Is it worth it to buy the Cable Cooker?

Have read some of the previous posts. Just wanted updates , as more people now seem to use it. Also anyone who has one in the NYC area please Email me. Thanks.
jc audio replied that he will cook your cables for a small fee. Maybe try it, and if you like buy???
If you play with a lot of cables or have multiple systems, it is well worth it. Regardless of the "sped up" break-in time, i think that cables sound better after being cooked even if they have been in a system with hundreds upon hundreds of hours on them. As i've said before, you haven't really heard the potential of a cable unless its' been cooked : ) Sean
Yes. Couldn't be without it. I didn't make a cable change for over a year, and then two in two months. A day on the Cooker, and it was done.
The quality of the thoughts expressed on this and other topics by the person who advocates the cable cooker above, in this and other forums, inclines me to believe that you would be wasting your money on such a device. Moreover, my friends in the industry opine that there is no scientific basis for believing that such a device would have any beneficial effect. If you like the stories people tell, go ahead and buy one, and have fun.
Hey Paulwp. I just checked your threads in the archives, and you are the only other person I know of that has heard of the Armstrong receiver. On your "Best Product for the money ever" thread, you mentioned the Armstrong and the Connoisseur TT. I had the Connoisseur BD2A a long time ago, and I have an Armstrong 626 reciever in my bedroom system right now. How about that? I agree that they both are great value. Nobody seems to know about the Armstrong though. I guess it is our secret.

To answer the question on this thread, I've never used a cable cooker so I don't know how good they are.
Quote: "The quality of the thoughts expressed on this and other topics by the person who advocates the cable cooker above, in this and other forums, inclines me to believe that you would be wasting your money on such a device. Moreover, my friends in the industry opine that there is no scientific basis for believing that such a device would have any beneficial effect. If you like the stories people tell, go ahead and buy one, and have fun."

There's no direct experience, references or sources mentioned in this quote. What is its value, if any?

Cable cooking improves cheap cables to the point they are very close to expensive ones. I have done A/B comparisons on the same cable cooked by Sean and uncooked. The results were nothing short of stunning on two brands: Phoenix Gold and RCA. My Phoenix Gold Digital cable also showed *remarkable* improvement.
Twl, we don't agree on much, but the Con. BD2a integrated unit was very good. The Armstrong receiver I mentioned pre-dated the 626. It was a smaller unit that looked like a table radio. Rolled off in the bass and upper treble, very nice midrange. Many years later when I went back to the store that carried the Armstrong and told them I wanted one, they sold me a Mission Cyrus One integrated amp. Also a very good buy, a passive preamp combined with a high current amp section. Very nice phono preamp. Again, rolled-off bass and upper treble, but very good midrange. I still have the Cyrus One, though dont use it for anything at the moment.

Well Paul, i guess when you can't hear the difference between an amp from NAD, Rotel, B&K, etc... and an amp from Threshold / Pass, Boulder, Rowland, Electron Kinetics, etc.., it wouldn't make sense to put money into cables or tweaks of ANY type. Since some of you might not know what i'm referring to, take a look at this thread and consider the source for yourself.

Other than that, why do you bother to lurk / read forums like this if that is your attitude ? If you have such a problem with comments / information that i post, why not join in and offer a contrasting point of view ? After all, if you have enough knowledge & experience to be able to discern errors in my posts or knowingly disagree with what i had to say, you should be able to put those thoughts and ideas into words / posts that might help others that i would otherwise be leading astray. Right ???

C'mon Paul. Come out and play. Snipers / hit & run drivers are no fun : ) Sean
Under what periods of unuse do cables de-cook, or are the benefits persistant?
Now, otoh, someone I have a lot of respect for, and from whom I bought some speakers a few years ago (see the website at, does recommend some kind of cable cooker. So, you never know.

What would be interesting here is if someone with scientific and/or engineering credentials could offer a reasoned explanation for why one of these devices might make a difference.

Ok psychicanimal, you say "Cable cooking improves cheap cables to the point they are very close to expensive ones." Do you mean very close to uncooked expensive ones? What happens when you cook the expensive ones? And which expensive cables are you talking about? You dont need to answer, but what is the value of any of these comments? Has anyone done a controlled experiment, double blind with a trained/knowledgeable panel of listeners? Every product or tweak mentioned in this forum has its advocates. How should one decide to give any weight to one point of view or another?
Paulwp states: "Every product or tweak mentioned in this forum has its advocates. How should one decide to give any weight to one point of view or another?"

