Leave the speaker cables connected to the speakers and turn the volume down/off.
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As long as the thing you're plugging into has an input resistance, it will conduct current through the cable whether it's on or off.
So, the IC's will conduct. The speaker cables won't since they're disconnected from a load resistance and have an infinite impedance across them - air.
If you do not want to listem to your speakers while breaking in cables, then you could place an 8-ohm power resistor across each of the cables +/-. Use a 300W rated element to be safe.
Uh, I think that if you turn the volume off, you won't be breaking in the speaker cables. Funny how I listened to my system the whole time it was breaking-in, and I am still alive. Amazing, isn't it? I know listening to a multi-thousand dollar stereo system is tough, but I think, somehow, you'll get through it.
I just went through this 10 days ago, and many of the posts helped me. My integrated is always on mute (it's a standby mode--always warm) All I did,(it's passively beautiful) was hook up my new ICs to my tuner (on, of course), which I don't really listen to that much, and the rest is history. After a 100 hours you'll be grooving and hopefully happy.
Why not break in just one channel so that you can really appreciate the difference between raw and nicely done cables. You know that the cables will continue breaking in without remission and that after twenty-three months you will have to get new ones. I also recommend different cables for winter and summer use if you live in that part of North America where snow tires are used. Change the cables about the same time as the tires and you will be able to stretch out the cables up to forty-six months, depending on how severe the intervening winters are. Oh, and by the way, once you put your summer cables to sleep for the winter, make sure you wake them up very slowly come spring time and do not startle them: the long crystals will surely seize-up (a well known phenomena that can't be measured, but that can be heard clearly, with the right system). Once gently awoken, the cables will need some further breaking-in, rest assured though that since the cable remembers its first lessons, it will take much less time to break-in again. I hope that this will be of some use to you and the other audiophiles on 'Agon. I like to share my knowledge with the community. From the frozen North, I remain frozen in time. Good evening.
attach dummy load resistors, 4 to 8 ohms, in place of your speakers & turn up the output level until the resistors get warm but not extremely hot. You can easily fabricate your own dummy loads if you can solder, but even clip-leads will work OK for 10 to 20 watts of power. Email me if you need technical details Matt.
I'm no expert, engineer or rocket scientist, but I just don't get the whole wire/cable break in theory. Tubes yes, SS amps and Pre's OK, even speakers need to loosen up a bit, but a piece of wire??? I just bought a new pair of Cardas Golden Reference BiWire for my speakers, will they really sound better in two weeks? If so when do they run out of gas and stop sounding good? Do they have a life span? I am trying not to sound sarcastic but can someone give me some techie info to back up these claims. And at the cost of these wires perhaps I should only listen sparingly so I don't wear them out...
There are alot of theories as to why cables break-in, but very little hard fact. The only thing that I know is that I can hear the difference, and many people can. Some consider this to be psychological. If this is true, I'd like to learn how to apply it to the rest of my system, so I don't have to spend any more money. Others feel that it is a real phenomenon, that happens during the beginning of use. You will have to decide for yourself.
Bomarc: I once again offer to burn in any interconnects that you would like to send me. This would be free of charge so long as you cover the shipping. Unlike a "trial period" for other types of products or offers, you need not even worry about putting down a deposit or having to worry about getting a refund. You have nothing to fear, as this couldn't possibly "hurt" your cables either since it is only an electrical signal passing through them. Sean
Bomarc, take Sean up on it, or please stop posting on this topic! Do you have two pair of IC's that are identical? Soundstage reviewer,Srajan Ebaen, did just such an experiment with identical cables, one pair new from the package and the other run on a cable cooker. He said that anyone that could not hear the difference "was clearly hard of hearing".
Maxgain stop telling Bomarc to stop telling THE PEOPLE about cable burn-in and stop quoting someone called "Srajan Ebaen" I simply don't believe he exists! Sean, with all the good answers you usually provide here, are you sure you don't want to reconsider your position on this cable break-in, burn-in situation? And TWL are you sure you don't want to reconsider your position on analog/vinyl/SETs/single driver speakers and your other fundamental audio beliefs? I am presently in a great period of reconsideration of everything audio and would like all audiophiles to join hands and form a circle around the world to help world peace through subjective audio. Tinnitus is rearing its ugly head, so I thought I could branch out, so to speak, from simply listening to some tunes to pushing real hard FOR PEACE ON EARTH TO ALL OF GOOD WILL.
