How long do cables take to break-in?

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#61

rbbert

Active Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,423
0
36
Reno, NV
#62
Dave, I've read Mr. McQueen's post and I think you are now coming across almost paranoid ? I doubt you mean to do that but it just seems that way at first glance.
Huh?? DaveC is directly accused of selling overpriced cables; how is reacting to that paranoid? It sounds like a pretty reasonable response to me. If Mr. McQueen's post had not named anyone specifically, then maybe paranoid, but that isn't the case here.
 
Sep 18, 2017
1
0
1
#63
It's not persecution when someone points out a clear conflict of interest, Dave. SM was polite, after all. Wishing him banned is just being petty.

Your claim of being able to hear the difference between burnt-in and fresh wire is testable. Your measurement graphs are not compelling for a host of obvious reasons, but in broad terms, they lack validity. What is needed is but one single piece of valid evidence, and then, maybe your claims of audible differences between old and new cables will be given more credence.

It's football season, so how about a football/science analogy? A single completed pass is worth a thousand arm chair quarterbacks.

To the OP and others who are concerned about the topic of wire burn in, I promise you, there are better things to worry about. In a forum named for what's best, enjoying music is better than being OCD about wire burn in. Be your best self, go listen to some music.
 
Last edited:
Sep 18, 2017
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#64
The key to your questions is in this line. Yes, the physical difference is minute - measurements confirm it. However in the appropriate system the perceived difference can be enormous - it is related to the mechanisms of rebuilding an illusion that should be enjoyable in the technical limitations of stereo sound reproduction. We are now dealing with psycho-acoustics, not just with engineering.

It is curious that the engineers were very efficient finding and even exaggerating the drawbacks and limitations of stereo when they were promoting multi-channel, but they quickly forgot about it ...
OK. If that's what you wish, I'll leave. I'm really not a troll.

First I read the post by microstrip. He was decent and polite and I went away to answer him. When I came back I saw there IS some tempest on the horizon. DaveC, you're overplaying it. Saying your products cost more than they should is not accusing. "In on it" is your construct. What I said was; it is impossible to sell something and say there's no need, use or advantage to it. So it is impossible for you to tell the people; "there's no need for my products". See what I'm getting at.

This is my answer to microstrip that I wrote earlier and I'm off after this.

OK, I think I understand what you're saying. Since I clearly stated "where I come from" as they say, disagreement was to be expected, so here's my next comment:

FOA I'd like to remind everyone that I don't think there is a difference at all and where I come from, proper measurements would confirm no difference. I was adopting your position to try and work with it.

You are introducing vague categories in your comment, like for example, appropriate system. Again, much like with the time needed to break-in cables, WHAT is the appropriate system, in the end, gets to be decided by you. This can't be acceptable. In the DB tests I was mentioning, invitees knew what system was about to be used. They agreed upon it.

Furthermore, I read the entire thread, advice weren't directed to "those with appropriate systems". Advice were directed to all. No one even asked about the system.

Then there's this "perceived difference". Another vague category. The adjective perceived is often used to mean "not really there". And all this "not really there" is exactly what's bothering me. For example "perceived value" is, much like the beauty, in the eye of you know who. It is not actual value you can ascribe to a certain feature or level of performance, but it's people thinking it should cost more, so you get to charge it more. Maybe you wanted to say it's small but it means a lot, but, then again, why doesn't it mean a lot in properly conducted DB tests.

Then you say "mechanisms of rebuilding an illusion". How to be polite about this... I'll say that cables have no illusion rebuilding mechanism. I have to stop here. I was sincere when I said I don't want to provoke anyone. Then, all of a sudden, you introduce stereo. But why? If there's break-in, surround should also profit from it.

Now, psychoacoustics don't cover for cable break-in. Unless you're considering marketing placebo to be a part of psychoacoustics. This is a somewhat new term in the audio community and it is expected to be tossed around a lot in the beginning. But I know about psychoacoustics. They are not at all that psycho. For example, psychoacoustics came to realize that the fact that you can communicate with someone in a loud night club is because your brain will ignore what is not of any value. Putting a signal through a cable for 200 hours doesn't affect this.

