No, no, black smoke is when the college of cardinals cannot agree on a pope - how topical - this is bollocks.
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Cryo improves the performance of glass, plastic, metal so why not use cryo for tubes, cables, wires, tonearms, LPs, CDs, transformers, etc.? You don't think for one second Ferarri doesn't use cryo for racing engine parts, do you? All the best cable manufacturers have been using cryo like forever. And if there are some who don't, they should get with the program.
Call Charles at Crygenics International in Scottdale, AZ and discuss the benefits of a cryo treatment. He treats products from many tube and cable companies and the improvment and beneftis are for real. I have many of my cables and even my CD's cryoed and the improvement in sound is noticeable. Race cars cryo engines, rotors and several other parts too; it prevents failure.
Rrog, what source are the complaints from ? I have not heard of such complaints.
My opinion is the tubes should be ran through several tests prior to cryogenic treatment. A poorly constructed tube will fail whether it is cryoed or not. A microphonic tube will still be microphonic, possibly slightly less.
I've sent a few things in for cryogenic treatment. The slight improvement is sometimes not worth the hassle and expense. The best bet, as many cable makers do, is treat the conductors first before making the cable. This seems like a real hassle to me, because how are you going to get the insulation back on ?
Another thing is any moisture in the air of the cryogenic chamber, will condense, making things wet, then the liquid on the parts will freeze. I believe this is why some parts look "old" after treatment. So the chamber should be de-humidified before taking the temperature down (or more correctly, removing the heat).
This would apply only on the outside of a vacuum tube.
So my advise is; if you really want to try it, start with some good sounding tubes, and preferably have an extra set to compare to (see how expensive this gets?). And if you buy them already cryoed, make sure there is a return period. Try them right away and make sure there is nothing at all wrong with the tubes; no funny noises, no ringing, etc.
Best of luck to you.