Try attaching a dummy to a load(of cash)who cant resist fooling with the normal process of listening to your system whilst it breaketh in and you will be very happy in a fools paridisum.Who knows you may even learn about your systems synergy along the route!Change just for changes sake is never a good thing unless ye be sellin somethin matey.
Gentlemen, let's calm down here. Sean, thanks for the offer, but the difference between you and me is not that you hear something and that I do not. The difference between us is that you believe the change you hear is the result of some physical change in the cable, and I believe it is a psychological phenomenon--that it sounds different because you expect it to sound different. If you "burned in" a set of cables for me, and they then sounded different to me, it wouldn't change my mind about why.
That's my point of view. Now, is there room on Audiogon for that point of view, expressed (as it was) without insulting people? And, since I haven't insulted anybody, is it possible for people to disagree with me without insulting me, as someone here has already done twice?
Audio gear is like art everyone sees or hears something different in each piece. When I saw this thread I knew there would be chaos. Burnin is real. It is phyics. To what degree and with what level of equipment is anyones guess or opinion. The problem with gauging the impact of burnin is that everyone has a different listening area, and most everyone has different combinations of components.
From outlets to ICs to amps to cable ect. Also it is typical for users to add more than one diffent element to their system at a time further fuzzying up the logic. If anyone knows of good technical source for these issues I love the reference.
Pbb, are you running for some sort of public office? I hearby nominate you as the candidae for the leader of the "Naysayers party". I get your point. It is pointless to try to help those who don't want to be helped. Sorry to all those who want to beleive what they want to beleive and beleive me I will try to not involve myself in these discussions any more. You can lead a horse to... oh screw it!
My question is how does this help HiFimatt who asked the question?
I guess the big thing is if cables burn in then there is a change to the physical or molecular make up of the wire used. If that is the case how and when does that process stop happening or do cables have a life span? Do they sound better and then slowly start sounding bad again. Is it a case of controlled obsolesance by the cable manufacturers? I am not into the whole agrue for the sake of argue, and I also am not going to the electricians manual for my answers, I just don't get it. Everything else in our lives that requires a break-in has a point where they are worn out or spent. Is that the case here? If I am being a pest, turn up the music and drowned me out!
I'll just say the same thing again. Listen for yourself, and if you hear a difference or not, you'll make your own decision.
Pbb, of course I would reconsider my position on Analog/vinyl,SET/single-drivers. And if I found a digital/disc/SS/multi-driver setup that exceeded my system, I'd buy it, if I could afford it. And if not, I'd save up for it. Don't think that is very likely though. I'm not as closed minded as you may think, but I also know what good sound is, and I'm not shy about saying what I think.
Dave 1117, I have this question in many different ways in these pages, flippantly, seriously, tongue-in-cheek, etc.. Never got an answer. I think that this may be a reductio ad absurdum, but I think this line of reasoning is a valid way of showing that burnin, while maybe a valid concern on a theoritical level, (more so probably when dealing with transducers since they have a whole mechanical side to them), is, for all practical purposes, a non-issue best left in the hands of the insecure. From the margins of audiophilia, good day.
Bomarc, I don't think that you should be insulted. I am not for that. God knows I get it enough.
But the psychological thing goes 2 ways. It can just as easily be said the ones who do not hear a difference are psychologically influencing their perceptions, because they don't want to hear something. That is equally as valid as saying that we do hear something because we want to hear it.
So I accept your position and opinion, and you are entitled to it. However, I just wish to point out that it may not be the burn-in proponents who are being psychologically influenced in our hearing. It may just as easily be the non-burn-in proponents. Because the psychological thing cuts both ways. Sorry for the redundancies.
Ok Bormarc, I appologize. The first one I just thought was sort of funny and ironic and I am sure you didn't. I am a bit touchy about the EE textbook stuff. I spent years arguing with EE guys in Audio retail way back. It was then not about burn in, but that cables contributed their own sound to a system(do you think all cables sound the same?). How many times can you hear "wire is wire" and find any credability in anything they have to say about sound after a while. (not all EE guys are lead eared book worms,my brother happens to be an EE and is into tubes and is very open minded about things that we don't know how to measure)I just don't understand how you are helping to answer the question of HiFimatt, who let you know that he is in a different camp from the start? You feel some need to convert him to your side? You are entilted to your opinion but you are the one who goes against the grain in this thread and open yourself up to a few jabs. No harm meant.
