Wyred STP-SE : Break In Times

Hi All,

I recently purchased the W4S STP-SE preamp. I have been breaking it in. It's nearly 350 hours now and feel like it hasn't opened up yet. Vocals are harsh, sound stage is limited and everything feels cramped.

Now, the manual says 200 hours, but does anyone have experience of breaking in much longer to get it to optimal sound?

I have experience with other Wyred products (DAC, MC amp), so I have a very good idea of their sonic character.

I'm just wondering if this is time to panic or wait it out, to say, 500 hours.

Any input appreciated.
I have the Wyred 4 Sound STI-500 and I used to own their DAC-2, which I would still have if I didn't buy a Lyngdorf DPA-1. Both pieces took a fair amount of time to sound their best, but even out of the box they were not as bad as what you're describing.

So I'm thinking that either a setting is wrong, or they don't like the cables you are using, or that there could actually be something wrong with the piece.

So I'd check the settings, swap out cables (even power cord) and go from there. If after that you still can't get good sound I'd send it to W4S for a checkup. Good Luck.
What cables are you using? What preamp did you replace?

That's a fantastic sounding preamp and shouldn't sound anything like you're describing.
I agree with Face. There are a couple of simple internal mods to make it better yet. Tom
I have owned the STP-SE for almost 3 years now and there could be a few things going on.

The first question I have for you is what amp are you using. The STP-SE likes an amp with a high input impedance, 30K or more I'd say. The best experience I have had with it is using a amp with a 97K input impedance and my current amps, the first gen wyred sx-500s which have input impedance of 100k. I have tried to use two amps with low input impendances one was 10k and the other was 4k and the result was distorted highs and a uncontrolled bottom end. Treat the STP-SE like a tube preamp when looking for a amp to match. The higher the input impedance the better.

The second piece of advice I'd give you has to do with your power distribution. I have had wildly varying results with the STP-SE in different power configurations. A couple of things remain consistent though. Don't plug the STP into the same conditioner, surge protector etc with high current equipment like amps or flat screen tvs. I have done this before and it resulted in a similar sound to what you described. The best success I have had (and my current configuration) is that I have dedicated a PS audio Ultimate outlet to just the STP-SE. If you do have the STP plugged into the same conditioner as your other equipment I would unplug it and plug the STP directly into the wall and see if that makes a difference. If it does then you are having the same issues I just described and just need to separate the pre from the rest of your gear. It just doesn't seem like it wants to share. Just get it a separate conditioner and you should be good to go.

The STP-SE is a fantastic pre and I will never sell mine. To me it is worth selling equipment to get some that match well with it than vice versa.

What internal mods are you referring to?


I replaced all the steel chassis fasteners with those of musical brass. Between the actual transformer and the chassis I placed 3 Audiopoint .2's on 3 Audiopoint APCD2's all of brass. This was all tensioned and secured with a brass rod and locking hardware. I took care to mark on the transformer and the chassis as to their orientation so as to maintain the measured factory noise level the same. I replaced the only 2 Dale fixed resistor values that are always in the signal path with Z foils from Vishay. All simple stuff I always do the steel for brass replacement for all my components and all my transformers are direct coupled as described with .2's Audiopoints or larger. Tom
Clearly you want to remove all the steel fasteners and replace with brass... Tom
Don't you sell the Audiopoint products audiotweak?

If so, wouldn't that disclosure be relevant?
Wc65Mustang/Audiofeil you are correct..and who are you today? I do sell what I believe in and use all the time. Can't imagine mounting a transformer on bowling balls or even bearings. I also buy brass fasteners from the local supply chain to use in my system and acoustic resonance control devices.Not the big box store but local hardware retailers.. Also use brass and resonance grounding and tuning methods in patented devices for musical instruments.

Tom.. seller of Audiopoints and purveyor of resonance grounding methods and acoustic coupling. That's me..
If in fact you are selling products and recommending them in the forums, perhaps your membership status should be changed from private to commercial.

Or you could continue advertising without disclosure as you've been doing.
I bought a new W4S STP-SE and ST1000 amp and probably have 100 to 125 hours on the units. They are running Maggie 1.7's with an AudioSpace CD8 as the source. I routinely play the Maggies at 40 to 50 on the volume control so I am staying in the passive mode.

The W4S units are plugged into a surge protector from Parts Express with no special cabling or power cords. The speaker wires are nothing special; the gauge is thicker than lamp cord.

The W4S have really opened up in terms of bass in the last few weeks compared to straight out of the box. The bass is articulate with texture and timbre. No boominess at all. I used palpable to describe the bass when I first heard the W4S in my house. I was wrong, it is palpable now. Thicker and richer.

The sound stage seems to come and go so I think that depends a lot on the specific CD or album. This is a piece of advice that I picked up on another Audiogon thread and I think that it is true.

The treble, to my ear, sounds good most of the time. On occasion it does seem a bit harsh. I would not call the treble "liquid" by any stretch of the imagination and I am not sure that that it is necessarily "smooth" all of the time. I do not often hear the "sheen" coming off cymbals. Perhaps this is the source; I am setting up a turntable so more to come on that score.

My experience relates to the preamp only and it did originally sound dark and closed in..Now it does not and is very open and neutral. I have never liked any type of conditioner or power strip in my system so I would go direct to the wall as simple as you can and see if that cleans up the high end. Sheen on the cymbals sometimes means added distortion or glare somewhere else in the chain. Being obvious is not always a good thing to hear. Tom

I have found some history here and on Google about you and Wc65Mustang being the same critter and I will be posting very soon. Goes back to 2005 and 2006..Yeah know some of us never forget. Tom
What was it that they said in the Stephen King movie...SSDD?

Same Sh*t Different Day.
I remember Wc65 Mustang and some of the inflamatory posts.
I've had good days, and bad days on Audiogon...even had too much wine and made a fool of myself...but I've NEVER had to use fake names, change identities.
Tom has NEVER hidden his sale of these products...anyone paying attention knows this--only a confederate, a fraud would change their name, though.

Good listening,
Hi All,

Thanks for all the input in this thread.

I decided to persist to about 500 hours and see what happens. It started to open up at around 425. It's around 550 hours now and it sounds very very nice. I still think the highs have a slight harshenss to them - rather a tinge of metallic hissiness, but I'm hoping it will go away soon. The soundstage is much more wider, open and holographic.

I did try plugging in directly to the wall and it only made a minor difference in my system.

In any case, I'm still surprised as to why it took over 500 hours for it totally open up. I'm glad it's atleast not any problem with the components themselves.

Thanks for the input!