This will be fun to watch. Cable performance & break in is like discussing religion or football...
I guess we have to wait till the electrons all line up so they can march down the single crystal-cryotreated-warmed up oh so carefully--6 9's pure copper (or silver or palladium or my own proprietary quasiallow) diameter matched-actively shielded pathway we provide them.
Let the entertainment commence!!
It takes that long for the electrons to learn how to read the arrows through the jacket of the cable. Before they become literate those little buggers are running around so confused that Ringo is playing a guitar center stage and Paul is singing backup with Jethro Tull.
Bgrazman, I knew that answer... you just beat me to it!
But seriously, I don't know, yet they do take time and music to polish their performance as do tubes and semi-conductors. I believe electrons are the modern day alchemy of magic dust. Happy listening!
If you hook the cables up backwards and spin beatles platters backwards, does it sound forwards?
Here we go again.... I use to think it didn't make a difference and it didn't in my old system. Since I now have higher end equipnment I can definally tell a new cable it is very apparent. I do not know the sicience behind it but by using it it tends to break the resistance a bit I think. I notice the bass becomes more apparent and the highs better and new cable sounds very thin. Now with that being said I would love soomeone to measure the resistance in the wire before and after break in in specifice frequency ranges.
it seems like the answer to your question is: nobody really knows, but the phenomenon seems to be real. a simple way to see for yourself is to get your hands on a set of cables that have been used for a while and some brand new ones of the same model and switch back and forth. if you actually do get to do this, one thing to be careful of is to avoid bending, crimping, stomping etc. either cable during your switching back and forth - that might impact the comparison.
"Why do new cables needs to be "broken" ???"
Is this why some enthusiasts are forever buying new cables!? If so, stop breaking them!
Sorry, couldn't help myself.
Pierre, hopefully you'll get more than just our explanation to the break in issue. I don't think anyone has all the answers to the phenomena but I do think the different answers, when combined, help towards a more complete answer.
First, we maintain the Burn-In and Break-In are separate issues. To use and understand these terms synonymously will likely lead to false and incomplete evaluation conclusions when auditioning cabling for one's system.
As we define the terms, Burn-In is introducing a cable to a higher volt/amp condition for a specific period of time than the cable would ever see in a music system. It's important too that this signal be at least fairly "hard" in it's wave form and ramp up and down from at least 20hz to 20khz. This helps settle the materials used in the cable to each other. Different insulators which interface with the conductors have different charge and release characteristics that seem to mellow a bit over time or even more so when introduced to a high volt/amp signal. I believe any conscientious and competent hi-end cable manufacturer should condition their cables in this manner as part of their final manufacturing process. Some do, some don't. Burn in is certainly beyond the means of most enthusiasts unless they have invested in a device specific that purpose.
Distinct from Burn-In is Break-In and, like it or not (and I personally don't), it is system dependant. We believe it has much to do with the Power Factor present and different in every system. A simple way to say this I suppose is that a given cable needs time to settle into how a given music system delivers the music signal. What all's going on in that cable I don't know. I don't think anybody definitively knows all the answers here but we know some of what's going on and that it's a real phenomena and much of what's causing it. This accounts for why one cable can take 25 hours to sound it's best in one system and then take 200 hours (and even higher in some instances) for the same cable to reach top performance in another system. We hear these variances all the time.
Burn-In and Break-In conditioning should go hand in hand. To evaluate a cable one without the other will never present the opportunity for a cable to sound it's best in one's system. Sorry folks, that's just how it is. Try being a manufacturer and having to go through all this in your product development process...it Sucks! LOL!
I suppose it might be good to assert too that I think most of the reason Burn-In and Break-In have become issues is that the better cables, electronics and loudspeakers being offered today perform with considerably more resolution than the audio gear of yesteryear making a cable (and all audio components for that matter) going through it's transformation distinctly discernable.
Notable products available for burning in cables include the Audiodharma made by Mr. Krafton of Audioexcellenceaz.com and the FryKleaner made by Mr. Hagerman of Hagtech.com.
It's likely Pierre I didn't answer your info request as specific as you would like. Forgive me but this is a good part of what I know and am willing to share. Perhaps Alan at Audioexcellenceaz.com and/or Jim at Hagtech.com would be willing to chime in here and share their thoughts or, at the least, you could contact them. Both are good gents.
Oh...and I forgot to mention, the best thing to use for the Break-In process of YOUR cables is YOUR SYSTEM! And further, not someone elses system.
I think that there is one legitimate thing happening--the connections are changing over time. As the wire settles into a configuration where the forces are balanced, you should retighten your connections.
Modern physics does not let us predict any change in the way the wire conducts electrons (notice I don't say they don't sound different, just that we can't explain why the would...)
Robert, have you tried the FryKleaner and Audiodharma both? If so, are these the best ones around and is one superior to the other?
I have been considering buying a cable burner but have not tested any of them.
Pierre: Nothing's changing in the cable. What's changing is the listener.
Albert, yes, I've tried both. We used to have our own device that we used...still use it in some instances. Been using FryKlean that we modified and have always liked that unit especially after our mods. The 'dharma is over the top as well it should be for the price. We felt the performance difference was enough to justify the fairly substantial investment of 'dharma being that Burn-In is part of our manufacturing process.
We don't have comprehensive experience with the 'dharma yet as we won't have our own unit here until this Thursday. I've experienced its benefits on our speaker cables and that's all it took.
The overall music presentation takes on a quieter sense, less mechanical sounding that you really don't realize you're hearing till you hear it "not there", ambience, for example, takes on a better sense of wholeness to the soundscape instead of little entities and with all this, it's just easier to hear deeper into the recording. I'm not sure the bass presentation reaches any deeper but it is a bit more resolute and authoritive. These things are in light of our cabling which already do an excellent job at helping suspend belief you're listening to a "Music System" . Experiences with other cables will probably be different. What this says, I believe, is that whatever virtues lie in a given cable's performance, the 'dharma will exploit to full benefit.
