Yping - I'm certainly a believer in (what I call) a "settling in" process for cables and electronic audio components in general. For cables, I do think this can be accelerated by various burn-in or cooking treatments. I'm not convinced, however, that such treatments provide a permanent benefit that cannot be matched by simple time in use (albeit, over much longer times). This latter statement is my O-pinion. Complicating evaluation of "time in use" as an alternative to cable burn-in or cooking treatments is the contribution our ear's acclimation makes to the perceived benefit.
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The following has been suggested, what do you think...
I use the burn in track of the XLO test CD which can be put on REPEAT and played continuous for say one day or two days or a week or more. At any point along the way one can audition the system to see how the sound is coming along. In the case of the XLO burn in track the recommendation is for continuous break in as opposed to start/stop. TG Audio used to burn in their cables which are VERY GOOD for around one month prior to shipping to customers.
Yping, in the last couple of years I have tried "cooked" and "uncooked" cables.
I've found that Cooking gets you to "end-state" much quicker, but actual usage still refines the SQ of cooked cables even further.
- E.g. even a well cooked cable sounded much better after 100 hours of playing - but it would have taken in excess of 500 hours to attain the same SQ without cooking
Most cookers do a very good job, so rather than trying to figure out which cooking method is better, may I suggest you just pick one.
The simple "plug-and-cook" solution sounds the easiest process to me - much less fussing
The time you will save allows you more time to enjoy the music :-)
Well since no one is bothering to ask about the Elephant in the room - I will.
Why would any audiophile with one, maybe two systems need a cable cooker?
Any new wires/cables I buy are burned in for me by the Retailer-Seller for a nominal fee ?
So just curious...
@Yping your thread did however prompt me to ask Take Five Audio about this who have built some of my cables. (Just a happy customer of theirs)
So I provide this info.
"We have a couple of the Audiodharma Cable Cookers, our old one is the original design and we have another which is the latest model of the "Standard Plus". They do a good job on the cables. I think you would need several complex systems to justify the cost of a cooker because there is a limit to how often you can condition them and still hear the difference."
Oh, so now we're justifying audio purchases? Interesting. You mean like Shakti Hollograms, Franck Chang silver and platinum little tiny bowls, Lessloss Blackbody, SteinMusic Harmonizer, and Walker Audio Black Diamond doo dad for stereo cartridges? Or for that matter the $102,000 Walker Audio turntable.
Interesting Williewonka :)
No - just a DIY cooker I found on the web
When I said...
"I've found that Cooking gets you to end-state" much quicker"
That was simply comparing the time it took the cooked gZero cables I've tried to reach end-state vs. the uncooked gZero cables.
I don't have a cooker - but this one looks pretty simple - and I already have half the components leftover from an old 12v power supply project.
I have an AudioDHarma Cable Cooker and would not be without it. I recondition all my cables and interconnects every 4 to 6 months. It is easy to hear the improvement even after multiple conditionings. In addition the AudioDharma manufacturer now has an add on that runs the signal thru the ground wire of your power cords. This gives a further benefit to the sound.
I believe it has saved me money in the long run. I do not chase after new cables like I used to- a conditioned cable just sounds so much better.
Yping...I do think the XLO track works. Does it work bettter/faster than simply playing music for an equal number of hours? Can't say (haven't had occasion to do the experiment with duplicate cables etc.) though that's my assumption. Would I like to have a cable cooker? Yup...but other higher priorities for those audio $ now.
I have an AudioDHarma Cable Cooker and would not be without it. I recondition all my cables and interconnects every 4 to 6 months. It is easy to hear the improvement even after multiple conditionings. In addition the AudioDharma manufacturer now has an add on that runs the signal thru the ground wire of your power cords. This gives a further benefit to the sound.What are the sound benefits with the signal running thru the ground wire of the power cord?
What are your thoughts of the following...
To mention again, I read on KLE Innovations website that they "believe that the cable Burnin/Cooking process can be thought of as an extension/finishing of the Annealing process" which I thought was quite interesting. Perhaps yes but perhaps no because it does not seem to be permanent, or is it permanent, that is the question?
One cable maker told me that he didn't believe in breaking in cables on a cable cooking device. Something about it not being a true audio signal and how it affects and uses the dielectric to the point where it becomes a constant, of sorts, playing a greater role in the sound of the cable than it should.
After cooking, the dielectric takes a long time to dissipate the conditioning effects before you get the true sound of the cable. He recommended just playing music until it breaks in.
I have no idea myself but felt the need to chime in with what I was told.
All the best,
Geofkait - does that apply to ALL cables or just IC's ?
- since speaker cables are subject to much higher voltages
My personal approach, i.e. based on testing many cables of varying performance levels...
- cooking is a much faster route to attain "reasonable" SQ performance
- but there is still a level of refinement that can be acquired by simply playing music.
Some cables I have tested required some 300-400 hours of normal burn-in, but that was reduced to around 100 hours cooking and another 100 hours of playing for significantly better SQ and performance.
