Great question.I have wondered about that,also.Near where I live is a company that builds cryogenic cooling units for pc processor chip cooling.I also saw a reference in a movie(The Arrival-modern b movie)for a cryogenically cooled low noise pre-amp.Worthy of Krell's interest?
PS Audio Co-Founder and Superphon and Supermods founder Stan Warren is a big believer in freezing speaker cables and interconnects. He also freezes a lot of the circuits he modifies currently. Stan uses dry ice. He has found it is cold enough (minus 100 degrees fairenheit) to do the trick. Therefore you can buy some dry ice and do it yourself. He recommends doing in stages (ie, refrigerator, freezer, dry ice, back to freezer, refrigerator, room temperature), so not the shock the metal.
Mike Vansevers who makes power cords and conditioners, cyrogenically treats the input plugs on his reference level AC conditioners.
On a lighter note, think about how cool your amp would look if you found a way to put dry ice inside... Can you imagine that slow, thick, white mist pooring out the front and sides of your amp as it plays? Would be especially awesome if you put a few blacklights inside and listened in a dark room, yeahhhhh..... :)
Somebody has too many chemicals in their body.
I would be pretty surprised if cryogenics didn't do anything. I forgot the name, but there is, or at least was, a company that offers this service to the public. They freeze engine blocks, brass instruments, etc. for around $50 depending on the size of the piece. I know first hand that cryogenic bass strings sound good, and last a very long time. The cryogenic technology involves freezing atoms, so they oscillate as little as possible. This reduces the space around them, so they are packed really close. The secret is to thaw them really slowly, so they distributed back out in to space evenly. This even distribution is the cause of the benefits associated with whatever your freezing. Dry ice is very crude approach, but definately worth a try. Just let the cable or whatever take a day or two to thaw.
I am a believer in Cryo, having done this to cables, phono cartridge and the power supply of my Soundlab U-1's. I think that the excellent suggestion by Sugarbrie would be an inexpensive way to find out on your own piece of gear. Just keep in mind, at least from my experience, the break in process is reversed as well, requiring a whole new run in to hear the benefit of the cryo process. The larger the piece the longer time is required. I nearly went nuts waiting for the transformers in my Soundlab power supplies to settle in. I estimate it was nearly 3 months before the cryo job settled in to be better than before the process. So, please be patient about conclusions.
In one of my other hobbies, shooting, everyone who wins long range (1000 yards) competitions is using a cryo treated barrel.
albertporter: when cryogenically treating a phono cartridge do you remove the body? does it make a difference of what the body is made? what was the sonic effect on the cartridge? TIA. -kelly
Kelly, the cartridge I got treated was done by a guy in Chicago ( I usually use Purist Audio ) who specializes in very small delicate pieces. The cartridge was a Benz Ruby 2, supplied by Musical Surroundings as an experiment. I do the photography for them, and we both entered into this to learn. The Benz was treated within it's original box, with the wood body left on. The idea was to reduce the shock to the rubber and glued parts and protect the delicate stylus. When I got it back and began to break it in, it took almost twice as long to get where it sounded right. There was an obvious change, and no doubt about the improvement. Most noticeable was in the transient response, the entire range of the cartridge from top to bottom and the speed with which it plumed the music was obvious. There was a completely relaxed and liquid character to the instruments, without any change to their position or to the image. The uppermost frequencies were greatly extended and increased in detail, but without the brightness that you might associate with this type of high frequency information. The only "downside" was in set up. It required even more obsessive attention to tracking and especially VTA. Missing the mark with all the additional information was brutal.
Elgordo, I did not know about your hobby of shooting. It is one of mine too. I have a Schuman bull barrel fitted in my Carter Custom 1911 that has been cryo treated. Cryo was done prior to fitting and other work, so I did not get to run a before and after. I was assured that in addition to improved accuracy, the usable life expectancy would be increased. Wonder if this increase in life applies to stressed parts of audio equipment as well?
I started a thread that was similar to this awhile back. Search for "Cryo Your Cables". I am also intersted in having this treatment done to my Bushmaster V- Match AR-15 rifle and the rotating assembly of my Suzuki GSXR dragbike engine but so far have not done this. A guy I work with builds go-cart racing engines and absolutely swears by it. He won't put together an engine without it. Unfortunately I do not know anyone personally that has had his cables treated.
Sorry to spoil your fun. Metals will have no problem. But tread carefully with the standard rubbers, plastics or adhesives in your phono cartridge suspension or cable insulation. They may not stand the cryo temperatures. I've seen a cable catalog with special "arctic grade -20 ~+70degC" specification with unusual blue or yellow sheath; which means there is a distinction compare to normal cables.
Or better still, check with the manufacturer, he may let you into some other secrets too! happy tweaking.
Albert: Ah, the 1911. 90 years old and still going strong. I also have a custom model which I love shooting but I hate carrying in this Florida heat, so it mostly stays in the safe. I'm moving to New Hampshire in a year of two so I can probably cryo the entire gun by leaving it outside on a winter's night. ;>) Don
Has anyone performed this process on tubes? If so, what was the result? I ask the question because an associate has told me he has sent out about 50 NOS Telefunken, Mullard and Amperex 12ax7's for cryo. I personally thought the risk was too great.
The cryo process for tubes has been experimented with to a great extent by Bruce Wenger of BWS Consulting. He has a web site, http://www.bws-tube.com/
If the information about cryo treatment is not listed at the site, you can ask via e-mail. Bruce does modifications, can repair older gear and is an excellent source for many of the tubes we audiophiles are looking for. He is very sensitive to the sound of things, not just an engineering viewpoint. In other words you can talk about the sound of tubes with him much like you can with Andy Bauwman at Vintage. Hope this helps.
Regarding last posts about cryo process for tubes, I suggest you visit http://www.tubeworld.com/cryovac.html, where you can find an interesting list of tubes treated this way: there is also stated that these tubes sound extraordinarily well! Hope this helps.
Thanks Caesar: I had run across this site a while back, but could not remember the name of it. Has anyone tried the dry ice method, at home, on tubes with any success?