cable cooker, do they work?

I need to burn in some interconnects and speaker wire. Will a CD that is advertised work? How about a DIY cable cooker plan. I posted this previously, no real answers,just suggestions that might work. Well,I need to resolve this so your help is desperately needed. I would like to build my own cooker if possible. Thanks in advance.
Yes but for far less money go buy an old reciever and old source and a 10$ pair of speakers hook them up in the gargage press play and come back in two weeks.
60 Bucks and you have the same thing.
The MOBIE cooker for IC's is great. See other forums for examples. YES THEY WORK :)
Hi Ramond. I'm getting an entire set of new cables and have been pondering this same question, so I'm thinking of getting one myself. I've talked to other Audiogoners who've used them and can attest to their effectiveness. Here are a few links that may help out:

Good luck!
Don't waste your money. Burn-in, whatever it is, is best achieved by just using your equipment--which is more fun anyway, because you get to listen to music while you do it!
Just dont spend more than 60 bucks on one.
Some of the prices in the coockers are plain stupid.I guess convinience and lazziness have to be paid for.
Natalie is on the right track but some people can't dissipate the sound that a "burning system" creates. As such, you can use an old receiver with some easily procured "dummy loads" to do the same job. Not only can you pump more power through these for a more effective and quicker "burn in", you don't have to deal with any type of noise or signal leakage even within the same room.

As to the basic question, YES, burners do work. Different burners work at different efficiency levels. As Buckingham mentioned, Mobie's work very well for interconnects. While i have not used an Audiodharma first hand, my initial impression going by the information that i was able to learn about it is that it MIGHT be effective on interconnects and less so on speaker cables and power cords. Keep in mind that i'm qualifying this statement based on the info that i've been able to find out about it, so nothing is set in stone. At to the old Duo-Tech's, i don't think much of them.

Also keep in mind that many of the "naysayers" that repeatedly post to this type of thread have probably never used or experienced the results that a "burner" can produce first hand. I am willing to bet that they would have a different point of view if they had experienced the differences first hand. Sean
You talkin' to me, Sean? First, I'd point out that I did not deny that cookers work. (I do, but I didn't in my post.) What I said was that whatever they do can be done without going to any expense at all. That's only negative if you happen to be in the business of selling cookers.

You are right that I've never tried one, and you might dismiss me as closed-minded when I tell you I have no intention of doing so. My own philosophy is that life is too short to spend time chasing after "effects" that have no known physical cause. As should be obvious, there are lots of audiophiles who disagree. Their opinions are as valid as mine. And vice versa.
Personally, I prefer the cable steamer. I too frequently encountered flabby bass as a result of using a cooker. Regarding your question as to whether they actually work, my experience is that they work best for the true believer.
Some cable makers specifically say not to use cable cookers. They don't explain why, but I wonder if it helps that the cable is burned in with the components that the cables will be used with? Could a cooker change the cables in a way that is wrong for your system? Some cables work better than others with different components.
Gunbei,thanks for the links. Natalie,Buckingham,thanks also. Sean, the reciever in the garage that both you and Natalie recomended would probably work. What would work as the "DUMMY LOAD". I would think a resistor on each speaker cable would work. What value? What WATT size? Also, what about the IC's? How is that done? I need detailed instructions. I will check out the links that Gunbei suggested. Thanks again to all, keep it coming.
The AudioDharma and Nordost cookers are serious devices and work. Several cable mfgs. and dealers use them. You need the higher voltage and current to break-in interconnects> This can never be achieved at the system level (microamps). I borrowed the the AudioDharma from my friend and my cables have taken on a different sound (except for Pure Note who does this for free). Much clearer and focused sonics. Well worth looking into.
the mobie works so well on ic's that you'd have to be either deaf or an objectivist jackass not to hear the effect. life is too short to spend even a moment on needless searches for the physical causes of clearly perceptible sonic differences.