I would suggest simply reading responses from those that post / respond on a regular basis. If you find that one / some of those poster's comments and experience match your own on a regular basis, then believe them.

Having said that, the people that you don't agree with might not necessarily be "wrong". There might be variables involved in the situations that caused your point of view / experiences to differ with theirs. That is why it is important that we ENCOURAGE different points of view. This can only help us to break things down to a point that we can analyze and learn from the various and different observations that have taken place. As a case in point, that is why i asked YOU to post YOUR comments when you disagree with what i've posted.

As to my experience with "cable burning", the results are not hard to tell between identical "burned" and "unburned" cables. Keep in mind that my comments are in regards to interconnects.

I was supposed to have a "straight wire bypass" device some time ago that would allow me to do SBT and DBT, but that fell through as our schedules didn't jive. This device allows you to put multiple active OR passive devices in series with the main system and let you switch them in and out of the signal path in a controlled or random fashion. I've got to contact the individual that has this device and see if i can still purchase it from them. I just dumped quite a bit of money this weekend on a bunch of small purchases that have really added up, so this might be put off for just a bit longer. If i do pick this up, i'll be sure to let you know : ) Sean
I have used a cable cooker on all kinds of cables. Expensive speaker cables, inexpensive speaker cables, expensive interconnects, inexpensive interconnects etc... Everyone involved agreed on every cable that it made a substantial difference. I wouldn't be without one. I usually cook the cables every 6 months. I cook a cable for 1 week for the first time on a brand new cable. Then 3 days for each "tune up" every 6 months. I really wonder about the people that say they can't hear a difference. I hope this helps you and I hope I didn't offend anyone. Happy Listening! John
Paul, I did go and check out the "snake oil" section of the website that you mentioned. The owner of this shop seems quite level-headed and respectable.

Quite honestly, i was a HARDCORE skeptic about some of the "tweaks" that i take for granted now. Many moons ago, my brother and I had a "knock down, drag out" dispute about AC cables with a gentleman by the name of Ozzy and a select few others over on Audio Review. While Ozzy and his "crew" were preaching the benefits of aftermarket AC cords, my brother and i kept handing him the same lines that most AC skeptics use even today. The only thing that came out of that was a runaway thread and a lot of smoke coming from everyone's ears. I'm sure that Ozzy can remember this "dispute". He may even chime in with a few words as i know that he sometimes frequents these forums.

The funny thing about that thread was that i was talking out of the top of my hat i.e. i had never experimented with "fancy" power cables. After trying a well designed cable out for myself, i could hardly believe that i REALLY could hear a difference. In fact, the difference was SO noticeable that i have now invested a couple of thousand dollars in test equipment so that i can try to analyze / design a power cord that is more effective than those that i currently own & use.

Needless to say, i am now one of those that believes that science should be able to explain why something happens, not tell you that it can't happen. I've seen too many "impossible occurances" take place in the electronics field to discount ANY point of view. After all, a lot of the money that i make comes from being able to improve circuits /designs that are already "theoretically perfect". I've even had the President of one of the largest communications manufacturing facilities in the world fly in from the Orient with his head EE ( Electrical Engineer ) and ME ( Mechanical Engineer ) just to see "impossibilities" that were occuring on a daily basis with their products. Not only did they not know that such problems could have ever occured, they did not know how to correct them once they saw that they did exist. That's why they came to see me in person : )

