Power Cord Burn-In


I know, I know...this has been posted before but I swear I searched the archives and couldn't find what I was looking for so here's my question:
Just purchased a new pc for my cdp.
Can I burn this cord in without turning up the volume( family factor) and can I leave my preamp and amp off during this process. In other words, can I simply throw a disc in my cdp and press play/repeat and let the music play with no volume?
Thanks!
greh
Just turn on your cdp.Current will pass thru your power transformer for the cdp power supply.Your not burnning in an interconnect.
Yes. You don't even have to play the disc if your cdp is on. My experience has been that power cords do not need as much break in time as ICs and speaker cables. Of course running your cdp, with a disc will pull a tad more current from the wall then, just, leaving the cdp on. That's, thinking about it, the better way to break in that pc. peace, warren
Yes, it will burn it whether you hear the CD or not.

But, a better idea:
If your amp or preamp uses the same pc connector, it will burn in a lot faster plugged into them. Most cdp's draw very little current, while the other units will draw much more and thusly burn you pc in faster. (My cdp draws only about 35 watts, while my preamp draws 140 watts, and my amps at idle draw over 300 watts and playing loudly can draw thousands.)

Richard
I would concur with Richard that running the cord on the CDP is not the place to do it and you need more current. That being said, I have experienced very positive results "burning in" cords on a refrigerator or chest freezer using a simple 3 prong female to male iec adapter that I had thought were previously burned in and had been running on my integrated amp and line conditioner for months. You can pick up one of these adapters at most electronics supply houses, possibly at larger computer stores, for about $3.

Based on this experience, I have no trouble believing in those who have experimented with cable cookers or have sent their cables out to be cooked, but that obviously is a more expensive and time consuming proposition.
I use a few weeks on my computer or the burner.
I also do what Panny does, but only for 4-5 days.

Computers are good for audio AC cord break-in, they have 100-200 watt power supply and don't tie up stereo system.
Turn off sleep/hybernation power mode on computer when using to break in AC cord.
Yep - use a computer. Better yet, if you have access to any IT guys, get them to use it as a power cord on a good-sized network server for about 4 days. The mid-sized servers use 300-500w power supplies, and they are used 24/7.
I'm a fridge/freezer guy. Apparently the motors make them a good choice for burn-in. If you get a couple of adapters you can even daisy-chain the PCs to do several at once.
I use one of those IEC to AC adapters that's already been mentioned & take the PC out to the garage & hook it to one of the fans I keep on 24/7 & let it run for a minimum 100 hrs.
You need lots of current to burn a power cord quickly. Per Crumps suggestion, I used my ice box (with adapter).
It might work better to use a Refrigarator ,but if you do not have an adaptor then using a computer is the best to use I have found or anything that has big current draw.
I needed to break in a power cord real fast once, so I hooked it up to my ex-girlfriend's Hitachi Magic Wand Personal Massager. I think she liked the Hitachi better than me, so it was no surprise the PC got burned in in record time!
Thanks to all for your responses.
Presently have the cord hooked up to my Dell.
When to Home Depot after work and asked about the adapter and the guy looked at me like I was nuts-not the first time that's happened...
Anyway, I'll be going to a electrical supply house tomorrow.
Thanks again!
Hey Gunbei, did your ex mention her massage had better focus and a blacker background with the pc you were nice enough to let her use(:
Greh,

Blacker background? I don't know about that, but she did mention something about blacking out afterwards, heheh.

In all seriousness, a computer or refrigerator should do the trick. Good luck!
While a computer is a decent alternative if a fridge or chest freezer is unavailable, there really isn't much of a comparison. When the fridge compressor kicks in, it is drawing substantially more than any computer will, and, as a result it will burn in a cord much more effectively. At least that is my experience having burned in cords on a fridge that I had thought had been previously fully burned in on a computer and then on various pieces of equipment (amps, line conditioners, CD players) for 6 months or more.
With my EnergyStar reefer, it's *off* much, much more than it's on. Typical of any reefer, except very old models. My little countertop microwave will, in 45 minutes, pull the same current as the reefer in 24 hours.

Unless you believe the light stays on, IMO reefers are not the way to go; unless you're in your '20's and have unlimted time. Even then, mine only does 50W per hour on a 24 hour cycle.

