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And just when I thought I'd get around to explaining some of the dielectric effects - or at least what some of that means - yet another opinion comes in. This one from someone I respect greatly, my friend Arnie Nudell. His thoughts run counter to my memory of how equipment responds to break-in, but that's not unusual, my memory is often distorted over time. On my morning run I thought long and hard about what he had to say and think perhaps he may be right. Maybe my quick comment, supporting Bill Low's assertation that something burned in only temporarily sounds better: reverting back to its like-new state after resting for a while, is wrong. As I think a bit more long term about the effect it occurs to me that I too have taken a piece of gear, had it sound stiff and awkward, burned it in for a good deal of time, retired it for up to a year, resurrected the piece, warmed it up: found it was indeed as good as I remember it. First Arnie's comments: "Once a piece of electronic gear is "broken in" it stays mostly in that condition. Even if the piece is not used for a couple of years, activating it again usually brings it back quickly. Even cables I haven't used in a long time do not require the 100 plus hours it took to initially break them in. Playing them for about an hour brings them back.

As we all seem to understand, there are no experts on the phenomenon of break in. There have been several theories over the years about "dielectric settling or setting" of dielectric material in cables and capacitors, however much of the break in phenomena is unknown. We do know, for sure , that breaking in of all audio equipment is essential.

Incidentally, many people notice that after using a new TV set for a while, the quality of the picture improves. Break in?"

There's much value in these thoughts. I am reevaluating my stance of break in and longevity.

That's what I love about these posts and the dialog with all of you.

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Paul McGowan

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