To cryo or not to cryo

Hi All,

I searched the threads and couldn't find any dedicated to explaining and/or evaluating the benefits of having electronic gear cryogenically treated. I'm considering buying a BPT Pure Power Center, and the company strongly recommends I have the whole thing treated.

Is it worth it? What kind of benefits? Audible difference?

the rustler
This way if the BPT doesn`t work, they can point to the lack of cryo or poorly done cryo. Why didn`t they mfg. it, cryoed.
yeah, have them do it; then if you don't like it you can get most of your money back as if they back it they can sell it.
The benies of cryo are easy to a/b. But some things are not recommended. Having the manu do it is very safe.
I understand there are right and wrong processes to properly cryo-treat a product. And it might benefit you to read up on the proper procedures and then ask Chris at BPT what his procedures are.

There is the somewhat rare chance that some damage could occur to one or more innards pieces. Therefore, if he does the cryo-treating as part of the purchase, you will be spared the expense of replacement should something go awry.

But to answer your question, if properly done, the answer is absotively, posilutely yes! to cryo-treating.

Porziob, cyro'ing [done properly] requires a great capital investment. Are there ANY manufacturers who do their own cryo'ing? No way that a company can void their warranty if their product WASN'T cryo'ed. If they will void the warranty for non-cryo'ing...STAY AWAY!!!
BPT has referred me to Cryo Nebraska, a firm that gives us a discount. They charge by the pound, believe it or not. I wouldn't be doing this on my own!
It's just smoke and mirrors. If you think it sounds better, that's all that matters whether it does or not.
You gotta' love the relativists... nobody else does :)
But everyone loves the fool and his money until it's gone.
Surely it can't be completely subjective! It's not that expensive either. I'm just trying to find out from audiogoners who have a reasonable sense of objectivity.
It's not that expensive either.
Rustler (Reviews | Threads | Answers)
How much does it cost?
Douglass at Cryo-Nebraska (recommended by BPT) said either $3 or $4 a pound. The Pure Power Center is 5 pounds shipped, so it wouldn't cost more than $20 for the whole thing.

I'm just trying to figure out what it DOES!!
cryoing realigns molecules thru immersion or vapor processes which I wont bore you with technically.Several industries do this.Unfortunately its not black/white,but a gray area depending on who you talk to as far as results.Classifying it as an upgrade to your system depends on your point of ear.Let us know....
The cyro rage has made its way through many sports. Audio is actually late to the party. I was exposed to it in precision target shooting. All kinds of claims were made and guys were cryoing their barrels and even their bullets in the quest for the "Absolute Score". Sound familiar?

Then real life metalurgists started writing some quite deep and technical SCIENTIFIC articles in the Precision Shooting press which basically came down to this. Cryo does nothing. It does not "align" anything. Grain structure and other qualities of metals are modified with heat - not cold. Period.

Gradually, everyone in competitive shooting got enough empirical data (scores) from matches to see for themselves that there was no statistical difference in their guns performance. There are no more Cryo ads in shooting magazines.

If cryo did anything for the sound top end manufacturers would "treat" their gear before they sold it. They will do anything for better sound. That is what high end audio is all about.

If you really want to learn the FACTS then I would urge you to search the back issues of Precision Shooting magazine.
there were several articles by actual graduate metalurgists and I promise, they will convince you.
Cryoing shmyoing . . . I agree totally w/Rrcpa. Cryoing has no basis in science, and listening tests fail to prove that people can consistently distinguish a "molecularly-aligned" amp vs a non-molecularly aligned amp. Please folks, don't fall for the cryo %*&^ -- it just taints the hobby.
Rrcpa, please don't confuse things with facts!
Everybody knows that metalurgists can't hear. Perhaps, however, they can shoot.
Bob P
You're half right Bob.
Metalurgists (and a lot of audiophiles) can hear just fine.
They just don't listen :-)
Gee, thanks Rrcpa.I read your piece,then put my amp in the oven to realign the molecules with heat just as you said.Guess what? yeah it realigned not just the molecules,but insulation and every d--- thing else.I 'gotta' quit reading these things!
Yea, that happens sometimes. You should have put the oven on BAKE not MELT.
No worries, just put it in the freezer overnight and it'll firm up again although you might notice a little coldness in the midrange.
Somebody was selling "Cryoed" AC outlets that claimed if I recall they were done at NASA, not only is it probably a questionable investment, but is that even a legal endeavor?, I cant see NASA letting some guy use there equoipment for personal gain...atleast not with knowledge.
Chad, I think your instincts are good.
I believe it's Albert Porter that has his outlets cryoed at NASA. You might want to check out Mr. Porter's reputation here before heading into chuckle mode-I am quite sure that he would not be stretching the truth. While I am not personally totally convinced that his NASA cryo is any better than cryo performed at other facilities, there are many people on Audiogon who have tried the outlet he treats (I use the same outlet personally cryoed at another facility) and can vouch for its efficacy.

