Can anyone explain in laymans terms why your gear sound better after warm up


I get burn in... should be called burn off just to get the manufacturing process off all the different manufacturers and parts to sweat off the packaging and sealants. But a light bulb is on or off. So SS gear in theory should sound the same. A light bulb does not get brighter after an hour. Is it your ears get programmed? Or is there and actual technical reason that it sounds better? Please pretend Im a four year old cause with Electronics I am.

-ALLGOOD
Fddab4b0 f940 4d0d a646 8fa8c9bd0823haywood310
Some components operate at their peak performance at a specific stabilized temperature.  The same way an athlete warms up prior to competition or exercise.  
For SS devices, I see no rationale for any sort of warm up period. For vacuum tubes, this is not the case. It takes about ten minutes at least for tubes to stabilize. My amplifier has separate LED's for each output tube for bias adjustment and it takes about ten minutes for all of them to light up indicating that they are at their required voltage state and never do all four of them light at the same time; each reaches its operating parameters at different times after being energized. There's probably also some "warm up" rationale for conventional cone type speakers in the sense that the stiffness of the surrounds as well as the cone structure itself will "loosen up" after a period of time, but the speaker has moving parts, so this is a rational assumption. Same thing with the engine in your car; it's not at its optimum operating state immediately after start up. And this is all a layman's opinion. 
I know there is brain conditioning that happens with sound waves and your ears sending electrical impulses... be interesting if any ear specialist have tested this with Audio systems. Agree 100 percent with "
bsmg
" Tubes are a different animal all together. I have had my share.
haywood310
I know there is brain conditioning that happens with sound waves and your ears sending electrical impulses..
That’s interesting.
How do you know that?
Your perception of loudness changes as a protective measure so you dont blow out an ear drum... It will not stop over pressurization in the "Specta Inner Pinna" of the ear. But it will try to compensate. The Human anatomy is a pretty amazing thing. I think John Dunlavy tried to understand this as he was designing speakers.

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS748US748&sxsrf=ACYBGNT8XkRSthE_IWMeI9vklf0kumzjNg:1579010452679&q=Specta+Inner+Pinna+ear&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj2mIOpoIPnAhVRu54KHSEYC6oQsAR6BAgIEAE&biw=1600&bih=757
And " cleeds2" is right. Everything is better with beer. With the exception of tomorrow,
+1 to @testpilot

Especially Dac is sensitive to stabilized temperature.

Some Dac need at least 24 hours for optimal sound.

Thus I leave my Dac on 24/7 on.

But I never leave tube amplifier 24/7 on.

You will end up retubing in a month.
Post removed 
Is there and white paper that explains this "shkong"?  I am a believer I just dont know why? 
shkong78


Is there a white paper and stats about this? I would like to read it. Im a believer I just dont know why???
Resistance and capacitance are some of the electrical properties that change with temperature. For the electronic equipment to be able to properly measure and provide accurate and consistent results, these instruments must warm up and stabilize thermally. Some argue that ‘warm up’ may not be the right term to use, as some devices sometimes need some time to stabilize thermally.

If you look at Sterophile's test measurements, they always warm up or per-condition the equipment prior to testing.
pretend this is a car forum:

Let’s have an oil thread!

Not.
Thank you "Test pilot" now I hearing a language I understand. SS gear should be rated at an optimal "Operating Temperature"  then... Be interesting if the ambient temperature (the gear was pre heated or your house was lets say 110 degrees if that was perfect for the SS gear prior to electricity was applied) would change SS sound in any way.
Temperature is a parameter that is fundamental to the physics of transistors, analog and digital integrated circuits, and other semiconductor devices. Consequently their behavior varies significantly as a function of temperature, and a competent designer will design the product to perform at its best when it has warmed up to a stable internal temperature, while being used in a room that is at a normal room temperature.

For an example of how transistor behavior is a function of temperature see the paragraph entitled "Ebers-Moll model" in this Wikipedia writeup on bipolar transistors, and note the capital "T" (for temperature) in the various equations.

That's just one example. There are many other effects temperature can have on various kinds of semiconductor devices.

Regards,
-- Al

haywood310
" cleeds2" is right. Everything is better with beer.
I've never made that claim.
I really wish I could. I can tell you I have had remarkably different experiences with different gear.

