freezing AC cords?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey Chin, May 24, 2002.

  1. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    0
    post your wisdom + experiences
    any sonic differences?

    BTW, I'm referring to putting them in your freezer..not cryo treating them
     
  2. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 1999
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds pretty cool! [​IMG]
    But,freezer=frost=moisture+electricity+moisture=ZA P!
    Personally I think I'm not that adventurous.
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    249
    Real Name:
    Alfie
    Is this a joke or do people actually do this and expect it to change the way their system sounds?? [​IMG]
    Sounds like the old wives tale about storing batteries in the freezer to make them last longer...and that we know doesn't work.
    I sincerely hope freezing cable idea is a joke, if not things have gotten WAY out of hand in the world of simple A/V IMHO.
    Alfer
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    What utter nonsense.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll be honest and admit I have never done this to a power cord. But all my training and education as an Electrical Engineer tells me that it will have zero effect on the performance of your system.

    And it could have a negative impact if the insulation becomes brittle and cracks during the freezing or handling.

    So whoever suggested this to you is likely playing a joke on you, or perputating an "Audio Myth".
     
  6. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chu,
    How can you call this utter nonsense? We all know that superconducters conduct electricity much more effectively than regular conductors and that they must be cooled to temps near zero to function correctly. Obviously, freezing your power cords should enable them to conduct electricity more effectively, thus improving their performance... [​IMG]
    Oh, that was near zero Kelvin...
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    It is utter nonsense and one of the audio myths that surfaces from time to time.

    Copper becomes a superconducter around -410F. We might have something to talk about if it were possible to have wire or whatever material (ceramic) function as a superconductor. The resistance of a wire can be expressed as R=p*L/A where p is the resistivity, L is the length, and A is the cross sectional area. Since L & A remain constant for a given wire, all that one must do is determine the resistivity of the substance in question at the temperatures of interest. In terms of degrees Kelvin, we have the following values for resistivity where the resistivity is given in the followiing units (10^(-8) Ohm-m).

    Tp
    2731.543
    2931.678

    273 is the freezing point of water, 293 for argument's sake is our room (pretty warm though).
    1.543/1.678 = to about an 8% change in conductivity assuming we're going to leave the wire in the freezer. Not a big deal and one that you can't hear. You've got more of a chance of hearing differences going from winter to summer (temperature & humidity levels) but that doesn't seem to bother people does it? Maybe we'll see a line of speakers now that are designed for seasonal use.

    Putting your cables, whatever they are in the freezer, or for that matter a vat of liquid nitrogen and taking them out probably won't do much other than possibly have an adverse affect upon your insulation. With talk like this, can the topic of the wondrous affects that placement of an amplifier has upon sound be far behind?

    John, or whomever, if you've got scientific evidence to the contrary, please share it. I'd love to read about it.
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe John was being sarcastic, Chu.
    The theory behind cryogenic freezing has more to do with the crystal structure re-forming when supercooled and then warmed up slowly, rather than converting the wire into a superconductor by keeping it at a lower temperature. I believe a metal's crystalline structure changes when subjected to temperature extremes, and the rate of temperature change is also a factor in the results. I've done this at the other temperature extreme in my mechanical engineering labs (heating metal till it's red-hot and then plunging it in cold water, etc.), but I have no experience with the other end of the temperature scale, and metallurgy was never one of my strong points anyway.
    Anyway... personally, I'm sceptical about the audible effect of re-aligning the crystal structure in copper strands (or whatever change may occur). And you're right, this will require liquid nitrogen and very controlled conditions for bringing the cable up to room temperature slowly, putting a cable in a freezer won't do anything. However, I do know that the scientific reason behind this experiment has absolutely nothing to do with temperature related changes in conductivity.
    So, this might still be utter nonsense, but at least now you guys know the correct scientific theory behind this, so you won't feel foolish about finding flaws in something that's totally irrelevant [​IMG]
     
  9. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    The crystal structure of wire is a complex phenomena involving such parameters as impurities (including oxygen), cooling rate, drawing speed, etc. Once you or I get it, that's it for the crystal structure and subjecting it to cryogenic temperatures is unlikely to change anything signficantly at least in our lifetime. The primary benefit as I know it in modifying the crystal structure has to do with improving the ability of copper to resist fatigue. Indeed modification of crystal structure allows such metals as Bismuth, that would normally be too brittle to be coiled, to be formed into complex structures without breaking.
    If i didn't use bass traps, i'd never catch anything.
     