Before you start shooting your mouth off, here's a suggestion. Take any piece of copper wire, and measure it's resistance with a simple, cheap ohmeter. Then have that piece of wire cryoed and measure it again. It's a cheap experiment (then again, you could have an interconnect or set of speaker cables or power cord cryoed for the same cost, so maybe you should just do that).

If you want to say it's a load of crap, fine, go ahead, but don't expect me to take your opinion seriously when there's a myriad of people with real experience with cryo who have heard the differences. Some people (they tend to be in the minority) don't like what it does, but at least they've tried it.
Well said Hdm,cheers,Bob
Well said HDM,my last post was bumped,Bob
I never argued if it works or not, I never even mentioned a name. I simply found it interesting that a Government organization such as NASA is in the business of letting the private sector use its equipment for personal business, and if he chose to use NASA as an endorsment wich he did, as a tax payer I should have the right to find that interesting, no chuckles here just curiousity.
How could it work?
Hdm,what did you find after completing said experiment with the wire,and as to vouching for the 'efficacy' of your cryoed outlets,please do so here.I am interested in reading your 'findings'.P.s. here goes the 'ole' saw again.A 'myriad'of people have heard things with a myriad of 'tweaks' and such,some of whch I have personally tried,to no avail.
Well Hdm, how does cryoing the recepticle help? Do you also cryo the house wiring? How about the breaker box or for that matter the toaster in the kitchen? Remember, everything in the house shares a common ground.
By the way, we weren't "shooting off our mouth". We were having a friendly discourse about metalurgical facts. Facts are something I notice your post is devoid of.
No Hdm, I wouldn't expect you to listen to my opinion (although I didn't offer one)your mind is clearly made up but the salient question is: given the total lack of evidentiary support; why should anyone listen to your opinion?

I reinterate; if anyone has any scientific articles then see if you can post them for all of our edification.
Double4w: There's a ton of information in the archives here, including a review of the World Power cryoed Hubbell 5362 which I wrote a number of years ago. I've since moved from that outlet to Hubbell 8200H's which I've had cryoed locally as I slightly prefer that outlet to the Hubbell 5362; my review of the 5362 will give you a sense of what you can expect.

I've also cryoed every piece of wire in my system (power cables, speaker cables, interconnects) with similar results. I cryo all my CD's as well, treating them with Auric Illuminator following the cryo. Even my wife, who is a research technician, does not have much interest in my music or equipment, and, as a result is rather skeptical, can easily hear the difference between a cryoed and non-cryoed CD. I've spent time in the past in cryo threads which ultimately end in the same kind of "he said this-he said that" BS. I'm fortunate to have a cryo facility close by and it is a dirt cheap tweak that works for me. If someone else can't hear any difference, that really makes no difference to me. Inevitably, though, the vast majority of people on these threads who are critics of cryo or who denigrate the process have absolutely no experience with it.
You are exectly right. Without scientific facts this forum degenerates into "He said / I heard" nonsense. That is my point exactly.
For instance, you give us the example of freezing your CDs. I have no doubt that you honestly think this helps. Maybe its great - I don't know. But tellling us this in a vaccum does no good at all. What I am trying to spur is a dicussion about WHY it makes the CD sound better. Because if it REALLY does sound better then there should be some physical, measurable change. We need articles or explanations from actual scientists as to what (if anything) is happening at the molecular level that make a laser read a CD better after you make it really, really cold.
Of all the hobbies I have been envolved in none is as riddled with pseudo-scientific gimmickry as Audio. I think the reason is that audio quality tends to be subjective by nature. After all, if you say that this tweek or that tweek "sounds better" to you then who am I to say it doesn't and no audiophile wants to admit that he "just can't hear it". The problem is that just because you say it sounds better doesn't mean it really does (in a physical sense). In short I am trying to back up subjective judgement with scientific evidence.
(I use the term "you" a lot but its just for illustration. I'm not picking on you personally)


Ross, seems to me I just gave you a measurable difference above relating to lowered resistance in wire/receptacles following cryo treatment. Does that not count? Now if you want to tell me I can't hear that measurable difference, or that I am imagining it then we are in exactly the same boat that all these cryo threads end up in. As I said, search the archives, or better yet, do some real research or experimentation with cryo yourself. Here's a site with some interesting info (note it's from SUNY at Farmingdale and not from a cryo company):

Also note the remarks with respect to welding and copper tips, which may explain in part the reason power cables, interconnects and speaker cables all sound different to me following cryo treatment. As to CD's, I have no idea why they would sound so different (perhaps reduction in residual stresses in the CD resulting in better reading of the laser and less error correction, who knows and I don't care).