My current integrated takes no time at all after the muting relay has disengaged. It’s a class A/B amplifier. My Class D amps can take two days. However, I can only tell this for music, if the amps have been left off for a day. For use as the center/surround amps, they play perfectly well even when only switched on irregularly.

I have no idea why.
I stand corrected and applogies Mr. Cleed.. " Is it the beer or do speakers/electronics really need some extended warm-up period?

You were making reference to my post / question...
Pretty sure its gonna take an PhD EE X 3 / Designer or Nelson Pass to give us a real answer here about Solid State gear and warm up . And I personally think music sounds better with beer. Haha! Please lets not debate Amber or Stout.
I get burn in... should be called burn off just to get the manufacturing process off all the different manufacturers and parts to sweat off the packaging and sealants. But a light bulb is on or off. So SS gear in theory should sound the same. A light bulb does not get brighter after an hour. Is it your ears get programmed? Or is there and actual technical reason that it sounds better? Please pretend Im a four year old cause with Electronics I am.

Thank you for your patience and perseverance hanging around reading all the, uh, comments above. This is your reward.

First of all, no one really knows for sure. This goes for a lot more than warm-up. Heck it goes for pretty much everything! Soon as you hear someone telling you why, run for cover, its raining ad copy. The best we can do, at least for the time being, is talk about things we do know for a fact are happening and show how they "could" as in "maybe" account for what we are hearing.

That last bit right there is the most important thing to know, by the way. We go by what we hear. Its up to the guys with the degrees to figure out why and how it works. For us its enough just to be able to hear. More than enough.

Okay. So what we know for sure:

You pass a current through a wire, it simultaneously creates an electromagnetic field around the wire. We don't want our wires crossing and shorting out and burning all over the place so we put insulators around them. Then we notice none of these insulators are perfect. The perfect insulator would be like a vacuum, allowing the magnetic field to rise and fall without disturbance. The imperfect insulators we all use aren't like that at all. They all absorb a tiny bit of that energy and then radiate it back into the wire with a delay. The result is a sort of smearing of the signal.

There are ways around this. One is better materials. Expensive gear uses some pretty expensive dielectrics, as electrical insulators are called. Another method is to charge the dielectric. Synergistic Research use this thing called Active Shielding that put a 30v constant field around the wire. It had many benefits, one of which being the steady field helped maintain the dielectric in a state of steady charge. Obviously if the dielectric is absorbing and radiating it has less ability to absorb the more it is already charged and "full" and so it works better this way.

Get it? This already is more than enough information to figure it out. No? I'll keep on then.

Anything with a wire and insulators just sitting around has time to dissipate whatever charges it had developed when running. So then when turned on the first thing that happens is all those dielectrics start the long slow process of charging back up. Simply being turned on does a lot. But audio signals vary tremendously in amplitude and frequency. It can take a while for all this complexity to saturate to the point of equilibrium. 

This more than likely is what is going on. This explains why tube gear can be turned off and will warm up fairly quickly. The insulator in a tube is indeed a vacuum. Electrons boil off one plate and flow to another, with the flow being controlled according to the signal, which is why they are sometimes called valves. Once the plates heat up and reach equilibrium the tube is warmed up. This also explains why SS gear needs so much warm up and is often preferred to be left on. SS uses transistors and circuits in which the mass of the dielectric not only is not a vacuum, it is very large and massive relative to the tiny conductive circuit.

This dielectric saturation theory may not be correct, but it accounts beautifully for what we hear. It explains why the longer gear is off and the sooner after its on you hear it the worse it sounds. It explains why the bulk of warm-up improvement happens the first few minutes, and why it continues to improve at a more gradual rate for quite some time.

And all in layman's terms. So there you go!





 
THANK YOU "Millicarbon", for the interesting and informative response! I got about 85 percent of what you wrote and will research the other 15%. If we ever meet at an Audio show or somewhere else Amber or Stout its on me. Again Thank you for the kindness and education!

" Pretty sure its gonna take an PhD EE X 3 / Designer or Nelson Pass to give us a real answer here about Solid State gear and warm up . And I personally think music sounds better with beer. Haha! Please lets not debate Amber or Stout.
All gear warms up. Any device attached to said gear must operate within design parameters as the gear warms up. It stands to reason that somewhere within the safe operating temp range there is an optimum or "goldilocks" value where the device operates best. 

Best guess is to say that it's not at it's coldest or not at it's hottest, leaving that area in between where it's performing at it's best.