You tell me to trust my ears. I don't hear it. Then you say it is my system being inappropriate, but I assure you, it's not. Then it's "mechanics behind the illusion" and all those unknown psychoacoustics... These, and many more, are the reasons your team sounds unconvincing to my team.
 
May 30, 2010
14,139
83
48
Portugal
#65

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,751
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#66
It has been my experience that in general people who cannot hear cable differences simply have one thing in common...a system that is NOT resolving enough to hear the differences. Plain and simple.
One may state that any system should be resolving enough to hear cable differences if said differences are large enough. Unfortunately, that is not the case, IME. Many mid-fi systems cannot delineate
the difference between the sound of turntables/ cartridges/ arms...never mind other variables.
Remember folks, we are talking of high-end here and IMO all owners of this gear have 'tuned' their systems to try and maximize SQ. ( well most anyway, LOL). The naysayers regarding cable differences aren't really interested in tuning their systems...
which IF everything sounds just great to their ears is perfectly ok. But please do not assume that all listeners are as minimally discriminatory as you are. All IMHO.
 
Dec 17, 2015
77
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south of France
#68
It has been my experience that in general people who cannot hear cable differences simply have one thing in common...a system that is NOT resolving enough to hear the differences. Plain and simple.
One may state that any system should be resolving enough to hear cable differences if said differences are large enough. Unfortunately, that is not the case, IME. Many mid-fi systems cannot delineate
the difference between the sound of turntables/ cartridges/ arms...never mind other variables.
Remember folks, we are talking of high-end here and IMO all owners of this gear have 'tuned' their systems to try and maximize SQ. ( well most anyway, LOL). The naysayers regarding cable differences aren't really interested in tuning their systems...
which IF everything sounds just great to their ears is perfectly ok. But please do not assume that all listeners are as minimally discriminatory as you are. All IMHO.

+ 1
 

plissken

New Member
Feb 24, 2017
28
0
0
#69
I have 4 RCA cables unused still new in bag. I can burn some in, some left virgin. I'll post a password protected zip file with what cable is burned/virgin prior to shipping out. Just post the results back here and I'll post the password to the zip file.

Just go ears only and you self administer.

Let me know.
 
Last edited:
Dec 17, 2015
77
0
6
south of France
#70
Since I use Mit cable it is easy To Hear if they are burned in. The stereo layering changes a lot . It is very strange, at the beginning the stereo layering show a singer at one place that you are not used to. After burning in the singer is at the right place and stay there.
 
Jun 17, 2010
259
0
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SE Pa
#71
Huh?? DaveC is directly accused of selling overpriced cables; how is reacting to that paranoid? It sounds like a pretty reasonable response to me. If Mr. McQueen's post had not named anyone specifically, then maybe paranoid, but that isn't the case here.
Ok, so you have his cables, that's good. I assume you're happy and that's all that really matters and I'm sure you feel they were not overpriced, again, good for you. But if you think for one minute that the cable industry is in fact not loaded with overpriced 'wire' you're delusional IMO.

Now, back to Steve's request to keep the thread 'on topic', to the Op, yes I tend to agree.
 

rbbert

Active Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,423
0
36
Reno, NV
#72
Ok, so you have his cables, that's good. I assume you're happy and that's all that really matters and I'm sure you feel they were not overpriced, again, good for you. But if you think for one minute that the cable industry is in fact not loaded with overpriced 'wire' you're delusional IMO.

Now, back to Steve's request to keep the thread 'on topic', to the Op, yes I tend to agree.
I could insult you, since my system is listed and doesn't include Dave's cables, but let me just say that my original post is pretty clear and essentially on topic, as it pertains to DaveC's posting style and knowledge on this topic.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,079
0
36
Silicon Valley
#73
Cable break-in is an interesting topic since, at least for me, I have noticed that it depends on the cable. For example, a few years ago I bought MIT shotgun S1.3 XLR interconnects to replace Kimber Kable XLRs in my stereo at that time. I did that around afternoon time, and started playing the stereo. I was still listening to it five or so hours later when all of a sudden the sound stage literally expanded. It was so obvious I sat up and just started laughing from amazement. I couldn't believe it, yet it happened right in front of me. I have never had such a dramatic effect since, but I do have cables that sound better.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,155
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#74
Cable break-in is an interesting topic since, at least for me, I have noticed that it depends on the cable. For example, a few years ago I bought MIT shotgun S1.3 XLR interconnects to replace Kimber Kable XLRs in my stereo at that time. I did that around afternoon time, and started playing the stereo. I was still listening to it five or so hours later when all of a sudden the sound stage literally expanded. It was so obvious I sat up and just started laughing from amazement. I couldn't believe it, yet it happened right in front of me. I have never had such a dramatic effect since, but I do have cables that sound better.
Who threw that switch?...lol..that's what I always say
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
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NY
#75
+1

