Capacitor "burn-in" period: fact or fiction?
« on: March 05, 2005, 07:55:00 PM »
In some hi-fi circles you can find talk of a "burn-in period" that is required for some coupling and filter capacitors to perform at their best. In other words, according to these people, a new piece of gear might sound better after it is used for many hours--once the capacitors have had a chance to become used to the voltages of the circuit.

What is your opinion? Is there any science behind this? Subjective and objective comments are welcome.


PRR

Capacitor "burn-in" period: fact or fiction?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2005, 02:00:47 AM »
> a "burn-in period" that is required for some coupling and filter capacitors

Maybe.

If the cap were solid, like monolithic ceramic, I can't see what could change.

Film caps are wound-up, have mechanical looseness, and may settle with electric stress.

Electrolytics have many small flaws, and are factory formed as fast as possible. They probably do their final forming in circuit.

I'd say that some part of the break-in mystique is training your ear to like the new sound. We moved the back door and it took my dog about a week to stop going to the old location. Much the same happens in humans even if we are too cool to admit it.

Mark Burnley

Capacitor "burn-in" period: fact or fiction?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2005, 06:41:56 AM »
Quote from: "PRR"
We moved the back door and it took my dog about a week to stop going to the old location. Much the same happens in humans even if we are too cool to admit it.


Ha!

Analogy (and unspoken truth  :wink: ) of the week,

 :thumb:

Mark
O_O tape is life O_O

Gus

Capacitor "burn-in" period: fact or fiction?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2005, 09:17:30 AM »
I have seen electros take about 1/2 hour to form in circuit.   The device being repaired was a 21 inch monitor.  It had a good amount of failed electros.  The electros that were used to replace the bad ones were ones that were sitting unused for a few years.  

When the unit was powered up with the replaced electros it took about a 1/2 hour for the picture to kind of look right and then adjustments were made.  This was due to the caps sitting a long time I believe and forming up in circuit.

Unformed electros don't sound their best to my ears.

For the guitar players.  If you have a number of  tube amps or even solid state amps.  Powering them up for an hour every 6 months if they have not been used should help the life of the electros.


 

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