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RE: Before and after speaker measurements.

There was a study by Paul Barton that was done and published many years ago but I have lost any links to it. He found measureable differences but could not detect audible differences in blind tests.

It was at http://www.soundstagelive.com/factorytours/psbnrc/ but that link fails now.

I did find a link to a quote from it:

"Finally, and perhaps most controversially, Barton talks about the supposed break-in effect of components that has become so popular in audio today. Break-in refers to running components for a long time (sometimes hundreds of hours) to the point where their components "settle" into their proper operating mode. Barton doesn't doubt that some components do change subtly, but he thinks that the major improvements people think they're hearing aren't in the components at all. Barton doesn't doubt that people are hearing these changes, but thinks that what they're hearing is actually brain break-in.

Barton has examined his own speakers to test this. He has taken a Stratus Gold loudspeaker, built and measured some ten years ago, and re-measured it today. The deviation is slight, perhaps 1/4dB at most. Although that deviation can possibly be heard, it is certainly not a huge difference that one may attest to hearing. Instead, Barton surmises that the difference in sound that people are hearing over time is conditioning of the brain. He cites experiments done with sight that indicate the brain can accommodate for enormous changes fairly quickly and certainly within the hundreds of hours that audiophiles claim changes occur in. Could this apply to hearing, too? Barton thinks that more often than not, what happens is that the changes in perceived sound that are attributed to component break-in are simply the brain becoming accustomed to the sound. He warns listeners not to fool themselves."

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