Or if you're in a hurry then 5 mins in the microwave on high. Please don't try this (or if you do let us know what happened). You could also short a car battery .. that would certainly burn them, and probably you too.
Thanks, Gunbei! Totally non-Voodoo, serious article. We need more of that. Now, if only I could find such an article about line conditioning...
Bomarc, why would someone volunteer information when they know absolutely nothing about the subject other than pre-conceived ( and false ) ideas ? That is like someone offering their opinion of a car that they have never driven, never rode in as a passenger, never sat in or never even seen first hand. As such, most people would consider it useless gibberish and nothing less than irritating comments from the peanut gallery.

There is nothing wrong with presenting a dissenting opinion so long as one has something to base those comments or opinions on. As such, your negativity was completely unfounded and uncalled for. We encourage an exchange of information on these forums. If you would have posed your comments as questions rather than bold faced facts, we ( i and a few others ) might not have had such a problem with them. With all of the above considered, you do not really have a "personal opinion" on the subject. You're simply spouting off a theory that is based on pre-concieved and un-informed ideas.

I would probably not think twice about the response that you gave other than the fact that i used to be in "your" camp. After experiencing the effects and differences that a burner can make, i could not deny what took place and had no other choice but to "switch sides". The same goes for power cords. As such, i and several others on this forum would beg to differ with what you have to say. The difference between "our" side and "your" side is that we have tried things with an open mind and have first hand experience to support our findings and beliefs.

For the record, some of the people on "our" side of the fence are folks that are educated and work with electronics / electricity for a living. Some even hold degrees, patents and various careers in all different fields. With that in mind, converting major skeptics with backgrounds in this specific area should tell you that there is more than "hocus pocus" and "self dillusionment" taking place here. I'm sorry if you felt singled out, but you really shouldn't. After all, you have Doc in your corner offering support. Then again, he might be in the same boat that you're in. That is, the boat with no oars : ) Sean
I have the Nordost Cable Toaster. The improvement was smoother and more dimensional sound -- and that's with cables which have been in my system for a year. I thought it was a wasteful impulse buy but now I am glad I have it.
Sean, actually Bomarc and I are not in a boat as we possess the ability to hover above the water. Now understand that you must accept our amazing ability as fact simply as a result of our having asserted it here on the 'Gon. Moreover, it is unreasonable for you to question us further on this one.

I hear the wheels spinning in your head ... "I won't believe that they can hover above water until I see objective evidence." Purge that pernicious thought lest ye be categorized as an "objective jackass" (ala Cornfedboy). Perhaps you have a hard time accepting it because you have not tried, or maybe have not tried in the right way, hovering above water for yourself? You have? Well then maybe you don't have the "right equipment" to make it work?

In any case, it doesn't matter because I have made the assertion, ergo it is a fact that we can hover above water no matter what you and others say, or in spite of empirical evidence and logical support to the contrary.

P.S. My statement to the effect that people hear in cables what they believe they can hear in cables is backed up by the empirical evidence that we have utilizing DBT, and I stand behind it. I'm sorry if I have gored one of your sacred cows by so doing.
Tell 'em the truth, Doc: Being able to hover above water is a very expensive proposition. Those of you whose souls aren't good enough can't appreciate what we do, but be grateful for that. Enjoy your mid-fi selves, and think of all the money you're saving!

As for Sean: Where do you get off telling me that anything I've said is false? And since when is scientific knowledge not relevant background for a discussion of audio topics?

It's an interesting little universe you want to live in: You're allowed to state your interpretations of your observations as facts. I'm not allowed to state my understanding of scientific principles as facts. What a wonderful conversation we won't have!
Docwarnock, I am interested in reviewing your empirical evidence i.e. the documented results of the DBT testing. This issue has been argued ad nauseum (and yes I got in it too a few months back). Instead of continuing to stand toe-to-toe spouting invectives at each other lets bring this objective evidence out in the open for examination. As I am sure you know scientific discoveries aren't generally accepted until verified and repeated. I say all this as someone who is genuinely interested in learning more about this issue. If you don't feel comfortable posting your evidence here send me an email (just use member look-up).
Even the cow you gored can hear the difference Doc. But then the cow stopped and listened with an open mind before Moooooving on.

As for the hovering, I can do that too, so we now have two groups that can hover and only one can hear the difference in cables.

