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Regarding "break-in"

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AmpDesigner333

Regarding "break-in"
« on: 16 Mar 2018, 03:39 am »
After several years of feedback regarding Maraschinos, we have made the following observation....

Almost everyone hearing Maraschinos for the first time notices the increased detail and solid bass that makes their speakers sound bigger and cleaner. Listeners of Maraschinos often claim better sound after a few weeks of serious listening and even continual improvement beyond that.  We fully test everything we ship, and we save the results.  We have have tested many Maraschinos before/after extended periods, even years, mostly due to upgrades.  The test results are nearly identical (within measurement accuracy) before and after.  What does this say about "break in"?

First let me mention that the sound changes over the first 15-30 minutes after power-on.  This is a slight change, but easily measurable, and it's due to the self-heating nature of the circuitry.  The change is inaudible to many listeners. After a few minutes, the temperature stabilizes, and measured performance levels off. This is a per-session change, very slight, and repeatable.  I mentioned warm-up since some listeners relate it to "break-in", but they are two separate topics.  So, based on what we've observed through use of measurement equipment is that Maraschinos don't require a break-in period.

OK, with all that said, let's cover what's really going on with changes in perceived sound over extended time periods....  Listeners that are switching from less detailed sounding amps, or weaker bass amps, or "rolled off" amps, or amps with poor damping factors, or any amp that doesn't have "Maraschino-like" capabilities, find that their way of listening changes with the Maraschino.  They start hearing nuances that were previously buried.  They hear highs that were blurred or suppressed.  They hear stronger bass and more impact.  What they DON'T hear is the noise or distortion that they were previously accustomed to.  Over time, their listening adjusts.  This requires a bit of explanation.  The mind tends to fill in the gaps or imagine the missing articulation in tracks they have heard many times before.  This is actually a source of listening fatigue not discussed very often.  Going to a higher resolution system releases the mind from filling in the gaps, and this isn't at all like throwing a switch.  If you were accustomed to listening that way, it takes a while to adjust, sometimes months.  The perception is continually improving sound, but the reality is mental adjustment.  You'll find yourself more relaxed when listening.  Perhaps you'll smile more often, or play tracks multiple times, astonished by the new fullness of the sound.  Sometimes previous tube amp owners say the "bloom" is missing at first, then after some long term adjustment, swear they would never go back to the "bloom" now that they have adjusted to cleaner, more detailed sound.  In fact, many tube amp owners test out the long term adjustment and find that they really don't like the distortion they previously accepted, and they now spot it right away.  They typically say they'll never go back to tubes.  Thanks for reading my post.

-Tommy O

Early B.

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #1 on: 16 Mar 2018, 03:53 am »
Listeners that are switching from less detailed sounding amps, or weaker bass amps, or "rolled off" amps, or amps with poor damping factors, or any amp that doesn't have "Maraschino-like" capabilities, find that their way of listening changes with the Maraschino.  They start hearing nuances that were previously buried.  They hear highs that were blurred or suppressed.  They hear stronger bass and more impact.  What they DON'T hear is the noise or distortion that they were previously accustomed to.  Over time, their listening adjusts.  This requires a bit of explanation.  The mind tends to fill in the gaps or imagine the missing articulation in tracks they have heard many times before.  This is actually a source of listening fatigue not discussed very often.  Going to a higher resolution system releases the mind from filling in the gaps, and this isn't at all like throwing a switch.  If you were accustomed to listening that way, it takes a while to adjust, sometimes months.  The perception is continually improving sound, but the reality is mental adjustment.  You'll find yourself more relaxed when listening.  Perhaps you'll smile more often, or play tracks multiple times, astonished by the new fullness of the sound. 

I agree 100%. In fact, here is a snippet of my review of the In-Line Maraschinos a few months ago: 

"I never realized it, but previously, I used my imagination to make corrections in the deficiencies in my system. With the ILMs, the music just flows through my system and my mind can relax – no mental correction is needed because everything sounds like it should."



milindks

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #2 on: 16 Mar 2018, 03:05 pm »
Thank you Tommy, Great explanation !

Background -

I previously used few solid state amps (Odyssey Stratos Extreme), Jolida Hybrid amps and recently Coincident technologies 300 B Frankenstein monos - which I sold for convenience factor (do not want to start and shutdown amps all the time). While looking for amps those are great and i can leave them on all the time in my research i stumbled across Maraschino's - talked to you - read all the great reviews and decided to order Desktop Maraschino's with 48 V power supply.

