Beware of the cable claiming long burn in period.


Almost all the audio equipment including speaker need burn in time.

But I had bad experience with one digital cable recently.

Some people blew the horn on it and claimed burn in time more than 100 hours.

Out of box it had lot of details but etched.

After 8 weeks (around 200 hours) it got little bit better but its overall performance is not better than other digital cable that I have had.

Now it is too late to return it.

Beware of any cable claiming more than 50 hours of burn in time.

The chance is high that you will waste your time and money.
7aeeb429 76a8 4040 a90e 93802cf27573shkong78
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Why didn’t you return the cable before the return time period had lapsed if you didn’t like the cable?

If the digital cable is a coax with RCA or BNC plugs just for the heck of it flip it end for end. Listen to it after reversing it and listen again after a few hours of signal passing through it. Good chance it will sound different. Hopefully better to your liking.



.





If the OP had a return privledge which seems to the case based upon his representation hear then his failure, unwillingness, and resistance to returning it for a refund is obviously a problem of his own cause, inaction, and creation.
They all require long burn in times. So what’s the difference? Hel-loo! Beware the guy who tells you it sounds good right out of the box.
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This just reminds me of the Morrow thread from a little while ago.

When the return period is shorter than the break-in period, you know there's a problem.

Threads like these are perfect examples of why falling for audiophile tropes like "everything needs burn in" doesn't have good consequences.There's enough real things for an audiophile to worry about let alone sitting around wringing hands over "burn in."  But...it's your dime....
I once owned a California Audio Labs Delta CD transport, with both their Sigma and Alpha DACs. Given they were to sit side by side(Delta/DAC) I thought a .5M Kimber Orchid would be a good AES/EBU to try. Couldn’t listen to it, regardless of time in service, or which DAC I tried. Then I remembered something about, "reflections" and, ’jitter", resulting from too short a digital cable length. Purchased a 1.5M Orchid and everything was wonderful(but- still got better, with time). Regarding burn-in time for cables: I’ve always held(yeah: my opinion) that part of it was attributable to the fact that cables are capacitors(actually, an LC circuit, to a degree) and their dielectric’s dipoles need time to align themselves, with relation to whatever voltages/signals they’re going to be dealing, before they sound their best. The better the dielectric(ie: Teflon, Polypropylene, etc) the lower the dielectric absorption, but- the longer the process takes. I suppose, moving cables around, might scramble one’s dipoles, as well. Perhaps that’s why some mention having to re-burn-in their cables, after handling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric_absorption
I agree with Elizabeth.Everything needs some break in time.Since I don't listen all day every day like she does,if something can't sound good and stay that way after 50-100 hours then back it goes.
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It is Blackcat Silverstar MK2 digital cable.

Upon reading some thread here, I had high expectation of it.

But it is terribly etched out of box..

Some user of the cable claimed more than 100 hours for full burn in.

I also tend to give at least more than 50 hours of burn in before judging the cables.


After 200 hours, it got better but not better than Silnote Morpheus II 200$ digital cable that I had kept earlier.

Actually 200$ cable sounds more organic.

This cable is not terribly bad after full burn in but has no special magic as claimed by some of its users.

Now I may get the lessen.

If I do not like cables after 50 hours, I will send it back.

Some cables may keep getting better after 100 hours.

But they shall be pretty good by that time, otherwise there is no reason to give it more chance.

Thomas
@shkong-  What length is that Blackcat?
For what reason prof needed to insult the discussion? I do not know.

I didn’t insult anyone...unless offering a different opinion is considered ’insulting.’

shkong78 bought a digital cable on the expectation that cables burn in and change sound and has clearly been put out that it did not ’improve’ to the point he expected. He indicates he has wasted time and money on this.

If it’s the case (and I don’t see good evidence to the contrary) that digital cables don’t ’burn in’ and change audible performance, then his concerns themselves have been a waste of time and money.

As I say: when I see the level of handwringing many audiophiles have over the ’sound’ of cables, much less "the changing sound of cables" and other such beliefs...it makes me glad not to engage in those particular belief systems.



@ shkong78

Flip the cable end for end and listen if it make a difference. What are you out, other than a little bit of your time.


Quote from article:

[" After measuring the first two products (the PS Lambda and the Panasonic SV-3700), I went back and repeated my measurements to make sure the analyzer was giving consistent results, and that my test setup was correct. When I remeasured the SV-3700, I got about half the jitter than when I first measured it!