But that is on my system - others may experience different approaches work even better on their systems.
Also, from what I have read, it seems there is no "correct method", since this topic varies greatly even between different cable manufacturers.
It very well might be an old wife's tale but on his site he offers cable cooking if the customer asks for it but told me he doesn't believe in it base on what he hears.
As for my self, I've gotten used to the routine of just playing music and witnessing the process. The biggest and nicest surprises come long after I think it's broken in and then it opens up another notch.
All the best,
I have played Audioquest, Morrow, Kimber, Virtual Dynamics, and Synergistic Research all for at least 150 hours and then put them on an AudioDharma Cable Cooker. Each cable and interconnect showed significant improvement.
I am convinced that conditioning a cable with the AudioDharma unit improves the sound that otherwise will not be heard.
Nonoise send me your cables and I will condition them for the cost of postage.
What cable manufacturer can't hear what conditioning does to his cables and what brand of conditioner has he tried?
I'd like to respect the privacy of the cable maker and not involve him in this. The last thing I'd want is to somehow hurt his sales or his integrity on this forum or other venues.
As for your generous offer, I have well over 300 hours on my speaker cables and love what I hear (although the highs slowly continue to improve) so I don't think I have much longer to go. Again, a very generous offer.
All the best,
Lak - an observation derived from the link you provided...
Over-Cooking can reduce the performance, at least temporarily. The characteristics of this are a reduced or diminished soundstage and a dull, lifeless quality to the music. If this situation occurs, merely letting the cables physically rest, and settle, then putting them back in the music system to play for a few hours brings them back to their optimal performance level. Over-Cooking does NOT do any damage to the cabling whatsoever. Again, incremental Cooking-and-listening tests are highly recommended to avoid over-Cooking one’s cables.
A couple of months ago I was made aware that leaving a system powered on all the time will result in degraded SQ.
I tried with my own system and found that I could leave the system on for up to 5 days, but after day 6 the system suffered similar effects mentioned above.
Turning the system off overnight restored its performance.
So perhaps it could it be possible I was effectively "overcooking" my cables?
Hmmm... It certainly throws some light on something I had no explanation for :-)
I hate to judge before all the facts are in but I'm pretty sure it's true that a signal has to be going through the system in order to accomplish burn in. I kind of doubt the system or the wires of cables will burn in without at a minimum a music signal going through it for those 5 or 6 days. Most likely there's something else afoot if you observed the sound quality go South after 6 days.
Yep, burnin/cooking would require a signal to go through it but leaving a component turned on for 6 days or more would allow for magnetic effects within the component to grow to the point of saturation, at which point you would need to turn the component off for the magnetic effects to dissipate through the ground... IMO.
My experiences are the same as David Pritchard, I've owned too many cables to list and most of them were in my system for thousands of hours and they ALL drastically changed for the better after cooking!
You'll hear more low level detail, blacker background, expansive sound-stage width/depth and organic vibrant imaging; almost like you are there...
I have a different view of cable break in. I find the less dielectric the better. Also I find that cables sound more detailed and less smeared with no break in, and only get worse with break in.
With break in, a cables dielectric has a chance to store a charge, that will recombine with the signal delayed in time. This smears detail.
I don't buy the cable makers claims that cables sound better with break in. In fact the more the sound changes with break in the worse the design IMO. The reason for the big change is because there is more dielectric to absorb a charge from the signal, and the more dielectric material the longer it takes to charge/ burn it in.
Something to think about.
I'm leaning towards agreeing with Sarcher30 on this. After removing the Herbies Big Foot dots from under my speaker and placing them directly (verboten!) on their sturdy maple stands, the sound improved in a big and positive way. More focus, better extension both ways, and a clearer soundstage.
This was with my newish Supra 3.4W speaker cables which I really liked. Just these past two days I tried some old Clear Day (24ga) and Tempo Electirc (16ga) silver speaker wire and thought I'd found audio nirvana, again. But both proved too much in the sense they spotlighted some parts and gave too sharp a presentation with some aft-shortening (did I just coin a phrase?) in the lower registers. Also, most of the romance of the Supras just disappeared.
In went my trusty old Mapleshade Double Helix and only then did I realize I was in audio nirvana for keeps. These thin walled copper speaker wires did all the things the solid core silver did without the spotlighting, aft-shortening, and romance killing. Delineation is pretty much spot on down low without the romantic bloat that the Surpa had and the highs are as detailed as the silver cables and exhibit none of the sharpness or etching.
I have just spent the better part of several hours judging the Mapleshades and find them lacking not a whit. Hello old friend. And these are very thin walled dielectric wires. Horses for courses, YMMV, but I'm back in the copper single core, thin coated dielectric camp, pitched tent and all.
All the best,
Sorry I have to disagree with you but then I cook my cables using an old CDP and an old 25watt integrated amp, where I can set the volume, into a 10watt 5.5R resistor using a couple of music CD's that I like for this process :)
I will have a search for the different cable cookers that are out there and post them :)