I just received Demo Maraschino's (48 V) two days back and I connected them to Sony XA5400ES SACD / Bluesound Node 2 --> Tortuga Audio Pre Amp --> Usher 6381 (87 db, 8 Ohm).  I am using Zu libtech speaker cable - stock power cords all power goes through Furman ELITE-15I power conditioner and some good interconnects - recently got from Schimtt custom cables.

First thing i observed as everyone mentioned here are lots of details and great bass control - the bass is tight and well defined than before ! but one thing i am still missing is the midrange (vocals) palpability (is that the word ?- which gives me goosebumps when i listen to some great songs)  - i was getting from 300 B monos and I know 300 B's known for being good at vocals and not so good at extremes (I agree on that point - Maraschino's and definitely better at the extremes) but i am missing the midrange and vocals those i was getting from 300B monos.  I will really appreciate any suggestions/tips around if anyone coming from tube amps have same experience and what did they do to get the vocals right (or may be little bit forward) without spending too much on any other things !

Thank you,

Milind

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #3 on: 16 Mar 2018, 04:31 pm »
Thank you Tommy, Great explanation !

Background -

I previously used few solid state amps (Odyssey Stratos Extreme), Jolida Hybrid amps and recently Coincident technologies 300 B Frankenstein monos - which I sold for convenience factor (do not want to start and shutdown amps all the time). While looking for amps those are great and i can leave them on all the time in my research i stumbled across Maraschino's - talked to you - read all the great reviews and decided to order Desktop Maraschino's with 48 V power supply.

I just received Demo Maraschino's (48 V) two days back and I connected them to Sony XA5400ES SACD / Bluesound Node 2 --> Tortuga Audio Pre Amp --> Usher 6381 (87 db, 8 Ohm).  I am using Zu libtech speaker cable - stock power cords all power goes through Furman ELITE-15I power conditioner and some good interconnects - recently got from Schimtt custom cables.

First thing i observed as everyone mentioned here are lots of details and great bass control - the bass is tight and well defined than before ! but one thing i am still missing is the midrange (vocals) palpability (is that the word ?- which gives me goosebumps when i listen to some great songs)  - i was getting from 300 B monos and I know 300 B's known for being good at vocals and not so good at extremes (I agree on that point - Maraschino's and definitely better at the extremes) but i am missing the midrange and vocals those i was getting from 300B monos.  I will really appreciate any suggestions/tips around if anyone coming from tube amps have same experience and what did they do to get the vocals right (or may be little bit forward) without spending too much on any other things !

Thank you,

Milind

Milind,

Thanks for your post.  I have an idea of something to try....

Looks like the Bluesound Node 2 has volume control (correct me if I'm wrong), so you can use it to drive the amps directly.  Give that a shot.  Use the RCA adapters (included with all Maraschinos) and RCA wires to the amps.  Just make sure the volume's turned down low before starting the amps, then turn it up to the desired level.  Please let us know of your results here.

The more direct the signal path, the cleaner the signal, if all else is the same.  Added noise/distortion and frequency response variations are eliminated this way in many cases.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend.  Hope you have plenty of time to enjoy your system.

-Tommy O

p.s. Take a look here to see what we're doing with our DAC DAC, which is designed to drive Maraschinos directly with the proper levels and cleanest signal: http://kck.st/2CH4sLB

jseipp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 147
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #4 on: 16 Mar 2018, 05:19 pm »
Melind,

Congratulations on picking up the Maraschinos — I believe, along with Tommy, that you will find the satisfaction you are seeking.

I also have a Bluesound Node 2 in the chain of the system I use primarily for watching Netflix.  In my case, I am using the coax out into a DAC DAC TL.  If you are still wondering about further possible improvement after trying Tommy’s excellent suggestion (that I have found to be an extremely important in both my systems) I will be happy to try connecting the Inline Maraschinos to the Bluesound’s DAC, in order to give you an idea of what a (1st generation) DAC DAC has to offer in the quest for your preferred sound.  Of course my system will differ from yours, though I can stream Tidal via Roon through the Bluesound to try to gauge differences with and without the DAC DAC, if you have any interest in upgrading to the DAC DAC (most highly recommended, BTW).


Tommy’s recommendations are always top notch, but I am happy to put “another set of ears on things” with my equipment if that would be helpful to you.

John




Wind Chaser

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #5 on: 16 Mar 2018, 07:18 pm »
...i am missing the midrange and vocals those i was getting from 300B monos.  I will really appreciate any suggestions/tips around if anyone coming from tube amps have same experience and what did they do to get the vocals right (or may be little bit forward) without spending too much on any other things !