Obviously, i'm not saying that i have all of the answers. If i did, i'd be able to whip out a formula that explained our existance and why cables go through electrical changes when voltage / current is passed through them ande how they react in any given situation. While i doubt i will be able to make a dent in the "why are we here" part of my last statement, i'm hoping to be able to at least measure and document some of the phenomena that many people don't believe exists on the latter part of that statement. Sean
Being too dumb to build one for myself, I've just got myself a cable cooker from Alan. I have a pair of interconnects cooking right now, which lead from my tonearm to the Aesthetix IO. I've chosen those, because I expect here the most noticeable difference, if any. I shall report in about two days. Cheers,
It saddens me to see the re-birth of the past. Paulwp you are a poor reincarnation of 706...., Steve and others from the past who have been "asked" to leave this web site.
"I need proof" try your ears!!! Or are you too stubborn like the others to open your eyes? If you truly believe everything is scientifically provable well than I'm sorry for your small mind and world. The proof is easy, try it, try other un-provable tweaks. I'm guessing you never have and are so sure of your narrow opinions that you will continue to miss all that your system is capable of.
The unprovoked attack made by you to Sean and by association to me is not to be tolerate by this site. I strongly advise Audiogon to reprimand you for these tactics. If you have a problem with Sean, your expressions here solved nothing other than to dis-credit you in the Audiogon community.
The reference to "toasting cables" on the signals website is found by going to prices, then cables, then scrolling down to the white text on a dark picture background.

706 and Steve were militant wire-is-wire trolls who wouldnt let people ask for or give advice about cables. I was around then and no one associated me with them. And you dont see me joining all the cable threads that come up on this forum. I hear differences in wires and amps and cd players, and have chosen the ones I use on the basis of my own listening, but respect the pov of those who say we really should use some controlled blind tests before we assert as a fact that one thing sounds different from another.

I have nothing against you, Jadem6.
Obviously, Paul has a problem with me / my comments but is not willing to share what those problems are. At least not publicly. All i can say is that my email is always open to those that want to reach me, good or bad. Sean
Well Sean, I can not imagine what it is that got to Paul. You are maybe the most honest and knowledgeable guy I know. You have done a lot of DIY projects and have shared more knowledge than I'll ever have. I do know you to have opinions, but I'm always amazed at the honesty. The fact that you do indeed know the benefits of cables, but do not believe in paying the cost of manufactured cables, thus pushing you to experiment on DIY cables proves you have no set beliefs. You have continued to surprise me over the years from my perceived notion of you and what you end up sharing. I do know you have had a few run-ins over the years with some people here, but I've never seen the reasons. I only hear the repercussions later. You are one of the guys I look to for your thoughts, and enjoy your immense knowledge. Thank-you for your efforts, I appreciate it.
Well spoken J.D. I can only second that. The cable's still cooking by the way. I plan to cook only one side of the pair for direct comparison with the uncooked side. Cheers,
Thanks for the kind words guys. I do what i can, when i can.

What i have found is that if one shares honest opinions with any group of people, you are bound to step on someone's toes sooner or later. As such, i can see why some reviewers try to "soft shoe" the audience i.e. they don't want to alienate or offend someone based on their personal preferences. We ask for honest points of view and reviews yet when someone shares what is exactly on their mind and what they like, there are those that criticize those thoughts and cry "charlatan" simply because they don't see eye to eye on the subject.

With that in mind, I learned a long time ago that you gain nothing by being wishy-washy. I've also found that there are ways to make negative comments that get the message across without decapitating the person that you are communicating with. Nobody likes to be talked down to regardless of their position in life or for that matter, the gear that they own. As such, i try to keep that in mind but sometimes slip back into the "neanderthal" mode that dwells within.

The bottom line to me is to stick by your guns and be honest. You never have to go back and cover your ass if you speak the truth. Granted, there are ways to do so and not start a riot, but you'll always find opponents to the truth regardless of what the subject is. There would be nothing left to "cover up" if we used this approach and studied every subject with an open mind.

In the long run, some people might not like you for sharing your honest opinions. Those that know that you don't "pull punches" will come to know exactly what to expect out of you and respect you for your honesty. They might not always agree with you, but they will at least respect you as they know that you are not going to bullshit them. As such, i would rather have someone hate me for being honest than to have someone like me based on a bunch of lies. The earlier approach feels a lot more natural to me while the latter approach only seems to work for politicians : )

