No, the pre-amp does not have to be set to the DAC in order to burn it in the way you are doing it. You are fine....
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I have a DAC2 that I had upgraded to SE by W4S and it was a major improvment in resolution but more importantly it sounded even more like an analog source (vinyl/tape) with much more warmth and punch. I run a PS Audio PWT into it through the I2S interconnect and my audio buds tell me that, finally, a digital source they enjoy listening too.
Jitter is almost non-existent.
I am running a BDP-1 into a Direct Stream.
I am without words to describe the sound.
My opinion is that burn in will be 90% at around 500 hours.
That last 10% will develop very slowly.
Do not hesitate to run your amps directly with it.
Be prepared to make adjustments to your system to hear all that it has to offer.
Thanks Mrderrick. I am running it most of the day now to accelerate burn-in. Last night I listened to LCD Soundsystem's Dance Yourself Clean, a synth pop tune, and almost jumped out of my chair. The clarity and realism were astonishing.
Every now and then, and new product comes along that for me is a game changer, and this may be one of them. The Stereophile review is the only one that is not entirely celebratory, which may be due to Art Dudley's having spent most of his time listening before the software upgrade. He sounded miffed.
Bigshutterbug, (or anyone else knowledgeable),
Do I need to have preamp on at all when I am burning in from BDP-1 to DS? (I am not running direct into amp.) If so, can I Mute the pre to save the tubes?
It is getting better, more full-bodied over time, but still needs more burn. Probably have about 50-75 hrs on now.
We spend so much time burning in cables, components it is a wonder we do not get burned out on this mania.