Midrange immediacy is the SET's forte. However I didn't particularly care for the Coincident's up front in your face soundstage combined with larger than life images. By comparison the Maraschino's are more relaxed and some what distant relatively speaking. Perhaps this is more of a matter of preference? However as for texture and tonal structure, the Maraschino's sound from top to bottom more realistic and focused to my ears.

milindks

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #6 on: 17 Mar 2018, 12:22 am »
Thanks, will try direct connection from SACD or Bluesound node 2 to amp a will keep you posted !

As far as SET midrange is concerned .. it could be Usher speaker (may be little bit laidback or on the darker side) or may be other components but i loved coincident's vocals with usher speakers and that could be the reason it may not be as forward on Maraschino .. again different system/different preferences .. will see if i can replace passive pre with tube pre or add tube buffer and will see if that change anything !

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #7 on: 17 Mar 2018, 02:56 am »
Thanks, will try direct connection from SACD or Bluesound node 2 to amp a will keep you posted !

As far as SET midrange is concerned .. it could be Usher speaker (may be little bit laidback or on the darker side) or may be other components but i loved coincident's vocals with usher speakers and that could be the reason it may not be as forward on Maraschino .. again different system/different preferences .. will see if i can replace passive pre with tube pre or add tube buffer and will see if that change anything !
Milind,

Please only drive the amps directly when the volume can be controlled.  This is why I suggested using the Bluesound for this experiment and not the SONY, so I need to ask....  Does your SACD player have a volume control?  I looked at the manual and saw that there was only one for the headphone output, not the stereo audio output (XLR or RCA).

Good luck.  Looking forward to your results.  Thanks.

-Tommy

sumoking

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #8 on: 17 Mar 2018, 05:53 am »
I MUST Say i really enjoyed my maraschinos desktop with the 60v PSU, it was much better than my SET 2a3's, however, it was when I went to the TL DAC DAC that my system went to another level entirely. 

 I also had a tube preamp that I thought was excellent, but I put a $50 nobsound passive XLR preamp in the chain to remove tubes from the system completely and the sense of transparency was really quite stunning. As I mentioned, I brought in the DAC DAC TL and boom the sound went up another level.  I had a world class DAC and the DAC DAC TL really blew it away.

Note when I started this journey, I thought I missed my SET for the lush midrange and sound on acoustic guitars.   I was sure the cherries was too analytical and missing the magic. It wasn’t until I listened to the Marachinos for a little while and then went back to the SET did I realize the SET was not in the same league.
I couldn't believe the sense of realism I found when the cherries and the dac dac tl version 1 mated together in my system.

After 35 years, I have the system that I always dreamt about.  Note I have the Spatial M3 Turbos S's.

Amazing for the money.  My tube days are over...
« Last Edit: 18 Mar 2018, 05:48 pm by sumoking »

milindks

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #9 on: 17 Mar 2018, 03:10 pm »
Thank Tommy for pointing out its Bluesound node2 can be connected directly and not SONY - will try that one out today/tomorrow !

Thank you Sumoking, Meanwhile i have feeling most of the folks who moved from tubes (SET)  to Maraschino and are really happy are the ones with the high efficiency speakers as opposed to Ushers 6381 (87db/8ohm - Again This may not be a factor just an observation) - but something for me to keep in mind !

-- Milind

jseipp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 147
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #10 on: 19 Mar 2018, 10:56 pm »
Addressing the original post, I have to say that my experience falls in line with the assertion that Maraschinos don’t have a break-in period.  It’s not a matter of requiring or benefiting from break in, there is simply none apparent.

After some years of rolling tubes in an otherwise stable system, I found that every such change involved a substantial trade-off somewhere in the listening experience.  Scouring the boards for tube tips, I found that I could hit the mark in one area while giving something up elsewhere.  Not that I tried every combination out there or delved into the super-rarified bottle realms, but I found myself continually tinkering.

That all changed from the first moment I dropped the Maraschinos in.  I immediately heard everything I was searching for, no tradeoffs required.  As I listened over time, I found no apparent change in any dimension of the sound the Maraschinos produced.  Having put a lot of listening time in during tube rolling, listening closely for the positives and negatives of each change, I would expect to be sensitive to changes in the Maraschinos over time.  There just haven’t been any.

The Maraschinos have remained in place as other component have been upgraded, and I am very glad not to feel the need to “retune” amps with every change.  In my experience, the Maraschinos will show you what they have to offer from the very first notes and remain constant through whatever changes you make around them.  That fact has enabled me to relax and enjoy the music even as I persue this hobby that keeps us all on the lookout for what’s next.