Take me or leave me, but at least you know exactly where i stand. Sean
Great post Sean!
Way to go Sean. I feel the same way. Sometimes(alot of times), I am highly opinionated about certain subjects, and speak my mind openly. As such, I also step on some toes, and get flamed. But, you are right. You would be doing everyone a dis-service to hold back some good info because you are afraid of someone taking offense. Speak your mind and let the chips fall where they may. Most members will realize that you are not puposely offending them. And sometimes a little shock will help them to re-think something that they really should be re-thinking. And even if you(or I) were to be wrong on some issue, nobody is perfect. And the members here will surely correct us if we do make a mistake.
If everything discussed here had to be a fact, or proven
by science, this board would be virtually blank. I like hearing people's observations. Its this "everything must be proven scientifically" that has turned Audio Review's cable board useless. If several people have success with a certain cable or process, sometimes its worth checking out. I may hear some improvement , or I may not. If 10 people posted , they tried it and heard no improvement, then I would dismiss it. So far I have not seen one post where someone said they "tried it" and heard no improvement. Bottom line is we look to this board for suggestions, we are free to try them or ignore them. Thanks to those who responded to the question, with first hand experience.
If you don't believe the cooker works, put your cables on it for week and listen. They will sound horrible until they settle back out. I am a believer. entire week on the Cable Cooker is too long. They are being over-Cooked, pun intended.

Recommended guidelines/Cooking times for new interconnects are between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 speaker cabling between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 days......and new power cabling between 3--4 days. Those cables with a heavier conductor gauge, and/or with more dielectric material will, of course, require the greater amount of conditioning time within those above guidelines. And as always, periodic listening tests (and subsequent incremental Cooking times, such as 4--6--8 hour periods) are important to determine the optimal time needed for each brand and model of cable.

Cables that have seen significant system time usually only need an overnight-to-24 hour "recharge" for optimization. And those cables that have, in fact, been over-Cooked, do settle down with continued system use and are then performing at their best.
What cookers do folks have experience with?

Which is the best value for the money?
Now THERE'S a "can of worms" : ) Sean
Is Audioengr is looking at designing *and* marketing a cooker? Hmmm. Could be.
Three days ago, I promised to report on my findings in trying out the AudioDharma cable cooker:
1. Before any cooking carefully balancing out the entire system with an old 1966 MONO recording of Brazilian music, with a female singer called Nara, who has a striking alto voice, taking care to have her absolutely in the middle between the speakers. This is an extremely well engeneered studio recording, and her singing comes rock steady from the middle in all the takes on the first side.
2. Removed 1m LEFT channel interconnect (XLO top of the line) between my highly modified Souther and its Helikon (match made in heaven)and the Aesthetix IO.
3. Cooked the cable for not quite three days.
4. Substituted both XLO interconnects briefly with another pair to make sure, that when playing the same LP, Nara's voice would be still dead center. It was.
5. Replaced the other pair, with the cooked side on the left, the uncooked on the right and listened:
Nara's voice had moved to the left, sort of half a head wide. When I switched the cables, her voice moved to the right, about the same width measured from dead center.
So a cooked cable DOES PLAY LOUDER.
I then listened either to the left or the right channel, with the other on mute, which was easily done on my four chassis Jadis preamp. The cooked channel had easily more presence, the voice was more forward and you could hear deeper into the soundstage, compared to the uncooked channel.
There is a piccolo flute in the background, extremely well recorded, which with the cables uncooked, sounded shrill, but not unpleasant. Listening to it through the cooked cable ist seemed even better defined, but suddenly had such a force, that it hurt my ears. Switching quickly back to the other channel, the sound again was bearable, but less sharply and cuttingly defined.
With Brazilian music you of course have lots of percussion, also bass drums, with quite a wallop. A difference? AND HOW!! Similar in nature to the highs. Better definition and much more punch. PRAT of course also seemed clearly improved across all the frequencies.

So there you are. This cable cooker works and the differences are not subtle and go in the direction a music lover would like. I've chosen an interconnect going from tonearm to prepreamp, which in an uncooked state was already excellent by the way, on purpose of course, the reason being, that here currents flowing are indeed tiny.
As I write this, I have the other side cooking and to my mind anybody who negates the effectiveness of the thing is either deaf or ideologically blind or both. Cheers,
Detlof, glad to see that your results basically match mine. Then again, great minds think alike : )

Much like Detlof, i think that cooking cables presents a much more natural and refined presentation. By "refined", i don't mean "restrained". I think that music played on a system using "burned" cables has a far more natural flow to it. As Detlof mentions, PRAT or the "pace" of the music seems to improve as the system seems to be reproducing all the notes with greater ease and far less effort. The "strain" that you never realized was previously there is now gone, making it oh so apparent. Everything sounds more liquid with less glare, bass passages have the proper "weight" and definition, wind instruments ( especially horns and other brass instruments ) have the proper amount of "bite" ( which are actually micro-bursts of increased amplitude ) that one might hear on a good recording or at a live concert, highs are far more natural with more air and a very "correct" sense of timbre and harmonic structure are present, etc...

