I’m freaking out big-time …
At the start of August an act of God destroyed my Audiolab 8000A, and since I already had the 8000CD, I just purchased the new 8000S to plonk in its place. Within a couple of days it was sounding just like the old 8000A used to, with not so much in the lower bass region but clear midrange and treble which really sounds good with a lot of the electronic music I listen to. Occasionally I would hear a bit of detail which I thought I hadn’t heard before, but overall it met my expectations in that it would be a very slight improvement over the old model.
Last week, the sound started to oscillate a bit, and sounded particularly trebly, but it then settled down again. Then at the weekend I thought I was getting a some deeper bass through, in fact on a thread about the Heathrow show I wrote that it was maybe just a psychological improvement having heard a lot of expensive dross on Saturday. Monday afternoon was really weird, at first I thought the left channel had almost gone completely, and then I thought the tweeters were damaged since all I was getting was a mushy bass. Infact, I was on my knees with my ear close to the tweeter to hear if there was any at all. Eventually it sort of stabilized to its average level, but then when I started to listen to some music later in the evening, it was as if I had a completely new system. Not just night and day changes, but seemingly extraterrestrial and bigger-than-the-second-coming (I AM NOT EXAGGERATING).
The depth of the bass and scale of the sound is light years ahead of what I was getting for the previous 6 or 7 weeks of the 8000S, or 15 years of the 8000A. The levels of detail are astronomical in comparison. In some previous threads I have made derogatory remarks to people who have claimed to suddenly be hearing additional information from their discs, but not any more.
I am really freaking out. I’m pretty damned certain it must be burn-in of the new amp. Some Russ Andrews literature that I picked up on Saturday actually identifies that for cables, the process isn’t a gradual improvement, but goes through cycles, and this fits in.
I’ve done some checks: the speakers are in exactly the same position as always, and haven’t suddenly moved to the corners of the room without me noticing; there are no large lumps of wax on the pillows. Maybe there was a loose connection to the speakers? The only potential external factor is that the flat below has been completely rewired in the last couple of weeks, and maybe something has happened to the mains… this is a crazy suggestion?
If my new amp were from a different manufacturer or were a lot more expensive, I would be able to correlate the thoughts currently in my head and make sense of it all… but its not… it’s effectively the same model isn’t it? Is it possible that the previous amp never burnt in? I’m freaking out again (cue music from The Twilight Zone).
I don’t want this thread to be an examination of my system or my ears, however if anybody is very familiar with Audiolab, I would be very interested in their view of the relative merits and sounds of the amps.
What does really fascinate me now though is the burn-in process and its effects. I remember reading on the forum that somebody with ProAcs is getting changes in sound after a number of months. Has anybody else got sudden monumental changes like myself? Please enlighten me before I freak out again.