How 'bout a testimonial
I sold a pair of NBS Monitor 1 speaker cables to an individual who didn't believe in cable burn-in. He emailed me telling me the cables sucked and that his former Monster Cables were superior. I told him to give the cables a good week or so for them to burn-in, even though they were already used. After a few more "angry" emails from him, I got a strongly worded apology. He claimed all of a sudden the cables began to open up and pull in more detail in the upper ranges, increased resolution, darker background, lower noise floor, etc. He said couldn't believe his ears and his friends couldn't believe their ears either.
He's now a believer!
In our journey through the Universe, we delve into AUDIO, part of the unexplained. Maxgain, do you seriously think that everything is a mystery wrapped in an enigma? Do you serioulsly think that puttering around with cables and anything audio and opining willy nilly based on conjecture, wonky premises, uncontrolled observations, and idle chatter with other audiophiles is what got us to this point? Yes there are many, many things not even dreamt of in our philosophy, electrical current is not one of them. Does not mean every piece of equipment sounds the same, simply means subjective audio is a parlour game.
I HAVE learned something from this post.
I have gone through and read many of Pbb's posts and have come to the realization that once he arrives at a thread it will digress into a quagmire of naysayers nonsense and thus becomes pointless to continue on.
What got us to this point is people who kept an open mind. I'm done here! I will watch out for your posts Pbb and I will avoid those threads like the plague.
I believe that there are a huge number of variable proccesses that are going on during the performance of interconnect or the speaker cable. To explain this proccess you gotta be a scientist in all sciences(probably excluding IT but might be handy anyway).
In addition to that in order to discuss this event you gotta be phsychologist as well in order NOT to emphisize what you partially know or don't know at all.
What seems to me that some folks dump dung on each other without complete understanding of what's realy going on.
There is only one thing now either to believe or not to believe.
The case with Rosstaman seems to me pretty-trivial. I had tried cables that out of the box gave their presence and shown the improvement over the old ones so there is still a need to find a truth...
TO THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY
The best thing to do is erase all manufacturer or dealer suggestions, QUIT counting break-in hours and simply listen to the music with your free mind when you need and don't listen when you don't need. The extraneous sympthoms of Audiophilia that start to raise in forms of cable or interconnect break-in might be very distructive to your mind and the replies that you're now recently reading in your post are the clear evidence to that:-).
P.S. If you can hear when the earthquake is about to start like a lizard and can capture dolphin's ultra-sound chat than you might probably have fully-developed Audiophillia.
It is a shame that this thread turned out to be a "Battle of the Wits"(so to speak) The person who started this thread asked a simple question that can be answered in simple layman terms.Yes, cable break in is a "real" physical phenomena, and not psychological. I am not a physicist but I feel that I have a good set of ears and I can honestly hear the difference between a new cable and that same cable while it is breaking in. There are different negative sounds that a new cable has( harsh highs,bloated bass,constricted midrange,minimal soundstage,etc.),but it is fascinating to hear all these negative characteristics go away as the cable breaks in. I think this cable break in is part of the fun of being an Audiophile. It's one of those things we have to deal with when we put together our little "dream systems". I will second the motion for you to search the threads under "break" and add that any of the popular cable manufacturers can explain to you in simple terms how this cable break-in phenomena works.
what's up Hifimatt and everyone,
ok, to solve you problem, you should try to buy The System Enhancer Rev-B by
Purist Audio Design, I did. This thing work great! in the first 74 minutes you notice the
difference, plus is very ease to use, just hit Play, price for it is $150 not cheap but
will do the job, or you can send the cables to a dealer for a small fee some time at no
charge! check with JC Audio(http://www.jcaudio.com/cablebreakinservice.html)
They use The AUDIODHARMA CABLE COOKER 2.0. Hope this Help.
ok, to solve you problem, you should try to buy The System Enhancer Rev-B by Purist Audio Design, I did. This thing work great! the improvements is amazing! in the first 74 minute you notice the difference, plus is very easy to use, just hit Play, price for it is $150 not cheap but will do the job, or you can send the cable to a dealer for a small fee some time at no charge! check with JC Audio(http://www.jcaudio.com/cablebreakinservice.html) They use The AUDIODHARMA CABLE COOKER 2.0. Hope this Help.