Typically the answer is no as the input impedance is unchanged regardless if the preamp is on or off but it may vary by manufacturer. Another option is to use a tuner instead of CD player.
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In my opinion, as long as your ears aren't bleeding, I would just let them burn in naturally over time instead of knocking yourself out. If you are determined to burn them in, you should list the cable maker in your post, since burn in time will vary among the different makers and their own particular cable model.
Cyclonicman- the new cable is the Signal Cable silver resolution. I have been using this cable from pre to amp for over a year and for the money it is excellent, better than the AQ Jaguar here imo. I was curious whether using the same cable to connect the CD player to pre would best my current wireworld gold eclipse ($$) and wondered whether there might be a synergistic effect of having all Signal interconnects in my system except for the speaker cables which are AQ Everest biwire. I also realize that cables are very system dependent. I have read that the Signal cable needs in excess of 100 hours to really settle down and open up. After only about 20 hours of burn-in, the Signal cable already bested the WW in low frequency extension and control (articulation) and the highs were also more extended but not quite as smooth as the WW but may improve with additional break-in time. The mids aren't fully fleshed out yet and the soundstage still needs to open up (more). However, these are characteristics which potentially improve with additional cable break-in time. To be fair, I will reserve further comparison with my WW until after I'm confident that the break-in period is complete. However, I will say that in my system the Signal cable is seriously good especially for the money.
In my experience, the high frequencies took the longest to settle in during cable burn in and 100 hours is actually not a very long break in period. I have a Speltz Anticable from my tuner to my preamp and Jim Speltz recommends a break in time of 500 hours. I find this very funny since there is a 30 day return policy if not satisfied!! Anyway, based on your post, I think your setup will sound great when the Signal Cable is broken in completely. In my CD setup, I switched from Nordost SPM to a Cardas Golden Reference interconnect. I just felt that the SPM which is a silver cable was a bit strident at the top end. However, it was great when used between other components. Enjoy the transformation!!
personally I'd say if the signal doesn't flow from the source and back to it, you are wasting your time spinning CDs without the peramp being on.
Cables don't know what source is what... use the cable box... or in another rig somewhere.
I've never understood why folks spin their expensive CDPs to burn in cables. A signal is a signal. Use the one which costs less to run... sat box, cable box, tuner... or in a secondary rig.
I've seem more break in time alloted to power cords than to ICs. I've never had ICs which took more than a couple weeks to run in either. 250hrs tops. Most are right on between 100 - 200.
The preamp DOES NOT have to be powered up. The voltage swings in a musical signal are generated solely by the source, and nothing is added (or sent back to the source) by the pre. AS long as the interconnect is hooked up to the load component, and music with heavy bass content(or a burn in disc) being played: the burn-in will be successful.
I must be missing sojmething or electron flow theory has significantly changed in the recent past somehow.
Just how is the current/voltage being allowed to return to the source component if the downstream preamp is not powered up?
I am thinking the circuit would be open in that event and no signal, voltage, or current will be conducted in an open circuit. Neither would one be passed in a shorted ckt which could also be the deal without power to the secondary component, again, allowing the signal to return to the source.
I must be missing sojmething or electron flow theory has significantly changed in the recent past somehow.
Simple. You just place the preamp below the source - that way the heavy bass can slide down the interconnects easily.
If you look at the manual for your preamp, the section dealing with source connections generally is titled, "INPUTS". That's because the signal voltage(and it's swings) are coming FROM the source to the pre. The input impedance of the pre remains the same and completes the circuit for the source's interconnects, whether the unit is turned on or not, because there are PASSIVE components(attenuator/resistor/etc) in any preamp's input circuitry that present a load for them. The only signal that LEAVES the preamp, does so from the OUTPUTS. To burn interconnects between a pre and power amp: The amp(likewise) need not be powered up for exactly the same reasons(passive components at the inputs), while a source and the pre would(to provide signal voltage TO the interconnects).
I now have over 100 hours on the Signal SR i/c (see original post) and while the top end has smoothed out it is still just a tad strident for my taste. While this may improve with additional burn in time, I'm not so sure the midrange warmth which gives vocals body will ever emerge. Maybe I have too much silver wire in my system or maybe it's something else but I may need to try a different i/c. The low end of the Signal cable siver resolution is to die for in my system. Just superb rhythm, speed and articulation. I'll give it more time.
This will be my final post on the Signal Cable. I made one significant change and all the issues I had with the Signal Cable resolved. Before I tell you what change that was, let me remind you that I have Signal silver resolution ic running from my pre to amp and have been happy with it. I had wireworld gold eclipse from cd player to pre and wondered whether replacing it with the much less expensive Signal cable would yield improvements (synergy?). It's important to point out that I use a Furman pf-15 line conditioner. With the wireworld ic I had found that there was glare in the upper-mids when my CD player was connected to the Furman so I left the CD player connected directly to the wall outlet. I kept my pre and amp connected to the Furman. If you read back in this thread, I commented on some of the changes I heard as the Signal was breaking in. The lows were outstanding from the start, the highs were extended and smoothed out over time, the mids seemed to be lacking warmth but there was something that just did not sound right and I was beginning to think that the new Signal cable was just not going to work for me. I had a hard time figuring out what the problem was- too much high end? not enough warmth? And then, just for the heck of it, I connected my CD player up to the Furman and like magic, everything became clearer, more musical and better balanced top to bottom. This is the best my system has ever sounded by far (wife agreed and she has better ears), so easy to listen to and the music sounds so right. I don't know why but with the wireworld and using the furman there was glare and with the Signal cable and the furman it goes away. In the context of my total system, the signal cable silver resolution is a truly great cable regardless of price but it took some experimenting to get everything to work well together. It was well worth it.
