How long for IC cables and Power Cords to break in

I recently replaced all my interconnects, power cord for my power amp, and a Monster power center. The first pass in listening did not produce any real improvement. I shut the system down for about a week to let the wife watch her "Swan" and "American Idol". Then I turned on the system last night. Suddenly everything sounded different. Brighter, more detailed, wider sound stage, bass powerful.

Do wires break in themsleves as long as current goes through them or is there a rule of thumb as to how many hours before one reaps the benefit?

System- B&K reference 4420 power amp
B&K PT3MK2 preamp
Adcom 600 CD
Vandersteen 2CE sigs
XR interconnects
Siganl cable power cord for the power amp.
Thorens 160 c with Linn basik arm and linn K5 cartridge. (Goldring 1012 on the way to replace the Linn K5...
I think that any signal passing through power cords, and interconnects, and speaker cables, contributes toward the burn in process.
There is a CD-R from PAD that accelerates, and renews this process.
Also, there are Audiogon members who use specially designed gadgets to more rapidly, and maximally burn in interconnects, and speaker cables. For example, I had Marigo interconnects which I had retired, after a year of use, and they were given a new life, and their best ever performance, with the service from, a startup audio enterprise of George Saubon, an Audiogon member. He is currently offering a new customer discount from the usual price for this service. I even had a free burn in, in exchange for being among a handful of Audiogon pioneers, sending away valuable wiring to a previously unknown business, after spotting his ad. A clever way to get initial feedback. as long as the item, or service is truly deserving of praise, which it is.
For power cord burn in to reach maximal performance levels, there are a few sources of a plug which allows your power cord to plug into an appliance to work harder than it does in your audio system, and thus reach its full potential. Hdm mentioned purchasing a $3-4 male IEC to 3 prong adaptor directly from an electrical supply outlet, or one can order the $19.95 audiophile approved version from Joe DiMonte at 856-988-6323, or Neal at 720-308-4000, who advertise on Audiogon.
And, during the past few days, the use of Lloyd Walker's SST contact enhancer has in a matter of seconds increased the performance of any of my wiring it is applied to. A rather astounding, instantly audible improvement, from a very reputable source. This was much more obvious than the previous effect using Caig ProGold, alone. Mapleshade Records seems to be selling a similar product.
All of these sources are among those eager to accelerate your electrons, and your listening pleasure.
Faster than a blink of an eye
90% of the speed of light -- that's how long it takes for the first signal to go through your cable.
Rsbeck, but to the signal traveling at 90% the speed of light, won't the light ray look like it's speeding away from it at 100% the speed of light? Heheh.

I need a further explanation using superstring theory.
For what it is worth, the power cords I use (Chris VH DIY) took about 50-60 hours before they settled down and the sound stopped changing.
My interconnect is mostly Purist - with the burn-in CD, they still took about 100 or so to settle in. YMMV
Speed of light before photones were defined as a propagation of EM waves through the air During Maxwell.
Through metals EM waves propagate much faster.
Figure that the speed of light isn't a limit!
"If you were driving your car in outter space at the speed of light and you turned your headlights on, would they do anything?" -- Steven Wright
To the above aliens yes indeed their is another dimension.
To the original poster, turn on the stereo and let it play.
Be sure your electrical hookups are secure and let it play when your not home. Let it play overnight at the lowest possible volume. Just , whatever you do , let it play.
When you hit 100 hours, contact the speed of light department and let them know youve reached the inital plateau of cable brek in. Good Luck and be brave.
We will see you on the other side !
Idid just what Darrylhifi suggested. I was breaking in two P/C's and long speaker cable runs. I think when I finally turned everything off, it was 114 hours later.
Guys, it's more about the changing dielectric distortions with "exercising" the insulation, either by running lots of signal through the adjacent conductors, or "curing" it otherwise. I've developed such a "curing" process for Teflon insulations that results in no burn in curve. Some insulations can actually take months...even years to finally cure otherwise. That's why AIR is the best dielectric, next to a vacuum. Teflons (and other fluorocarbons) are third.... Ern
So what?
How much dB of dielectric distortions are present?
"Dielectric distortions?" Has anyone ever been able to measure this "distortion?" Why not? "Curing" the dielectric? Any evidence that either the wire or the dielectric go through any changes whatsoever?
Guys we are answering a post , where the guy shut down his system for a week so his wife could watch "The Swan" . If he reaches for the vacuum I have a feeling it wont be for cable break in. The Swan is all pretty now, Let the music Play !