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Seriously ... WTF

 
Old 01-24-2012, 03:04 PM
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ltc
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Default Seriously ... WTF

Burning in cables, including AC cables?

http://www.haglabs.com/frydaddy.html
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:15 PM
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Gotta get that crystalline structure oriented properly so those electrons can flow more freely.

Seriously, P.T. Barnum must have designed this. WTF, indeed.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:35 PM
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Welcome to to world of HiFi. Have you seen the little pebbles you place on cables yet, or "Magic Clocks?" Look up 'Machina Dynamica' if you want some good laughs.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:51 AM
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I guess you either use the burn in device for a week or wait 6 months for your cables to "break in"....I suppose its just a question of how long the retailer's return policy is......
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:25 AM
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You NEED that gadget to burn in those super duper cables which cost $10,000 a pair. Gawd, I was in the wrong business ....
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:48 AM
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OK, there is a extremely small possibility that I would entertain an argument for cable conditioning for low level signals (triboelectric effect, etc ...) as I can understand the basic physics involved. Granted, it is more mechanical than electrical, but I digress.

But AC mains cables?
Connected to standard house wiring/breaker panel/AC grid?

I should probably go back to trying to understand shielded fiber optic cables and why I really need one
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:50 AM
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I've read some of the principal's patents; he appears to be a very good circuit jockey, so he is anything but a quack.

http://www.hagtech.com/

I even printed out his patent on dynamic gamma correction in image projectors ... needed something to read last night.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:52 PM
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People believe in the Easter Bunny. Why would burning in cables of any kind seem so weird?
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ltc View Post
I've read some of the principal's patents; he appears to be a very good circuit jockey, so he is anything but a quack.

http://www.hagtech.com/

I even printed out his patent on dynamic gamma correction in image projectors ... needed something to read last night.
I put together his Bugle phonostage (battery power version) and sent it to my brother for his bday a few years ago.

I gotta say it was pretty damn good. And cheap.

His stuff gets good reviews.

Look at the link to Hagerman Industries on the original links homepage.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by LT Texan View Post
I put together his Bugle phonostage (battery power version) and sent it to my brother for his bday a few years ago.

I gotta say it was pretty damn good. And cheap.

His stuff gets good reviews.

Look at the link to Hagerman Industries on the original links homepage.
Again, a good circuit designer...a guy I would enjoy sitting down and talking analog with.

With regards to reviews and reviewers, are these the same people who use warm and fuzzy words when describing speaker cables and AC cables?

Give me an Audio Precision and a scope...I don't need a smoking jacket and a glass of brandy to determine electronics design.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ltc View Post
Again, a good circuit designer...a guy I would enjoy sitting down and talking analog with.

With regards to reviews and reviewers, are these the same people who use warm and fuzzy words when describing speaker cables and AC cables?

Give me an Audio Precision and a scope...I don't need a smoking jacket and a glass of brandy to determine electronics design.
Probably. It's what drives lots of the industry. You can't really open a magazine or walk into a HiFi shop without being exposed to it.

As for interconnects and speaker cable, I'm on board that different designs sound different.

I hear differences in caps as they settle in when I swap things in and out.

Cable burn in? Maybe?

Power cables? I don't get it. It's on the other side of all that power supply filtering.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:38 AM
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A lot of this is carried way too far and most of it is BS. However, speaker cables, interconnects and the like can take a long time to burn in depending on what materials are used. Teflon, silver and pure copper can take time before the true benefits of the money spent can be appreciated.

Audiquest cables use a built in battery to do this and even with that I had a pair that took over a hundred hours of playing before they settled in. You can hear the changes over time. Almost all high end equipment requires some break in period.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
A lot of this is carried way too far and most of it is BS. However, speaker cables, interconnects and the like can take a long time to burn in depending on what materials are used. Teflon, silver and pure copper can take time before the true benefits of the money spent can be appreciated.

Audiquest cables use a built in battery to do this and even with that I had a pair that took over a hundred hours of playing before they settled in. You can hear the changes over time. Almost all high end equipment requires some break in period.
Could you please possibly point me to an article explaining the physics behind this?
I am sure that one of the companies that markets these products must have an explanation.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ltc View Post
Could you please possibly point me to an article explaining the physics behind this?
I am sure that one of the companies that markets these products must have an explanation.
I can't explain this stuff but I have lived through it enough times,

This is what George Cardas has to say about it. Hope it helps

by George Cardas

There are many factors that make cable break-in necessary and many reasons why the results vary. If you measure a new cable with a voltmeter you will see a standing voltage because good dielectrics make poor conductors. They hold a charge much like a rubbed catĺs fur on a dry day. It takes a while for this charge to equalize in the cable. Better cables often take longer to break-in. The best "air dielectric" techniques, such as Teflon tube construction, have large non-conductive surfaces to hold charge, much like the cat on a dry day.

Cables that do not have time to settle, such as musical instrument and microphone cables, often use conductive dielectrics like rubber or carbonized cotton to get around the problem. This dramatically reduces microphonics and settling time, but the other dielectric characteristics of these insulators are poor and they do not qualify sonically for high-end cables. Developing non-destructive techniques for reducing and equalizing the charge in excellent dielectric is a challenge in high end cables.

The high input impedance necessary in audio equipment makes uneven dielectric charge a factor. One reason settling time takes so long is we are linking the charge with mechanical stress/strain relationships. The physical make up of a cable is changed slightly by the charge and visa versa. It is like electrically charging the cat. The physical make up of the cat is changed by the charge. It is "frizzed" and the charge makes it's hair stand on end. "Teflon Cats", cables and their dielectric, take longer to loose this charge and reach physical homeostasis.

