Cryogenics: accomplish what and work how?

Cryogenics: what is it supposed to accomplish and how does it work?

I’ve heard about this numerous times and I don’t know how it is supposed to work. Is a cable or tube frozen? To what temperature? Are they heated first? What is the procedure? What is the purpose? What physical change brought about by the cryogenic treatment and how does that effect the sound?
I don't know the exact procedure, but it involves the submerging of the item into something like liquid nitrogen to get the material as close to absolute zero as practical. This is supposed to re-align the molecules and crystalline structures in a beneficial way. Many or all of the stress risers produced during manufacturing processes are eliminated. As a shooter, I can tell you that it makes a hell of a big difference in the accuracy of a rifle barrel. I've never tried any cryo'd electronics, but many are using it, so there very well could be some good improvements to be had from it.
Cryogenic Treatment

Your Options

Many JENA LABS wire products are Deep Immersion Cryogenically treated as part of the standard production process. Those for which Cryogenic treatment is not standard may be ordered with optional Deep Immersion Cryogenic treatment. This treatment entails a cold chilling process culminating in immersion of the cables in Liquid Nitrogen, also known as LN2. The boiling point of LN2 is -320.4° Fahrenheit, [-195.77° Celsius] or about 400° F below warm room temperature. In the liquid state as we use it, the LN2 is actually much colder than this temperature.

What happens?

Exposing metallic objects to this extreme cold causes beneficial molecular changes to occur. As metallic objects cool, they shrink. With the extreme cooling and the shrinkage that follows in LN2 immersion, the crystal boundaries of metallic conductors align more closely with one another and become more conductive and quieter. Mechanical integrity is also improved. The improved molecular condition stays intact through the slow warming process and is stable at room temperature.


When conducting an electric signal, treated wire and formed metallic parts will produce less micro-diode-effect noise, less impurity inclusion field disturbance and less 'slow field' transverse energy generation. The result is a cable or electrical device that is quieter in noise floor and more revealing of subtle musical nuances.


Working with LN2 requires very specialized and expensive equipment, and extreme care in process. It is very dangerous, as the cold is so severe that it can result in severe injury from accidental exposure to the liquid. The process of chilling and warming takes several days to complete, and if done incorrectly can result in the fracture and loss of the materials being processed. In every phase of the treatment, extreme care must be taken. We feel strongly enough about the musical merits of the treatment, that we gladly make the investment in the equipment, the time, and the safety procedures needed to make the benefits available to our customers.

CDs, SACDs, and DVDs

Optical discs used in home entertainment benefit from Cryogenic treatment. The sound produced by treated discs is smoother and less fatiguing, while also bringing a sense of wider frequency response, more dynamics and a much more life like detailed 3-D soundstage. The video portion of DVD information is improved with better color saturation, lower noise, and improved sharpness. JENA LABS employs a stirred Evaporated LN2 vapor system to treat optical discs. This treatment chills the discs to -320° Fahrenheit, which though not as cold as our Deep Immersion process, certainly qualifies as authentic Cryogenic treatment. Our experiments have shown that exposing optical discs to the extreme cold of the Deep Immersion process may cause some discs to fail. The stirred Evaporated LN2 Cryogenic process we employ is perfectly safe for the discs, and cold enough to impart the beneficial sonic and visual improvements we desire.

Beware of others Cryo-Claims

Several audio writers, equipment modifiers, and so-called technologists have promoted refrigeration of cables and electronic parts by packing in Dry Ice. This is NOT cryogenic treatment. It results in only minor and temporary improvement. Even gas bath refrigeration in a cold furnace cooled by LN2 will not provide a sufficient chill. Scientifically speaking, Cryogenics refer ONLY to temperatures at or below the vapor point on Nitrogen, -320.4° Fahrenheit. Our process involves temperatures that are substantially colder than this. Clearly, dry ice has nothing to do with Cryogenics. Only true Liquid Nitrogen Immersion, as employed by JENA LABS will fully and permanently enhance the musical behavior of metallic conductors.

Courtesy of Jena Labs web site, these folks are much smarter then I so I trust them ;) This may help clear up some of the confusion that you experience Dacat. ~Tim
Tim, nice work. Thanks.
The points made in the Jena Labs document is exactly why Purist Audio has a contract with NASA to treat it's products. NASA has mainframe computer controlled immersion tanks that are more precise than what is typically available for commercial use.

Much of what is sent into space is cryo treated to improve stability and reduce the effect of stress. When the tanks are not being used for NASA projects they are available to Jim. This is the reason that his product is sometime easy to get and sometime back ordered severely.
I've used cryo cables and found little difference. Keep in mind, it is difficult to compare the same cable cryo vs non-cryo. Either a manufacturer does cryo right, or not at all. So an apples to apples comparison is nearly impossible. That said, you should take my "little difference" with a grain of salt. However, I have tried the same tubes (NOS) cryo and non-cryo. There is a substantial difference here. Lower noise floor and I believe longer tube life (but really can't be sure). I can say I was impressed with the dramatical difference. Tubes are such sensitive devices that it does make logical and physical sense that cryo treating would have a beneficial effect.
thanks. i'm going to take these answers down to the materials science lab in the office below mine and see what they say. most of their work is in alloy extrusion. they may be able to treat some cables for me so i can make a direct comparision. i'll let you know what i hear.

I can understand the changes to the wire portion of the cables. Should I assume that an already manufactured cable (with insulation and jacket) cannot be treated?

I don't understand who cryogenics can improve a CD at all, since there are "one pits" and "zero pits" on the disk, how can it improve these pits?
Unrelated- I use croyed razor blades. The shave and durability is incredible. Each mach 3 blade lasts 4-5 weeks of daily shaves:) And we all know music sounds better with a clean shave.!
As an easy, poor man's experiment, consider trying this: put some of your interconnects, power cords, and CDs into sealable plastic bags. Pop them into the freezer for about eight hours. Then put the bags into the refrigerator for about the same amount of time. (The trick is to have a slow warm up.) Then let the bags sit in a cool spot in your room for three or four hours, or until you're fairly sure they're at room temperature.

I find the improvement quite surprising and it seems to be permanent. I'm not suggesting that this is a replacement for "deep, computer controlled cryo", but at least to my ears it's pretty effective and the cost factor can't be beat.
Small world. Ted Williams' relatives are asking the same questions you are.