If measurements were all that were necessary to make great audio, I'm sure I'd be happy with a Bose wave radio. And every piece of similar equipment at varying price points that measured the same would sound the same. Science could explain everything and we'd all have perfect sound on the cheap. Believe me, I certainly don't subscribe to the theory that you have to spend huge amounts of $$ to put together a satisfying audio system. My system is pretty modest by Audiogon standards. There are lots of tweaks that I'm skeptical about and wouldn't pop the money for and there's certainly a lot of overpriced crap in audioland. I just don't think that cryo is one of them. Considering the fact that you can probably cryo every piece of wire and all receptacles that your system is running on for the price of 2 or 3 new CD's or records, I figure it's a huge bang for your buck in terms of performance. Then again that's based on my subjective experience and my ears.
That's the ticket. Now we at least have a starting place that's not based on perception.
Perception is underrated. Example: How do you buy a TV? You walk into the store and say to the salesman, let me see some of your best TVs. Then you look at 3 or 4 TVs and you pick the one you think has the best picture. At no time do you ask the salesman a technical question (How many pixels per inch? LoL) or ask to see the spec sheet. I.e., you make your choice based solely on your perception.
But how many people (videophiles?)"cryo" the PC on that same TV and then claim that the picture is better?
Bob P.
If you buy a TV based on how it looks in a showroom, you might be interested in the bridge I have for sale. I have some great pictures of it!
Rustler, can I assume you take the TVs back to your home for your evaluation? Do you perform A/B tests. Perhaps DBT?

First of all, you know that stores set up their tvs so that the ones they want to sell look better. You have to do some research before hand, or at least look at the same tv at two or three different stores.
Rustler - If what you say is true, I'd think they would want the expensive TVs to sell better; that would probably explain why the expensive ones often look best.

Q: If what you say is true, that all stores engage in this sort of trickery, what advantage is there to going to more than one store? How could you ever be sure you're not being tricked?
Well,this thread is degenerating nicely.I personally have not had a thing cryoed,though I have done my homework and understand the concept.Looks like a 50/50 proposition in terms of acceptance by the Goner's.Thanks for all the ideas and thoughts and hopefully we will get closer to the bottom of this marvelous process one day with regards to audio properties,cheers,Bob
Usblues,I am not any type of scientist,far from it.However, I did read the info on the link Hdm provided to,etc.I read nothing in it which in any way speaks to any benefit (or lack thereof) in 'cryoed' materials employed in audio applications.Perhaps I missed or misunderstood something.
I'm not any type of scientist either, Double4w, but I do have 1) a set of ears and 2) I can read information and make a relatively simple interpretation of it.

With respect to #2 above, take for example the following info, quoted directly from the article referenced:

"Fine eta(h ) carbide particles (precipitates) are formed during the long cryogenic soak (chromium carbides, tungsten carbide, etc., depending upon the alloying elements in the steel). These are in addition to the larger carbide particles present before cryogenic treatment. These fine particles or "fillers", along with the larger particles, form a denser, more coherent and much tougher matrix in the material."

"Retained austenite is a softer grain structure always present after heat treatment. By applying cryogenic treatment, retained austenite is transformed into the harder, more durable grain structure - martensite. The range of retained austenite in a material after heat treating may be as high as 50 % or as low as 3 %. The amount depends on the heat treating operator and the accuracy of the heat treating equipment. Cryogenic treatment simply continues the conversion initiated by heat treatment, whereby almost 100 % of the retained austenite is converted to martensite. As greater amounts of retained austenite are transformed, and wear resistant martensite is increased, the material obtains a more uniform hardness."

"Copper electrodes exhibit longer life, show less wear and deformation and they can be used with less power input. Cryogenic Treatment reduces tip burn-off and carry reduced amperage on heliarc tungsten electrodes."

Let me translate it simply for you. Cryoed materials allow better transfer of 1) power to your component and 2) signal from the component to the speaker because of the above.

Let's break it down even further. You know the audio guys who place a very high emphasis on "the source" as being critical, the guys who tell you "garbage in, garbage out". They make a valid point. However, let's take that thought one step further: the power and the signal transfer are the ultimate source, the equipment is only facilitating that (that is a slight exaggeration, but without power and signal transfer, the equipment does nothing).