What caused this reduction in measured jitter?

Changing the direction of the digital interconnect between the transport and the jitter analyzer.

This phenomenon was easily repeatable: put the cable in one direction and read the RMS jitter voltage, then reverse the cable direction and watch the RMS jitter voltage drop. Although I’d heard differences in digital-cable directionality, I was surprised the difference in jitter was so easily measurable—and that the jitter difference was nearly double.

To confirm this phenomenon, I repeated the test five times each on three different digital interconnects. One was a generic audio cable, the other two were Mod Squad Wonder Link and Aural Symphonics Digital Standard, both highly regarded cables specifically designed for digital transmission. The generic cable wasn’t directional: it produced the same high jitter in either direction. But both the Wonder Link and the Aural Symphonics had lower jitter levels overall, but different jitter levels depending on their direction. Moreover, the generic cable had higher jitter than either of the two premium cables—even in the latters’ "high-jitter" direction."]

End of quote.


https://www.stereophile.com/content/transport-delight-cd-transport-jitter-page-4#OWq65osrZl7FLAUR.99



.
I’m not a robot
I disagree 100% with the poster. I had the exact cable he is complaining about. Its not a warm / fuzzy cable nor its it lean and etched like other cables that I have heard. It took over 300 hours to really sound great. Like with any component some of them take few hours and some take well over 400 hrs to settle.
At first the cable did present a little bit of hardness on top and even remember writing to Wig about this (who also owned the cable). Eventually that hardness on top subsided. I have tinnitus so a component has to have a smooth top end and natural midrange sound and that is exactly what Black Cat are all about. I liked the cable so much I traded in the cable and bought the top of the line cable. But at the end of the day, go with what makes you happy, synergy is key to having a great system.
aniwolfe,

"It took over 300 hours to really sound great."


What do you think is happening within the cable over those 300 hours that would alter the sound?
@ aniwolfe

Choice of cable is dependent on system and personal taste.

But I can not recommend Blackcat  digital cable to anybody after 200 hours of use.

As the last comparison, I had been switching back and forth between Zenwave D4 (500$) digital cable and Siverstar MkII for 4 hours this morning.

Zenwave is one and half notch above Siverstar MkII in better focus and natural details and presentation.

I am not willing to spend more of my time on so- so cable anymore.




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@prof 
I let me ears decide on components. If the cable was bright or lean or etched in my system, I would have packed its bags. If you dont believe in cable burn in, then I don't know what to tell you. Maybe you can tell me what is happening inside during the 300 hours? When I tried talking to the cable, she didn't say anything. Maybe the cat had its tongue?? Oh well lol

@shkong78 
I am glad you are enjoying your Silnote cable.. But to say the silverstar is a so so cable is laughable. I would never trust your opinion. Bye!

prof1,714 posts02-18-2019 4:32pmaniwolfe,

"It took over 300 hours to really sound great."


What do you think is happening within the cable over those 300 hours that would alter the sound?

>>>>Unbelievable. 
I think there is also a manufacturer assumption that a 100+  hour burn in will take less than 8 weeks...
aniwolfe,

Maybe you can tell me what is happening inside during the 300 hours?




One possibility is that there are physical changes occurring within the cable over that time that alter the sound in a way you are able to hear.

However, that boutique digital cables "sound different" than basic, capable digital cables is highly disputed by engineers and many people who know about computing.  Let alone that a digital cable "changes sound" over time.   So from what I've read on the cable debate, the plausibility technically speaking is wanting in such claims.

Another possibility is that you imagined the difference you "heard."

This has plenty of plausibility - endless studies on the malleability and unreliability of our perception support this possibility.


But...many audiophiles don't like confronting those facts.  Makes things inconvenient for some portion of the hobby.

Again: I am not rendering some absolute judgement on why you heard what you think you heard - whether it had an objective or purely subjective basis.  I'm just pointing out the case for skepticism.  You are not at all obligated of course to change anything in your purchasing behavior based on this.  If you are firmly wedded to a purely subjective method of trying to understand audio, this will fall on deaf ears ;-)

@prof - "Maybe you can tell me what is happening inside during the 300 hours?" Here’s one possibility, for you to ignore, again: Regarding burn-in time for cables: I’ve always held(yeah: my opinion) that part of it was attributable to the fact that cables are capacitors(actually, an LC circuit, to a degree) and their dielectric’s dipoles need time to align themselves, with relation to whatever voltages/signals they’re going to be dealing, before they sound their best. The better the dielectric(ie: Teflon, Polypropylene, etc) the lower the dielectric absorption, but- the longer the process takes. I suppose, moving cables around, might scramble one’s dipoles, as well. Perhaps that’s why some mention having to re-burn-in their cables, after handling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric_absorption Perhaps you can tell me, WHY that can’t be a cause(or, "plausible"), SCIENTIFICALLY?
I think, generally speaking, 300 hours of burn-in is the starting point to begin evaluating cables. Most improve further after that, including power cords. Patience is audiophile's virtue. I pay zero attention to how they sound until about 250 hours.

