Do Interconnects need to "warm up"?

My system is left on most of the time and sometimes on standby. I noticed that when I first start to listen the sound is a bit bright. All of my IC's are balanced and single ended Silver Streaks, the components are Krell. It seems to take almost a half hour before the system seems to calm down where it then sounds smooth and sweet. So I was wondering, is it possible that IC's may need to warm up as some equipment does - your thoughts? Thanks!
Use another set of interconnects for a warm up and then switch to the cold interconnects and see if the system sounds "cold." It shouldn't matter what interconnect you use so I'm sure you have something that would work.
I would guess that if anything is warming up it would be the speakers.
I'm "warming up" leftovers from last night for breakfast !!!!! :)
Sebrof, excellent point, never thought about the speakers warming up, it's probably most likely that?
It sounds like your ears are just getting acclimated to the sound.
It's the Twilight Zone of ICs where strange unmeasurable things seem to happen all the time. Who knows? I would just listen to the music and not loose any sleep over it.
I always try to let my system warm up for an hour or so when people come over to listen. Rather I'm there or not for the warm up, the system always sounds better.

I would expect that the speakers are the main component that benefit from a warm up, but I can see how the components could have internal parts that need to reach an equilibrium.
It has been my experience that the components will change to a warmer sound after an hour or so of listening, not the cables, but I can't say with certainty that the cables don't warm up and change also.

I leave my system powered on so I get the best performance as soon as I start to listen. However, I am not using a Krell which I would not leave on when not in use.

Good Luck.

You can use 'Keep Warm' settings on your slow cooker so you don't have to worm them up every time.
I really don't think ICs need a warm up time but one thing I do when I know people are coming over to listen to music or watch a movie I'll have my system on an hour before playing music or I'll run an Isotek system refresher disk for that hour before anyone arrives. This way pretty much everything is going to have a signal passing through it.
I doubt that the interconnects need the warm-up. However, they need some time to settle, that's if you just put them in the system let them be for a while. How long? It depends.
That reminds me, I bumped into an atom walking down the street yesterday. I asked "Are you alright?".
"I think I lost an electron" was the reply. I asked "Are you sure?".
The answer? "I'm positive" of course.
I'm with the amp and other electronic equipment is warming up group. There is more warm up during listening, than standby. If you have air conditioning, try setting it cooler when you start listening. That will cool the cables (if cooler air gets to them) during component warm up, and see what happens

That reminds me of the deadliest joke in the world from a Monty Python sketch.
"My dog had its nose bitten off yesterday."
"How does he smell?" the friend asked.
Interconnects definitely need to be warmed up.

Cable foreplay is a necessary element of the complete audio experience.

The female connectors may take a bit longer to reach peak performance.

Good luck.
very funny Audiofeil:)

Break in, in some cases yes, warm up? not in my experience, probably the electronics. Funny thing about that phenomenon as well, some electronics it is quite obvious there is a warm-up period, ARC amps for instance. So far as my Berning amp I don't notice this at all.
System refresher disc? Wow...I play music through my rig all day (if I'm home) so when guests arrive they have a warmed up system to ignore while I bore the crap out of them describing how cool it all is. Then I change the belt on my Linn to the 45 spool and force them to listen to a single I played on from 1981 that was released only in Japan.
06-11-11: Wolf_garcia
System refresher disc? Wow...I play music through my rig all day (if I'm home) so when guests arrive they have a warmed up system to ignore while I bore the crap out of them describing how cool it all is."

Hey, we have the same friends!"
Oh Wolf you crack me up. I try to describe my system to some of my party guests and they look at me like I'm crazy. They are either bored or thinking why didn't I just buy something from Bose to keep it simple.

I pretty much listen to the same kind music all the time and don't have different kinds/genres of music so I think I often am not working out my speakers enough in the other frequency ranges so I got the Isotek System Refresher Disk to make sure I'm covered. (I can picture you all laughing at me now)

Here is a link about it if you want to know more info.
Yes, everything sounds better after being played awhile. FYI, pure silver cables are not the most musical choice:O)
Like a good wine it needs to breathe...or something.
With such an important discussion, I am suprised the more experienced here, did not mention the very necessary cable "stretch" after warm up ..... especially before a fortississimo!
>>06-11-11: Dave_b
pure silver cables are not the most musical choice<<


Actually the geometry, conductor purity, and dielectric are vastly more germane to the sonic signature than the conductor material itself.
Rpg ... Iv'e found the same thing with My Levinson/ Ayre setup . It seems even if equipment is left on , it takes a couple of hours at the very least for things to settle in before the swing and flow return . I like Wolfs analogy .
Audiofeil - I would take what Dave_b to mean that silver is not the most musical conductor material all other things being equal. While this may be a difficult claim to make since it's unlikely to find identical cables, your response about geometry, purity and deilectrics have nothing to do with a claim about a material choice being superior. What is your experience with, say, silver vs. copper conductors?
Silver not a "musical" conductor?? How is the Alabama State electric chair wired?? Hmmmm...
(already cooked) me bad
Copper vs Silver is akin to listening to a performance at the BSO vs The New York Philharmonic (at the original Avery Fisher Hall). One is gloriously musical, while the latter was hard, bright and cold sounding. Metals have a sound. Pure silver cables add too much of that sound for my taste. I've heard some silver fuses and hybrid cable designs that are musical.
I could have you audition 10 cables of various compositions and you wouldn't have a clue if they were copper, silver, gold, or a combination.

