binding post break in

yesterday I replaced my binding posts on my rogue audio m150 monos with the highly regarded wbt nextgen copper binding posts and yes there was more detail,but it was also thin and not as harmonic and rich, and not as open sounding as before. I have been listening to the wonderfull sounding kenny burrell guitar forms latey and have really liked how it sounded on my system,but after I put in the wbts his guitar sounded strummy and hooded , the higher strings sounded thinner and the middle and lower strings sounded sucked out . well crap. is this another case of [ it needs 256 and a half hours of break in and then it will sound great!] or what? has anybody out there had any experience with these binding posts ? I am very good at soldering so i dont think that a bad joint is the reason I am hearing what I do, any ideas ? is there a richer sounding binding post with some body and still very good low level detail ? or will they really change that much with some break in ? thanks , chris
Sometimes ( as in wire upgrades ) increased detial can be at the expense of Thinness...I remmemer trying ( years ago ) a Nordost cable and the detail was fantastic..Unfortunatly I couldn't live with the lack of body that came with it..I am only guessing but my guess is what your hearing is what you'll get.......Hopefully I am wrong......
I think your best bet is to let something like a tuner run 24/7 for a week or less (volume is not important) to see if there is any break in improvement. As Thorman stated, sometime there’s improvement and sometimes not. I have no experience with the wbt nextgen copper binding posts.
I suppose you were very careful about polarity (not to swap wires to the posts)?
Binding post break-in? Oh for heaven's sake! This is a joke, right?

When you did the work, were the tubes in place, or did you first remove them? Actually, in either case perhaps the jostling affected them in some way, especially if they have seen a lot of use.

Also, are you sure your cable terminations are clean?

Beyond that, I second the comments from Shadorne and Rlwainwright.

-- Al
I agree with Rlwainwright completely, with the idea that binding posts need a break in period. This amounts to nothing more then hearing John Stossel doing a show about junk science, then pointing out the ridiculous and unwarranted non evidence that only exist in our minds and unfounded in any papers with real science involved.
no it is not a joke, neither is spending 55 dollars a piece for a better sounding binding post and not getting one. shandorne, I did wire them in the correct polarity, so that is not the issue. rlwainwright, have you never heard a difference in sound between a new product, what ever it might be, and the same product with some time on it? if not, you must be joking right !!
I am going to need some popcorn for this :)
Chrissain...You can't expect el-cheapo $55 binding posts to sound good. I can supply you with $100 binding posts that will blow you away. ($150 for cryo-treated).
Can the WBT's act as a resistor?? The description of the audio reproduction is consistent with a change in resistor value. The solution is to go back to the original binding posts if you can. Or at least replace the WBT's with something close to what you were using.
Please pass the popcorn!!!
If you're hearing differences as a result of a binding post change, I don't think it's a burn-in issue. I would think it's a more like a cable/interconnect change issue. So, for example, people swap a copper interconnect for a silver one, or a solid wire for a multi-stranded one and hear differences. It would seem that the different binding post itself is the cause of the difference, not whether it's burned in or not. Not unlike changing connectors. Using minimum metal connectors like WBT NexGen or Eichmann's makes a difference to many people. So why wouldn't alternative binding post construction? It's a connection interface the same as a cable connector.

If you don't like how they sound, change them back.
Can the WBT's act as a resistor?

The solder joints could, if not done properly, and the contact with the cable terminations could, if oxidation, grime, etc. is present.

But my instinct, not having seen the work being performed, would be that the number one suspect would be the possibility of mechanical jostling affecting the tubes. Perhaps by dislodging minute detritus that may have been present on some of the elements. Especially, as I said in my previous post, if they have been heavily used.

-- Al
thankyou to the people who left constructive posts, the point of audiodgon is the advancement of this hobby, and to help out fellow audiogoners to make their systems better, but somehow some of you like to attack anyone who does not think just like you, and it is wrong and not good for this hobby, if you have negative things to say, say it to someone else. or do the rest of us a favor and get out of this hobby ,thanks chris
You had high expectations when you replaced your old binding posts and it's possible that you've placed too much pressure on the new posts. As a result rather than strut their stuff they've withdrawn into their inner binding post self. When binding posts have issues, and not all posts will admit there is a problem, I recommend that people contact the Binding Post Whisperer for training and guidance. 1 out of 2 audiophiles report a dramatic difference after only one half-hour session with the BPW.
My first reaction was similar to Rlwainwright's but after consideration here's my two cents.
I have installed upgraded binding posts on several amps. My favorites are the Cardas CCBP-S solid copper posts. I like them for their ability to really grip a spade connectors.
As for sound, it's hard for me to say there was a difference in sound with new posts as the amp was usually out of commission for a while during install. Never noticed a difference after a few weeks of play/break in.
Orvilles butter ;)

What binding posts "blow you away"? I am curious as I will be needing some shortly.
I thought this was a joke post too...
I've heard of others complaining about WBT posts. IMO, there should be no burn in though. If you don't like them, put your old posts back in and sell the WBT's.
I think the type of solder and solder quality will have more to do with the sound. If there was not good flow and wire saturation, then the sound will be compromised. Binding posts suck up a lot of heat and are hard to heat up properly.
That anyone can be "blown away" by binding posts is cause for a sizable step back from the precipice of audiophilia.
"That anyone can be "blown away" by binding posts is cause for a sizable step back from the precipice of audiophilia".