Just to boggle your mind a bit, here's some experts takes on temp limits of capacitors from some pretty smart people: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Whats_the_meaning_of_the_limitation_of_the_temperature_of_the_capacitors
Granted, it's off topic a bit but it's relevant in that devices will warm up regardless of how you feel about it's performance so it stand to reason that the devices do have an optimum operating temp, and it's not at it's lowest range, at least with respects to audio gear.

All the best,
Nonoise
Yes... that will make your head hurt! love "2D" that was coined in the posts. Fascinating read... Thanks for the head ache... haha Just kidding I enjoyed it! Straight Vulcan Science Center. 
Pretty sure its gonna take an PhD EE X 3 / Designer or Nelson Pass to give us a real answer here about Solid State gear and warm up .


A perfectly natural enough assumption to make. In fact they're the last ones to ask. Not that there aren't any bona fide EE audiophiles. There are. But look around. A lot of the best guys in high end are just regular guys with no formal training just a profound love of music and sound. Not to mention when those guys answer a question, well you said you got 85% of my answer, need to look up 15%. Which you should! Always say DYODD! But try asking a EE. I'll be surprised if you get 15%. Heck a lot of those guys even I don't understand that much. (Its not us- its them.)

A
nd I personally think music sounds better with beer. Haha! Please lets not debate Amber or Stout. 

No argument there. You can pour me a black and tan any time.
But try asking a EE. I'll be surprised if you get 15%.

Was there something that wasn't clear in my answer?

-- Al (BSEE, MSEE, JD)

@almarg ,
Made perfect sense to me. 👍

All the best,
Nonoise
So sad to learn of your affliction, almarg. But you did ask:
Was there something that wasn't clear in my answer?

Which I presume is what passes for humor among engineers? Because here is your "answer" quoted directly from above:

For an example of how transistor behavior is a function of temperature see the paragraph entitled "Ebers-Moll model" in this Wikipedia writeup on bipolar transistors, and note the capital "T" (for temperature) in the various equations.


The OP specifically asks for "in layman's terms" but you being an engineer are so far removed from that you cannot answer at all without "behavior is a function of temperature see the paragraph entitled "Ebers-Moll model" in (Wiki link) yada yada.

In other words almarg your "answer" is so freaking UNCLEAR that instead of making it clear you muddy up the water until its so murky you give up and send the reader off to research links!

Okay. I get it. EE humor. Don't quit your day job!

And oh by the way, yes I actually do understand your answer. Which is how I know its wrong. Because if it was right all you would have to do is run a blow drier over the SS device, which would warm it up, and it would sound just dandy.

Which it don't. Because your EE answer, in addition to being clear as mud, is wrong.

@Millercarbon,
If you haven't anything nice to say, then keep it to yourself.
 

Bob
+1 gdnrbob

Thank you Al for mentioning that semiconductors are sensitive to temperature. We often forget it, concentrating on less important factors. Thank you also for providing Wikipedia link, for those who want to learn more, since semiconductor behavior with temperature is complex.  
Temperature is a parameter that is fundamental to the physics of transistors, analog and digital integrated circuits, and other semiconductor devices. Consequently their behavior varies significantly as a function of temperature, and a competent designer will design the product to perform at its best when it has warmed up to a stable internal temperature, while being used in a room that is at a normal room temperature.
That's about as layman an explanation one can give, and it was his first paragraph.

All the best,
Nonoise

I hate to judge before all the facts are in but tube electronics are also apparently subject to variation in temperature, at least in terms of warming up. That’s the way thing are.
I look at it as a performance cars, they perform better after they’re warmed up.
I'm an electronics layperson. Al's response was crystal clear to me.
haywood310 OP

"Pretty sure its gonna take an PhD EE X 3 / Designer or Nelson Pass to give us a real answer here about Solid State gear and warm up ."

Huh? You’ve received cogent answers to your question - from very knowledgeable people. Yet, you choose to be dismissive. What does that accomplish?
As you can see above, even engineers debate this. We have many possible theories, but no actual definitive answers, because no valid testing has (or will) be done. Its completely and costly.

But there  are many possibilities:

1. temperature consistency
2. bias consistency, depends on above
3. capacitors "forming"

Among many others. I can watch the bias move around greatly during warm up on prototypes under development, and I can also watch the noise floor fall - for both known and unknown reasons. So*something* is happening, I have my theories.