I use the washing machine and vacuum cleaner. For the best big amp run, those electric space heaters work best; though they'll ding your electric bill mightily. I follow up w/ a few days on the Hagtech Frycleaner.
PC burn-in is more a function of insulative dielectric potential stabilization (oh brother). Cheap PCs using nylon or PVC insulation have more "curing" to do than those using air or fluorocarbons. That said, curing can be done electrically or thermally (hint). A bientot par Grenoble, Ernest.
Power cords do not need burn in. It is that simple.
Scottht,

Maybe the power cord that you have tried did not needed burn in, but mine sure did.

Richard
Okay, I was a sceptic at first about burning in IC cables, and also speaker cables. I guess I began to accept that there is some aligning of the copper or silver grains that made me somewhat agree that there is a material change in the process. Is there a sonic difference? I don't know. I think that maybe our brains may make us believe there is after time.
But, burning in a power cable? No, I can't go with this one.
120volts in, is a 120volts in. It should make no sonic difference in the sound of our components.
What could possibly happen? The grains become aligned and give us better power? Give us cleaner power? Nope, I can't believe it.
Sorry, Scott
I have to agree with you, Drrdiamond. I just got finished burning in a TG Audio SLVR power cord over the course of 5 weeks, on a combination of a SS amp that's on all the time and a chest freezer. The process was very instructive.

I tested it three times during that period, comparing it each time on the preamp in my main system to an Elrod EPS2 Signature that had been powering the preamp for several months. The first time, after two weeks, the TG was much worse than the Elrod - it made the system sound lean, edgy and bright. The second time, after four weeks, the TG was almost as good as the Elrod, but not quite - the edge was gone but it still sounded lean. The third time the sound with the TG was better than with the Elrod - it was smooth, transparent and fully fleshed out, and in comparison the Elrod now sounded slightly thick and plummy in the upper bass, with an attendant loss of detail.

I doubt that mental acclimatization played much of a role here, because each test lasted no longer than an hour, and the trials were separated by at least a week. The change in the SLVR's character over time was quite striking. I just repeated the test for a fourth time after having the SLVR in the system for a week or so, and the results were the same, to my ears, as the third test.

I'm quite prepared to believe that some power cords in some systems don't exhibit these kinds of changes, because I've used other PCs where I never noticed any changes at all. Bob Crump, the man behind TG Audio, is adamant that his power cords take this long to burn in and settle down, however. Based on what I heard, he is absolutely right.
FYI:

My present, and best, power cords are also silver.

Richard
Scottht,

Passing electrical signals through IC cables can't align
copper or silver grains - there's just not enough energy
there.

In order for the grains to alter, you have to heat the cable
so that you push the material into another phase on the
phase diagram - then cool the cable so that new grains grow.

For example, you may have a metal that is say FCC [ that is
it has a Face Centered Cubic crystal structure. ] You heat
the metal until it reaches a new phase - e.x. BCC [ Body
Centered Cubic structure ]. When you cool the material -
the molecules have to rearrange themselves back into the
FCC phase.

If you cool the metal fast - you will get lots of small
grains. If you cool slowly - you get fewer larger grains.

That's the essence of "heat treatment".

But cables don't get hot enough to heat treat from passing
electrical signals.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
I'm not an EE, so I have no clue what happens during "break in", but my common sense tells me that, as Dr. Greenman notes, it doesn't have anything to do with a restructuring of the conductive metal. To me, it seems more reasonable to suppose that the dielectric undergoes some small changes. All I really know is the evidence of my own fallible senses, and they tell me that I often notice a change following a cable break in period.
Okay, Dr. what is your theory on this cable break in falicy?
I have never heard any cable break in. I do hear differences among various cables. But I have never heard changes during the so called break in period.
Scottht,

I'm with you - there are differences between cables because
they are physically different.

A cable is a transmission line - and the dimensions and
geometry of the conductor and the dielectric, and other
physical factors determine the electrical properties of the
cable.