tvad, noboby was blown away by anything, the guy who posted that comment was kidding, or poking a little fun at this post . it [this post] has already started another joke post, see volume knob started by hi audio dudes or [HAD] . however I will state once again that I was not joking when I started this thread. My system does sound different, and in some ways worse once I installed the wbt binding posts. sorry to everyone that I can actually hear the difference, maybe I should have just tried to measure the difference, and be happy there is none.
jallen, if you look at a wbt nextgen binding post you will see that the back of the post, or where it gets soldered to the wire is a flat pure copper gold plated ribbon. I cleaned the ribbon with a polishing cloth and contact cleaner, then folded the ribbon in half to form a crimp connection , inserted the wire in the fold , crimped it first then fluxed the area and added solder to the crimped connection. [solder was wbt lead free silver solder, soldering station was xy tronic model 68 900f . I was carefull not to use to much solder as this can ruin the solder joint. it is hard to see , since the solder is inside the folded ribbon, however I think the solder flowed nicely into the connection. thanks, chris
Give it some time and let us know. I have had good luck with Edison pure copper Music posts. When I did mine I also added Vampire pure copper gold plated RCAs.
When all was said and done, I found there to be a tad more weight with the bass and mid bass being more noticeable.

Don't expect a big difference, but is is all the little ones that add up and if you can do the work yourself, it's even more rewarding.

Give it a little time. Don't worry about the naysayers, just be thankful that you can hear a difference, many can't!
I cleaned the ribbon with a polishing cloth and contact cleaner

Hmm, was the contact cleaner Pro Gold or something like that, which I think is designed to leave a microscopic residue. I wonder if that's a good idea for a soldered connection -- I don't know the answer, but it causes me to wonder.

Also, I suspect the answer to this is yes, but just to be sure -- did you follow the old adage about heating the part and not the solder?

-- Al
Chrissain asked:
"rlwainwright, have you never heard a difference in sound between a new product, what ever it might be, and the same product with some time on it? if not, you must be joking right !!"

Indeed, I have heard differences in aged components over new ones. But they were manifested in speakers, cartridges, and, to a small degree electronics. The first two are easy to explain - you have devices that are converting one form of energy into another and doing so using mechanical processes.

Speaker surrounds will loosen up a bit and achieve a "set". The same can be said for the cantilever of a cartridge and its rubber surround. I can also envision the wires and various circuits of a pc board having some of their properties altered slightly via the heating and cooling cycles that take place when the unit is first put into service.

However, I cannot see ANY reason that a binding post would undergo some kind of transformation that would be measurable, let alone audible. It is not being subjected to temperature extremes, it has no moving parts, and it is not being subjected to high voltages or current. It's a lump of metal, plain and simple.

My best guess as to why your system sounds different is because of the processes involved in effecting the upgrade: the unit was removed from its usual location, speaker cables were removed from the original binding posts, the unit was opened up, and fiddled with. Tubes got jostled. Wires were heated up in order to remove them from the original posts. Wires were again heated up when attaching them to the new posts. The unit was then re-assembled and the speaker cables were re-connected.

Any of these could cause some small change in the sound. The breaking-in of the binding posts was most certainly not the culprit, there is nothing there to break-in...

Chrissain...I am happy to see you describe my skeptical comments as "poke a bit of fun". Comments made in the form of a joke can actually be regarded as "constructive". Jokes are a way to very strongly express disbelief, and perhaps provide guidance to others, without directly accusing the original poster of ignorance, or worse. If you search through this forum you will find frequent instances of jokes. Sorry if you took offence. Enjoy your binding posts.
Ed, I didn't read your post as a joke. It was pretty dry. My mistake.

Sometimes a ":)" helps.
Wow. Now I'm disappointed. Oh well, now to replace my brilliant pebbles instead.
Tvad...You'r right. A :-) would have been appropriate. I thought that mention of $100 binding posts would have sent the message, My mistake.
eldartford, I got the joke right away, because the joke was on me. If I seemed a little turse in my reply I was just pissed that the new binding posts did not sound better.the money and effort to install them so far has not been worth it. I will give these some more time and put the old ones back if they dont work out. we all need some more humor in our lives right now. after I settled down I did think that some of the comments were funny, and this thread did inspire another thread, see volume knob break in, [which is a joke]. This whole thing started becouse my rogue m150s have a tin o ring soldered to the output wire, which is then bolted to the binding post. A friend of mine
has the same amps cliped off the o ring and soldered the wire directly to the binding post and this one small change was VERY audible, it made the sound of his amps better in everway possible. so I thought that clipping off the Orings and putting in new binding posts would be even better , and so far it sounds worse in some ways, oh-well life go's on. chris
Chrissain...Back in the 50s, when I got involved with "Hi Fi" we had to build our own speaker systems using drivers that be bought. I always soldered the speaker wires directly to the drivers, so there were NO binding posts on the speaker systems.
Binding post break in?