@rodman99999

Interesting conjecture.

But, first, it seems to start by assuming the *audible* phenomenon claimed about such cables is valid, when that is in dispute.

Second, anyone can conjecture, even from already established science - that is after all what scientists tend to do.  It's the next step that is important and missing in most cable claims:  testing.   How would you determine that the aligning process you suggest occurs...and is responsible for AUDIBLE changes in cables?


Wouldn't it make sense that if your conjecture is sound, that measurements would show changes over time - given you are appealing to measurable phenomena in the first place?

And, since it's a fact we can often measure things we can not perceive, if you DID find measurable differences, wouldn't you agree we would need a way of determining if the differences are audible?  And if you agree there, why would it make sense to ignore all the data we have about how sighted listener bias can influence results?

Burn-in time typically refers to actual in-use time in a system. One can set up an audio IC or digital IC cable for continuous in-use time on a CD player or Transport-DAC combination. We’re talking about less than one week of continuous in-use time, which falls easily within most manufacturers’ allowed return policy (30 days, 720 hours). 
Not allways true , like a good capacitor ,cables especially with 
Teflon dielectric can takewell  over 300hours for sure . Just ask          VH Audio for example. Theirs caps ,as  well as Teflon Litz - OCC Copper Wire ,and caps.
we have documented times when I owned a Audio store and within the last year. it is one of the exceptions to the rule.
I realize it’s frustrating but even after the arduous and supposedly magical 300 hour mark is reached there is still a long way to go. Proof? Hook those cables with 300 hours on them up to a real burn in device like the Audiokarma Cable Cooker for a couple days. Then hold on to your tu tu. 
+1, Geoff. Just get a cable cooker. It speeds up considerably the entire burn-in process. It can be used on all types of cables and even can be used to burn-in capacitors.

But even for certain cables (such as the Teo Audio cables) in which the manufacturers don’t condone use of active burn-in cable gear, conventional in-use audio burn-in is usually sufficient. 
@prof-    1) That cable burn-in occurs, has been established by the manufacturers, as well as those multitudes, that have provided their empirical evidence. The, "dispute" is in your mind(et al). 2) The Scientific Process allows for/depends on empirical evidence, whether that matters to you, or not: https://www.livescience.com/21456-empirical-evidence-a-definition.html 3)  I asked, "Perhaps you can tell me, WHY that can’t be a cause(or, "plausible"), SCIENTIFICALLY?"    You could have just said, you have no valid, SCIENTIFIC reason to doubt the plausibility of my conjecture regarding Dielectric Absorption, only your biases. But, who would expect that?
Try using cables from reputable manufacturers who have a history in the industry. If you don't like the cable, the sell it on Audiogon, eBay or US Audio Mart. Try buying your equipment and cables/accessories from a reputable local dealer with a showroom. They can switch in and out for you so you can tell the difference.  Nothing to do with which equipment it is. This isn't speakers and room interaction, it's getting information from source to pre-amp. And if you have the ability to Exchange (no one should give you anything but store credit as they then have an open box product they will lose money on) then respect the terms.  You don't need to listen to anything while breaking in.  Turn your volume to zero or mute and run 24x7 for at least a week. You can, of course, listen as time permits.  Keep sending signal through the cable.  If you hit the end of the exchange policy and don't like it before it expires, call your dealer and tell them you'll be in to make the exchange. And just because a manufacturer espouses their virtues doesn't necessarily mean YOU will agree. But again, buying without auditioning is the risk you take. And if the manufacturer is selling direct means they have little credibility. They aren't using a manufacturing facility with QA process and controlling tolerances. And this is why there is a robust secondary market. The blind chasing a shiny object. So be it.
@rodman99999

You seem to just be avoiding the questions I asked.

That cable burn-in occurs, has been established by the manufacturers, as well as those multitudes, that have provided their empirical evidence.


