Has anyone cryo'd a tonearm,or phono cartridge?

Just curious Cryogenics International says they can cryro
both items.Is this safe? Has anyone on the Audiogon ever cryo"d a cartridge or tonearm with positive results? or am I just asking for trouble? I have a Morch UP-4 Arm with internal silver wire,and a Grado Prestidge Silver Phono Cartridge.So I don't have a large sum of money invested in cartridge,but do with the arm.Should I go for it or not?
I will have my ic's and power cords cryo'd,but should I go the extra mile with the front end of my system deep frosted?
I have cryo treated lots of tonearm wires, but not the tonearm itself. The wires were a positive change once they were broken in.

I experimented with only one cartridge with permission from Musical Surroundings (who I do work for). We cryo treated a Benz Ruby to see what changes might occur. The cartridge was provided by Musical Surroundings with permission from Benz in Switzerland so if the project failed, I would not have to pay for damage.

The cartridge survived the cryo treatment just fine. The cryo process was done by a vender in Chicago (different people from the ones that I use for my Porter Ports).

The cartridge never seemed to break in after the treatment. It was not damaged but failed to regain the textures in the midrange and the bass lost impact. It was returned to be rebuilt.

Other cartridges may react differently and perhaps the sound I heard was just not to my liking. I do know that any transformer that is cryo treated takes FOREVER to break in. I did the high frequency toroidal transformer in my Sound-Lab Ultimates (when I owned them) and they did not exceeded the PRE- cryo (stock) performance, until after about 7 months of persistent use. I had an original pair of back plates from the Sound-Lab factory so I could compare after each month, so I am certain of the results.

I like cryo treatment, but it is not a universal panacea, I don't like the effect it has on NOS power tubes either. Other than those two items (transformers and tubes) I have had good luck.

Hope you have good luck with your project as well.
I think the cryo treatment undoubtedly ruined the rubber suspension part(s). At such low temps, even silicone rubber permanently loses its elasticity and becomes brittle and hard, which is why the cartridge wouldn't "break in." I'm sure the tension wire is now all that's holding the poor thing together!

On the other hand, there would be nothing wrong with cryo-ing all the metal parts before assembling the cartridge. (Doesn't ZYX do that?) expecially the coil wire.
I just received my ZYX Airy 3 Silver SB yesterday. Some of the internals are cryo'd prior to assembly. Give me a month and I'll comment again if this thread is still showing up on My Page. You may write me later privately if you remember and are still curious.

The ZYX UNIverse is one of the absolute best cartridges I've heard and it is done the same way. It's higher up the food chain than my Airy 3 though.
Hello 76doublebass,

I haven't tried cryo on a cartridge and I would not want to do it because of the delicate rubber suspension for the cantelever, as Nsgarch already mentioned. Albertpoter experiment just reinforces my reluctance.

Do you remember the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger disaster? Richard Feynman, the late Nobel physicist from Cal Tech, convincingly demonstrated the cause of the fatal accident on live national television. He did it with an elegant, simple experiment: he dunked a rubber O-ring into a glass full of ice water and showed how the cold o-ring turned brittle and could no longer seal properly!

With a much colder cryo treatment, the question is will the rubber ever regain its original elasticity? Better yet, what does the rubber have to gain from the treatment? I see mostly negative effects for the rubber and few if any beneficial ones. For a cartridge, the cryo treatment should probably be done without the rubber, prior to full assembly.
Dear 76doublebass: I think that the treated cryo audio items are differents from the originals. That process change the whole characteristics of the original one, so the cryo audio item is a " new design/build " audio item.

Maybe the " new " cryo audio item could " sounds " better or maybe not, that's is up to you.

I think that the point here is to try/test where this treatment really do a real music reproduction improvement, because a " different sound " not always means: better.

I think that we have to take great care about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Actually, I am cryoing a cartridge this weekend. I've done others before, with mixed results. this time I'm doing a fairly high dollar cart, whereas my earlier experiements were with "backup" carts.

I'll report my findings after the cartridge breaks back in after cryo.

Like Albert mentioned, cryo is not a panacea and is not suitable for everything, especially electrolytic caps. Also, different parts require different cryo "profiles" to elicit the best performance from them. One can't treat fragile audio gear with the same profile as used for tool steels and expect optimal results.

BTW to elaborate on Albert's comments, cryo is great for transformers, with two caveats: The cryo treamtment house MUST use a profile with a VERY slow cool down rate. And, yes, break in seems to take forever after cryo, although once the tranny is run back in, in my experience, it is much quieter.
To further comment on Justin_time's post, don't forget about the "coefficient of expansion" differences between dissimilar materials, which is the operating principle behind your home's thermostat. This is a switching device that works by using a temperature sensitive BI-METALLIC strip or coil that flexes and bends.

Cryoing was originally used as a tempering process for HOMOGENOUS metallic materials, such as surgical instruments and car brake discs. Cryoing of different materials used in an audio device or component, having different coefficients of expansions, may theoretically result in damage or a shortened life span due to the contraction/expansion stresses placed upon the item. Personally, I would never cryo any device with non-homogenous materials, as this would be exposing it to conditions way, WAY outside of the operational design parameters.

Of course, theory may not be actuality in the real world, but I'm not going to chance it!