Cable Burn In time??

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by NickScott, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. NickScott

    NickScott Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello, I would like to know some info on "burn it time" for analog cables and digital coax cables. What are some easy ways to burn it cables properly?

    Thanks,

    Scott.
     
  2. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO It wont make a difference.
    Just use ur cables and enjoy
     
  3. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO, it does make a difference and is especially critical for silver cables. I have a machine called a cable cooker that I condition all audio cables on that I sell. Basically it speeds up the break in process meaning a day on the cooker is equivilent to a week of standard play. But further, it stresses the dielectric/insulation in a way that playing never could, and sets directionality of signal flow.

    But without a cooker, the best thing you can do, is put some music on replay, and let your system play for around a week to break the cables in.

    I would be willing to condition cables for people, for a small fee to cover time, electricity costs, and all shipping/insurance charges. I Can also add directional arrows to indicate the flow of cooking. That's important. I can cook XLR, RCA,BNC, and speaker cables and as I said, do cook all of the ones I sell of all but BNC. BNC is typically video only, and while I can cook those, it does take more time since I can only cook 1 BNC at a time without adapters.

    Doug
    CATCables
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Yes, and since current does not flow unidirectionally it reverses itself 1/2 the time. That would suggest that a directional cable would be wrong 1/2 the time. Then if you flip it, it'll be wrong the other 1/2 the time. Heck, how would a consumer even be able to check if the cable had a directional (funcitioned to some degree as either a rectifier or diode) feature applied to it by some means? For that matter, how would the person doing that to the cables?
    Mr. Scott, where are you finding these sorts of things?
     
  5. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    wow, that audioholics site actually made me REALLY upset.

    those guys are just jerks. audioquest was being completely nice and their arguements were FULL of fallacies. audioquest doesnt claim to "know" or be able to measure whats going on. they are all but saying its a trail and error process.

    however, they do say (every single time), TRY THE CABLES. but, audioholics doesnt want to. they want to measure it first. i know VERY few (come to think of it, no one) that doesnt believe in cables that will actually TRY some out. they have it in their head already that they dont do anything... instead of measuring, let's do what this hobby is actually about, listening.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    And the correct way to listen would be?
     
  7. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Luitz, did I laugh at your opinion? I don't think I did. I don't believe you are within your rights to say lmao to my opinion on the issue of cable break.

    If you don't agree with cable break in, then say so, as you did. I too am free to express my opinion that CLOSELY relates to the original poster's question, and may I add, without ridicule.

    Chu, the correct way to listen is with your ears. [​IMG]

    Lex
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Hee hee hee.

    One time I put on a couple 96/24 DADs and A/Bed between the best AudioQuest cables I own and the cheapest pack-in cable I could find. This was one extremely flimsy cable, believe you me. Instead of stating what my results were I suggest everyone try this little experiment, whether you're a cable believer or not.

    BTW I personally think break-in for cables (and for that matter, anything other than tube amps) is one of the most ridiculous audio myths out there. Just my opinion of course.
     
  9. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO lmao as I said before. I answered this persons question with facts and honesty with even reviews to back it up.
    Its not my problem that some people spend 1k on a cable burner or cooker and think they hear a difference trying to make a 50 dollar cable sound like a 1000 dollar cable. This is a marketing ploy and a placebo effect. We always try selling people more stuff then they need.
    Heres another quote from
    DLorde
    I think there's more to it than that. There is a neural adjustment effect that occurs when a stimulus we are accustomed to changes, known as 'habituation'.

    When you change to new cables, there may appear to be an audible difference. If this seems to be for the better, well and good - you'll keep the cables. If the cables seem marginally worse than the old ones, the 'break in improvement' claim will encourage you to persevere with them for a while. Over this time your auditory system will habituate to the new sound balance, resulting in a perceived improvement. If you then swap back to the old cables for a 'fair' comparison, they will probably sound worse, as you are now adjusted to the new ones.

    The second effect that comes into play is our suggestibility. Some people are more suggestible than others, but most of us are surprisingly open to persuasion. Expensive audio cables are an almost ideal example: we are persuaded to get them because they will improve the sound, and will get better over time, they cost a lot of money so they ought to be 'special', we've gone to some to get them because we want a change for the better, we'd hate our choice to be a failure, it would be a hassle to return them and start again, and most importantly, the judgment is purely subjective and very susceptible to emotional influence.

    Under these conditions, the chances are we'll convince ourselves the new cables sound better, even if on someone else's identical system they might sound slightly worse - after all, 'worse' is subjective, and they have to break in, right?
    In reality, there probably won't be a significant audible difference, but our expectations and suggestibility will manufacture one.

    There are probably quite a few old-hands who are resistant to these effects, you know, the cynics and pessimists but it doesn't matter to the snake-oil salesmen, there are enough suggestible people seeking auditory nirvana for them to prosper, get rich, afford swanky web sites, buy advertising space in all the glossy magazines, and still give a decent mark-up to the retail outlets. “ -
     
  10. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Gentlemen:

    This back and forth banter between who is right and who is wrong will stop. Each side of this battle can point to who and what says that or this does that and so on and so on ad nauseum. Everyone has an opinion on this matter and unfortunately for everyone else their opinion is the only one that counts.