As for "burn-in" - it doesn't physically alter the cable -
hence can't physically alter the electrical transmission
properties of the cable.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
Morbius, I'm well aware of what FCC and BCC structures are as are others here, but you might want to look up Dr. Rolf Hummel's book wherein he exhaustively explains in technical terms how and why the break-in phenomenon occurs, covering high and low temperature annealing among other topics. From those who have the book, it is a definitive reference. Few have the equipment and know-how to measure it, but it can be done. I believe Dr. Hummel is at Univ. of Florida.

Brian Walsh
engineer, audiophile and dealer
Brain Walsh,

I can only say that I'm not particulary impressed with that work.
I wouldn't call it "definitive". [ It's an undergraduate textbook, after all.]

He lacks the mathematical rigor - and hence the insight -
that one gets from actually solving the equations of
quantum mechanics that describe electron transport
except in the most simple cases.

It's a good "engineering" text - that's my opinion.

The computational physics of neutron, photon, and electron transport
in complex geometries happens to be my particular forte'.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
I would love to do a blind-folded A/B test with someone with there broken in and not broken in cables.
Scott, I'd be too afraid of looking like a goof when I guess wrong. I'm content living in my pseudo-placebo world. Heheh.
Information on the book, Electronic Properties of Materials, by Rolf E. Hummel, may be found here. It is more about the concepts rather than the pure mathematics and has been praised by many.

Brian (sp)
Yeah, me too :)
Dr., are your comments based on your listening experience or just theory? I am also a Physicist but I have learned not to take myself too seriously as you obviously do. Did you just receive your Ph.D.? I have learned over the last 35 years in audio to rely more on my "EARS" than MaxwellÂ’s equations, etc. Stop being so pompous.
Physics or memory. Which is correct? I'll take the physics anyday.
And as someone who just listens rather than designs, I'll take the evidence of my own ears any day. Is it "correct"? Who knows? Is it "right for me"? You bet. My hobby, my ears, my money. I'll leave physics to solve the important stuff, like whether bumblebees can fly...
Gmorris,

I received my PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
over 20 years ago. So your implication that I'm "wet behind the ears"
is unfounded.

In our work, we have to take into account the degree to which
the cable that carrys the signals from the experimental
diagnostics affect the signals from those diagnostics.
Therefore, the transport of electrons in cables has been
extensively studied.

If you think that Maxwell's Equations are the state of the
art in modelling electron transport in cables - you are
WAY behind the times.

If you are also a physicist, then you know that instrumetation
is so much better than your "EARS" and musical memory.

Just as pilots have to learn to ignore their fallible
senses and trust their instrumentation - or they end up
like JFK Jr; you have to realize that your ears are not
the fine tuned instrumentation you think they are.

I'm not trying to be pompous - just to provide some
good scientific information to combat all the "snake-oil"
and pseudo-science that some people are spending their
hard-earned money on - but to no avail. [ Except maybe
a placebo effect - which is the most likely explanation
for the supposed improvements.]

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
Dr., I also have a doctorate in physics from a "Prestigious" university. I did say " Maxwell's equation, etc." My research was in Quantum Fluids. I found it unusual for someone to sign his or her post:

"Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist"

My main point is that measurement instruments are "accurate" provided you have defined "exactly" what you are trying to measure and the instrument has been precisely calibrated. Modeling of all facets of the musical experience and its impact on the human emotion is an inexact science. Mathematical equations are for the most part models of the phenomena occurring in nature. They are merely approximations, and are "exact" only under very restricted conditions.
You don't need to model "all facets of the musical experience and its impact on the human emotion" in order to model the effect a cable has on the signal passing through it. Of course, once you know the effect the cable has on the signal, you also need to know whether that effect is audible to humans. There's a good deal of scientific work (outside your field, of course) on the latter question, Dr. Morris. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with it.
Bomarc:

".....Of course, once you know the effect the cable has on the signal, you also need to know whether that effect is audible to humans..."

I agree with the above but not the sarcasm. I am aware of the existence of "a good deal of scientific work" and have read quite a few of the papers. My point is still germane to this discussion: listening pleasure is the ultimate objective (I hope). In many instances this enjoyment cannot be correlated with the measurement of specific technical parameters.
Well of course it can't be correlated to measurements, since it happens inside your head. But you can't enjoy what you can't hear.

