Light them on fire (?)
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i have it. the problem with it and other such devices is that cable performance will differ from the usualm method--feeding a musical signal.
i have found that the frequency response is affected by the burn in devices.
i have noticed a slight attenuation in the treble and a slight softening of bass frequencies.
if you do use a break-in device, make sure to feed the cable or component music for at least a week.
perhaps you can find one used somewhere, if you wish to purchase one.
another approach is the purist audio break-in disc, which i also have. its a cd that you play three times. i can't vouch for its effectiveness, compared to the fry baby.
Thanks Mrtennis ...
Sounds like you're not thrilled (with FryBaby). I just put new IC's on today (from Anti-Cable). All is sounding pretty good, but would like to really know what I've bought before the estimated 500 hour normal break-in is complete. Trials & tribulations of the audio quest, I guess.
No personal experience with the "Burn-in-generator". I do not think that I would use one anyway. You should Know within two weeks if you like the cable or not. What you get with more time is a refinement of the basic cable qualities. In other words, if the cable sounds good and makes a positive contribution to your system, it will only get better. How much better will vary from system to system and much of the perceived improvement will be very personal to the listener.
I would prefer to break in cables with a break in cd or use the repeat function on your cd player.
having auditioned many cable sets, as a reviewer, i can say that sometimes the initial impression of a cable, changes with break-in. on several occasions i have liked a cable out of the box, only to change my mind after 300 hours. in two cases i went from liking to disliking a cable.
so , i would say, reserve judgment until after break-in.
Not sure why anyone would consider a burn in generator. I guess if you have tube equipment and don't listen to often ( ten or fifteen hours a week ) I could understand it.
I've been using an all solid state system the last few years and like most, leave it on 24/7/52, just turn it down at night so not to bother family members, 2 weeks equals 336 hour.
Have not found the need for tubes since shedding myself of door sized panel speakers. Don't miss those horrid looking speakers or hot running tubes one bit.
I have to say it but the names of these devices sound terrible . I never want to ":fry" anything nor "burn" my gear either.
Sorry about this off topic question, but why would one want to use tubes as a first choice, on a large panel speaker. I would be inclined to use SS on them and tubes on cones and domes ?
Ok, here goes. Have the frybaby. Works as advertised really. Dont want to take away anything from anyone elses experiences here, but havent yet encountered any kind of attenuating of the highs or softening of the bass on anything Ive tried it on so far (various ICs and different speaker cables, no pcs yet). I was glad I got one, it did, the first time I tried it on some old Monster Cable ICs that had literally thousands of hours on them, wake them right up much more open, noticeably better highs, a bit better defined transients. I could compare them directly to several other sets of the same ICs that were the same age (a big bag of orphaned wires). But, you could say in the case of the MCs it worked a little too well. It revealed the sonic signature of the ICs that the frybaby couldnt change the lower mid coloration and overall slowness of the cables still remained along with noticeable grit. Actually, because of the frybaby results, I began to suspect that the cable was not an inherently good design. At the time I was first getting my feet wet with the basics of DIY cable design and I got curious enough to cut a pair open and see for myself what was underneath. Lo and behold, after the removing the thick, thick, black insulation and the copper braid shield, the internal conductor (hot) was (for an IC) a very thick gauge of multi-strand wire ! A definite No No. Good grief. No Wonder it had so much grit and lower mid coloration all that copper and multi-strand yet nothing but grit. No minimalist design, to say the least. Evedently these things must have been designed for only one purpose - sheer durablilty. All that was kinda crazy to me at the time.
Then I got curious again. If the frybaby was NOT changing the adverse effects of the conductor here, then what WAS it working on? I suspected it was the insulation, so I came up with a simple experiment to help shed some light. I took yet another identical pair of the MCs (400mkIIs) and cut them down, removing everything but the connectors and hot (and a white nylon tubing around the hot that I couldnt remove) and return wiring and gave them a listen. Presto! Even a bit More open than the frybabied wires that still had their insulation on them untouched. That told me something and I began to get some ideas about insulation in general and began to suspect that insulation can be a far more deleterious thing on sound quality than we average audiophiles even imagine, but still needed more confirmation.
