Just enjoy music as you normally would. That way you can hear if the sound changes any. Don't get in a mindset that it will sound bad if you don't burn-in first.
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While I appreciate what you are saying, I was wondering electrically if this would help the break in process or be a waste of time without the signal running through the amp as well. I don't plan to leave it run for 600 hours, but I would like to let it run for likely a few days to assist the process if it makes sense electrically.
If it makes you feel better and you think that the "break-in" time is needed then do it as you described. I would listen every night and let it run the rest of the time with the cd player on repeat and the amp off. The main point is that you enjoy your new ARC Pre and the process of listening and upgrading your componets.
Provide a review in a few weeks.
I recently purchased a Modwright Ls100 which has the same break-in period as your amp and was told by Dan Wright that I needed to play music for the caps etc to properly break-in, versus just leaving the amp on. Unlike Ahendler's experience I have noticed a significant difference in this amp as it continues to get "mileage"
Breaking in your preamp does not require that your power amp be on. Just do what you said--connect your digital gear to the preamp, put it on infinite repeat, turn your preamp on and use your regular volume setting. The preamp has a loading resistor on its output (to prevent any DC from building up if there isn't an amp connected), so running the CD player and preamp in this fashion is fully equivalent to listening to music through the entire system.
I own a linestage with teflon caps, but i would never say that they are universally good--it is all a matter of voicing. A cap that works well in one design, and to one person's taste can be really bad sounding in another application. I've heard gear "upgraded' with Blackgates and teflon caps that sounded really bad. I know of people that search for fifty year old caps that sound great in certain designs (another linestage I own uses these kinds of caps).
There really isn't such a thing as good caps and bad caps, it is more the case of finding the right cap.
Based on my experience, my recipe for the best:
You don't need the amp on but you want a source playing music going thru the pre. I also believe in cycling the pre (during this time), ie, on all morning/off for a few hours/on late afternoon-evening/off all night til the next morning.
Two of my CJ preamps have teflon caps (ART 3 and ACT 2.2). I liked them out of the box, really liked them after a few hundred hrs, loved them around 6 months (have no idea the hrs at this point), and have been "in love" with them from a year on. They just seem to get better with time.
Enjoy the trip.