Weird System Issue


#1

I have a really weird system issue and I thought I would turn to the experts here before asking anyone else…

I have owned a BHK-250 for about 2 months now(which I LOVE) . It is part of almost an entirely PS Audio setup (the preamp is a W4S unit though I hope to buy the BHK preamp soon). I don’t listen that often, mostly because I like it loud and I need the family to be out of the house. If I think I am going to use it during the day I will turn everything on about 9 AM. Sometimes I play a CD at low volume until I am ready to listen critically (once the house is empty), sometimes everything is on but no music at all is playing.

If I listen in the first 1-4 hour after turn on everything sounds awesome. Many times I’ll use it for an hr between Noon-1 PM and then again at 4 PM. Quite often that 2nd session is a disappointment. I have found that after everything has been on for 6-8 hrs the system constricts and I lose a lot of the higher frequencies and air around the instruments. If I turn everything off and listen again the next morning it’s all back to normal. I had experienced this previously with other equipment when it had been on and playing for many days straight when I was breaking in cables or tubes, or equipment, etc. Someone I trust told me that certain electronic parts do indeed change, i.e. sound different if left on an in use for many hrs or days. I’m just surprised it’s happening to my system now when it’s on for 6+ hrs.

The only other thing I can think of it tends to happen more toward late afternoon (though not exclusively) when there are more homes drawing/corrupting the power grid.

I am baffled.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I am a 40 year audiophile, just wanted to get that out there lest anyone think I am some crackpot newbie.


#2
RadioRadio said

The only other thing I can think of it tends to happen more toward late afternoon (though not exclusively) when there are more homes drawing/corrupting the power grid.

This was my immediate thought while reading your post. Have you tried turning the system on at 3:00 and listening at 4:00 to learn if you hear the same sense of restriction? Or turning it on at 6:00 AM and listening at noon?

#3

Elk,

Yeah, that’s probably what I will try next. For the 2 months I have had the BHK I haven’t had a lot of flexibility in when I can listen. Now that my son has gone off to college I have alone time here more often.

It makes sense to me that caps, resistors, tubes, etc change if they’re left on for long periods of time. After all, we know that the recommended break-in time for the DSD is like 600 hrs (parts changing how they sound) so it’s logical that if equipment is left on too long the sound can deteriorate. I just didn’t/don’t think that 8 hrs is that long…


#4

“we have the technology”

have a look at the P10 :wink:

clean power all the time.

I’d leave the BHK 250s on all the time and just turn the tubes on when you want to listen.


#5
DoggieHowser said "we have the technology"

have a look at the P10 :wink:

clean power all the time.

I’d leave the BHK 250s on all the time and just turn the tubes on when you want to listen.


I’ve got an Exact Power EP15A but I would doubt it’s as good as a P10. No money in the budget for a P10 now, maybe a XMAS gift to myself. Just sent junior to college and bought the BHK.

I leave everything in the system powered up in standby all the time. I just turn on the tubes of the BHK an hr or so before I am going to listen.


#6
RadioRadio said

It makes sense to me that caps, resistors, tubes, etc change if they’re left on for long periods of time. After all, we know that the recommended break-in time for the DSD is like 600 hrs (parts changing how they sound) so it’s logical that if equipment is left on too long the sound can deteriorate. I just didn’t/don’t think that 8 hrs is that long…


We typically do not leave tubes powered up for extended periods, but more because of the heat (especially power tubes) and their typically shorter life than solid state components.

I would not expect small signal tubes to change much in four to eight hours. Thus, I am very interested to learn what you think when you get a chance to experimenter with the time of day at which you listen.


#7

I also have noticed this from time to time[more than less]. I will go as far as to say some days of a week [Tuesday in particular] are worse sounding then others in the week. surprised-011_gif


#8

Lots of good thoughts on hardware, but one thing to consider is your ears. If you are exposed to above normal noise during the day that can impact your fine hearing skills. Not saying this is what is happening, but think about what is happening in the time between listening sessions. Your psychological state can impact it too. These aren’t big differences, but something to consider …


#9

pmotz,I agree with you. The mind can play an enormous part on the sound that reaches our audiophile ears. There have been times past that my system sounded so bad that I turned it off and left it off for a number of days. Going back, its amazing how this can refresh ones perspective.


#10

Then change the conditions of the test to see if it is, indeed, the equipment or the listener.

Try this: turn the equipment on at midnight and leave it on while you sleep, then listen at your normal times. If it sounds like drek, then something’s going on where a component is getting degraded for being on for so long. If it sounds like it did after a fresh start, then it’s the listener.

–SSW


#11

Or it could be crap on the power line. This would be verified by logging your listening times and quality. Also doing as Elk said and start the warm up the night before, very early morning or shortly before the afternoon listening session.

Yes, it could be hearing fatigue later in the day, particularly if you are exposed to a noisy environment for several hours during the day.

Few power conditioning devices are anywhere near as effective as the PS Audio Power Plants, so do consider trying to fit a P10 or P5 into the budget at some point, particularly if this turns out to be time of day dependent.

J.P.


#12

So . . . I’m dying to find out if leaving the system on overnight and listening at noon yielded the same results as if it was restarted that morning . . .


#13

Streets, you are not alone there. I too am quite curious about how the results of this warm up time vs. time of day experiment come out.

J.P.