Time/Process of Hooking up New Equipment

Does anyone else ever felt this way?  My new amp arrived with cables and I want to wait until the weekend to hook it up.  I don't want to rush through it after work when it is dark and I am tired - almost rushing to get through it.  I want to make it a longer event and have time to listen to my existing system, then do the work to hook it up (a bit of a pain) and then rest and have time to listen to the new amp.  Maybe stretch out the fun and be fresh on a Saturday morning.  What is everyone's timing / process for installing new gear and the before and after listening?  


I feel as you do.  I tend to put off making changes because I know, once I start, there is a long list of "Oh, dang, I could do this!"  or "Whoa! Why didn't I think of doing that?"  and of course, the ever present, "It would be a lot better if I wire it this way..." and "What was I thinking when I wired it this way?"

Yep.  Been there.

Changing equipment always opens up a new can of worms. There will be more work to do. Taking your time is a good thing, no need to rush. It takes time to evaluate. 

Yeah, I wait until I am not rushed. That reduces the chance of stupid mistakes.

With new gear I ensure that I have the time and space to get it set up. I also try not to come to any immediate conclusions and let gear burn in for 1-2 weeks before starting to tinker with positioning or different cables. Even after burn in, it takes some time for the ear to get used to differences, so patience is surely a virtue. 

Whenever I think it can be most easily slipped into the rack without being noticed, if you know what I mean ......

I also relax and take my time when adding a piece of gear or moving things around to different shelves.

Kren0006 - been there, done that too for many years when I was married :)

I among those that take their time when installing new gear. The task is pleasant enough if time is not a factor and of course there's that fun of opening a carton and - as my dealer likes to say - enjoying all of that fresh Minnestota air as it escapes.

If it is possible, I will try to slip the new component into my system and, the hard part, do not really listen to it for as long as possible. It needs time to break in. With an amp it is simple to do and the results in changes needed upstream (including perhaps even speaker orientation) will only become apparent after break in completed. You don't want to try to do too much too soon. Its counter productive.

I'm same as above posts, especially if components require more complex setup, I may be stressed in these cases. Best listening sessions begin when relaxed, keeping my expectations and desires in check allows me to reach this relaxed state, which in turn allows greater involvement with music. Listening to the music rather than analyzing sound quality is the 'real' test for me, if my involvement is greater I know I have a winner.

I am the opposite. I will find a way to have the new component operational in record time… minutes preferred… or an hour.

Putting a new component in your system is more like having it shipped. There is so much more time needed to actually hear it. So, putting it in my system is only the beginning of the seemingly endless break in process. It is of little significance. Having a new component with 1,000 hours on it… now you have it. That is what it will sound like.

If it sounds great out of the box it is great… but I know it will be at least a week until I can begin to start hearing what it will actually sound like…assuming it is solid state and I can run it 24 x 7. If tubed… OMG… a month or two months to get it stable and start hearing it.


@ghdprentice +1 Never put off something you can do today!  I may not be the same day I have a long listening session - but it's getting installed as soon as convenient.

I think my dog appreciates hearing it right away as well.

Yes, I usually do the same.  I recently replaced my Rogue Audio RP-1 preamp with the RP-7.  I had spent the better part of two weeks auditioning both the RP-7 and the Backert Rhumba 1.3, and I ended up preferring the RP-7 by a “smidge.”  In my hearing, a wider soundstage, and I preferred the tonal qualities of the Rogue, although I must admit that the Backert had, again—in my hearing, a “smidge” better definition.

So, I was not in a hurry to “install” the RP-7 in our system.  I am a disabled veteran, and I was tired the evening after the 60-mile round trip to return the demo units and pick up my new unit, so I waited until the next morning when I was fresh and had more energy.  I have open rack/stand system—not a closed cabinet—so it was fairly easy to hook up the XLR cables from my DAC to the preamp and the preamp to my Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier.  I did run into one glitch: I turned on the “master” power switch on the back of the RP-7 and, after a minute or so, I turned on the front power switch.  This resulted in the display showing some combination of what appeared to have been Roman, Cyrillic, and some unrecognizable text.  A call to Rogue immediately solved my problem—turn on the “master” power switch on the rear of the unit and then wait about 5-10 minutes to turn on the power to allow the unit to properly go through its start up cycle.  I did so, and it worked just fine, with the appropriate text on the display.  Had I tried to set it up the previous evening, the guys at Rogue would have left for the day, and I would have been left annoyed and frustrated.