Can you please provide links to this evidence?

Which manufacturers have established burn in occurs and is audible? The high end cable manufacturers who make so many fishy claims in the first place?

I’ve never seen "burn in is established" claims by any of the most experienced and respected long time cable manufacturers such as Canare or Belden. Have you?

Can you provide links to this purported evidence by manufacturers?I presume there are both before and after measurements showing a burn in effect AND tests establishing the audibility of the burn in?

The Scientific Process allows for/depends on empirical evidence,



Of course it does. But science has a hard-won understanding about what type of empirical evidence it seeks! "Empirical" just means based on observation and/or experience.  But that is far from understanding the type of empirical evidence sought in science and how it is understood, because people make mistakes, and bad inferences about their experience all the time.   If I were talking to an audience of 100 people each holding a quarter and I said "I have the power to influence someone's coin to flip heads 5 times...go!"  Someone may indeed flip the coin five times.  There's your "empirical evidence."  But in reasoning about that experience, is it the right move to believe my claim was shown true by that 'evidence?'   Of course not;  that would be to ignore what is known about statistics and hence the low validity of such a test given the claim. 

So it's not good enough to just claim to "do tests" or "have an experience."  The scientific method arose to be more careful, more rigorous about what type of empirical evidence it seeks, and to weed out all the erroneous, biased methods of INTERPRETING the data.  


Did you not even read the link you gave me? Read it again, and look under the headings: Identifying Empirical Research, Bias. It supports exactly what I’ve been saying.
Can you point to research results and test methodology from those purported "manufacturers" that even fits the demands noted in your own link?
I asked, "Perhaps you can tell me, WHY that can’t be a cause(or, "plausible"), SCIENTIFICALLY?" You could have just said, you have no valid, SCIENTIFIC reason to doubt the plausibility of my conjecture regarding Dielectric Absorption, only your biases. But, who would expect that?

I wouldn’t say that, because I’m not as confused as you are about this conversation.
I quite carefully did not claim your conjecture was wrong or implausible. I simply pointed out that it was just at this point interesting conjecture, and what it would need to go beyond your mere conjecture. I’m not the one being dogmatic or blinded by bias here; I’m suggesting the very steps good scientists take to try to get around bias! I’ve used blind testing to get around my own biases in some cases.

If you don’t understand or acknowledge the steps I mentioned to move from your conjecture to better validation as valid, then you are the one who refuses to see beyond his own bias.


@prof- "I wouldn’t say that, because I’m not as confused as you are about this conversation." I’m not the least bit, "confused". YOU FIRST ASKED(of another), " What do you think is happening within the cable over those 300 hours that would alter the sound? " I provided a possibility, then asked, "Perhaps you can tell me, WHY that can’t be a cause(or, "plausible"), SCIENTIFICALLY?"
That you, "...quite carefully did not claim your conjecture was wrong or implausible." is what I pointed out. The rest is(of course) subjective, rhetorical and a waste of keystrokes. Yet, regarding the empirical evidence, if you haven’t found any on your own, you haven’t been looking(imagine that). As for my own biases, they’re based on over forty years of making a living, with my ears, Science and Electronics. Yeah, and I’m one of those, "ear truster" types, MAINLY!
I currently use Townshend Audio Fractal cable and that sounds great straight out the box. Max Townshend was the first cable designer to use the EDCT (Enhanced Deep Cyro Treatment ) everybody now copies the idea/method, Fractal cable is Max’s latest wonder cable and keeps the magical process secret, try some it will sound amazing straight out the box. Very reasonably priced as well, I have  heard nothing better. Previous cables used are JPS Labs Aluminata, Nordost various, Synergistic Research various, then tried the Fractal cable and have never looked back and saved loads of money. YMMV.

wanna know what burns my butt?

A flame about three feet high…. and burning in wires/gear!!

it needlessly burns up gear. if there is a better reason for having a secondary lower end outfit for this express purpose, I can’t think of it.

if ya wanna build a ship in a bottle, at some point you will need a bottle.

if you don’t wanna burn up or be burned up by extensive run ins, add a 2nd rig for this purpose from time to time.

we all need another rig for the kitchen, or tool shed, right?

maybe if more wire makers ‘cryo’d’ them they would run in sooner. mebbe not. dunno. don’t care really.

the truth is that wires, like most anything else has to be active (especially when brannd new) for X period to sound its best.