It sounds like you took great care but, could one of the soldered connections to the binding posts be a cold solder joint? Your process description seems to leave a little room for the possibility.

Jim S.
Binding post break in?


You guys can all laugh...but my local S&M club takes this very seriously. If you ever got badly chaffed wrists then it is no laughing matter!!!
You guys can all laugh...but my local S&M club takes this very seriously. If you ever got badly chaffed wrists then it is no laughing matter!!!

See the thread about contact treatments. Maybe the Walker stuff would be helpful!

-- Al :)
Im starting to think that bad solder joints have to be what I am hearing, the solder is inside the folded binding post so there is no way to really tell. maybe because the folded metal acted as a heatsink and the solder did not get hot enough. crap....
Unlikely it's a bad solder joint if you crimped the wire in the connector IMO. If you have a solid mechanical connection between the post and wire then the connection isn't the problem. I would argue that if a solid connection is made via a good crimp, soldering the connection isn't necessary for signal transfer. The solder is used more as a binding agent to maintain a solid connection.
The problem, as I understand your description, is just a change in tone. If that's the case your problem doesn't sound like a defective solder joint. Unfortunately I don't have any other suggestion.
ok naysayers, things are getting interesting, the sound of my stereo has improved greatly. Now the wbt binding posts sound very transparent and open, some of the body has returned, but with more resolution than before. if it is not the new solder joint and binding posts breaking in , what could it be? I will put even more hours on the amps and post again later, chris
Could be you're adapting to the new sound.
These possibilities come to mind:

1)Psychological adaptation to the sound, as Tvad suggested.

2)Tubes re-burning in following the mechanical effects that the work may have had on them. Such as the possibility I mentioned that the jostling dislodged minute detritus (particles that had burned off of the filaments and wound up on other elements) -- perhaps it is re-accumulating.

3)Residue from the contact cleaner that you applied before doing the soldering gradually dissipating, perhaps as a result of current being passed through the connection.

-- Al
Yeah - be careful - if you are looking for or expecting to hear something then
you often do - our mind plays tricks but its worse our hearing can even play
REAL tricks. There is a little known (at least to audiophiles) muscle in the ear
that probably has the purpose of helping us escape predators or danger. This
muscle tightens in the ear when we concentrate on sound or we are stressed and
it allows us to better hear the mid range frequencies at the expense of the bass
response. A few people can voluntarily control this muscle or have trained
themselves to do so. Many people do not know when it activates or de-activates
but concentration on sound will usually trigger it involuntarily.

Anyway, I simply point this out because people are so eager to jump to
conclusions that have no scientific explanation whilst they may be too quick to
overlook the most obvious ...our own hearing or minute changes in listening
position (a few inches can matter)!
I'll throw in two more possibilities:

1) the binding posts actually do "burn-in" (although this one has really already been floated by the original poster)

2) the new binding posts were cryo treated by the manufacturer.

#2 I actually have a fair bit of experience with, and others that do will also tell you that cryoing cables, receptacles, etc. results in a fairly hyper-detailed but thinned out and etched presentation if the cable or receptacle is inserted back into the system without any burn-in.

The initial sound that Chris describes is very typical of any cryoed cable not subjected to burn-in and the Nextgens may very well be burning in post cryo. There are a number of cable manufacturers that do cryo their wire and identify as such, but there are also manufacturers that cryo and do not identify that their products have been cryoed.

Every receptacle and every piece of wire in my system has been cryoed so I've been through this a number of times. I did replace speaker binding posts with the Eichmann posts a number of years ago. To be honest, I can't recall whether there was a burn-in with the posts; I wish that I had taken the time to cryo those posts but I was impatient and just wanted to get them in and didn't do it.
shandorne, cool post, I have never heard of this muscle, But I have experienced just what you discribed before, Every once in a while I think that something is wrong with my system, then my ears "pop" and then the bass returns, I always thought that my ears were just clogged or something.
usually I have pretty good hearing ,I not that old "37" and can still hear up to 18K but cant hear anything at 20K . I dont think that this is what I am hearing with the binding posts though. the guy who posted about cryoing might be on to something, as what he discribes is closer to what I am hearing with my system , thanks ,chrissain
IME When you disturb the wiring of an amplifier it will have to break in again before you can hear what you did. A lot of people ascribe this break-in period to the part that they installed, but it appears that a lot of the time that is not the case.

If I were you, despite knowing that I had installed the binding post properly, I would still reverse the phase on one channel, just to verify that what I 'know' is correct. Often the reason we can't solve a problem is because what we 'know' as a base assumption is not valid.
Shandorne, I think we all believe that your mind can play tricks on you. However, I am not an audiologist, but as far as I know there are no muscles within the ear. There are bones, canals and nerves. The human escape mechanism usually is initiated by a rush of adrenalin! So what is this muscle you are referring to?
Cyclonicman...I don't know about muscles in the ear, but there sure are muscles in the faceand jaw, and when those are tensed hearing does change. Try it.
Eldartford, I tried it and you're right, but I really have to tense up almost like when you are flexing a bicep muscle. Anyway, learned something new!