Cryogenic treatment of an LP?


Is this even possible? I am just thinking outloud here and wondering of the benefits and welcome your comments. I'm unsure if an lp could even survive the process normally targeted at metal components. (Warp factor 10 captain). Ultra freezing and then slowly re-heating a chunk of plastic. Still, one wonders exactly what impact molecular alignment would have (if any).

Through the employment of ultra-low temperatures, 300 Below, Inc. cryogenic processing helps improve all kinds of products by realigning the molecular structure of an object, optimally resulting in items which last significantly longer and perform far better than they were previously designed.
tubed1
If you cryogenically freeze the type of vinyl commonly used in LPs, it shatters. I've done it -- it's hilarious, and a great way to get rid of Barry Manilow records. ;)
It only works on Coldplay.

And even the best cryo treatment won't help that band.
I prefer the heat treatment. turn those Lps into ashtrays..
And candy dishes...
LOL
(I have 6,000+ LPs.. just waiting for me to 'fix' them....)
(8^Q...
Mint original 6 eye mono Bob Dylan as a candy dish. Priceless...
Cold fusion is slightly superior to cryogenics.
If an LP shatters during a cryo treatment, the process is not being done correctly. I treated 25 LPs years ago and they did not shatter as was mentioned above. However, I did not hear additional sonic benefits that were very apparent with my CD collection. It is priced by weight so it was more expensive than my CD's.

Call Cryogenics International in Scottsdale and discuss with the owner.
I'll take the Dylan, Elizabeth. The sound of Dylan's harmonica in the bathroom in the morning really opens up those sleepy eyes, clears the sinuses, and dislodges the wax from your ears.
I read in another thread that you're supposed to boil the vinyl before the cryo treatment.
Tubed1 - I hope your joking? Cryo treatment modifies internal micro structures of the material which is why it is used for cables and such where something is traveling inside the material. Please explain how a change in internal micro structure would make any difference for a record? If the external shape of the record it wouldn't have any better chance than melting it with heat for improving the sound.
I have trouble with the concept of a single process that improves all known materials. Isn't it equally possible that it can harm some material properties. If it's not changing materials in a quantifiable way why are we doing it?
"I have trouble with the concept of a single process that improves all known materials."

And yet you still call yourself an audiophile.

Perhaps if you understood that the process was developed & confirmed for all things audio by the combined efforts of both Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny then you would have the good sense not to question it.
I have been playing with croyogenically treating cables for few years. All it does is pack the molecules closer together. I have a HDMI and USB cable speed tester. HDMI and USB cables always test much faster with a Cryo treatment than opposed to non treated cables. I have noticed anywhere from 12 to 20 % faster. I have tested a cable before and then after and those are generally results.
Uh, noone said it improves all known materials. But it's very well documented that it improves, steel, brass, silver, gold, aluminum, copper and plastics like vinyl, polycarbonate and telfon, you know, things of that nature.
This is becoming one of the more humorous threads in a long time. :-)
I have a HDMI and USB cable speed tester. HDMI and USB cables always test much faster with a Cryo treatment than opposed to non treated cables. I have noticed anywhere from 12 to 20 % faster. I have tested a cable before and then after and those are generally results.
Twelve to twenty percent faster than the speed of light. That is amazing! NASA should have treated the Space Shuttle.
Thesoundhouse - How do you test the speed of a cable? Also, how does the speed of a cable impact the quality of said cable? If speed from one end to the other improves sound then just get a shorter cable. It sounds like a cryo treated cable that is 1.12 to 1.20 meters long would perform the same as a 1 meter untreaded cable when it comes to transfering the signal from one end to the other.

Geoffkait - Even if cryo treatment improves the material properties of vinyl (i.e. records) it's likely an improvement in strenght or bending properties and has nothing to do with a needed bumping along its outer surface.

The absolute farthest that I can stretch this thought experiement would be that a record just might not wear out as quickly, but then I have nothing to base that idea on.
Mceljo -The process reduces stress in the materials and makes them more homogeneous; thus, a cryo'd brass trumpet sounds better, a cryo'd golf club hits the ball farther, a cryo'd LP, well, it just sounds better. I was one of the first in the US to cryo audio stuff, that was about 15 years ago.
The speed of a cable is the speed of light which is how fast electricity travels.
So cryo'd bed springs would be more reactive and be stronger than their untreated counterparts? Especially under audio components. Of course for the best sound they would have to be made of metals of music such as brass or bronze certainly not steel. Unless of course they are overheated and reach their annealing temperature then they again would have to be treated. Didn't Frank Zappa play electric bed springs on Waki Jawaki? Frank was ahead of his time and certainly out there so he probably had his treated {circa 1972} by NASA as part of their pre conditioned temper process of materials heading into outer space. ...Frank was a brass man..Tom
Or I should have said electricity travels at almost the speed of light depending on a few variables.
I'm sorry to report, Rwwear, that your ignorance of physics is only exceeded by your willingness to express an "opinion".
"So cryo'd bed springs would be more reactive and be stronger than their untreated counterparts?" --- Frank was ahead of his time and certainly out there so he probably had his treated {circa 1972} "

