Skeptic or just plain hard headed


So I purchased a pair of Morrow Audio phono cables. These are the PH3 with the Eichmann connectors. Wanted to start there to see if MA cables will be a viable option for my system.I think my story is not so unique to others who have purchased MA cables. So no need to go into the hu hum of burn-in in regards to MA cables, and how things sound bad at first, then gets better,  then excellent...yada yada yada. I know the story about this product.  I simply am one who is not a believer in electronics break in periods, or battery packs on cables, etc... Regardless of what side of the fence you are on in regards to that Im NOT trying to start that debate again please.. Anyway. After reading several reviews of the MA cables and understanding that most agreed that the cables needed a substantial burn-in time, and that the cables would not sound its best until this happens I decided to give them a try. Thinking ok lets get a jump on the burn-in period (if the concept is true). I paid for the 2 day burn-in service from MA. What I didn't expect is that when I got the cable it would sound as bad as it did in comparison to my existing name brand cable (not getting into that either, not relevant). I thought well the cable might not quite be up to snuff with all this talk about burn-in (if its true) but not that much of a difference.  I mean as soon as I dropped the needle on the record I immediately heard a profound difference in sound stage and clarity degridation. Needless to say this cable was destined to be returned to MA for a full refund and my thinking was "they are crazy if I am going to trade my cable for this cable" So I decided to give MA a call to setup the return. Talked with Mike Morrow (very nice guy by the way) and we had our differences in what I should expect out of his product. Now my Mother always told me that I have a hard head.. I heard that growing up all my life, and when you couple that with skepticism it makes a pretty, well lets just say not a very fun person to have a debate with lol. However Mike insisted that if I return the cable that I would be missing out on the fruit they would bare after 400 hours of break in. 400 hours??? really!. Oh at that point I was really ready to return them. I told all my friends "Mike must be nuts" (no offense Mike) no way am I going to wait a year to hear what this cable is capable of, AND I do not have any way to expedite the process...at least I thought I didn't until I found an old sound bar I don't use anymore with analog inputs. Ok I know you pro MA and  pro cable burn-in folks are chomping at the bit. Im almost done. Take your hands off the keyboard for just a few more lines. 

So here is the deal to be fair I am going to be open minded about this because Mike really made me feel like I would be missing out if I return the cable without a proper burn-in (great salesman), and since he had such conviction I now think I have to test this thing out right??. Now I know that there are testimonials out there about how the MA cable improved over 100s of hours in their system, and that they are now "blown away". However can you really hear a profound difference in a cable you play in your system over 170 hours or so?  I would think a gradual difference would be harder to detect. I mean my system seems to sound better to me everyday without making any changes. Is it because of  continued cable and electronics burn in?? maybe. Or maybe its just my brain becoming more intimate with the sound of my system. Well this test I'm doing should reveal a night and day difference from what the system sounds like today with the cable pre burn-in if there is any merit to the notion. In regards to does it sound better than my existing cable that is yet to be determined. I think my goal now is to prove or dis-prove if cable burn-in is a real thing. This whole idea has evolved from if it's an improvement or not over what I use today. We can discuss that later.

I now have the cable connected between a cd player , and a sound bar with a CD playing on repeat. The disc of choice for this burn-in is rather dynamic so it should be a good test. At the end of 16 days (384 hours) I will move the cables to my reference system and do about another 20 hours of additional burn-in to compensate for moving the cable. This will put a total of 452 hours of burn-in on the PH3. When I put this cable back in my system I sure hope it sings because this is a lot to go through to add a cable to your system. Mike if you are right I will eat crow and will preach from the highest mountain top that you are right, and that cable burn-in is REAL.  For me anyway the myth will be considered busted or reinforce my belief that cable burn-in is a bunch of BS. 

For those who will argue the point of cable burn-in I fully understand the concept, and I don't plan to get sucked down that rat hole and I won't argue that....yet because at the end of this test I may be in your camp and I don't want to have a steady diet of crow so for now I will remain neutral on the subject until the test is complete.  However I will be totally transparent and honest about the results. So not trying to make anyone angry as I know beliefs about audio are sensitive subjects, and rightfully so this hobby is expensive and I like you have a substancial investment in this. Just trying to get to the truth. I also understand that cable burn-in may actually happen when you consider it from a scientific perspective, but the real question is can you actually hear the difference.  

I will report back to this thread in 17 days from today (need at least one day to evaluate) with the results. 

happy listening!!

-Keith
barnettk
No disrespect but reminds me  of the old saying " a fool and his money are soon parted"
Elizabeth- your statement “Paul McGowan burn in the components ONLY so they don't break for the customer in the first few days. PERIOD.” is incorrect. Burn in and testing of equipment are 2 different things. If you listen to the “ask Paul” link I posted, Paul mentioned he burns in some equipment and torture tests others. You can test equipment on the bench for days to make sure it works which is what Paul PROBABLY means by torture tests. Since Paul was mentioning that the amp needed a lot of burn in hours to sound good, he stated in the link that he burns in that amp. He might torture test the amp first or the burn in might include some tests. Don’t know. I sent in a request to ps audio asking what they did to my new BHK amp before they shipped it to me: torture test it, burned it in, or both.
Got to add one more thing Doug said at Axpona.  I believe he said that ALL components exhibit at least 90% of the sound they will have on first listen.  They will not change perceptibly after that.  If you don't like the sound after you get them (anything including cables and components), you aren't going to like them later either.

I have to say, that has been my experience with all things audio also.  I have not learned to like anything that wasn't good initially after more break in.  However, some things sounded even better after break in.  They didn't change their initial stripes though.

IT IS REALLY NICE to have audio friends that have stuff and don't mind coming over to let you hear the difference in your system BEFORE you buy.  Not always possible, but nice, especially with cables.  Saves lots of angst.
@taiye none taken. How about a fool that refuses to learn remains a fool. 
@dorkwad Bob. I do tend to agree. After burn in if the first 200 hours the cable did IMO show some signs of improvement. Still not enough to top the cable I have currently but indeed It did make a difference. I said early on that I am only looking for if it makes ANY difference. In this case I think it sounds better than it did, but I’m not blown away. I like your characterization of sounding better but still not changing it’s stripes. That is perfectly summing it up for me. 

So now that it did make a difference I want to see if it can get all the way there by the end of what MA says is the maturity state of 400 hours. (Their words not mine). Next Friday will be my next test.