IMO 200 hours ought to show some improvements. at least it should show it is headed for a happy ending if not already there, regardless what it is. amps and speakrs notwithstanding.

apart from inert non active items electricity gots to flow thru it/them.

I’ve sent one or two wires back myself that were taking hundreds of hours (30 day trial) despite the encouragement from the seller. why? it was costing me. Actually it was costing my gear’s longevity. Tubes don’t last forever.

high dollar disk spinners age as well with every rotation. likewise with TTS.

I’m not gonna run up a year’s worth of disk spinning just to get a freakin’ digital wire sounding better.
….
so I landed on these thoughts early on in my audio aprenticeship

for power cords, spend $20 or $30 on some NEMA to IEC adapters. plug ‘em in or even daisy chain ‘em together on the ice box, freezer, fan, etc. check on ‘em in one week. no need to baste or turn.

same thing for XLR TO RCA adapters, if necessary.

get a cheap SS INT or receiver, and a likewise Blue Ray player and connect up a pr of bookshelf squeakers for running in SPDIF, IC & spkr wires. violin!

put it all in a closet or ?? room, and check on it in a week, or 168 hours. insert into main rig. run for one day or so… if not thrilled? let the Post office make your statement on its performance as by then it has run in about 200 hours.

it ain’t rocket science. nor is science ever in question. it simply is what it is.

natrually if the maker has said it needs 400 hrs. its on you to decide what’s next? another week of the same thing? or?

if all of the above items are in play now then why not?

every wire should have a 30 day trial period anyhow.

burn in, or run in is simply a dreaded woeful aspect of the hobby for those who wish to wander and wonder if that next wire or device will improve ones outfit’s SQ.

it ain’t gonna change either, or so it seems. even the associated arguments remain the same, only the names change.
when I bought my Black Cat Silver Star it came with a 60 day return period...seems quire reasonable
It's interesting when people say.."maybe you get use to the sound of a bright etchy component?". However I can never get used to a BRIGHT recording!
I think in 300 hours of burn-in what happens is your head burns in--if you want to get scientific about it one would need a double blind test--check out audioholics on youtube. A signal is a signal!
Why should you beware of cables with long burn as this has no correlation with the sound of the cables.It also has nothing to do with the quality of the cables.
If manufacturers stand behind their claims that their cables sound better after significant burn-in, then they should, as standard practice, offer those products fully burnt-in, not as some optional, add-on, and always more costly extra.  Who else brings a product to market that's only 90% there?  (On second thoughts, don't answer that...)
If the burn in happens in your head and you need a double blind test to prove it we call that burn out, not burn in. 
twoleftears
If manufacturers stand behind their claims that their cables sound better after significant burn-in, then they should, as standard practice, offer those products fully burnt-in, not as some optional, add-on, and always more costly extra. Who else brings a product to market that's only 90% there?
Many new cars come with break-in instructions. Some are delivered with special oil that must be changed at the end of the period.
Often enough the better the cables and power cords the longer burn-in time is needed for them to reach their full potential.
Some people just get it very wrong or are simply BSing around for the lack of anything better to do.
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@ twoleftears

I agree with your opinion that cable manufacturer shall send their product fully burnt in or at least give option at extra cost.

  If manufacturers stand behind their claims that their cables sound better after significant burn-in, then they should, as standard practice, offer those products fully burnt-in, not as some optional, add-on, and always more costly extra. Who else brings a product to market that's only 90% there? (On second thoughts, don't answer that...)
shkong78
Who else brings a product to market that's only 90% there? (On second thoughts, don't answer that...) 

>>>>Just a opinion but it’s not 90% of the way there. It’s more like 50% of the way there, assuming you do it right when you burn it in.
@ aniwolfe

To be fair to Blackcat Silverstar Mk2, it is pretty fine for the price(260$).

But it sound somewhat thin and not refined in the treble out of box.

I hope that those weakness shall improve with full burn in but it did not meet my high expectation.

Nice thing of the cable is wide and deep soundstage , enough details and good extension from bottom to treble.

If I had found the cable to be very bad, I would have stopped using it after one week.

But I had given 8 weeks ( more than 200 hours to the cable.

After giving enough time, I still favor other digital cables.

Choice of cable is dependent on system and personal taste.

There is no best cable for everybody.

But I will go with Zenwave D4 which is also slightly better than Silnote Morpheus II digital cables in refinement and bass fullness.


I hope that cable companies sell their products fully burnt in.