About pre-amps being on or off during break-in: test it. Use an ammeter to see if current is flowing from your cd player to your pre-amp while your pre-amp is 1) on, and 2) off.
My guess is that while off, the input impedance of the pre- is virtually infinite, and while on it is some measurable high value. (Probably not that high though, not on the order of megaohms.)
The circuit theory involved is simple -- while the load impedance is infinite, there is a voltage drop across + and -, but no current flows; when there is an impedance less than infinity, you will still have a voltage drop across the load, and current will flow. (V=IR; I=V/R.)
I never thought about keeping the pre-amp off. Of course, I let cables burn-in naturally by running signal through before, during, and after listening for a while. I believe it is the current flow that may break-in the cable, and not merely presenting a voltage drop across a virtually open circuit (where, as a result of the laws of nature, no current will flow). The current flow requirement in my thinking comes from the (capacitive) dielectric properties of the cable.
Special cd for burn-in? Does it sound any good? There is a market that I missed out on creating. Beaten to the punch! We used to use white noise from a tuner in the high-end shops. Cheaper, and you could meditate to it (at home, not at work, of course). Alternatively, we used to use music. A novel idea since music was what we would ultimately listen to with the system.
A passive component(in this case generally an attenuator) does not change it's impedance value when the equipment in which it's installed is turned either on or off. The CDP or DAC output will never see a "virtually open circuit". Just put an ohmeter across the input of a preamp while turned off to verify.
given these posts and assumptions why bother to do anything other than connect the cables and allow their differing potentials and impeadances to burn them in.... BTW... Do you have to plug the hagerman thingy into an AC power supply?
Imagine that. I'd think Mr. hagerman would be all over this cable burn in biz, huh? Why do you suppose he uses electricity to generate a signal with sufficient values to run in cables, instead of the static approach previously mentioned?
here's a thought... let's have a race. Two folks buy the same cables. one pair each. one goes the static route by merely leaving them plugged into a nonoperational componenet, and the other goes the archaine path of actually turning the components on and sending a signal thru the cables. At the end of 10 days another third party will listen to each cable pair, static and regular, not knowing which is which and report back. thereafter, each of the ones directly involved can try them... again not knowing which or how they were run in.
I'd bet money, in a honest examination, there will be easily descernable diffs... with the hot pair being the more amenable ones.
Good idea? Bad Idea?
the suggestion to use a break-in device is based upon the idea of not hastening the demise of a laser mechanism.
a tuner or other low current source is suitable as well.
i agree that using a break-in device as compared to say a cd player will initially produce contrasting sonic differences. i suspect, after some duration, one won't be able to distinguish one pair from another. however, i'm not sure of the duration of a signal passed through an interconnect cable, neede to erase initial sonic differences.
MrTennis, et al
My take solely is about the 'static' (uphill or down) non energized method mentioned above for cables run in periods vs. energized 'conducting a strong signal' thru them with componenets at both ends being powered up.
Consequently, due to the mention of the Hagerman device, and the philosphy behind it's construction & operation, why is it powered, or even offered at all? Aside from the obvious application for tube saving uses.... if static or non current sending is as good a thing to do for breaking in cables?
I ask only because with the presence of such a device of and by itself, a statement which seems to me to be quite ludicrous is made towards one camp or the other. At the OR very least one of great irony.
does a cdp require eelectricity ? if so it is hard to say that it will generate more or less kwh than a break-in device. both use elctricity and the break in device does not require an interface with another component.
it is simply a case of the use of a cd player or tuner or a break-in device. both require a source of power.
there are no other issues. case closed.
I did in fact see the threads writer solved his deal.
I'm simply enthralled with the notion that devices don't need to both be on for cables to be run in.
Seeing the mention of the active cable cooker also makes me think, then, it has to be otherwise.
Then too I thought about power cords. Both cables conduct. Both cables pass signals, one more narrow than the other of course and with far greater amplitude... when active.
Naturally then too, then came thoughts of speaker cables.
Doesn't it seem odd to anyone else that each of these cable types transmit signals yet only interconnects can run in without active components at either end of them being in use?
It just fascinates me. That's all.
how do cable makers feel about the notion of interconnects getting broken in using an active device on only one end of the cabling?
It takes current through a cable for it to break in. I think all of us could agree to this. First, the cable must be connected to a source that is on and has a signal. For example, this source could be a CD player or tuner. Second, it must be connected to a load which has some input impedance such that it will draw a current. This could be a preamp. Preamps present an input impedance whether they are on or off. If you don't believe this, just measure it with a ohm meter. The lower this impedance, the more current is drawn and the faster the cable will break in. If the preamp is off, it just doesn't amplify the signal that it sees.
OP here. I did not have a component other than 2 CD players with balanced outs to break-in the cables otherwise I would have used my tuner. I left the preamp off during most of the burn-in but occasionally listened to music I was very familiar with. The cable changed over the course of 100+ hours and as it became more listenable I continued the burn-in by playing CDs and listening to music. I can no longer detect changes in the sound therefore I feel I have a pretty good idea about the character of the cables in the context of my system and set-up. This thread wasn't intended to be a review but I will say that the Signal silver resolution cables do some things extremely well and overall, for the money, I think they are a bargain. I thank all those who posted above for a very interesting discussion.