Cryo, by its very nature, enhances both power delivery and signal transfer. It is the ultimate el-cheapo form of power conditioning and cable upgrade all rolled into one. That's about as simple as I can make it for you.
How could it?
The most expensive TVs don't necessarily give the store the best profit margin. Also different chains have different deals with different TV makers. I used to be involved in the business, and it's a real crap shoot simply to "believe your eyes" in the store. Subtle adjustments to a television's color, contrast, sharpness, etc. can make a big difference in the quality of the picture available in the store at any given time.
Rustler - Getting back to the original discussion: after all is said and done, and I'm not disagreeing with you regarding how stores might set up/display their TVs, but at the end of the day, no matter where or how one evaluates TVs for purchase, it is usually performed by looking at the picture quality and selecting the TV with the best looking picture....presumably within one's budget :-). Now you can argue that the test is not fair or that people have different tastes in picture quality, etc.; it still it comes down to Perception, not Specs.

Most of this article addresses the behavior of STEEL. It may apply to my silver cables but then again, it may not. Remember that many metals work harden and thus increasing their martinsite percentage makes them harder but more brittle.
Is making a metal tougher and harder a good thing in audio applications? Or do we want it to be ductile and soft? Yes, cyro increases the surface hardness and wearability but so what. I'm not making a welder. Are these good attributes for audio. Just because it transfers electricity more efficiently says nothing about what it does to that signal or even if enhanced electron transfer "sounds" better. What if cryoed copper wire transfers energy twice as efficiently but results in an order of magnitude more skin effect?
You are making judgements that do not follow from reading the scientific literature. This is the point I've been trying to make.

Let me give you an example. Klipch horn speakers are very efficient. My Spendor BC-1s are not. Efficiency is not the goal. Sounding like music is. Have someone stand across the room and talk to you. While he is talking have him raise his hands around his mouth like a megaphone. The result is instantly noticeable. This is why Klipsh horns sound so nasal. They do not sound like music. Spendor's do.

So cryo can deliver more power. Is this a good thing? If you've been around audio very long you will remember when more power definately meant worse sound. It's not so bad today but remember, that's why guys are enamoured with the little 8 watt amps. They sure don't have any power delivery but they sure sound sweet.

We all know that just because something measures better (say power transfer) doesn't mean it sounds better. That's why all those Julian Hirsch articles we read for so many years were absolutely worthless. He didn't like music - he liked oscilloscopes.

Maybe you are right - I'm not saying you're not. All I'm saying is that better sound does not logically follow from this article or any other that I've read on cryogenic processing. Conversely, we cannot say cryo does not work from this article either.

Hdm, I repeat; this is not to beat up on you. We need these types of articles and we need the free exchange of ideas on this forum but we must not jump to unsupported conclusions.

I am not a smart man,so just call me Forrest Forrest Gump if you wish,however,and this may have been discussed already and I apologize if it has,even if said properties of 'cryoed' materials was really the best thing possible for audio 'sound',how, in the name of reason,could the outlet,the last link in the chain of electron flow to your 'gear' bring/provide what has not been delivered to that point by the preceding conductors,none of which have been 'cryoed'.If there is a legitimate answer to this,and for all 'ole Forrest' knows there is,please someone get me the name/number of the outlet 'cryo' magnate! Most sincerely,Forrest.
There is a very simple test to replace all the speculation and angst about the subject. Try an identical outlet, cryo'd and non-cryo'd. Can you hear a difference? If there is a difference is it an improvement? Personal experience has shown me that cryo can make a difference in some cases but no one else can answer the question for you.
It will be difficult if not impossible to objectively measure the sonic effectiveness of cryoimmersion treatments due to a lack of an agreed upon end point. The target shooters mentioned above could measure their guns' accuracy with and without cryo treatment. Everyone can agree (or at least SHOULD be able to agree...) on whether a paper target has been hit accurately as long as clear standards for interpreting the hole patterns are used. Not so with audio. Audiophile listening is quite subjective and involves more variables which are less well defined. Rja's solution is probably the most reasonable and easiest compromise.

You are, of course, correct but I think the idea was to use other's knowledge and experience to avoid the time and expense of making your own mistakes, so to speak.
The problem with that approach on this particular question is that there are those who vehimently deny any possible effect from cryo'ing and those that say it can make a sonic difference. The opinions on such a volatile issue seem to cancel each other out. Where does that leave the questioner? Pretty much where he started. Thus my suggestion to experiment and form an independent judgement.
Chadnliz, regarding:

I simply found it interesting that a Government organization such as NASA is in the business of letting the private sector use its equipment for personal business, and if he chose to use NASA as an endorsement which he did, as a tax payer I should have the right to find that interesting, no chuckles here just curiousity.

Before you make such statements, please view NASA Houston web site. They are just south of me and they do not have the "closed door" policy you suggest.

NASA works with many Universities, contractors, and businesses.