Later on I tested some OFC speaker wires, again more than 20 years of use on them (thick polyethylene insulation). Again they were much more open than before the frybaby, even the soundstage was a little better not night and day or anything, but I could at least tell that there was a difference and that the difference was actually an improvement and not just a sideways change. Tried it later on a new pair of MAC Silver Soundpipe ICs, this time without much success a little improvement on first listen compared to the unbroken-in sound, but not much. I tried to repeat the treatment and the sound deteriorated. According to Hagerman it is possible to overcook something (its that burning smell just kidding ;>). Actually if you should ever do that by accident or on purpose you then just play 40 or 50 hours of music through the wire and the problem is cured which is what I had to do the MACs. After that I was content to continue break-in according to the maker. Some makers do not recommend cooking with their wires (or particular ones of theirs, anyway). Wasnt sure about the MACs until I tried it. Didnt know if I was entirely sure it was the silver conductors or the insulation (different kind than that black, rubbery/spongy type that MC and others use which was so prevalent for so long, until more recently. Then I tried it on some Monarchy PCOCC speaker wires (good stuff!). Out of the box the wires were better in all respect that what Id been used to, but things werent very open yet, although I still had great faith in break-in for that. But, they were covered in the very same soft, black insulation as the MCs were so This time instead of using the frybaby on them I simply (and with painstaking care not to stress the PCOCC conductors) removed the insulation with an Exacto knife. (removing the outer jacketing can mess a trifle bit with capacitance with a star-quad design, but found it to be sonically negligible in my setup). Not only did everything spring to life in the openness department, but from that point on there was zero more break-in period nada, gone, zilcho.
What that told me was twofold: that insulation in general can be a big factor (maybe the single biggest factor) to consider in (wire) break-in and also that this very kind of black, spongy insulation may well be the frybabys favorite food and, by way of its algorithm, that may even be what it was designed to do a cheap (single-algorithm) cooker thats squarely aimed at the insulation thats on about 60% of the wiring out there and most especially on the lower-cost wiring (on about 60% of the wiring at the time of the frybabys inception, at least). But, owning the frybaby has been eye-opening and Ive even begun to look at my wiring purchases differently as a result. Purchased a pair of Mapleshade Excalibur ribbon ICs (and have been delighted with them) on the strength of the attention given to insulation (among other things) and despite the fact that Mr. Sprey insists that they be burned in with music only. Big lesson for me: black, spongy insulation = always BAD, period. Better even to not have it at all than to cook it (with the frybaby at least). Why would you want to use a bandaid when you can avoid getting a bruise in the first place? Sure the difference between sonics of the wires with removed outer insulation and the frybabied wires was only about 5-10% improvement, but removing the problem stuff was free. Destroying resale value may not be for everyone, but I must be enough of a DIYer that, for my own purposes, I dont always really care about that so much, unless it's a big-time investment, anyway. There may be other insulation out there the frybaby is either just as good with or maybe not nearly so good with, but I will leave that for others to pick up on, but unless I should run across an experience to the contrary, this is pretty much my own 2 cents so far. Regards.
An addendum to Ivan nosnibor's post, with which I agree. It's particularly
important to cook phono cables, the ones used from a cart/tonearm to a
phonostag,e because the signal they carry is so minuscule that the cables
never get really broken-in otherwise. Friends and I have also used my
FryKleaner to cook the tonearm wires themselves. Takes a little ingenuity
but is well worth the trouble and, yes, the results are audible in terms of
clarity and openness.
EDIT: Do not have the cartridge attached to the tonearm wires if
attempting this. The idea is to cook ONLY the tonearm wires, which
requires making a wire harness to connect to the clips at the cartridge end.
And do not exceed the number of hours (72 maximum in the case of the
FryKleaner; for others, use the cooker manufacturer's recommendation) for
the tonearm wire "burn." You're dealing with fragile wires here and don't
blame me for any accidents/overcooking/etc :-)
Dopogue - I agree with you. It is almost impossible for a phono cable to burn in with that miniscule signal passing through it. Especially silver ones. Here's what I did.
I got some male RCA's and some reasonable lengths of solid core copper wire of a gauge that fits into the cartridge clips. I soldered the wire to the male RCA's and inserted the other, bare end into the cartridge clips. Then I plugged the male RCA's into my CD player and the other end of the phono interconnect into my preamp inputs (NOT the phono circuit). Then let it spin and break in just like any other interconnect. It burns in both the tonearm wire and the phono interconnact at the same time.
100 hours of that will never be replicated via the output of a regular phono cartridge.
I confirm what is said about the Fry. I discovered as well the importance of the dielectricum. What I have done is to make 2 pairs of cables using Mundorf Ag-Au, same gauge, same connectors (WBT), but one pair is teflon isolated and the other is bare and cotton isolated, same geometry. It makes a (huge) difference (before and after Frying)!
We were asked to test some cable burn-in processes a few years back and it
was interesting to see the various ideas about cable burn-in. Square-waves,
slow triangle rise-fall time, random noise pattern to sinsodial waveforms were
seen from the burn-in boxes; all at different current levels over differing
1.) The first thing we did was look at the output waveform from the different burn-in
boxes. [We are asked not to name-names]
2.) Before we did a burn-in, we tested the cables with our network analyzer and captured
their individual Smith-charts: SWR graphed.