Hmmm, perhaps this was key to the Dynamo Humm?
Geoffkait - Unless cryo treating changes the physical shape of an LP then it should sound identical. The stylus doesn't do anything beyond following the surface of the groove. I don't get it. If cryo helps an LP then there's no limits.

Frozen waffles are not as good as fresh so what's the magic temp that makes everything better?
I think I am gonna try cryo treating my ears.
1- it reduces stress
2- improves their performance
3- and they will be homogeneous, and thus symetrical

Simply, it will make me a better audiophile!
"Geoffkait - Unless cryo treating changes the physical shape of an LP then it should sound identical."

It doesn't change the physical shape of an LP any more than it changes the color. Cryo treatment doesn't change the physical shape of brass, silver, copper or plastic. It does, however, change the atomic structure of the materials, and that is why the cryo'd LP sounds different, why a cryo'd cable sounds different, why a cryo'd gold ball travels farther, why a cryo'd knife stays sharper longer. Materials, like ideas, need to be examined in greater depth than just looking at the surface.

"The stylus doesn't do anything beyond following the surface of the groove."

Strawman argument, similar to the argument that "bits are bits."

"I don't get it. If cryo helps an LP then there's no limits."

Who said there are limits? You might not be aware that cryogenics has been used for many years by audiophiles and manufacturers to improve the performance of tonearms, cartridges, turntables, CD players, DACs, crossover networks, speakers, cables and interconnects, CDs and LPs. Audio related cryogenics in fact explains, in part, why so many cryogenic labs have sprung up in the last 10 years or so.

"Frozen waffles are not as good as fresh so what's the magic temp that makes everything better?"

There is no "magic temperature" since simple freezing in the the home freezer (obviously not nearly cryogenic temperature) can improve the performance of audio related items to a level quite similar to real cryo treatment.
"Frozen waffles are not as good as fresh"

Evidently they would sound better on your turntable though. Makes sense when you think about how the stylus would dig in to the soft dough and stuff.
Geoffkait - The stylus to LP connection is a physical transfer at the surface of the LP.

This is similar to a car driving down the freeway. Let's assume that the freeway is made of machined steel and that one lane has been cryo-treated and the actual surface finish was identical prior to the treatment.

Will the car perform differently because the atomic structure of the steel is more orderly? The performance on an LP doesn't depend on its strength or electrical transfer properties. The primary factor is the shape of the surface and cryo-treatment does not change this. The stylus isn't riding at the level of single molecules.

The only thing that I can think of would be that a cryo-treated LP would somehow resist vibration better, but generally a more uniform material will resist vibration less. This is why acoustic tile is often made up of several layers of material with different properties.

I'm skeptical that it works in cables, but when it comes to LPs I say placebo BS all the way. It would take someone doing an A/B demonstration of two identical LPs to prove that I couldn't tell a difference and then again after one had been treated. I might even require two identical turntables to be used side by side for the fastest possible input switch. I bet I could tell a difference IF someone told me which one was which. I don't think anyone has a good enough "memory" to compare the result using a single LP.
The only thing that I can think of would be that a cryo-treated LP would somehow resist vibration better, but generally a more uniform material will resist vibration less.

Bingo! The same with metals, e.g., why a steel rod will vibrate or ring less after cryo. Been there done that.

Your example of A/Bing LPs is only your skeptical imagination at work. Experience can be a great teacher. Been there done that.
Mceljo, Before-n-after LP cryo results could be comparitively sampled/captured/measured quite easily with a decent o-scope equipment, and before anyone insists that it DOES make an audible difference, especially you-know-who, should have to provide measureable data. Same goes for cables, etc.
Of course, it should be pointed out those who doubt the whole cryo thing never are the ones to provide measureable data. That would be too, uh, contradictory. :-)
" those who doubt the whole cryo thing never are the ones to provide measureable data."

Makes perfect sense to me and Santa and the Easter Bunny! It really bugs us when people say at least one of us isn't real, show us the proof!!
I would argue that cryo may increas the uniformity of vibration in cables and such, but uniformity isn't the path to less vibration. Sound damping is done with composite materials that have different densities and vibrations don't transfer from layer to layer as well as it does through a single material.

Why should the onus be on the people not promoting a product that is being sold as something valuable? We're not trying to prove it's value.