The better the dielectric's insulation, the longer it takes to settle. A charge can come from simply moving the cable (Piezoelectric effect and simple friction), high voltage testing during manufacture, etc. Cable that has a standing charge is measurably more microphonic and an uneven distribution of the charge causes something akin to structural return loss in a rising impedance system. When I took steps to eliminate these problems, break-in time was reduced and the cable sounded generally better. I know Bill Low at Audioquest has also taken steps to minimize this problem.

Mechanical stress is the root of a lot of the break-in phenomenon and it is not just a factor with cables. As a rule, companies set up audition rooms at high end audio shows a couple of days ahead of time to let them break in. The first day the sound is usually bad and it is very stressful. The last day sounds great. Mechanical stress in speaker cables, speaker cabinets, even the walls of the room, must be relaxed in order for the system to sound its best. This is the same phenomenon we experience in musical instruments. They sound much better after they have been played. Many musicians leave their instruments in front of a stereo that is playing to get them to warm up. This is very effective with a new guitar. Pianos are a stress and strain nightmare. Any change, even in temperature or humidity, will degrade their sound. A precisely tuned stereo system is similar.

You never really get all the way there, you sort of keep halving the distance to zero. Some charge is always retained. It is generally in the MV range in a well settled cable. Triboelectric noise in a cable is a function of stress and retained charge, which a good cable will release with both time and use. How much time and use is dependent on the design of the cable, materials used, treatment of the conductors during manufacture, etc.

There are many small tricks and ways of dealing with the problem. Years ago, I began using Teflon tube "air dielectric" construction and the charge on the surface of the tubes became a real issue. I developed a fluid that adds a very slight conductivity to the surface of the dielectric. Treated cables actually have a better measured dissipation factor and the sound of the cables improved substantially. It had been observed in mid eighties that many cables could be improved by wiping them with a anti-static cloth. Getting something to stick to Teflon was the real challenge. We now use an anti-static fluid in all our cables and anti-static additives in the final jacketing material. This attention to charge has reduced break-in time and in general made the cable sound substantially better. This is due to the reduction of overall charge in the cable and the equalization of the distributed charge on the surface of conductor jacket.

It seems there are many infinitesimal factors that add up. Overtime you find one leads down a path to another. In short, if a dielectric surface in a cable has a high or uneven charge which dissipates with time or use, triboelectric and other noise in the cable will also reduce with time and use. This is the essence of break-in

A note of caution. Moving a cable will, to some degree, traumatize it. The amount of disturbance is relative to the materials used, the cable's design and the amount of disturbance. Keeping a very low level signal in the cable at all times helps. At a show, where time is short, you never turn the system off. I also believe the use of degaussing sweeps, such as on the Cardas Frequency Sweep and Burn-In Record (side 1, cut 2a) helps.

A small amount of energy is retained in the stored mechanical stress of the cable. As the cable relaxes, a certain amount of the charge is released, like in an electroscope. This is the electromechanical connection.

Many factors relating to a cable's break-in are found in the sonic character or signature of a cable. If we look closely at dielectrics we find a similar situation. The dielectric actually changes slightly as it charges and its dissipation factor is linked to its hardness. In part these changes are evidenced in the standing charge of the cable. A new cable, out of the bag, will have a standing charge when uncoiled. It can have as much as several hundred millivolts. If the cable is left at rest it will soon drop to under one hundred, but it will takes days of use in the system to fall to the teens and it never quite reaches zero. These standing charges appear particularly significant in low level interconnects to preamps with high impedance inputs.

The interaction of mechanical and electrical stress/strain variables in a cable are integral with the break-in, as well as the resonance of the cable. Many of the variables are lumped into a general category called triboelectric noise. Noise is generated in a cable as a function of the variations between the components of the cable. If a cable is flexed, moved, charged, or changed in any way, it will be a while before it is relaxed again. The symmetry of the cable's construction is a big factor here. Very careful design and execution by the manufacturer helps a lot. Very straight forward designs can be greatly improved with the careful choice of materials and symmetrical construction. Audioquest has built a large and successful high-end cable company around these principals.

The basic rules for the interaction of mechanical and electrical stress/strain variables holds true, regardless of scale or medium. Cables, cats, pianos and rooms all need to relax in order to be at their best. Constant attention to physical and environmental conditions, frequent use and the degaussing of a system help it achieve and maintain a relaxed state.

A note on breaking in box speakers, a process which seems to take forever. When I want to speed up the break-in process, I place the speakers face to face, with one speaker wired out of phase and play a surf CD through them. After about a week, I place them in their normal listening position and continue the process for three more days. After that, I play a degaussing sweep a few times. Then it is just a matter of playing music and giving them time.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:19 PM
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"Cables, cats, pianos and rooms all need to relax in order to be at their best. Constant attention to physical and environmental conditions, frequent use and the degaussing of a system help it achieve and maintain a relaxed state."

"The first day the sound is usually bad and it is very stressful. The last day sounds great. Mechanical stress in speaker cables, speaker cabinets, even the walls of the room, must be relaxed in order for the system to sound its best"

Seriously, at least invoke the name of a dead guy, like Coulomb, Farraday, Maxwell, Kirchoff, Ohm ... maybe even use a number or two.

Delusional self hypnosis, delusions of technical grandure...no other explanation comes to mind.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, unless you are marketing to people with even less ... PT Barnum would be proud.
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