As to Detlof's comments about a "burned" cable being "louder", i don't necessarily think that it is "louder" so much as it is a combination of factors. First of all, i think that transient response is improved, compression is reduced and time-smear becomes less critical. Because you can now hear more of the signal in a manner that was more timely, your brain can now process the information faster. In effect, Detlof could "sense" the information being provided faster and cleaner with a burned cable than he could with the unburned cable, so his brain processed that info first. When you hear two signal of equal or near equal amplitude, the signal that makes the initial impact is the one that we perceive as being "louder" or "more jarring". Does this make sense to you ?

Now, to the tech-heads out there, this probably sounds like a LOT of "hooey", so let me try and explain this in layman's terms.

The "compression" and "signal delay" that occur prior to burning has to do with various levels of dielectric absorption that takes place along both the length and depth of the cable. The untreated dielectic creates a time / amplitude / frequency response "skew" that are all inter-related. Amplitude losses may vary with frequency due to the specific dielectrics being used. This in turn would alter the over-all frequency response curve of the cable itself. Phase shift ( changes in signal over time ) may be introduced as frequency response varies due to the frequency dependent dielectric absorption taking place. As such, various cables in unburned form may have very different phase / absorption rates due to the dielectrics being used.

This could possibly explain why using the same conductors with identical geometries but altering nothing more than the dielectric creates such noticeable differences in sound. Could this be why so many people prefer the sonics of Teflon / air based cables ? Both of these "dielectrics" tend to offer the least interaction with the signal. For the record, Teflon is the most "air like" dielectric that we currently know how to make. As such, the involvment ( or lack of it ) of the dielectric and its' side effects may play a MUCH greater role in what we hear and how we hear it. My guess is that these effects take place much like skin effect, as frequency varies, so does the severity ( and noticeability ) of the problem.

As such, "burning" a cable is a two-fold process: It aligns the crystal structure of the conductors which makes for a less "resistive" and "smoother" path. Think of "bumpy crystals" and electrons as being equivalent to you trying to pass across a rocky mountain-side or walking down a paved road. They might measure the same appr distance but one will be able to be traversed in a manner that is both more timely and with a lot less effort. I don't know if electrons "sweat" while working, but maybe that is what we are hearing on unburned cables : )

Burning also minimizes the effects of dielectric absorption, making the cable more linear in time coherency, frequency response and amplitude linearity. That is why we "sense" the changes as an increase in "prat", which is time, amplitude and frequency related. While this may sound far fetched to some, you can think back to this post years from now and remember just how "flat" the Earth was : )

With all of that in mind, I have yet to try a cable that hasn't improved with "burning". Poor to mediocre cables become "acceptable" and good cables only get better. Sean

PS... the meaning of "PRAT" now stands for Pace, Rhythm, Amplitude, Tempo in MY book. Have any of you ever seen this acronym used with "Amplitude" used for the "A" ?
Thanks Detlof for the review and Sean for the follow-up.
I have a very naive and layman explanation for what happens to cable. It has no science and probably no truth but I think copper wire is copper wire. It has no idea if it's supposed to hold a hanging picture, be a piano string or conduct an electrical signal. It's simply dumb wire waiting to be told weather it's to be used in tension, compression or simply in the state it is. When we wrap it in a dielectric it's still a dumb wire. When we send a low voltage signal through, it carries that signal on the skin of the wire and the signal interacts with the dielectric based on physics. Now if we use a cooker of some sort, something that sends a higher voltage, full spectrum signal through the now semi-educated wire it is taught to be a true conduit of an electrical signal. There are claims of molecular changes, magnetic alignments and crystallization of structure. All of which may be true or not, I have no idea, but I do think wire must be trained to be a conductor and not a simple wire.
So now that I've shown what a complete idiotic moron I am, I'll close.
Anthony, very graciously lent me his Nordost Cooker. Put me down as a believer. The best results were on my Tara Labs Ref Gen II XLR interconnects. IMO is just seems to let more of the music come through, w/o adding any colorations.
No problem, Mike , anytime you need it , drop me an Email!