Run in time

I am sure that we all agree that Naim equipment (actually all hifi equipment) sounds better after run in time. Even Naim in their manuals is suggesting it.

The question is, why the run in time is needed, from a technical point of view.


Its pure time. So leaving a unit powered 24/7, will run it in quicker.

I am currently running in a HiCap & a NAP140, both post being re-capped. The HiCap is powered 24/7 and at now +3 weeks, has been fine for a while now. The 140 is only on when playing music, so probably has a way to go still. Which is hard to believe, as its already sounding awesome… :astonished:

1 Like

I suspect some of the run-in time is the listener getting used to the sound of the equipment.


Indeed. And possibly a bit of fettling, too - sorting out leads, etc.

And I also suspect much of the run in theory is the user sitting there thinking it’s sounding better over time because he’s read on the forum that it will.


I’m pretty sure there is some improvement/change during the run in time when various materials in the components align themselves magnetically when powered up and that probably can take a longish time. Whether they realign themselves back when powered off I don’t know but certainly when listening straight away after power up and then a few hours later there is a difference but not much and these days I doubt if I could tell the difference anyway.

That might be complete rubbish of course, it’s purely what I’ve imagined might be happening

1 Like

Right, here goes. It takes a few minutes for the equipment to align their chakra’s. Then the chi has become one with the angel aura of the speaker magnets. A Zoroastrian flame of truth inhabits the speaker cabinets once power is received and the whole system’s energy field is then cosmically purposed by the higher being. Trust me, I’m a homeopath. Or, the electrons sort themselves out and work properly. Take your pick.


Don’t forget the feng shui of speaker placement


Oh yes, and make sure the speakers are pointing along a ley line, preferably under a pyramid.

1 Like

I think it’s a bit like the old joke at the tailors, when you were told don’t worry about the ill fitting trousers. They will ride up with wear.
If you have any doubts about the sq don’t worry it will improve after 100 hours of play.
I recently played the game with new speakers and cable. Logged the running time and even used a special running in disc.
They sounded good at the start and just as good at the finish.
In 50 years of buying hi fi I have never noticed any difference in sq after a running in period.
Maybe I should get some new ears.
I recognise that others have the ability to notice differences.


Many hear a difference. Some don’t. As with so many old chestnut hi-fi arguments, there is little to nothing anyone from one camp can do to convince someone in the other that the situation might be more complex than a simple binary yes-it-does/no-it-doesn’t. I know what I’ve experienced in terms of run-in, but I can’t see much value in expounding it here, when many will just want to tell me I haven’t heard what I’ve heard.

But I hope you kids have fun trying to discuss it productively. Personally, I’m off for a walk.



Thank for your replies.

I absolutely understand that some people don’t hear the difference. I believe it is not only the hearing but also psychological effect. Placebo :)))

In any way, I personally heard the difference. Actually it is very frustrating when changing the Naim components the new one, to me, sounds almost worst then the old one for few days.

Anyway my question wasn’t if we hear or not the difference.

If Naim itself suggests that their equipment needs time to run in, and they didn’t explain why, is there any technical real explanation why? I doubt that Naim is counting on feng shui and placebo effect of their customers:)

Just a bit of gentle ribbing

There was a recent thread on this topic (one of many I expect)

The simplest analogy perhaps is that of a bed, the first few nights it could feel a little new and stiff. It can be that your body needs to get used to the new mattress, but sometimes also the springs and/or foam need to settle in a bit and adapt to the weight.

Same as with a mattress, a mechanical or electrical system will also adapt itself to distribute current/pressure as evenly as possible, in order to create balance. It sounds a bit feng shui as well, but in theory this could have an effect on the perceived output from a system.

High end audio is already designed with very small error tolerances however, and when it leaves the factory it is tested to be within the range of acceptable deviation. So generally the changes in current or pressure distribution should also be very small. This makes it difficult to establish which of the two is adapting the most, the body or the mattress.

And sometimes a new bed (or amplifier, speaker etc) just feels great right away, and then you should just enjoy it.


Most posts are negative to component running in i am not sure why.
Technically it is proven the Dielectric material which say an Amplifier is full of needs to settle to the component in question. You can then speculate the electrical pathways on a molecular level crystal boundarys etc need to determine their preferred pathways of least resistance through a component. In my experience a new item seems to have a more detailed but somewhat edgy sound after 4 to 24 hrs depending on item the sound is a touch smoother with less detail and a little more rounded off. This is not much different as to how something sounds cold versus when it is warmed up.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.