Not clicking on a link to who knows what - so what does the little man in your head tell you to do
"World's Best Cables" vs Audioquest interconnects
I've heard many great things about "World's Best Cables". At such low price, these alleged giant killers are a no brainer, so I ordered two pairs. When the shipment arrived, I connected one pair from my phono stage to my preamp, and another pair from my preamp to my power amp.
These cables replaced my trusty old Audioquest interconnects.
First listening impressions: extremely lean sound. Details etched in space, almost as if a strong laser beam is outlining them.
Santana I, side 1: almost unlistenable. The highs are piercing, the soundstage is flat, the splash cymbals sound like trash cans. Made my head hurt.
Switching back to my Audioquest cables: my god, what a relief! The sound is back to its good old sound of music. Everything sounds natural again.
Now, the "World's Best Cables" come with the users manual that claims that the cables need to be burned in for 175 hours. Should I give them the benefit of the doubt and suffer 175 hours, or is that just an audio myth about cables burn-in?
Cables don’t burn in. Audio components do.
Cables cannot transform a good system into an amazing one...unless you’re using the cables as a tone control. And of course, if your perceptions are in line with what you want to hear. Then you will be happy.
Cables shouldn’t really have a "sound" including speaker cables and interconnects.
However, using low AWG power cables can improve depth and clarity.
Monoprice makes some good ones. Rated at up to 1625w or more.
Be careful in navigating the snake oil out there. Also, a cable cannot create distortion. (Audioquest cables claim to solve this nonexistent problem)
Uh, the OCC process was not even discovered until 1986.
The OFC conductors and XLPE insulation in the Mogami cables is fine. The 22awg stranded conductor size is adequate for ICs, although some like a bit larger size, which may provide a denser, more robust (i.e., less thin) sound. You can purchase that cable bulk for around $1/foot. However, professional lineage cables like those are designed for ruggedness, flexibility, and “good” sound but not necessarily SOTA sound. In this case, the gold over brass connectors could be improved on. WBC previously offered KLEI connectors (for more money) which, IMO, would probably result in a sonic upgrade based on the copper base metal and minimalist design. Your AQ cables may have solid conductors and, if they are older, I am not surprised if they sound a bit warmer.
Your audio cables shouldn't change the sound of your system. Instead, they should simply allow your system to perform normally.
Cable resistance is the most important thing. Then comes compacitance and inductance. If a cable measures well on an audio analyzer, it will be equally transparent to a different cable with the same or similar measurements. If the differences between measurements are beyond the threshold of human hearing, you will hear no difference.
Audiophiles often hear differences in cables due to volume matching issues and confirmation bias. The power of suggestion is very strong. It's like trying a restaurant that your friends and family suggested. Since they like it so much, you're going to try and appreciate the food and drinks more.
Cables are very inexpensive to produce. Companies selling it for thousands of dollars are taking advantage of audiophile gullibility.
If you want to be full proof, just keep your interconnects as short as possible and your speaker cables below the maximum length based on impedance and AWG.
Cables are like a bridge for the audio signal and electrons to cross. Make sure that bridge is not too long, and you should be fine.
And besides, I have never heard of an audio component company or speaker company being able to guarantee maximum system performance with a particular brand of exotic speaker cable. If this was truly the case, then why don't they tell you?
Afterall, a manufacturer who wants maximum profits for their audio components and speakers would want their gear to perform well! So if word gets out, more people buy = more money for them!
Get my drift??!
And no, cables do not need to be burned in. Save 100 hours of electricity or more!
There is nothing mechanical about a cable.
A new car requires burn in, a new amplifier, CD player,
Or DAC also does. But not cables. Cable temperature only rises while in use; so at room temperature they return to original factory temp - which is close to room temperature plus whatever the cable insulation jacket adds or subtracts. The process of cable burn in would have to be a structural change in the conductor that wasn’t already present when the speaker cables or interconnects were made. No magical fairy dust can cause this to happen...unless of course your cables oxidize after being exposed to too much air over a sustained period of time. I guess one could call that: cable burn out! :)
And there are companies who make cables and burn them in for you!
Meaning it simply sits in the warehouse for a few extra days and in that time they can fulfill more orders, while delaying delivery of your cables.
All of what I'm telling you is not rocket science OP, but I speak the truth. The folks who disagree with me are clearly Harvard educated, advanced electrical engineers, and have IQs that surpass the folks at NASA. That's why they know so much lol
How insulting “ you don’t know much”.. There is no burn in for cable, that is crap !! And that thinking is…. Stupid. Sales BS and nothing more. If in doubt get a registered written guarantee of return then waste your time trying. Asking questions in earnest on any form is cool, listening to idiots isn’t cool. The infamous cable debate has been around forever it seems. Ask questions do research get guarantees listen and satisfy yourself. Enjoy the music.
I think most electrical engineers would tell you that there’s no such thing as cables “breaking in” but many would also say there’s no difference between any of them sound wise which we know isn’t true. I think any even decent cable should sound pretty good immediately & then mildly change over a period of time. At least this has been My experience & if I had to quantify it, maybe I heard a 10% change. This was recently true again with a bi wired set of some Triode Wire Labs speaker wire I put in my system. Very nice product btw for not crazy $.