We can't forget that science has proven that placebo's work. If you believe it can work for you, but you can't prove how or why, just that it does. This doesn't prove, however, that anything actually changed.
When a device is cryo'd its molecules are relaxed into their natural atomic state. This new and original state is permanent unless the device's structure is reprocessed again by annealing.

If a trumpet player says his recently cryo'd instrument is much easier to play meaning with less air required and less muscle then this would suggest that the molecular alignment is less random and more focused. It would also suggest there would be more acoustic output and greater vibrational transfer.

If a LP were cryo'd then its molecular structure would be relaxed into its natural alignment providing less inherent friction and greater dynamic range. Tom
Theaudiotweak - In your trumpet example your supporting my statement that cryo treating increases the vibration transfer. People go to great lengths to reduce vibration in LPs.

The molecular changes that result from cryo treatment is on an order of magnitude that is far different than a stylus. If the surface friction is reduced by cryo-treatment then the LP surface is changed and there's no way that this could systematically improve the recording. The result would be random.
People mistakenly reduce vibration in many if not most audio components. There is a method some use in the collection and transfer of this reactance in the reduction of perceived excess energy. Vibration can be given direction. My preference is to use it and not lose it. Tom
The cryo process doesn't actually result in compressing the atoms of the material - the atoms compress during the freeze cycle then expand during the thaw cycle. The result is a more homogenous arrangement of the atoms. The stress relief aspect of the cryo process is important since the manufacturing processes of stamping, bending, drawing, etc. is what produces stress and strain in the metals and plastics. And this combination of more homogeneous atomic structure and stress relief produces less vibration, better performance of materials in general - more durable, less britle, greater strength, greater stiffness, etc.
Geoffkait - exactly, but what does that have to do with playback of an LP? I'm not sure I agree completely with the less vibration part (it should result in a more uniform vibration which is, in theory, why electrical current flows better though a cryo treated cable), but better material properties is a fact BUT only matters if the use of the material interfaces with these properties in a meaningful way.

Example: I can type a sentance on a roll of single ply toilet paper and on expensive letter head. The quality of the letterhead is much higher, but it has no bearing on if I can read the sentance as long as the toilet paper isn't damaged.

I don't see how material properties have any measurable effect on the playback of an LP. Cryo-treating causes material changes that are verified in metals using electron microscopes and this is orders of magnitude different from the scale of a stylus where I'm fairly certain that it's possible to tell the difference between different tip designs using 10x magnification if not using the naked eye.

I've never said that the LP material properties are not better, just that it doesn't matter. The stylus is a macro mechanical transfer of informaiton and cryo treatment resuls in a micro material improvement.

Theaudiotweak - How does one give vibration in an LP direction?
Would a piano sound better if the keys were cryo treated?
Well, the best answer to your questions is that the cryo process must work on LPs since they do sound better afterwards. Folks question cryo for wires, CDs, tonearms, electron tubes, CD players and cross-over networks, too.
yes, records were designed to be frozen. Hence they sound best at the poles and sound quality deteriorates significantly at the equator and around Marisa Miller.

Playback in the cold vacuum of outer space is the real treat. No bad room acoustics! The solar wind would help deliver a nice warm sound except its a vacuum there which makes it kinda hard to hear anything.

Sorry, even if it works, cryogenic freezing of records is where I jump of the audio bandwagon. You have to be a little obsessive and who knows what else to go there.

I would be afraid to fess up if I did this in that I would expect most any normal person in this world to give me some funny looks? Even more so than if I told them the time and money I invest in this "hobby".

Just thinking about it though is pretty funny!
If you can reduce the material and surface hysteresis such as
the example of the cryo'd LP the stylus should have greater resolution capability. In this way vibration will be given greater and more defined direction...there will be less false directions to wade thru and more of the intended mechanical structure of the cut. VTA and azimuth would also direct mechanical vibration..Tom
Who here has cryoed an lp?
Geoffkait - Just because a select few can hear a difference doesn't mean that their ears are actually hearing the difference. The power of suggestion is strong, I prefer to think of it as "group think" but at this point I'm not sure enough believe for it to be considered a group.

In medical field new drugs are tested against placebo drugs because a certain percentage of people feel and actually get better medically taking a placebo. In the cases where they did actually get better it still had nothing to do with the placebo, the change was all in their heads. For a drug to work the people that improved taking the drug must be significantly higher than those that improve from taking the placebo.

I believe that it would be easy to duplicate the number of people that believe in the cryo improvement of an LP simply by taking two cables and telling them that one sounds better because of XYZ modification that really hasn't happened. I wish there were control groups in audio.