 

milindks

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #11 on: 20 Mar 2018, 01:41 am »
Thank you John, changed the connections over weekend - removed Tortuga pre and used Bluesound Node2 RCA out to Marschinno, the sound has definitely improved .. especially mid range .. will try some tube pre (most probably schitt ) instead of Tortuga passive hopeful that will help as well !

Early B.

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #12 on: 20 Mar 2018, 03:01 am »
I can confirm that there's no warm-up needed with my Maraschino amps and DAC DAC. With my previous systems, I'd always cut it on let it play for 45 minutes before doing any serious listening. 

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #13 on: 20 Mar 2018, 04:47 pm »
I MUST Say i really enjoyed my maraschinos desktop with the 60v PSU, it was much better than my SET 2a3's, however, it was when I went to the TL DAC DAC that my system went to another level entirely. 

 I also had a tube preamp that I thought was excellent, but I put a $50 nobsound passive XLR preamp in the chain to remove tubes from the system completely and the sense of transparency was really quite stunning. As I mentioned, I brought in the DAC DAC TL and boom the sound went up another level.  I had a world class DAC and the DAC DAC TL really blew it away.

Note when I started this journey, I thought I missed my SET for the lush midrange and sound on acoustic guitars.   I was sure the cherries was too analytical and missing the magic. It wasn’t until I listened to the Marachinos for a little while and then went back to the SET did I realize the SET was not in the same league.
I couldn't believe the sense of realism I found when the cherries and the dac dac tl version 1 mated together in my system.

After 35 years, I have the system that I always dreamt about.  Note I have the Spatial M3 Turbos S's.

Amazing for the money.  My tube days are over...
We bought a Nobsound passive pre for testing....

We currently have it in a system like this:
PC > Cherry USB > the new 130db+ DAC DAC 2 HS (currently only available through our Kickstarter, which ends in a few days: http://kck.st/2CH4sLB)
    > passive pre > Stereo MEGAschino > JTR Noesis 210RTs

Let me just say....  This system sounds like a million bucks!  The ease and flow is so amazing.  Stratosphere headroom, and so much finesse along with it.  The blackest of backgrounds.  Super pure sound from whisper volume to full blast.  Transients and speed that provide musicality and texture.  The MEGA really checks off "all the boxes" for a high power amplifier, and will be known as a landmark super amp in the future, with the likes of Conrad Johnson Premier One, Mark Levinson ML2, McIntosh MC275, and GAS Ampzilla II.  However, the MEGA is the "new stuff", and out performs the pack!  This is very exciting stuff indeed.

The passive preamp allows use of a full scale digital input to the DAC (no digital attenuation necessary), so you can drive the DAC with a transport or other fixed full scale source (TV, etc.).

Bottom line: No sonic penalty from the passive preamp!!!!

By the way, the passive pre is NOT NECESSARY with a digitally attenuated source, but if you need one for your setup, fear not!  (:

-Tommy O

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #14 on: 20 Mar 2018, 05:31 pm »
We bought a Nobsound passive pre for testing....

We currently have it in a system like this:
PC > Cherry USB > the new 130db+ DAC DAC 2 HS (currently only available through our Kickstarter, which ends in a few days: http://kck.st/2CH4sLB)
    > passive pre > Stereo MEGAschino > JTR Noesis 210RTs

Let me just say....  This system sounds like a million bucks!  The ease and flow is so amazing.  Stratosphere headroom, and so much finesse along with it.  The blackest of backgrounds.  Super pure sound from whisper volume to full blast.  Transients and speed that provide musicality and texture.  The MEGA really checks off "all the boxes" for a high power amplifier, and will be known as a landmark super amp in the future, with the likes of Conrad Johnson Premier One, Mark Levinson ML2, McIntosh MC275, and GAS Ampzilla II.  However, the MEGA is the "new stuff", and out performs the pack!  This is very exciting stuff indeed.

The passive preamp allows use of a full scale digital input to the DAC (no digital attenuation necessary), so you can drive the DAC with a transport or other fixed full scale source (TV, etc.).

Bottom line: No sonic penalty from the passive preamp!!!!

By the way, the passive pre is NOT NECESSARY with a digitally attenuated source, but if you need one for your setup, fear not!  (:

-Tommy O
By the way, the wires connecting the DAC DAC to the Nobsound are generic 3-ft XLR cables, as are the wires connecting the Nobsound to the MEGA.  The speaker wires are our 6-ft Speaker Snakes.

sumoking

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #15 on: 20 Mar 2018, 09:52 pm »
I would concur with the passive and the inexpensive xlr cables
I needed the nobsound to include my cable box.  The passive takes
Single ended and XLRs. 