The difference? I, like others here at Audiogon (and the cow) aren't afraid to change our minds when testing proves our original ideas wrong.
Gallaine: An appeal to reason? How dare you! Actually, you've asked a more complex question than you imagine. There have been published ABX tests of cables. I recall one in Stereo Review a few decades ago comparing 24 AWG and 16 AWG zipcord and 16 AWG Monster cable. It found that the 24 was distinguishable from the 16, but the 16s were not distinguishable from each other. But there are thousands of cables out there, so even a hundred such comparisons wouldn't prove the point. (The point, by the way, is that cables that measure similarly will sound the same. And cooked and uncooked cables measure VERY similarly, just to tie into the point of this thread.)

The more general scientific case goes something like this:
1. We know what the threshold limits of human hearing are, because we've tested them, and we're pretty sure they're right because the thresholds are pretty close to the physical limits of what the ear could possibly pick up. If the ear were much better than that, you'd hear the air moving around in your outer ear, and that constant low-level swoosh would drive you crazy!
2. We also have a thorough understanding of how electrical signals move through cables. In fact, if we know the basic measurements of a cable and the load it's connected to, we can plot out its precise effect on frequency response.
3. If we know how different the frequency response curves of two cables are, and we know how large a variation in frequency response we need to be audible, we can predict whether two cables will be audibly different.
4. Not surprisingly, objective listening tests have so far invariably confirmed such predictions.

(To those who fume that I am dragging science into a hobbyist discussion area, my only defense is that Gallaine asked. And I suspect that other audiophiles have wondered the same thing, which is why I thought it worth responding publicly.)
bomarc: this is your empirical "proof"? looks to me like you've studied scientology, not science. your "syllogism" suffers from the logical fallacy "post hoc ergo propter hoc." -cfb
Cfb, your response illustrates my point perfectly. You are now claiming the power to hover, something that I fabricated in jest. But how does this differ from the litany of cable claims we see made here so frequently? And this is our body of evidence that indeed significant differences in the sound of cables exist?
I think that means "put that in pipe and smoke it!" either that or it has something to do with a proctologist;>).
Cornfed: This is your response? If you think it's a syllogism, you should go back and read it again. Or maybe your understanding of the word "syllogism" is as weak as your grasp of the post-hoc fallacy.

Obviously, this is not a complete empirical defense. There isn't room, and for that matter I'm not really qualified to give it. The case I outlined draws on at least three different disciplines (biology, psychology, and electronics), and the research work spans decades. Anyone who really wants to understand this should start, as I did, with an introductory text on psychoacoustics. If you don't want to make that effort, that's fine. It's certainly possible to enjoy high-end audio without it. All I ask is that you respect the standing of those who have made the effort to participate in your discussions.
Bomarc, if you think that i'm living in "my own little world", i at least acknowledge the "chaos factor". I always welcome an exchange of information based on inquisitive comments or first hand knowledge that apply directly to the situation being discussed. Your lack of experience and willingness to learn, experiment or listen to different points of view with an open mind negates the ability of all but the most patient of people to try and discuss something with you.

On top of this, you think that you can neatly disect and pigeonhole everything through simple measurements. BUT, what if what you were using as a baseline was not a stable platform ? What if you baseline was only valid for one specific set of testing conditions ? All of your results and beliefs would be quite limited in scope and based on false precepts.

The reason that i say this that many amps WILL alter frequency response into various reactive loads. Since ALL speakers are reactive to some degree, figuring out how an amp of that type would work with each different speaker would be tough in itself. Adding the variables of different cables with their ( sometimes highly reactive ) impedance contribution to the circuit could only further skew the predictions or results.

Your "theories" pre-suppose that the reference source is stable into EVERY load known to man. It also takes for granted that if the reference source did deviate in any manner, those deviations would be linear and predictable based on specific levels of impedance and reactance. Since there is not an amplifier produced that meets those requirements, you are in effect living in your won fantasy world. As such, your theories presented in sections 2 & 3 are NOT realistic. You have based your whole argument on false precepts ( a "lie" in plain English ).

As to Doc's comments, i shouldn't have said that you guys were in a boat with no oars. You guys are in a boat that does have oars but you are afraid to use them since you don't understand all of the physics involved. Everything that you need to move forward and expand your horizons is right in front of you, yet you refuse to take advantage of it. Some things DO work even if you don't understand how it is done.