    All tests in the world will mean nothing to the buyer who believes that he/she can hear or see a difference after they have installed a new set of cables on their gear. For those who do this is what it is all about. Hearing and seeing a difference.

    The other side has to be proven to by testing equipment before they believe and they are bound and determined never to try out anything that they are so adamant against. Even if they do try it out the numbers and the signals on the scope tell them differently so they will not believe it even if the image to their own eyes is better or the sound that they hear is improved in any way. There is a lot of talk on this side of the fence about a "placebo effect" and yet they don't even see the effect being played out on them by these graphs and curves.

    So the arguments go on and on and in the end what it all really boils down to is whether the end user gets any benefit from the products or not. Everything else is just an opinion by the author of the opinion. So keep this in mind when reading about cables and if they make a difference or not.

    I will also remind everyone the specific rules to this forum that are to be followed.

     
  11. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i find it quite interesting that the engineers are very keen on the concept of "placebo effect". this is not an engineering phenomenon. its a psychological one.

    engineers constantly use the arguement against cables, "im an engineer, i know what im doing". well, then leave the placebo effect out of it. its being misused far too often. i am the psychologist (in training anyways), and you guys are skewing it to be useful for you.
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Perhaps you are taking this position because although you are a psychologist in training, you're largely uninformed regarding the nature of human hearing and it's limitations. The following was written by a licensed Psychologist, Dr. Thomas J. Smurthwaite. It appeared in the June 1999 issue of Audio. You should be able to obtain a copy of the magazine through the inter-library loan program at no cost other than time.


    Perhaps it would behoove you to become aware of the research done in these areas. After all, there is the scientific process which I'm sure you're aware of if you've done any research whatsoever that's designed to withstand scientific scrutiny.
     
  13. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i am perfectly aware of those studies.

    however, i am aware of others. i cant cite them, but there are studies that involve training of the ear. the more you critically listen to music or sounds, the more accurate your ears and hearing become. you can actually further develop your ability to hear.

    test subjects on many of these "double-blind experiements", may have normal hearing, but more "audiophiles" or simply enthusiasts may have more more advanced hearing and be able to hear the subtleties much better.

    take this example..

    my garage door just broke. my roommate (and landlord) had someone come out to fix it. the first time i used it, i commented that it sounded completely different. it turned out the drums, springs, and bearings are all new. they are actually different than the old ones, and do sound different. (smaller and quieter).

    if i can only remember for 2 seconds, how did i know it sounded different? when i use my speakers for 6 months and listen to the same stuff over and over, if i added a cable (assuming it could/would sound different), wouldnt i know it?

    that is a nice excerpt and helps your point very well, HOWEVER, there are other factors involved. note in the article there is this line: "After 2 seconds, echoic memory either decays or is processed into immediate memory, which imposes significant limits on thee amount
    of information that is retained. "

    after repetition, the mind can further process sound into short-term or long term memory. ALSO, if emotion is involved, a different memory storage set is applied and it gets stored much differntly (an emotional piece of music, or something that recalls an event).

    the article is 100% accurate, but taken out of context and needs further information. in many of these tests, 1khz test tones (or something of the like) are used. these test tones can be reproduced by just about anything and are almost identical to most everyone. music is much more difficult.

    try reading an article more critically rather than just taking out what you think will help your cause ok?
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The information was accurate and I'm not big on causes. Read some of my older posts if you want to see where I come from. Oh, BTW, if you'd bothered to get the issue you'd realize it was a letter not an article.

    Being able to say one can discern a difference and establishing it are two different things. Even such widely disparate things like say a Pass amplifier and an old Yamaha integrated amp will pose large difficulties for users in being able to tell one apart from the other under controlled conditions.
     
  15. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Admin Note: Even though you guys are being polite, it's obvious you are challenging each other and you have taken the thread way off-topic. Please stop. You guys are better than that.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You're right Bob...how's about a couple of pitchers of microbrew [​IMG]
     
  17. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    awwww.

    i was just beginning to get into it! ive gotten to the point of respecting the other's opinion and there are some good topics to be discussed.

    chu, as soon as my email comes back, you may have mail. i was to hash this out, because i honestly believe i can hear the difference in cables, and i have extensive psych "traning". many think otherwise, i want to prove myself wrong, or learn someone else [​IMG]
     
  18. NickScott

    NickScott Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I had a basic question. And now its changed into "garage door" subject.
    For those you have helped, thanks. My DVD player now runs everyday when I go to work. [​IMG]

    Thanks,

    Scott.
     
  19. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    If you are thinking of upgrading your cables, try this first.

    Unplug and replug each end of each existing cable twice. This cleans the contacts which might have oxidized slightly over the several years the old cables were sitting in place.

    You might notice an improvement, and you haven't spent any money.

    So called "directional" cables have the shield, or ground, conductor connected to the plug at one end only. I forget which end. I forget which way you are supposed to connect it. Nondirectional cables have the shield connected to both plugs.

    Cables, regardless of what materials they are made up of, do not need breaking in.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    IMHO oxygen free speaker wires are that way so the copper wire inside does not oxidize and turn ugly green as seen through the transparent plastic covering.
     

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