I'll leave this brief.

G
Did anyone mention the new Danny Richie video posted on Tuesday tech talk ? He just went over drivers and made some comments on expensive caps . Seemed like he was going to tackle caps , resistors in the near future
@almarg...Al, I thought your answer was perfect. I have learned so much from you over the MANY years we have been on this forum.

Thanks for being here!
"Temperature is a parameter that is fundamental to the physics of transistors, analog and digital integrated circuits, and other semiconductor devices. Consequently their behavior varies significantly as a function of temperature, and a competent designer will design the product to perform at its best when it has warmed up to a stable internal temperature, while being used in a room that is at a normal room temperature."

That’s pretty easy to understand.

Also please refrain from attacking those who offer sound detailed technical information relevant to the topic at hand just because you prefer to wing it and expect others to accept your opinions regarding little known, expensive and controversial products.

No engineers, no hifi. Cut and dry. Winging it alone won’t cut it. That should be pretty easy to understand as well. Or one might try smearing some expensive carbon goop on a pair of tin cans connected by a wire and find out how good things can sound.
My guess is its mostly about electrolytic capacitors. They're the staple on power supplies and they have equivalent series resistance (ESR) which is fairly temperature sensitive. Higher temperatures lower the ESR, improving the effectiveness of the cap in reducing power supply noise.

Interesting topic, though I am no electrical engineer....but....just so happens I received my ‘new’ mid-80’s Belles 400A amp this past weekend. All 60+ lb of it; two large torroidal transformers, eight huge Mallory caps, and a total of 24 Motorola MJ15023 transistors. Damn thing is a beast.


Anyway, removed my old B&K, hooked up the Belles, turned it on, and although somewhat impressed immediately, it wasn’t until an hour or two of listening that I said to myself, ‘damn this amp is getting better as I listen and it gets warmed up’. The soundstage seemed to be getting deeper, wider, more ‘lush’, and better overall imaging. After a time, I became more and more impressed. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that this should be happening or not with a solid state amp, but it sure seemed to be the case. At least that’s what my ears were telling me, or, was it just myself getting more immersed with this new ‘beast’? Dunno, but I did consciously think about it warming up = sounding better.


Since, I have turned it on at least an hour before I begin listening. I never thought about doing that with the my old B&K.


millercarbon,

Thank you for your excellent layman’s terms dissertation.  I greatly appreciate you filling in the gaps in my knowledge base.

I apologize for straying from the subject at hand.  I recall a recent post of yours in another forum thread within which you noted that you apply a bulk tape eraser to your LPs before playing.  You related that doing such improved the sound quality, though you were without understanding of why this practice wrought such an improvement.  If you care to start a discussion thread concerning this subject, then I would enjoy sharing my knowledge with you and all who care to follow the thread.  I may not reply quickly, as a guy has to work to support the audiophile addiction, but I will provide a complete explanation with historical references.

Again, my apologies to all for straying from the thread topic.  Being new to the forums, I am not aware of alternate ways to communicate with individuals within the Audiogon community.  I would appreciate any education here.
Thank you and enjoy the music.
Wow, everyone ran straight past the teachable moment.  In person, I would have stopped you on "light bulb".  Will keep everything to an observation based explanation except for one ending point.

Decades ago, I worked in an academic facility where in the lecture rooms industrial lighting was installed.  As they wanted architectural appearances to be circa late 1800's, standard fluorescent lights were not installed.  But rather there were glass shells with recessed bulbs that had either sodium or argon or some type of gas that took its time before saturation.  This process took around 20 minutes and most said it was akin to sunrise and seemed to follow the same timing and perception of the increasing intensity of brightness.

If you have ever looked at streetlights, they take their time in achieving full brightness.  The same goes for most stadium lights.

Consumer LED "bulbs", actually cycle off and on rapidly according to the frequency of electricity and many would notice the difficulty of using auto-white balance on cameras or making videos in a setting were the only light source was common consumer LED fixtures.