  11. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chu,

    Just yankin' the chain. This has to be one of the silliest things I've ever heard of in the silly, silly world of audiophilia.
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Lee
    I think we should keep an open mind about this.
    While I have never heard a major difference in treated CDs, many respected circuit designers and engineers have experimented and found good results. Most of the reported good results had to do with crystaline structure alignment and involved cryogenic freezing. The most well respected of all the experimenters is Ed Meitner, a respected circuit designer who has recently been building superb Super Audio DACs and ADCs in Canada. Also, Jeremy Kipnis, a well-respected engineer at Chesky Records in the 1990s, found good results as well. Robert Harley wrote an article in Stereophile in October 1990 where in an ABA test he and fellow audiophiles were able to pick out the treated (frozen) CD every time.
    Here is a link to Ed Meitner's PDF on the subject...
    http://www.emmlabs.com/The%20freezing%20issue.PDF
    Please note that Ed put a tremendously dense PDF up for this one and it takes forever to download on slow connection.
    Here is Greg Weaver of Soundstage describing his experience...
    http://www.soundstage.com/synergize/synergize199912.htm
    I think one of the fun things about this hobby is that people will try all sorts of things to improve sound. I would be hesitant to dismiss certain phenomena just because it does not fit within conventional theories - I think there is much to be gained from experimenting and thinking outside of the box.
    There was a lot written about this phenomena in the audio press around 15 years ago and it surfaces periodically.
    From a scientific standpoint, I don't understand how just freezing a cable would help, unless it changed the crystalline structure of the cable, thereby changing it transmitting properties.
    We shouldn't bash people for trying new things, though, no matter how ridiculous on the surface, because they may discover some underlying phenomena that goes beyond what meets the eye.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Lee
    Some further thoughts...
    As you know Chu and I have been on opposite sides of my belief that cables have sonic differences. This ultimately comes down to a logic argument that underpins many discussions we have here on HTF:
     
  14. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2000
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lee,

    Amen. Open minds are a good thing. One never knows all the answers, now do they ?

