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freezing AC cords?


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Chin

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Posted May 24 2002 - 05:42 AM

post your wisdom + experiences
any sonic differences?

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

#2 of 34 OFFLINE   Darrel McBane

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Posted May 24 2002 - 06:11 AM

Sounds pretty cool! Posted Image

But,freezer=frost=moisture+electricity+moisture=ZA P!

Personally I think I'm not that adventurous.
Enjoy the Toys!

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted May 24 2002 - 06:13 AM

Is this a joke or do people actually do this and expect it to change the way their system sounds?? Posted Image

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.

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#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 24 2002 - 06:52 AM

What utter nonsense.

#5 of 34 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted May 24 2002 - 08:17 AM

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 of 34 OFFLINE   John Sully

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Posted May 24 2002 - 08:27 AM

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... Posted Image

Oh, that was near zero Kelvin...
--John

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#7 of 34 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 24 2002 - 10:32 AM

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 of 34 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted May 24 2002 - 11:56 AM

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 Posted Image

Quote:
With talk like this, can the topic of the wondrous affects that placement of an amplifier has upon sound be far behind?

You could put it on an amp stand and spike it into the floor, and if the amp is heavy enough and you put it in the right spot, it might damp some resonance modes in a springy wooden floor. Or, if it's a big enough amplifier, you could put it in the corner and use it as a bass trap. Unless of course you think that bass traps are nonsense too. Posted Image

Now I'm just messing with you Posted Image


#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted May 24 2002 - 12:20 PM

Posted Image

#10 of 34 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 24 2002 - 04:11 PM

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.
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#11 of 34 OFFLINE   John Sully

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Posted May 24 2002 - 04:29 PM

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.
--John

Isn't Theory a great place? Everything works there.

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted May 25 2002 - 03:10 AM

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.c...ezing issue.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.soundstag...rgize199912.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.

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#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted May 25 2002 - 03:37 AM

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:

Quote:
Can scientific measurements and theory explain all audio phenomena?


My answer, based on 20+ years in professional audio is simply NO.

You see my belief (and keep in mind I have a strong science background and several digital audio courses under my belt) is that audio sound waves are highly complex and science has not met up to measuring all possible aspects. While somewhat troubling for scientists, this is the case in many fields and actually is positive because it implies a lifetime journey of discovery.

I would rather have the fun of exploring new and weird events and listening for myself as to whether the effect on sound out of the speaker is enhanced or not. Now I don't know about cryogenic CDs and other "extreme tweaks" but why not try these things for ourselves?

Just because Chu or someone can not come up with a rational explanation based on scientific theory, does not mean it does not in fact exist. (Chu, not picking on you personally here, but you do raise the more compelling stab at the science than most on the Forum Posted Image)

In short here are some quotes from Robert Harley (editor, The Absolute Sound, past engineer and science geek) on the same subject that I feel are relevant. He talks about the Audio Engineering Society and its skepticism...

Quote:
The reason that listening to a piece of equipment to assess its value is the object of scorn by the AES is that the whole premise threatens their belief structure. To the scientist, there is only one path to knowledge: unwavering adherence to the scientific method. If science produces the wrong conclusions, the flaw is in the application of these methods, not the methods themselves. Consideration of any event outside the measurable and repeatable is to stray from the scientific method and thus away from the truth (footnote 6). Discrediting the musical experience is akin to saying, when truth knocks at the door, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth."


and...

Quote:
Furthermore, perhaps the knee-jerk hostility toward audiophiles stems from the mistaken belief that to give credence to an irrational (by their definition) and unscientific experience calls into question the validity of the scientific method in which they have put their faith. To accept that listening can produce conclusions about a component's quality where measurements have failed is to abandon rationality itself. Nothing could be more wrong! The exclusion of one's perception of "what is good" because it is not a scientifically defensible entity is to misunderstand the underlying role of "what is good" in the scientific method. Rather than rejecting "what is good," it should be acknowledged as the very foundation from which science grows.


To read more, check out http://www.stereophi...rchives.cgi?182

Chu, interestingly he goes on to discuss the limitations of double blind listening tests and yet refer to DBTs where people heard differences in components.
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#14 of 34 OFFLINE   Brian OK

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Posted May 25 2002 - 03:58 AM

Lee,

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

Best Regards,

BOK
BOK

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted May 25 2002 - 04:19 AM

Thanks Brian!
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#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 25 2002 - 09:57 AM

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 of 34 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted May 25 2002 - 10:52 AM

Quote:
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.


Now you are just being mean with this attack. Reread Harley's words, he is making a lot of sense here. You just disagree because it is a different opinion than yours.

Quote:
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?

This is also an unnecessary personal attack on Ed Meitner. He is a widely respected electrical engineer and audio designer.

I have no idea what you mean by John Kenneth Galbraith's quote. I do know that his discredited economic policies caused this country a lot of economic damage. Posted Image I saw this firsthand when I worked on Wall Street.
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#18 of 34 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 25 2002 - 12:37 PM

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 of 34 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted May 25 2002 - 12:58 PM

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
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#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted May 25 2002 - 05:13 PM

Quote:
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??


Alf,

I guess it may be possible if it transforms the crystal structure of the cable or CDs.

I personally have not heard any difference.

I don't think common sense has ever been a good benchmark for truth. Posted Image

Read my posts above, I think we should keep an open mind and listen for ourselves rather than dismiss out of hand new phenomena. There is a lot of questions about cable that science has not answered.
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