I would highly recommend the Purist Audio Design System Enhancer CD-ROM. All you do is play it on your CD player for 74 minutes and your cables and everything else in the signal path are broken in.
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If these are new cables, and if the mfg did not burn them in, you are right 50-100 hours is probably the minimum range to even begin to give them a fair shake. Since you say "trying out," I assume you are auditioning these. If from a dealer, see if they can provide a preconditioned pair for you to try before buying a new pair. Otherwise my suggestion for the easiest most versatile solution would be to purchase a cable cooker, which you could then use whenever you try new cables (and you will), and also use to recondition existing cables. Also, I use an old tuner as a source when I want to play my system 24/7 for breaking in new components. This avoids wear on my CDP.
Interconnects will very greatly in their audible differences before burn-in. There's NO short-cut to the length of time it takes, because it's time/voltage that charges the dielectric. I have used a tuner/old, spare receiver (FM output via tape out, tuned to a rap station for the bass/mucho voltage) to perform the output duty(find adapters for the XLR/rca) to save on LASER time. The pre-amp or power amp don't have to be turned on at all.
I really sympathize with your problem but there is really is no way that anything other than playing all the equipment for 100 hours properly all hooked up (exactly as it would be in the music listening real situation) and also with the particular genre of music that you want to break it in for.
I am not sure but I suspect you might need to be there actively listening too for those 100 hours. I mean if you think about it: if a tree falls in an empty forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Saxo- Any source that provides line voltage (be it in the form of FM interstation noise, pink/brown/white noise or music signal) to the interconnects will do. Having them connected to the pre-amp, without the pre-amp turned on is all that is necessary for a successful burn-in. The dielectric and conductor couldn't care less what genre the voltage is! When the interconnect is finally placed in it's permanent station, it will still go through a further stage of adjustment, but the majority of the burn-in will have been accomplished(without wasted hours on your tubes, LASER, ears, family's nerves, etc).
Shadorne, you cheeky monkey, you.
Yes. I am being cynical again.....I know and accept that many will disagree but concerns about cable break in are,IMHO, bordering on paranoia...just play the music and enjoy it for goodness sake...
Frankly if a systems sound is making you so unhappy that you have to worry/fret about burn-in of cables then something is not right. A great system should make you ecstatic even with an unburned-in coat hanger for a speaker cable....
As much as a 100 hours is a portion of the tubes life, they would benefit from putting a 100 hours on them, as well as the cd player. If they are already broken in, I can see your concern. (Life of a cartridge can be 800 hours, the 100 hours I needed to break it in were a piece of its life, but I do want to enjoy its best sound it as much as I can, so resolved myself to the fact that it's life was now 700 hours). You can get a cable cooker to burn in the xlr interconnect or just connect it between a preamp and amp and have an FM signal go through it for 100 hours. If no other balanced gear, maybe your dealer has a cable cooker he can use (or some of his other gear) to burn it in for you.