As for whether cable a Burn-In device is good for all cable designs, I don't know but it should be investigated. Jim or Alan would best to talk with regarding a given design being used with their conditioner.
I know it's just a "dumb" cable conditioner but I'm really excited to have our own unit and what this will do for enthusiasts who enjoy our cabling.
Don't get me wrong, at 4 to 6 times less expensive than the 'dharma, the FryKleaner is a great little unit that shouldn't be dismissed.
I have no vested interest or business relationship with either Hagetech or Audioexcellenceaz. Just a fan of these men's work.
Turn on the cold water tap in winter then put your hand into the water stream -- ouch! it's freezing! Keep your hand there and after a bit of time the water feels quite tolerable. Are you getting used to the frigid water, or is the water warming up?
what planet are the cables made on?
Rgaims...sounds like you have quite a hobby there. Enjoy!
Hi Pabelson. Thanks for sharing your experience. So, when you were a listener, you changed from what to what? When you're not a listener, are the changes still evident or do you revert back? If you don't revert back, do you change more and more every time you become a listener?
I know. I'm a real smartass but sometimes comments are hilariously irresistible. I'll restrain myself. I have my moments too.
Heres a little story;I lent an IC that had about a year in my system,to a non audiophile at work,this guy is a true music lover,anyway a week later he came over and said;"I cant believe it ,but im hearing details in music that ive not heard before,and it seems like i dont have to turn the volume up as much as i did before i put this IC in!He said he HADto get one of these ICs,so he ordered one,a few days after he got it he came over and said,"Geez,this cant be the same cable,it sounds terrible,im going to send it back,he must have changed the way he is making them ,it does not sound the same as the one you lent me,"Anyway i started to laugh,and explained that it will sound better soon and to leave it playing when he went to work,and sure enough ,a couple weeks later he was happy ,as the cable did sound as good as the cable that i lent him that was "broken in" go figure!
Pierre the only logical reason is that the cable doesn't burn in at all. Your amp and speakers must unlearn the old cables by gradually adjusting to the new cables' capacitance, inductance and conductivity. Think outside the box and you'll get it.
Take for example Israel Blume's Coincident IC's and speaker wire, needing a minimum of 200+ hours break-in and he was correct, of course. It toke every bit of that time to start sounding sweet... Why? Who knows, but it's true. I have never had a single piece of equipment (including wire) that was this resistant to showing its true colors, which are very few (very neutral). Selling expensive Hifi wire is hard enough without this situation and by the way for 299.00USD a first meter for IC's, it is a true bargain. I wonder how many will endure the break-in to glean the results. Count me in as one. Cheers!
I can't believe this thread is getting traction. If I've said it once, I've said it once: In a new cable, the music doesn't know where to go. It's timid from the new environment. After a while, the music gets used to the new component (in this case a cable) and feels at home. At that point, it gets "home court advantage" and will outperform any new cable of the same type.
Anyone want to talk about Richard Hardesty and the Wilson MAXX again?
So nice people like John and Richard at Audience can repair or replace speaker cables free of charge when orthopedic mongoloid cretans like myself break them by tripping over them.
It's a proven fact that cables kept in captivity, even mistreated ones, eventually come to view their owners as parental figures. Once aware of their complete dependence on you for their very existence, the expensive ones especially so, they forego all natural principle and do whatever the system demands.
On top of that, those cables cased in little wooden boxes only awaken to their intended task during moments of total darkness upon hearing the ca-ching of their dealer's cash register.
>>I know. I'm a real smartass<<
That's only partially true.
Ridge: Go back to explaining burn-in. Now, that was funny!
if the cables cannot be broken, i would return them to their natural habitat....a dusty, carpeted floor at a stereo shop, where they will live out their days with dozens of others. there may be an occasional fight for superiority between the silver and copper ones. but the fights generally end quickly with no real winner.
This topic reminds me about the story they told us in college pyschology 101 about how they put prism glasses on some test subjects that turned everything upside down. After some time, these people's brains flipped the image back again so they could see thing normally through these glasses (or so the story went). Their point was that what people see is what the brain does with the raw data it gets; all the sensory input is interpreted or mediated. Through an act of pure will, we can train ourselves to use the raw data differently.
30 years later, I'm not sure I buy this 100%, or even 50%. I think there are plenty of hardwired responses that you can't override easily. I think the answer lies somewhere in between. It would be really easy to dismiss break-in as just a way the salespeople use to make you keep something so long it's too late to return it. But dang if I haven't heard it myself.
Break-in by & large is an urban legend, even for the golden earred in the boonies.
First off let me say, I have no idea why cables need break-in nor I have I ever heard a satisfactory explanation for the phenomenon. Many here dismiss the phenomenon as non-existant because it can't be explained. There are many phenomenon whose existance is generally accepted without currently viable explanations. Really nothing new, happens all the time. Can't argue that a dose of skepticism isn't healthy. But to argue that cable break-in doesn't exist because its existance can't be scientifically proven goes against many audiophiles direct observations, including mine. Observation after all is the beginning of empiricism.
Quoting from the Stealth netsite:
"According to our point of view on the break-in process in cables, it mostly deals with the 'ground potential differences' in the componants used."
I quoted this because, perhaps the componants being connected are as important the connections in this process. I really don't know the reasons behind cable break-in and I don't think the cable manufacturers know either. What I do know is, depending on the cable, it can make a huge difference in the "sound" of a cable.