No way, no how.

But nobody else could either. The conductor material plays a very minute part in the sonic signature.

With more experience you'll understand this.
I've frequently heard the same thing you have. I also leave my system on most of the time, unplugging only if there's a storm approaching or I plan to be gone for an extended period.

I have no idea what causes it though. My gut feeling is that it isn't the ICs but who knows?
All I can speak to is my own experience with silver cables. The difference was not always night and day, but it definately decreased my enjoyment of listening to my system (s) over time.
I suspect AF is correct.

My technical gut instincts (which usually serve me pretty well) and personal experimentation with ICs tell me that what matters is the physical configuration of the IC, its impedance characteristics within teh system it exists in, its ability to transmit all frequencies in phase and ability to shield/protect against external EM fields when needed that mostly matters.

USe of exotic materials just ups the cost and snob appeal perhaps but probably is not a major factor in sound.

Just my technical gut assessment. VEry little relating to ICs is proven in the usual scientific sense.
I think Hifihvn makes sence of cooling cables vs. worming up. Designing freeze packs for cables might be the next crazy tweak in the audiophile business.
Maybe - all things characteristics change with changes in temperature, especially metals. It would be interesting to measure electrical characteristics of interconnects before and after use.
Make sure your measuring device handles magnitudes of 10 or more decimal positions.
I drilled a hole in my freezer in order to route my cables through it...they seem to sound better but my food is getting soft, my popsicles are melting, and my girlfriend just doesn't understand...I wonder if it was worth it.
Anything for the "good cause" my dear fellow! Here here, spit spot, cheerio and all that:O)
Wolf_garcia - How do you know it was the cold temperatures and not the shielding that made the difference in sound. I'd suggest pulling the plug on the freezer all together to find out. Maybe dorm refrigerators will become an audio tweek.
Cynics and peeps with an agenda aside, I have never heard anything that did not "Warm Up" in the audio chain. This goes doubly for cables.

Yours in music,
Ted Denney III
Lead Designer, Synergistic Research Inc.
AQ has an entire technology based on cables staying "warmed up" (DBS) from batteries (at least I think that's what they do)...I like it! I don't own any...but hey...I STILL like it!
I have an AQ power cord with DBS, which kind of doesn't make sense, since it's charged all the time from the AC, but I does like the sound....alot!!
Realistic isn't always cynical, but Synergistic research products are unrealistic for me. ROI is too small or nothing vs. Mogamy as an example.
"AQ has an entire technology based on cables staying "warmed up" (DBS) from batteries (at least I think that's what they do)...I like it! I don't own any...but hey...I STILL like it! "

Yes, I have a pair of these. I like them too. I have never been able to attribute any identifiable sound difference to the DBS devices, but I still like the way the wires sound and the DBS gadget in theory at least.

Where's Rod Serling when you need him...............
Ted_d - What is it that changes in a warmed up cable that would be "doubly" important compared to say, speakers and amplifiers?

I'd like to hear from the OP after warming up his system with an alternate interconnect and then swapping in his main one while the rest of the system is warm.
I bet somebody has asked this someplace but I wonder if I could hook up my own batteries to the cables I have?
Here's a thread about Audioquest DBS FWIW:

IC Twilight Zone
No to the battery DIY need an Anode and a Cathode wire for each one running inside the cable bundle. It expediates the dielectric warm up/breakin effect. In other words, the cable is always ready to go full throttle with no warm up or lengthy breakin process. They still need about 48hrs bur in however, despite what they say. The PC's are superb for digital gear, but for all other applications there is one better than MIT...experience and tons of cash went into my decision so don't even start!!
I bought some midrange AQ balanced cables and they sound somewhat better after a couple of weeks. I measured them and they sound exactly 32% better than when new (I used a measuring cup). Also...I don't care what any "technical" smarty pants says...I'm duct taping little batteries to everything.
That's the ticket! Yeah, batteries...I have some special audiohile edition batteries for sale designed by Professor Lipschitz from We Hosem Inc. Correction, I of course meant to say there are "none better" than the MIT PC's for non digital applicaions IMHO:O) FYI, I found only a 29% increae in efficacy in the AQ balanced cables after a couple weeks, but it did improve to 35% by week 3! Of course I used a special automated tube based measuring device with zircon encrusted contacts for minimal experimental error. It's always in the details...let me know about the batteries.
Whow i didnt know that.