    Best Regards,

    BOK
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Lee
    Thanks Brian!
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    You certainly are right, that is one damned slow loading page. I just opted to download it...11 meg PDF!!! You'd think he'd break down and do something about it. Like figure out how to not do it in Adobe and make his images respectably sized. But thinking about, it, maybe its good that its such a big pdf for it'll mean that fewer people will be subjected to this shoddy work. Another fluff piece with little details and no attempt at confirmation from some who says "For the open-minded outsider..." and then in the next sentence says "You don't have to subscribe to double-blind ABX testing..." His mind is so open, that things are falling in and out for god's sake. Now in that same sentence he says, "...to appreciate that determining the importance of any single design factor is difficult to the point of impossible when other variables are not held constant". He's dead wrong as there is a body of science involved in factor analysis whereby one can conduct experiments varying several variables at a time and use mathematics to determine which component(s) contribute to the measured parameter. DuPont and Perkin-Elmer have used the techniques of overlapping resolution maps whereby solvent compositions are varied...several at a time...in order to optimize liquid chromatographic separations. So he's quite wrong with his statement.
    You know, on one hand the writer of that piece takes issue with "...nobody, to my knowledge, had ever produced a convincing measurement to prove these notional diodes exist." He cries out for proof of some sort. Later he talks about changes in crystal structure in the area of steel. Much evidence, electron micrographs, x-ray diffraction data exists to substantiate changes that occur during the processing of metal. Don't you think such data could have been obtained by himself or by Meistner if he really wanted to? Of course Meistner has a vested financial interest in getting someone out there in the audio world to say something positive. Luckily for him, there's rarely been a reviewer out there who won't say a positive thing about any kind of treatment.
    No doubt so long as he performs the evaluations he'll continue to find that "...the difference continues to astound me". So long as he does the switching. What do you want to bet he'll cease to be astounded at the differences when someone else does the switching? One dollar?
    On the soundstage link, well, not even an attempt to make it blind. Pitiful. This is from a guy who likes the idea of marking his CD's. What is this tendency amongst us males to want to mark our territory, huh? How do you feel about the following experiment Lee? I'll burn three copies of some CD. I'll treat one according to the procedure and send all three to you. You tell me which one was treated in the freezer? I know you've got some audiophile buddies out there, send the CD's to them and ask them to report back which one is different. Sound fair? If you agree, what I'll do is create an email account, say hotmail, and prior to sending you the cd's i'll email the account with which one was treated. this way it'll have the benefit of being time/date stamped.
    Look, Stereophile is doing nothing more than looking for a cop-out as to why they don't want to get into any kind of controlled testing. I'm not even talking about equipment or accessories that measure the same or different electrically and trying to draw a conclusion simply from that. I've always said, first comes the proof of an audible difference then later we'll look at what could have caused this in an attempt to understand what, if anything sounded different. This is so difficult?
    The reason for looking at DBT's in performing sensory evaluations is quite simply that signted evaluations suffer from being not repeatable or portable. Sighted evaluations and impressions vary all over the place. There's no consistency. You do a level matched blind test and you'll find that any differences will be repeatable. DBT's have the benefit of discovering true and real differences. Sighted evaluations totally obscure these differences. You or Stereophile have a way of determining differences with a greater degree of consistency? Wheel it out.
    I've always stated that a statistically significant amount of people are able to discern the difference between long runs of say 28 gauge and 12 gauge copper. This is attributed to overall resistance differences and significant roll-off of the high end. I'm a scientist and the chips fall where they fall. Let's see where they fall with my crappy copper and your top of the line. I'm more than willing to accept the results of carefully controlled tests. I don't have a particular agenda in proving cables or cryogenic treatments have no affect.

    "In youth they are vigorous, aggressive, evangelistic and even intolerant. Later, they become mellow; and in old age-after some 10 or 15 years-they become, with some exceptions, either an arm of the industry they are regulating or senile."
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    Benjamin Franklin remarked, "There are no worse liars than quacks — except for their patients."

    That's my take on Stereophile and many of the reviewers...they've become arms of the industry....of course...i could be wrong.

    Jeffery Chin: out of curiousity, what is it that you are looking for by posting this and other similar posts? What sort of investigatory reading have you done on these matters?
     
  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Lee
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Did you read the article Lee? Says words by Keith Edward and the evaluations were done from his perspective. Its a fluff piece not even deserving the distinction of a white paper. And there have been many men of science, engineering that for reasons I can't fathom, have lost what it is that made them great. Hospitals now let reikii healers in...its a cash cow. Astrology is finding a way to become a degreed course with accredidation. Lee, in many ways we're moving backwards.
    As far as StereoPhile...its a fun read. It may well be that the reviewers believe in their heart of hearts what they hear...but i'm not about the belief aspect. Give me the reality.
    What do you say about my freezer treatment study...Hell, I'll even videotape the freezer with a clock next to it...with a tv next to it so you know i didn't fudge the test. Then you can send it to Person A. Person A to Person B...What say you? Hell, Let's make sure we send it to Jeffrey too.
     
  19. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    249
    Real Name:
    Alfie
    So if this freezing tweak was done on either a cable or a cd, doesn't common sense tell us that either will thaw out within minutes of being pulled from the freezer, thus reverting everything back to where it was before it went into the freezer???

    That being the case, what's the point of doing this at all? You can't tell me that all the freezing properties that supposedly took place will stay the same for an extended period of time so you can listen to some cd tracks etc??

    The minute you start running electricity through the cable or plug the cd into a warmed up cd player the whole freezing theory goes right down the drain (not to mention creates some damaging condensation).

    Speaking of down the drain, where in the world did common sense go in cases such as these??

    Alfer
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Lee
     

Share This Page