In terms of hovering or levitating above an object, some people CAN do this. Just because someone else believes / does not believe that they are doing this does not change what is happening or make it possible / impossible. Sean
Well I must thank you all for taking what was going to be an informitive post on cable break in and making it like most cable posts..... Boring.
I wonder what point the Audiogon reviewers actually do something, it might have been good of them to step in here.
At any rate, I would like to hear from anyone who has made a good high current cooker that works.

>>this is not a complete empirical defense<<

>>and for that matter I'm not really qualified to give it<<

these are the only two statements you've thus far made that i accept without qualification. oh, and if you're bothered with my pointing out the logical fallacy of your "argument," i should also have noted its being tautological, too. -cfb
It's not a matter of high current that matters, it's the voltage.

As such, the use of a square wave generator and small amplification circuit with some type of terminating device ( dummy load ) is all that one needs to "build" a cooker. The higher the voltage that you run through it, the faster the cables will be conditioned. Cables with minimal dielectric can be burned or arc out if you get crazy with this idea.

Voltage should be at least several volts more and typically multiple times higher than what the cable being burned would ever see under normal use. The square wave should be set to a low frequency i.e. 20 Hz and run for a period of time. You can then gradually increase frequency as time progresses until you've reached the top of the audio band. I would then go back and set the generator for a low frequency signal and let it run for a bit longer. This procedure should take at least several days ( preferably a couple of weeks ) but i have noticed benefits from doing such in as short as 36 hours.

To try to explain some of this, square waves generate an infinite amount of harmonics ( higher frequencies than the primary signal ). As such, the cable is exposed to a primary frequency with a multitude of signals above that. By starting low and working your way up the frequency range, you will have exposed the cable to the full audio spectrum and well beyond due to the harmonic content.

The higher voltage applies more "pressure" causing the crystal structure of the cable to more properly "align" themselves. A simple analogy of power is voltage is equal to pressure in a circuit and amperage is volume of flow. If you don't have enough volume ( amperage ) due to a restriction ( resistance ), the pressure ( voltage ) will drop. As such, the crystal structure presents a more consistent and easily navigated path now that it is "aligned" and has been "forcibly pushed" into place by the higher voltage. The dielectric is also somewhat "cured" and reaches a plateau in terms of settling. This allows the signal to pass through easier with less restriction and losses.

The end result is a signal that has suffered less degradation, flows easier and is more open, lucid and detailed in presentation. Highs sound much smoother and less jagged, midrange is far more transparent and bass is more controlled. Definition is improved through-out the entire frequency range. Soundstage and imaging become wider, deeper and more pin-point.

The above is strictly a theory and not presented as anything more than my point of view. The information is based on materials that i've read, experiments that i've tried and first hand listening tests that i and several others have conducted. Much of this is controversial to say the least, but the results have been so unanimously positive and consistent that they are undeniable.

Should you choose to believe, deny or ridicule the above information, that is your option. I am open to comments but i will point out right now that i am not a metalurgist, physicist or brain surgeon. As such, i might not be able to explain part or any of how this works. I recommend that you give this a try FIRST and then post comments ( positive or negative ) afterwards. This way, you'll have something solid ( first hand experience ) to base your comments on other than theories and hear-say. I was an "unbeliever" and "doubting Thomas" prior to experiencing the results myself. Sean
My cables have been cooked trying to work out what some of the words mean on this thread and where all the hostility came from........
let me get my dictionary out here.....let's looks like CFB called you an, wait....just not very bright.

anyway, FWIW, i kinda agree.

bomarc, please do your homework with current technology cables and break-in devices before you question whether they work or not. it's real simple.....listen first, then comment or don't expect any serious consideration of your comments.

if you want to tell us about exactly which cables were broken in and what breakin device was used, and your opinion of the result, then your opinion will mean something.

we are talking about the subjective issue of musical pleasure, and what increases it.....not an issue measurable by science (thank god).
Sean, I think you're trying to disprove something I never said. At any rate, I don't want to engage in a long discussion of the physics of cables. Anyone who wants to get deeper into this will have to do a little reading on his own.

