Do receivers have a break-in period? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 31 Old 01-21-08, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Do receivers have a break-in period?

I just bought a new Denon 2808ci. It replaced a Denon 3805. While I like a lot of the new features of the 2808 the sound seems to be lacking. I've seen elsewhere mention of break-in periods for electronics. Do receivers have a break in time?

I could see how one could theoretically "break-in" since the heat from the system will expand and shrink capacitors and whatnot. I think the same process is what utterly kills the receiver eventually.

I also know that comparing the 3805 to the 2808 is like comparing apples to oranges in a way. I thought the Burr Brown PCM-1796 (2808ci) was supposed to be better than the older PCM-1791 (3805). Although the 2808 has one per channel and the 3805 has two. I'm sure there are other factors in the amplification stage too.

Chime in if you think I've got it all wrong.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-21-08, 06:42 PM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

I have heard of so called break in periods for some equipment, not particular receivers, but amps. However, I personally think it is a myth.

I owned a 2807, 3805 and 3806. The only one I was not pleased with was the 2807, but I'm not sure what to contribute it to.

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post #3 of 31 Old 01-23-08, 12:43 AM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

Lol! DS-21 beat me too it - No.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-23-08, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

I posted in error that the 2808ci uses the Burr Brown PCM1796. I actually uses the Texas Instruments Burr Brown DSD-1608.

I've managed to tweak the 2808ci so that it sounds close to how I had my old 3805 setup. The Audissey MultEQ XT did not do a very good job of setting the subwoofer and center channel levels. I think the surround processing is a little better on the 2808 and my favorite movie/scene of choice, LOTR: Bridge of Khazad-dm, the arrows seemed to come alive. That may be the Audissey MultEQ earning it's room and board.

I still miss my 3805 and will probably look at ditching the 2808ci and grabbing a 3808ci if I can get a good price selling/buying each.
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-08-08, 12:49 AM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

Get an spl meter before you sell your gear , That is the biggest and most important tool in ANY home theater setup because you can't rely on your ears and some auto setup features most avrs have.
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-08-08, 11:10 AM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

I'll add another "no"...
post #7 of 31 Old 02-08-08, 12:15 PM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?



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post #8 of 31 Old 02-09-08, 10:15 PM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

The answer actually is yes, but it's so slight that the best instruments would likely not measure it and your ears certainly wouldn't. Maybe that makes it a No.

I expect the Audyssey probably did an excellent job of setting your sub and center levels, but it's not unusual for a user to want more center channel volume and more sub volume. What Audyssey typically does is knock down some room modes and flatten out "room gain" below about 100 Hz. The result seems to be weak bass but in fact it's just down level with the mains where it belongs, at least as a base line. If you like more bass, by all means crank it up. Some receivers have decent tone controls that do a better job of matching the ear's nonlinearities than you will get from pushing the sub volume up. The ears interpret low frequencies at typical home listening levels (85 db peak) as being 6 db lower than the same frequencies when played at theater levels (105 db peak). To offset that you want a low-end boost that adds 6 db at 20 Hz and less at higher frequencies, tapering to zero at about 150 Hz. Bass tone controls that center at about 30Hz do that fairly well. This applies to movies that are intended for the theater but end up on DVD and played 20 db lower than intended. For music you probably don't want quite that much bass boost.

As you get older (50's and above) you lose the ability to pick voices out of background noise (sound). That's when you REALLY want that center cranked up.


Last edited by HClarkx; 02-09-08 at 10:19 PM. Reason: typo
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-10-08, 02:07 PM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

Snake oil.
post #10 of 31 Old 02-10-08, 04:22 PM
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Re: Do receivers have a break-in period?

The post above is an example of the kind of comment that does not add to the discussion in a meaningful way and could inflame the kind of arguments that get started on other forums with regard to such matters. While many will agree, including myself, that there is little or nothing to be gained by "burn-in" in receivers, the point can be made in a more productive manner that is conducive to civil discussion.

There are indeed many components that do chnage with time. I have yet to see any documentation that recievers are subject to significant changes over time that affect sound output. It would be great to see some measurements that document what some people claim to hear but to my knowledge, no one has done any testing of this sort.

Capacitors and semiconductors do change performance with time and temperature in many cases. This is likely to be the case more with electrolytic capacitors than any other component type, but the kinds of changes that might occur with a burn-in period are unlikely to affect sound quality. Over time, changes may actually detract from performance. There is more likely to be a warm-up period in amplifiers or receivers over which time the performance may improve, but this is likely to be limited to units with very large power suply caps and mosfet output devices. The latter have an optimal operating temperature and will often perform better when warmed up.

As with most matters of debate in our industry, the idea of burn-in starts with some truth and facts that get spun out of context or to extremes based on assumptions, anectdotes, and expectation effects. Putting them in the right context requires more than simply crying "snake oil." I am sure you have more useful contributions to make, Capt. Kaboom, and I encourage you to do so. Please understand, however, that while your opinions are welcome, we are very careful not to allow carping to start the kind of infantile arguments you might see in other forums. If you want to state your opinion, make a case for your ideas rather than hit and run posting.

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