2-pair of the same cable-type were used. [a small sample I know...]
3.) We then had some 'quailified' listeners [hand picked] listen to the new cables
and recorded the responses on the cables that we tested.
4.) We then burned the test cables using two ways: 1-set per test process.
a) The high curent pulse burn-in for short periods: 1 amp at 10 pulses,
1 sec per pulse; done one time.
b) Music-burn-in: Mozart-type at 250 mA for 10 minutes
on/off over one hour period.
Our findings were that the Hi-pulse burn-in sounded the worst, while the music-fed
cables sounded better. The Smith charts changed as was expected.
We then tested various wire types made up into the same design as the test cables.
The wires were all copper-wire with different insulations on them.
The softer insulation sounded the warmest while the hardest -teflon_type-
were harsher. We began to test silver wires and other manufactured cables,
but we were asked to stop the testing. [for political reasons]
The insulation changes as we were to discover due to the mechanical boundries of the
insulation's structure. 'Warming' the cable over the normal use of cables relaxes some
of these natural boundries.
Forcing the cable to burn-in quickly seems to be un-needed as the cable will eventually
assume their burn-in configuaration due to 'normal' use. [un-forced]
Also for note:
Cryo-testing was also done with the result of no noticable long term changes in the 'froze' cable.
We tested the 'normal-cables', graphed them and then froze one cable of the set. The two
SWR charts of the test cables were differnt, but after 3 days of normal warimng to room
temperature the froze cable's chart looked like the un-froze cable enetually.
Cryo-treating seems un-necessary.
Audiodharma Cable Cooker- Absolutely love mine! I investigated this and the Frybaby and picked this for its broader burn-in signal frequencies and higher signal amplitude for speaker and power cables. This device reduces the noise floor and opens up the soundstage. It lets you hear what'son the recordor CD. It does NOT affect the frequency response in any way! ICs are most improved I think because the typical signal strength is not strong to break them in adequately. You know that as if you take an old cable that's been used 1,000s of hours it still improves dramatically. You have to hear what these things do. You can play cable roulette all you want buying expensive cables but you're wasting your money without one of these.
It seems to me that the biggest problem with Cable Cookers is their manufacturers' claims that they can completely break in a brand new cable in 2-4 days. Imagine you have a new interconnect or speaker cable, which normally requires 250 hours of music signal to burn in. If it spends the first 4 days of its life on a cable cooker before installation in your system, my repeated experience (across a variety of cable types) is that it's still going to require 250 hours of music signal! All that cable cooking achieves is to make the cable sound less bad while you're getting the hours up.
Phono cables are a different issue, while several respondents also refer to using a Cooker to "refresh" well-used cables; I don't dispute any of those observations.
I've had and used the Hagerman Frykleaner Pro for several years, and have had no reason to be displeased with its performance regarding the run in of various cables. The Cable Company burns in its cables, though I haven't asked about which particular device they use. Of course, their cables are moved about/rolled up and sent through the mail to those wanting to audition them. In those instances when I have received any of their cables I've typically given them a short "refresh" or restorative(?) burn in with my Frykleaner Pro before listening.
After having my Audiodharma Cable Cooker (from Audio Excellence AZ) for two years, I think they are required equipment for any audiophile who wants to enjoy the full potential of their power cords, interconnects, speaker cables and even headphone cables.
It has greatly improved my Audioquest, Black Sands, PS Audio, Morrow, and Synergistic Research products. And yes, a short refresh on the Conditioner every three to four months is worth the effort in sonic improvement.
I just realized that the LHC (the large particle accelerator built in Switzerland that recently found the Higgs Boson and contains billions of dollars worth of unbelievably sensitive detectors) probably did not burn in their cables! Shall we let them know that burning them in will definitely improve detection?
the problem with break-in devices is that they provide a signal different from a music. thus the sound of the cable will differ after it is "burned-in", with one of them vs passing a musical signal.
also consider the current requirement of the component receiving the cable. burning in a cable with a low current source for a component that has a high current use, e.g., an amp, will create a different result than providing a signal from a high current source.
thus, i have been told to connect a power cord to a refridgerator to burn it in for use with an amp.
Connecting the cable to a fridge is a great idea. I actually tried it at some point but found the sound coming the the cable to be a bit too cold. So I connected the cable to the stove for a couple of days and voila! Perfectly burned in cable. You might also consider leaving it out in the sun for a while. All these sun rays definitely have to improve sound cable quality...