New product arrival and set up procedure
This post comes about after reading another thread and is especially pertinent with the cold temperatures that we are experiencing.
I recently had several items shipped into me. These pieces have been riding around in the back of an unheated truck or been sitting in what is probably a relatively "cold" warehouse for at least a few days. Needless to say, the metal inside the boxes is typically colder than the box itself and it does take a good amount of time for it to warm up.
Given that i know how much thermal stability can affect an electronics product, i typically take them out of the box and let them sit for 24 hours prior to hooking them up to any electricity. This allows the internal electronic components to reach room temperature prior to applying voltage / heat to them. Otherwise, you can literally have condensation form INSIDE the unit. As you might guess, this is not good and can be pretty BAD under severe circumstances.
Once the unit has reached room temperature ( 8 - 24 hours ), it gets plugged in, hooked up and i may listen to a few pieces of music. If i do listen, i don't expect much from it right off the bat. I leave the unit powered up and passing signal for at least 48 - 72 hours prior to really sitting down to analyze things.
This is easy to do with sources, as you can simply leave them running while turning down the gain on your preamp. Trying to "help" a preamp, power amp, speakers or a cable connecting any of these components to break in WILL require some volume to be applied. While i know that some people only have one system and a spouse to consider, especially at night, some ( very low signal ) is better than none. If you can't pass signal for some reason, at least leave the unit powered up.
Bare in mind that i'm NOT suggesting that one shouldn't make use of the unit by putting the unit through normal paces during the 48 - 72 hour "settling" period, as that would be "dumb" as far as i'm concerned. I'm just suggesting that you refrain from passing "final" judgment during that period. I have to mention this as i know people that form opinions of gear as it comes right out of the box, be it hot, cold, new, used or without any further system optimization. Give the product a chance and work with it a bit. I'm not saying that this will make you "love" the unit, but at least you'll have a better idea of what it is really capable of. Obviously, some items do take longer than others to fully "break in", so further changes ( good OR bad ) might happen further down the road.
I am not saying that all of you should follow the same steps that i do. I also know that it is sometimes "difficult" not to hook up your new "toy" right away. I simply presented this info so that one might at least take these factors into consideration when checking out something new. Sean