It’s crazy that I am not spending any money with cables.
I have three sets of XLRs and I spent about $35.
So it isn’t so... must sound terrible...? 
Not really!!!
I’m sure I’ll try other XLRs but I am in no hurry to do so.

jseipp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 147
Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #16 on: 20 Mar 2018, 10:57 pm »
I have also found the Maraschinos to perform wonderfully with inexpensive cables.  I first used some mic cables I had, and have since “upgraded” to some used audiophile pairs obtained inexpensively on the Trading Post.  I put the word upgraded in quotes because, with the exception of one pair that for some reason didn’t get along well, I have noticed no significant difference in sound.

Moving into more rarified cable realms may show me that I have been leaving something on the table, though I’m dubious about the value proposition.  The Nobsound solution sounds interesting as an inexpensive way to add some flexibility in inputs — thanks for the mention.  I have a chain of inputs that works fine for me right now, though the Digital Preamp is mighty, mighty tempting.  :)

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #17 on: 21 Mar 2018, 01:25 am »
I have also found the Maraschinos to perform wonderfully with inexpensive cables.  I first used some mic cables I had, and have since “upgraded” to some used audiophile pairs obtained inexpensively on the Trading Post.  I put the word upgraded in quotes because, with the exception of one pair that for some reason didn’t get along well, I have noticed no significant difference in sound.

Moving into more rarified cable realms may show me that I have been leaving something on the table, though I’m dubious about the value proposition.  The Nobsound solution sounds interesting as an inexpensive way to add some flexibility in inputs — thanks for the mention.  I have a chain of inputs that works fine for me right now, though the Digital Preamp is mighty, mighty tempting.  :)
We occasionally test (measuring THD+N, IMD, SNR, frequency response, etc.) XLR and RCA cables with an audio analyzer and find the inexpensive ones (assuming they are built with decent connectors and wire) perform identically to the expensive ones.  Oh no!  Say it ain't so!  Yup (:  If I posted this on a "fancy cable" page I'd be surrounded by a mob with torches by now.  So, I preemptively request no additional discussion about the pros/cons of fancy wire on this thread.  I've been to plenty of demos where someone selling wires swaps them out then tells the audience "what to listen for".  Why not just show the measurements?  Well, that's because there probably aren't any!  Anyway, when designing equipment, those who are skilled in the art (and science) of circuit design are able to reduce the effects of wire parasitics on important performance characteristics.  If a piece of equipment is very sensitive to cable swapping (assuming the comparison is fair, not 1000 feet of wire vs 2 feet of wire kind of thing), then it's probably not such a great piece of equipment, regardless of cost.  If anyone feels the burning desire, the itch they just can't scratch, the absolutely uncontrollable urge to start a cable discussion, feel free to start a new thread on my board, but just don't use this thread.  Thanks, all (:

Wind Chaser

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #18 on: 21 Mar 2018, 02:00 am »
We occasionally test (measuring THD+N, IMD, SNR, frequency response, etc.) XLR and RCA cables with an audio analyzer and find the inexpensive ones (assuming they are built with decent connectors and wire) perform identically to the expensive ones.  Oh no!  Say it ain't so!  Yup (:  If I posted this on a "fancy cable" page I'd be surrounded by a mob with torches by now.  So, I preemptively request no additional discussion about the pros/cons of fancy wire on this thread.  I've been to plenty of demos where someone selling wires swaps them out then tells the audience "what to listen for".  Why not just show the measurements?  Well, that's because there probably aren't any!  Anyway, when designing equipment, those who are skilled in the art (and science) of circuit design are able to reduce the effects of wire parasitics on important performance characteristics.  If a piece of equipment is very sensitive to cable swapping (assuming the comparison is fair, not 1000 feet of wire vs 2 feet of wire kind of thing), then it's probably not such a great piece of equipment, regardless of cost.  If anyone feels the burning desire, the itch they just can't scratch, the absolutely uncontrollable urge to start a cable discussion, feel free to start a new thread on my board, but just don't use this thread.  Thanks, all (:

Strenuously disagree, started a new thread as per your request.

AmpDesigner333

Re: Regarding "break-in"
« Reply #19 on: 21 Mar 2018, 02:04 am »
Strenuously disagree, started a new thread as per your request.
Thank you for honoring my request.  Please see my comment there....