But you keep saying, and Mike has now echoed you, that you re not interested in any comments other than those related to personal experiences and observations. Observations can be very insightful, but they can also be very misleading. It all depends on how you interpret your observations. It's my own view that if you know a little of the science behind these toys, your interpretations will be more reliable. Which is why I think a little dose of science now and again is a worthwhile addition to any discussion of audio.
Bomarc, i made logical conclusions based on the precepts of your "thesis". One could not arrive at those conclusions unless you had a reliable baseline to perform those tests with or base those statements on.

I also understand EXACTLY what you are trying to say and where you're coming from. The reason that i was a skeptic is because i DID ( or at least thought i did ) know the "science" behind such things. I work on electronics for a living doing repairs, modifications, upgrades, design consultation, etc.. of RF gear. Believe me, i know that cable characteristics are "supposed to be" FAR more important at RF freq's than down at "baseband" audio frequencies. As such, I went into my "experiments" with a bias towards a "negative".

Needless to say, I was completely stunned to actually hear a very noticeable ( and quite positive ) difference. One of my friends went through a similar situation. He had some interconnects that he HATED and was going to literally throw them out. I told him that i could burn them and that he would probably like them a lot better. Needless to say, he was very skeptical. I did burn them for him and he now has them playing within several different systems in his house. The cables DID change for the better and he was shocked to say the least. For the record, he too has a good understanding of electricity as he was a communications / repair tech in the military. He is now currently employed as an industrial repair tech for electro-mechanical equipment.

Like i said before, just because we don't know how something works doesn't mean that it can't work or exist. Many things were accepted as "fact" in the past, but that still didn't make the Earth flat or the center of the universe. Those with open minds and a curious nature found ways to prove their points. Those that WERE the "experts" ended up being ridiculed for their lack of understanding and promoting what later became known as the REAL "myths".

Keep an open mind and open ears. You might be surprised sometime soon. I know i was. Sean
I may be guilty of keeping a dead horse alive, but I am amazed at how much dancing around my question took place. To be honest, Bomarc, both you and Docwarnock failed to answer it - or perhaps I should say Doc ignored it and you at least gave me some generalities but little detail. Perhaps the discussion *is* lengthy.

Docwarnock: " does this differ from the litany of cable claims we see made here so frequently? And this is our body of evidence that indeed significant differences in the sound of cables exist?" Interesting comment to Cfb. So, where is your body of evidence? I know, I know. Go look it up myself. That seems to be a common response to my question for the evidence that people claim to have. And that is a pity since I am genuinely interested in learning about it. In my own defense, you brought up the fact that you had DBT results to back up your claims. Please forgive me, but I cannot accept your assertions without examining your evidence for myself.

Bomarc: Believe it or not, I am fully aware of the complexity of the question I asked. The question itself isn't really all that complicated - but the resulting discussion about the *facts* claimed is. "Not surprisingly, objective listening tests have so far invariably confirmed such predictions." So, where are these objective tests? You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to continue to be tantalized by references to them but no solid information on where to find them. As a side-note, the history of science is rife with examples of initial objective evidence later being refuted. How? By examination and independent verification.

"Objectivists/empiricist" do themselves and others an injustice when they claim to have evidence and do not, or will not, share it. If you don't want to post a lengthy treatise on the topic at least provide references so that everyone else can read them. If you claim to have results from DBT, or any testing for that matter, post them or provide a reference to them. Why do you expect readers to accept your assertions when you refuse to provide the evidence? Docwarnock's jest about levitation cuts both ways. His claims are, at this moment, as unsubstantiated as those he directed the jest at. Without the evidence, whose existence is at this moment only vapor, and most certainly in the absence of any real discussion about the issues (instead of calling each other idiots), I can only treat said claims with skepticism. Sorry, but you can't refute a claim by pointing out that their evidence is invalid or incorrect and yours is valid without providing it for others to examine.

I also ask for the forbearance and forgiveness of the originator of this thread for having continued off-topic.
So Ramond, back to the topic of this thread.

Yes, cable cookers do work.