Bartok Apex break In?

What’s everyone’s take on the break in period?

What about this pink noise setting in the menu?

BURN IN Output modulated pink noise to burn-in the unit.

It is hard to give a clear answer. I have never read a satisfactory explanation of break in and therefore I am not aware of an electrical condition that has to be met to gauge the effect. However many people report subjective changes over a period from new.

Most of the Apex reports posted here relate to the installation of the Apex upgrade rather than a completely new Bartok ( or other unit). I don’t know if you are referring to a new unit or an upgrade nor whether this has a bearing on the issue. However, generalising, I think most have found a reasonably lengthy period is needed. Pre-Apex I would read of 100 hours plus commonly cited but Apex (upgrade) seems to want longer perhaps 200 hrs + from some posts although basic burn in can be shorter. My personal experience with Vivaldi Apex ( Apex itself is the same for all models) is that familiar recordings can still reveal new insights quite a time later. It is hard to be precise and I am sure that the listener’s sensitivities or the type of music used may have a bearing on making the decision.

As for using pink noise well, dCS provide the facility. However regarding audio units in general I have seen more than one manufacturer recommend that it is preferable just to have a little patience and use music NB: I’m just a messenger :smiley:.


This reminds me of a similar discussion about break in time for B&W Series 800 loudspeakers.
In forums one could find figures around 300h.
The direct answer of the B&W engineers was:
“break in time about 30h; the remaining 270h may be required to adapt your ears to the new higher SQ”.


I’ve had conversations with dCS folks who say that the Bartok Apex needs 100 hours of run time with small changes occurring during the next 100 hours or so. I know a number of equipment designers who are unsurprised by this. For example, two preamp designers I speak with regularly (Certified Master Engineers with all the degrees) select their capacitors by the way they “sound” in their circuits and then compare and track the run-in time. Only when they sound “right” after run in do these two engineer/designers select them for their final products. I tend to give credence to qualified opinions like that.

My ears tell me a similar story. It took 200 hours for my upgraded Bartok Apex to fully stabilize in performance and exhibit the signature dCS sound qualities I’d become accustomed to with the older unit. Eventually, the Apex’d unit produced all instruments in a timbre-ally accurate and organic way. No need to flame over this. I’m just another knucklehead with an opinion and his own set of experiences.


I picked up my APEX’ed Bartok today and reinstalled it. It was cold so the first few minutes were brash, but it soon settled down; the HPA was a bit rough too. So nice to have the Bartok back! I have to say that APEX is a definite improvement, even this new. I’ll run it for a few days and based on previous comments expect ongoing improvements.


Quick update: the Bartok APEX upgrade is fantastic! It is really noticeable and enjoyable.

I complained about the tiered upgrade pricing (in the US) but finally chose to do it for my birthday this year :gift: and I have no regrets.