This is only semi-related to this topic, but I've compared "World's Best Cables" guitar cables to stock offerings from Mogami and another similar priced brand (house brand for Guitar Center and Musician's Friend) and they don't sound as good. I don't know if it's attachment to connectors, solder, shielding, or something else, but built from the same spec Mogami cable, the Mogami retail cable sounded better than the "World's Best Cable" Mogami cable. I personally won't be purchasing any "World's Best Cables" in the future for any purpose.
I'll agree that you certainly don't "know it all."
I use World's Best Cables (WBC) for most things. You never specified what cable was purchased? They use several different pro audio brands for the cable and different brands for connectors.
Anyway, all cables don't sound the same and WBC has many different styles. The cost is low enough that you could try another model to see if it is to your liking.
My guess is that you have listened to your AQ cables for so long that any change would disturb or shock you. Leave it in for a week or two and see if you acclimate and find the new attributes interesting or not.
I have Audio Quest and Silver Streak cables and connectors, with which I am happy. Once I am happy with the sound, I keep what is working. Why run the risk of degrading what you are liking? Especially when, at 70, I am dealing with high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus. It would take a dramatic improvement for me to be able to tell a difference!
Do all cables sound the same? Uh no
Do measurements tell the whole story? Nah
Are most cables a variation on a theme or at worst, new age snake oil? Most, some more than others
Are there manufacturers who have been around since the beginning of the High End audio cable markets inception? Why yes there are…specifically MIT and Transparent. They were music lovers who wanted to improve the way audio signals were propagated from one component to another. They used science and experimentation to improve signal transfer and increase their enjoyment of reproduced sound. These cables do sound different, but most of all, they deliver cables that can allow anyones system to sound more realistic, more dynamic and full of life with superior low level detail, a richer more textured midrange and deeper, more well controlled and defined bottom end.
So is wire just wire? Kinda, unless your using cables that are purposely designed to enhance the transmission of the delicate audio signal you might as well use coat hangers.
Sadly, cable "break in" is real. You don't have to understand WHY to know that the phenomenon is real. I use 50 conductor flat computer cables (remember the old hard drive cables ? - only with 50 silver plated copper wires) for speaker cables. They "break in" in about two hours. In the first half hour, the sound changes radically; it is a wonder to hear. At first, it seems that the two speakers they feed are connected out of phase. I was sure I had done something wrong. I shut down the system and checked out my connections. They were fine. I turned everything back on and continued listening. An amazing swirl of audio shifts occurred for quite a while. The worst was over in 30 minutes or so and in the next 90 minutes the sound got smoother and smoother. A friend is using a set of these cables on his Martin-Logan electrostats (McIntosh power amps) and says they are the best he's heard. I use TV coax for some interconnects and 300 ohm twinlead for some other low impedance interconnects and the "between components" cables don't change much in time. A certain company claims that their wires need 600 hours of "break in." Long enough that the "you can send them back for a full refund" period is over. USB cables have proven to be critical and I don't try to make them. The best I've found are Zavfino's from Canada (when used between a laptop and PreBox S2 Digital). DACs seem to be very fussy about their cables and what works well for one may not suit a different DAC. Happy Listening!
You do not have to "suffer listening" during the break-in period. Since the cables are connected ahead of the power amp, the amplifier does not have to be turned on. You will have to suffer changing or restarting the records. If you have a tuner or cd player that can do repeat play that could do for the pre to power amp cables. You will have set the volume level to your normal setting or maybe slightly above.
I understand that you replace both phono in and pre out at the same time. After the break-in, I suggest replacing just one set with your Audioquest cables. Possibly choose the best combination for your likings.
However, my experience with breaking-in cables. They are very subtle. I don't think Hideous to Glorious will be realized,
I use both Audioquest and World's Best cables interconnects between my components. I use them interchangeably, capriciously, depending on what length I have to hand. Do my choices impact my listening? Not at all. Did I need to break in the newest of these cables. No. Are there far more important elements to consider in my audio chain. Yes.
Keep listening to them. If after a few months you're not happy with them, sell them. They were cheap, right?
This topic will never be "resolved." Endless opinions, "research", (YouTube posts), and user experiences... lend to a bottomless pit. I've owned Audioquest, World's Best (I have World's Best on my headphone amp / DAC balanced set up) but my current favorite are Blue Jeans Cables. One feature I like most -- besides a very reasonable price from Blue Jeans -- is that they terminate with "Ultrasonic Welding". Even the several thousand dollar Audioquest speaker cables are merely set-screwed into the wire. At the end of the day, your "A-B" testing will tell you what you like.
With welding you are introducing another metal into the signal chain. This is likely why the big budget cable you reference is using a set screw...a more purist approach.
BJC interestingly enough, now has a line of cables that sell for a few thousand dollars a pair....using Cardas solder. If you can’t beat them, join them I guess. ;-) https://www.iconoclastcable.com/
WBC uses many brands of cables and connectors so your experience would only be relevant to the wire and connector combo that you tried...which I don’t believe you have disclosed.