Break in period for Solid State pre amp

I just bought one of the Sunfire Reference preamps advertized on Audiogon. I was somewhat less than overjoyed when I set it up and listened to it. I start off with the Eagles Desperado CD which has a wonderful cut of Doolin Daltons where the guitar transients just jump right out of the speakers. The transients were just not there. Almost sounded like the guitar was coming from the next room. The voice sounded hard and hollow instead of full and warm. Soundstage was somewhat smaller. I am comparing it to a B&K PT3 MK2 which is a much less expensive piece. The B&K sounds warm, sweet and open with a huge soundstage.

However, Since the Sunfire unit is brand new am I being fair in my judgement. I was going to sell the B&K as I wanted a preamp with a phono stage and the Sunfire seemed like it was too good to pass up... How long does a preamp take to break in? Are there significant sonic improvements once this occurs?

Your responses are greatly appreciated....


B&K PT3 Mk2 preamp/ Tuner (Old)
Sunfire reference preamp(new)
B&K Refence 4420 Amp
Adcom 600 CD
Thorens 160c, Linn basik plus arm Goldring 1042 Cartridge
Vandersteen 2CE sigs
What I found in this unit is lack of feedback and extraneous gain.
I spoke to tech personnel at Carver audio and they told that there's no possibility to change the feedback internally otherwise the op-amps will go out of their stability.
It has jacks for external proccessor and you may want to use extra feedback applied there and I recommend in that case using Musical Fidelity X10 tube buffer. Another way to tame gain is to use passive volume controll accross an external proccessor jacks and you can adjust it to a perfect synergy with your amp.
You have no idea how the preamp sounds until it has real break-in time on it. Give it at least 200 hours.

In fact, most equipment is still breaking in at 500 hours (sometimes even longer -- look at Verity's website for break-in time on their various speakers; Kimber Select silver needs 1,000+ hours).

Buy Stereophile's Test CD 3 from Acoustic Sounds and play Track #20 on repeat for two weeks, 24/7, with the amp off.

Patience, my friend.