Patience, after all, really is a virtue.  Even in relatively simple tasks.

This Friday will be that day for me. No work that day, colleagues and customers, sorry! No call phones or other distractions. An entire rack to be rebuilt. I’m frying…


I'm with you: Wait for a time when you can work unrushed and with enough light that you don't make incorrect connections. It will also allow time for the equipment to acclimate to your room's temperature.

You can also use the opportunity to perhaps do a few things you've been putting off like cleaning and dusting, rerouting those cables and retightening connectors. And when it's all done and sounding great, you can bask in the glow of a job well done.

Happy listening!

I would be hooking it up instead of posting on the internet.  I'm likely to post while I'm listening.

Unless it's a tonearm or phono cartridge that requires precise installation and setup, it goes in to the system almost immediately.  Really, how complicated is it to plug in a power cord and deal with some cables.

I have a new amp arriving today!

The install is not a difficult thing. But getting the 66lb amp out of its box and in the rack will be challenging.

My wife may be able to help. 

Very curious to hear the difference between the new amp and the old.

Even before break in, I should be able to hear the basic sound of the new amp.

And how it powers my speakers.

It is tubes and I know that breaking in will take some time. The manufacturer actually says it will continue to improve for 600 hours!

It's part of the audio ceremony, being one of the sacraments (I think it's the fourth or fifth) . When it happens, it should all be done in one setting, taking all the time necessary to do it right.

All the best,

@vinylzone +1.

@ghdprentice +1

Unless the unit is delivered in the evening, it’s out of the box , in the rack and hooked up once delivered. Speakers the same thing, up and running , tweaking of position along the way. Whatever the new equipment is replacing I move into my 2nd system, or boxed up for storage or sale earlier the same day.



Ok, funny. I read the post and guessed it was an ARC REF. Then noticed your UserID… OK, I was right. Fortunately ARC does burn in the tubes, so you don’t have to listen to the first ten hours to new tubes… they are not good hours.

I’m an upgrader. I love the magic of listening to music but I’m thrilled by the possibility of the next amazing upgrade in SQ. Getting a new component comes after lots of research. So, it’s like Christmas morning and I don’t want the anticipation of wonderment to end. So, yes I stretch out connecting new equipment and enjoy the tease of making myself wait. But not for too long. And then Christmas is over and I play with my new toy happy or disappointed and lament that Christmas is again 364 days away. (Not that I can ever wait that long to create another Christmas morning.)


It’s the ARC Ref 80S!

The most difficult was removing it from the box.

Then hooking it up and getting it in the rack space.

But that space is near the floor. So it was easy.

But it was absolutely HORRIBLE for the first hour.

It’s been about 2 1/2 hours now and just starting to open up.

And I am starting to hear what I heard at your place.

A purity of tone. Space between the instruments. Organic.

And the differences between loud and soft is pronounced and terrific.

A whole different world from my previous amps. 
The biggest drawback is that turning up the volume gets very fatiguing.

The wife is rejecting it, mostly, because of the new amount of information.

And a lesson for everyone hooking up a new tube amp is that the break in is vital to hearing what the amp is capable.

Playing it loud must, surely, get better with the break in.





Yes, no mater how many times I relearn that you must let a component break in… I sometimes have to learn again. But it is hard to wait a couple hundred hours. 

Your wife is hearing high frequency hash that you cannot hear. As the amp calms down that will go away… try to keep her away for at least the first 150 hours.

@ghdprentice , like send her off to the in-laws (if still available) or off with girlfriends on a cruise?

