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Well, I'll be darn. Even power cords - used ones - need re-breaking in. As in my previous post, I had mentioned trying the JPS Labs digital power cord that was sitting around because the Planet player had a hard-wired power cord.
Putting in the JPS Labs cord, I immediately heard some separation of voices and instruments that hadn't been there in all of the previous few hundred or so hours (It was probably closer to 400, actually.). There was also some body to vocals that wasn't there quite as much before, so I anticipated an improvement in sound quality. Frankly, the Saturn was sounding somewhat thick and closed in, and incapable of really opening up in the large way I knew that the CDs I was listening to were capable of. I could heard the linear musicality of this player, but I was missing some vivid color and immediacy. In some ways, I thought that the Planet had more of that than the Saturn.
Then, yesterday afternoon, things got dark - I mean the sound. The sound started closing in and it was returning a bit to before I had installed the JPS cord. Not completely, mind you, but I was not all that happy. I was thinking "Is this a player I'm simply going to say that is good for the money I paid, but not a great player? And why all the rave reviews?"
It was that way through this morning and into early afternoon. I had put Patricia Barber's CD, "A Fortnight In France", a terrific live CD, both for the music and for the sonics. I also have the Classic 2LP set of this, so I KNOW how this is capable of sounding. While sounding nice on the Saturn, it was more "nice", more polite than kick-ass. The drummer and guitarist turn in some killer, rhythmic and dynamic turns. They weren't showing up.
But something happened mid-afternoon, and I could hear it from the room next door. Suddenly, it was like a lid was taken off. I heard bloom, bite, air, and the room fill up with music. It was a different player. Now I was hearing the bite of the guitarist and the gut impacting strikes of the drummer. I was hearing more into the mix, the presentation was pretty much unbridled and more at ease. I'm hearing musical lines I didn't hear before, and musical communications I hadn't heard before either. This is no longer sounding like the thick sounding player I had heard the last three weeks. What IS going on?
Now, I know this thing could take another turn. I might have mentioned that Pascal Ravich of Mutine told me that the Audiomat DAC I had required 700 hours of break-in, and it did.
Was this improvement this afternoon a result of the JPS Labs power cord rebreaking in, the Saturn continuing to break in, or a product of both? I don't know, but I'm listening from the next room as I type this and this same CD, a Michael Tilson Thomas conducted album cast recording of "On The Town", and this CD has not sounded anywhere this alive and exciting in the last 3 weeks. Vocals had been not quite real sounding, the soundstage had been mechanical and not open. Compared to the CEC transport and Audiomat (which had always had me on the edge, listening to the performance, but made me also think I was in the room with the performers), this wasn't coming close. I'd say that at the moment (I'm keeping my fingers crossed), there are a few areas which the Saturn now betters.
But this has been this way for only about 4 or so hours. I'm not an engineer, but I have always heard this break-in factor. I walk into my closest audio emporium and I can always tell when a piece of equipment is new. I don't get to go in all that often, but I hear the tightness and lack of bloom.
"I'm not an engineer, but I have always heard this break-in factor. I walk into my closest audio emporium and I can always tell when a piece of equipment is new. I don't get to go in all that often, but I hear the tightness and lack of bloom. "
Don't be hard on yourself - I am an engineer and while I do notice differences during a break in period, I have no idea precisely WHY. I am pretty sure others do too, but don't know the mechanism - though I have heard it is dielectrics purging themselves of impurities of electron holes ... and others say that the sound doesn't change at all, and it is all in our imaginations.
To while I reply with a smile "Placebo or not, I don't care as long as it works!" :)
Glad your Saturn is doing better for you!!
I also find that the stereo system sounds better at night - and depending upon recording, mood, etc ... the record player, SB feeding a DAC or Computer feeding DAC will be better than the others. Since I am there to enjoy music - I just take extra enjoyment when everything works out just right.
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad"
It may have been caused by a change in personal perception which is experienced by everyone to a certain extent.
Your assertion may or may not be true, but if it was just personal perception, then my usefulness (not to mention the money spent) in training my ears would have been for naught. If someone like Zubin Mehta's ears were only good for his own shifting perceptions from moment to moment, his vocal and physical promptings would have no prompting. So I don't buy your assertion as though that's all there is.
The startling thing is that I heard a shift that Monday afternoon in the room next door, about 10 feet away from the speakers. This wasn't just leaving and coming back to it later in the day. As I have mentioned, I have played in and conducted orchestras. I have sung in choral groups and in Manhattan Transfer type groups. I can pick out harmonies a mile away (that's a dramatization). If you don't hear it, then you don't hear it. It doesn't mean that it's not there to be heard.
Then I agree that a change in perception is just a minor factor. I experienced about the same phenomenon yesterday when I invited an audiophile friend to test an I/C cable. Every other cable I connected in place of the one under review lost intimacy, air and the "feel" of the music.
I initially thought that I was influenced by a changed perception, but then I realized that it was the matter of synergy.
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