine.



Maybe I misunderstood but it did seem to be suggested:

“Re burn in phases: I also wonder if there’s also a case for we as listeners can be ‘off’ for day or so? Weather, mood etc.”

“Rather than the gear sounds off then improves again, it could be the ear.”