It works, but...the results vary, as will yours. *L*

Mine hasn't come home with a shirt labeled "My Favorite Mistake!" yet, but I generally get Something....that can be worn in public..... ;)

*damn* *L*

At this stage of my game, any adds or subtracts require a weekend and a schematic of what and where to.  Unlacing takes a few hours, and that's with wire cutters; I like my backsides' as neat as the front as possible.

The only noise I tolerate is the cooling fans, and they're noted to upgrade.  I try to achieve as black an enviroment as can be done practically. -20ish is easy....

My 'rack' (there's one within it, too) has to be moved by 2...empty, major mods only.

Any adds or deletes have been considered and plotted upon.

I require a weekend, pref. a 3 day version.

Burn-in? 24/7, no problem, just the volume.  We don't sleep near it.
Spouse can sleep through more 'normal' noise, lucky me....*L*

Plenty of time when all is said 'n done to enjoy...or begin to doubt... ;)

I just brought home an amplifier from the shop tonight. It's about 52 degrees outside. 70 in the house. I'll hook the amp up tomorrow. Condensation can fry things in a heartbeat. I take no chances and wait a day.

@toddsyr Giving components time to settle part of my reasoning for generally waiting until at least next day for first listening. Shipping and temperature certainly affect precision parts.

Today I pickedup my new audio ethernet swtich and linear power supply on the way home from my 5 hour hike this morning (13.5 miles).  I showered and drank some liquids before I installed it--30 minute delay.  was listening in 45 minutes from the time I walked in the door.




We are on the same page… although I would have done the install before my shower so it could be warming up when I am in the shower. Patients is not my strength.

It is always best to tackle any changes to a system with nothing else on the calendar. Plus, if a change involves disconnecting/moving more than one piece of equipment, I literally think through the process beforehand, writing down each step that needs to be taken. To include unplugging power cords and any connecting cables (how many times have you tried to pull something from an equipment stack and realize that it's still plugged in or one cable remains connected?). I rebuilt a fairly complex A/V system recently with 20-something itemized steps written down on my 'cheat-sheet'. Things went smooth as silk.

Here’s a question: must you put a signal through a new amp, etc, to properly break it in? And does it do any good to just keep it turned on for the break in?

I came home after 65 days of 12 hours shifts. The next morning I picked up my new subwoofers that had been waiting for me for a month. I have Devialet amplifiers, which can be programmed for low and high pass filters so they're ideal for subwoofer intigration. Tired as I was, I stuffed up and sent the lows to my speakers and highs to my subs. As you can imagine, I was pretty disappointed in the sound...

I also damaged a driver in my speaker.

Lesson learned: Take you time :)

Signal must go through.


I wondered this for a while. I got the answer… unfortunately with my terrible memory I don’t remember if I experimented or someone I respected answered it. But I noted, I never needed to revisit the question.

I know what you mean I bought a desktop I just stared at the tower on the floor for five months and then installed it. I bought it so I could do DSP. Now it's two weeks later and I have not done DSP. So now I want to buy some cables well I should be doing DSP. I hate doing DSP would prefer doing LSD.

At least amplifiers are the easiest things to install aside from them being very very heavy.  Mine are sitting on an amp rack with coasters . Why don't more amp racks come with coasters?  So what if an amp vibrates a little bit. It's so damn heavy what could possibly move this thing.  Why can't they make an amp rack for two Mono blocks.  I hate these damn things being on the floor you could trip over them and they take up a lot of space.

I'm way too impatient.  Anything that arrives is immediately rushed upstairs and implemented.

I have a kind of 2 stage system where anything is easy to hook up and listen to; then later I'll find its permanent spot and rethink wiring for optimal. But I gotta hear that sucka immediately upon arrival.  

Then yes, there's that 4 hour Saturday morning process of optimizing everything.  Love those mornings...

jji666 - Yes, I’m pretty much the same way.  

Also, if I open up a box that I just received and if the packing looks suspect, I take tons of pictures as I’m unpacking it - just in case I need to file a claim.