Actually, that's not true. You CAN enjoy what you can't hear. But in that case, your enjoyment is coming from something other than the sound of the component, so the technical parameters of the component are irrelevant.

When differences ARE audible, however, there is often a correlation between measurements and enjoyment.
Good, maybe we can use your expertise, once you give the idea of 'burning in' a chance.
Gmorris,

I've signed my name that way for years - since the early
advent of Usenet.

As other posters have stated - the "inexact science" of
"human emotion" and the "musical experience" is not germane
to this topic.

It is purely about how electrons transport in cables.

Your remark that we can model electron transport only under
"very restricted conditions" tells me that you have absolutely
no concept of the state of the art in the computational
physics of electron transport. With modern parallel processing
computers - we have greatly expanded the regimes in which
one can accurately model electron transport in cables to
very high order.

Gregory Greenman
[ You like that better? ]
Dr.
"..we have greatly expanded the regimes in which
one can accurately model electron transport in cables to
very high order.."

Still an approximation even by your own words.
I have a PhD in listening. Earned, empircally, through 35 years of tympanic exposure. I, certainly, cannot explain what exactly is going on in a power cord (scientifically speaking), but (particulary, these last 10 years) the power cords I've listened to, most definately, sounded different after approx. 50 hours of continuous high current pull. Don't need any other degrees to convince my trusted tympanics. Go figure...peace, warren
Gmorris,

EVERY model is an approximation at some level.

The question is to what degree does the approximation hold.

The approximations made in modern calculations of electron
transport are orders of magnitude better than the approximation
of your EARS and "musical memory" that you hold so definitive.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
I seriously doubt it.
A couple of humorously wrong remarks from the good Dr. Greenman. BTW, my Ph.D. is in an area of physics and also from an ivy league school, but like other Ph.D's, I don't advertise it.

"Just as pilots have to learn to ignore their fallible
senses and trust their instrumentation - or they end up
like JFK Jr; you have to realize that your ears are not
the fine tuned instrumentation you think they are."

I worked for many years in defense systems, specifically on the radar systems used by fighter pilots. As to sensory phenomena, pilots use radar to detect objects coming at them, meaning missiles and other aircraft. A fighter pilot looking at a screen can detect the presence of a target (signal in a noise background) much sooner than any automated algorithm we've ever known how to write. This is an extremely well-recognized issue called "man in the loop". The reasons why trained human beings are better at detection than instrumented detectors is that in the instrumented system, the designer uses linear statistics. A trained human, on the other hand, uses non-linear, and sometimes highly biased statistics based on past experience, on assessments of his situation, and on a lot of experience in dog fights. A commercial pilot will get killed by a missile when a fighter pilot will get out of the way, just exactly because the commercial pilot is inexperienced and not expecting it. But they are both looking at the same radar screen. We know how to write the mathematics of non-linear models, we just don't know how to emulate the human judgement process.

In reality, I believe there are many parallels in auditory phenomena to the visual process that I have described.

As to cable break-in, I recall that Jon Risch listed a long series of potential changes in the early hours of cable use, including burn off of plasticizers or other manufacturing residues, dielectric changes, capacitor formation.
Flex. I agree with you to some extent. But, a "power cable" changing the sound of a component after it breaks in?
The answer, Scottht, is YES. I did blind tests on my Jolida JD-100A with three different PC's, and all three people listening agreed that while one of the cords was more open than another, a third (a Michael Wolff carbon PC) made everything sound live and three-dimensional. In fact, my wife guessed that the most lifeless of the three must be the Wolff, because we had just received it, and she figured that "it must need breaking in." She was quite surprised to find out that it was in fact only two hours old. Now three weeks later, it sounds better yet.

I will say that after hundreds of hours recording and producing music, I have a pretty trained ear for slight variations in sound. And yet, the differences with the Wolff cord were not marginal. It was dramatically better than the others. I have affiliation with Michael Wolff, other than as a grateful audiophile whose expectations for his audio system were expanded by his products.
Scottht,

I should mention the three cords we tested, as I noticed that you have one of them in your system:

Signal
Van Den Hul
Michael Wolff

A large variance in price, and equally so in performance.
All the best,
Howard