Theaudiotweak - The word filibuster comes to mind when I read your explainations. I don't believe that a stylus is small enough to be impacted in any way by a change in the molecule structure of an LP. That's like saying that you'd notice a difference driving a dump truck with 60 inch tires on 3000 grit vs. 3001 grit sand paper. Actually, this example is probably closer in orders of magnitude.

When it comes to metals that carry current I can at least conceive of a logical explaination for how it might make a difference but it still makes my head hurt a bit, but I simply connot come up with a logical connection when it comes to an LP. So far you're providing vague conjectures that have little practical value when it comes to an explaination.
Mceljo, of course it's true there is such a thing as the placebo effect, who would disagree with that? But the placebo effect can be rather eliminated as a cause of the effect through careful listening tests. After all, if the placebo effect couldn't be eliminated from testing of any audio component, cable or tweak how would be ever progress in audio? Have you given any consideration to the anti-placebo effect - the placebo effect's ugly sibling - for making naysayers deaf to the effects of some tweaks due to their pre-conceived notions about preposterous sounding tweaks? LOL
Geoffkait - I do know about the anti-placebo and realize that people that don't beleive are less likely to hear a difference.

I was very skeptical of Nordost Sort Kones. Eventually the salesman convinced me to take a set home with the promise that if I wasn't satisfied he'd take them back. I'm not convinced that the difference that I hear is real, but I'm also not convinced that they didn't make a difference so I can't take them back. The problem with them is that they take several minutes to install and remove making A/B comparisons extremely difficult. A friend of mine would describe the difference that he thinks he hears in a very similar way to how I would, but commented that he'd like to hear an instant A/B comparison.

In the case of Sort Kones I can see how it is possible that they could make a difference.

I wasn't convinced about speaker wires making a difference but I have heard a difference between a $7 pair that I took in from the hardware store and some $2k Nordost cables, but the difference wasn't even close to being worth the price.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I have heard a difference in things that I wouldn't have believed without hearing it for myself, but in each of these cases I understand how it could make a difference and my objection was that I didn't consider than any difference would be audible. In the case of cryo-records I simply can't conceive of how anyone would ever think that it could make a difference. It's outside the box of logical reality for me.
Mceljo - It's certainly understandable that one cannot conceive how Cryo-records could make a difference. I suspect until one actually tries these things for himself, in his own system, with his own ears, the preposterous nature of things like cryo-records, wire and fuse directionality, tiny little bowl resonators, coloring the edge of CDs, crystals, Mpingo discs, demagnetizers, ionizers, extremely low frequency generators, things of that nature, there will be a lot of skepticism to overcome. I guess you could say the same about black holes, the big bang, relativity theory, teleportation and the atomic bomb - the preposterous nature of such things makes it extremely difficult to conceive they're real without proof or demonstration.
Does audiogon charge for plugging products and writing in marketing adds in the guise of a thread, or is it just sort of a fringe benefit?

The Easter Bunny is curious about this one. Santa is trying to figure out if cryo'd snake oil is still the same stuff as original snake oil.
I guess you could say the same about black holes, the big bang, relativity theory, teleportation and the atomic bomb - the preposterous nature of such things makes it extremely difficult to conceive they're real without proof or demonstration.
Well, with over 105,000 casualties at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think it's pretty safe to say that the atomic bomb is real.
Stop, please stop! You're killing me - I'm splitting a gut laughing at some of the comments to this post.

This is an example of our "superior" American education system at work. All of you who have never taken a high school or college physics class, please raise your hand. Hmmm, just as I suspected. OK, let's make it easy: the secret word is thermodynamics. Go ahead and Google it, we'll wait...

But back to the OP. In a nutshell, (so-called) cryogenically treating vinyl records is a bad idea for several reasons; but mainly because PVC, like most ethenyl compounds, contain some small amount of asphaltenes that are prone to stress fractures under low temperaures.

Question - what do your LPs ave in common with your driveway?

Answer - ask anyone who lives in Minnesota about how their asphalt driveways look like after a few cold winters. (Hint - not so good)

Class dismissed.
"Well, with over 105,000 casualties at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think it's pretty safe to say that the atomic bomb is real."

Yes, I suppose that's true. But it's also true the use of the atomic bomb prevented 500, 000 casualties. So, one could say the atomic bomb is a real lifesaver.
Geoffkait said:
the preposterous nature of things like cryo-records, wire and fuse directionality, tiny little bowl resonators, coloring the edge of CDs, crystals, Mpingo discs, demagnetizers, ionizers, extremely low frequency generators, things of that nature, there will be a lot of skepticism to overcome. I guess you could say the same about black holes, the big bang, relativity theory, teleportation and the atomic bomb
but he left out "calling someone up on the telephone to make his system sound better"...