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Audio Burn-In Test Track

Among audiophiles at both ends of the pricing scale, the subject of equipment "burn-in", also know as "break-in" will create a voluminous amount of dialog. Its interest as a discussion topic has few rivals. I will not take a stand on the matter in this or any other medium nor does creation of this test track imply that I have a preference to the concept one way or the other. As an audio and RF engineer involved in vetting all sorts of ideas and techniques in the television broadcasting industry, I have grown an intense awareness of the need for standards. Standards are a required element in any comparative analysis. Clearly it is understood that only the device-under-test (DUT) can be substituted for another in any comparison. We might consider a comparison between two sets of speaker cables; one having gone through a burn-in period, the other brand-new. If any other element of the system changes during the test, the comparison falls apart. This test track is an effort to afford to all interested parties, a single source of audio that can be used to burn-in equipment. As the subject rallies almost an unlimited number of opinions, one less variable is needed.

The construction of the test track is a set of equal volume sine-waves with an underlying white noise floor approximately 6dBu below the amplitude of the tones. While it may be argued that this particular track is in some form insufficient, it is a place for us to start down the path of normalizing the test setup for the argument at hand.

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