For incandescent light bulbs, if you have a chance to view a slow motion video you will see that the tungsten filament (the thin wire metal "w" shape in the middle) "slowly" starts to glow...in slow motion of course.  Your statement was "off" and "on".  Now, why tungsten, it its because it has the highest melting point of pretty much any easily obtained metal.  So, it can glow brighter (without starting to melt) and be less an red/orange glow and more toward white.  Now, the more interesting fact is that as metals heat, they become more resistive to electricity.  The electrons are moving around much more so its harder for electricity to pass.  This is why supercomputers are often cooled to ridiculously low temperatures so the specialty types of metals in the processors, backplanes, etc. can "super" conduct.  Not all metals do superconducting but keeping lower temperatures generally actually assists the flow of electricity.  So why mention that I say.  If you have a metal in a light bulb and its resistance increases as its temperature increases, it means the brighter the bulb gets, even if it takes only 1 or 2 seconds to get to that point, it requires less electrical current.  Therefore, "light bulbs" are more efficient after they've been running for a second or two.  They require the most "electricity" (energy) in the first milli seconds after being turned-on...and then the requirement goes down, quickly.  Because, there is an inverse relationship between "current" and "resistivity" if you hold "voltage" (e.g. 120V or 115V) constant.  So, if a child is flicking a light off and on, it soaks more energy in its brief moments of illumination of flickering than if the bulb were just left on.  Now, I'm only referring to the energy consumed when it is on and producing light.  An "off" bulb obviously takes zero energy by comparison.  And, lights once they hit a steady state, wouldn't improve efficiency being left on for days compared to a couple of minutes.  I'm referring to the multitude of things that happen in the snap of a finger when you turn a light "on".

Now, in terms of audio and video electronics, there's alot more human engineering going on to make you think its quickly usable but if you actually count the number of seconds its already warmed up.  Pretty much what everyone said above is the explanation and analogies for electronics.  And yes, cooler is better, but in audio, 90% of energy is wasted in amplification as heat and then 90% of the energy going to the speakers is also wasted as heat.  So heat is unavoidable at a certain range of "warmth" but the ventilated systems are designed to work within those temperatures and unless its supercomputing, the lower operating temperatures likely would not improve the sound.  But, if you wouldn't slam the gear into 1st and stomp your foot to the floor of your $50K car the instant the engine turned-over, I wouldn't do it with a $10K or $50K collection of audio equipment.

vinylandtubes
millercarbon,

Thank you for your excellent layman’s terms dissertation. I greatly appreciate you filling in the gaps in my knowledge base.

I apologize for straying from the subject at hand. I recall a recent post of yours in another forum thread within which you noted that you apply a bulk tape eraser to your LPs before playing. You related that doing such improved the sound quality, though you were without understanding of why this practice wrought such an improvement. If you care to start a discussion thread concerning this subject, then I would enjoy sharing my knowledge with you and all who care to follow the thread. I may not reply quickly, as a guy has to work to support the audiophile addiction, but I will provide a complete explanation with historical references.

>>>>Do you have an explanation for demagnetizing CDs, too? I’m interested in both.
geoffkait,

Sorry, but I have neither experience with nor insight into the practice of demagnetizing CDs.  I wouldn’t mind learning of the experiences of others who have either tried or routinely apply demagnetizing devices such as bulk tape erasers to their CDs, whether positive or negative.  Rational and fact-based explanations concerning any perceived benefits would be appreciated.  While I am open to learning from the experiences of other music lovers, my BS detector has a low threshold.

Again, I believe that the subject of demagnetizing LPs (and CDs, should anyone be interested in contributing) should be addressed in a separate thread.  As a newbie to the Audiogon forums, I am yet to become familiar with initiating a new discussion thread.

I again apologize for straying from the topic of this thread.

Thank you for asking.
>>>>Do you have an explanation for demagnetizing CDs, too? I’m interested in both.

Demagnetizing stretches the O and I so they can be more easily read as 0 and 1



Finally, an explanation that makes sense. 🤗
skipskip,

Thank you for your enlightening post.


testpilot, 

Never would of thunk it. (LOL)
You have made my day!
Almarg- thank you for your studied and educated response in layman's terms. Too bad that Millercarbon once again responded in such an aggressive, arrogant, and unstudied way.

 -G
It always astounds that millercarbon "Here in Washington we have some sweet green bud that will get you there in one step: inhale." {see https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/the-5-stages-of-making-a-bad-audio-purchase/post?highlight=bu...} can attribute things with technical explanations to 'manufacturer magic' that has zero basis in fact and zero evidence other than 'say-so' to support it.

AlMarg OTOH is always spot on and completely lucid.

See http://ielogical.com/Audio/WinterBlues.php for many reasons other than the listener as to why sonics change with temperature.