how can we be certain that what's going on is cable break-in and not ear break-in (i.e., our ears' acclimation to, and increasing comfort with, a slightly different sound)?

Bingo!
 
Feb 8, 2011
18,957
22
38
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#76
From Michael Fremer's video in another thread, he has no doubt about the sound differences in cables, power AC chords, interconnects, speaker hoses, etc. But I don't recall him mentioning break-in.
Did Stereophile publish some measurements before and after in some of their scientific audio articles?

The Absolute Sound are not into graphs and measurements of such important things, right.

* Some films, to my own set of eyes, look sharper after repeated viewings; am I imaginating moving images in my mind, can it be measured? :b

No matter what, we take life on the brighter side of the shadows. It is a humorous figure of speech.
 

plissken

New Member
Feb 24, 2017
28
0
0
#77
I'm always befuddled: I've never had the picture quality of my TV or Projector improve as the VGA, DVI, Display Port, HDMI cable burned in over time.
 
Sep 18, 2017
3
0
0
#78
+1

How can we be certain that what's going on is cable break-in and not ear break-in (i.e., our ears' acclimation to, and increasing comfort with, a slightly different sound)?
From Michael Fremer's video in another thread, he has no doubt about the sound differences in cables, power AC chords, interconnects, speaker hoses, etc. But I don't recall him mentioning break-in.
Did Stereophile publish some measurements before and after in some of their scientific audio articles?

The Absolute Sound are not into graphs and measurements of such important things, right.

* Some films, to my own set of eyes, look sharper after repeated viewings; am I imaginating moving images in my mind, can it be measured? :b

No matter what, we take life on the brighter side of the shadows. It is a humorous figure of speech.
I'm always befuddled: I've never had the picture quality of my TV or Projector improve as the VGA, DVI, Display Port, HDMI cable burned in over time.
I couldn't resist. I'm sorry. I promise this is my last barge in. Although, I must say I don't understand why even your founder and moderator would deem my posts as trolling and when others disagree it's not trolling.

I see you do have members that don't buy into this burn-in voodoo. That makes me glad, you're still not lost to the cause. OTOH it renders my post useless, because I did ACTUALLY came here just to share a different point of view. I thought; It's not fair to laugh at them before they hear what I have to say.

I really wasn't trolling. Even when it's not me, I hate seeing plain con goes unpunished in our world. And I often yell CON! At least once. To my great disappointment (my lifelong disappointment), I often come across people who don't mind being conned as long as you flatter them. Like when a prostitute says you really have a huge rod. And believe me (and it doesn't go away if you don't) it is the same working behind expensive cables or ANY such BS.

We all hear differences, don't flatter yourself like @DaveyF was quick to do. But some of us choose to chase the origin of the difference rather than just throw piles of money to some well dressed and upscale white van con artists.

When you hear the difference, the market is quick to step in and seduce you with: "of course you do, of course you hear the difference, because you're not plain like others and you have special ears, your hearing is much too delicate for some plain copper, your aesthetic taste is much too developed and this is what we understand and this is why our mission is to cater to your delicate soul... yadda, yadda, yadda.

So, you see, nourishing your ego the same way the aforementioned prostitute does. You have a big rod or golden ears (believe me, you don't, you're just gullible).

As I write this the price of pound of copper is 2.5$. Since Monoprice speaker cable wire goes for 17.99$/50ft. and they still turn a profit, and the cable does everything that your cable does, you're obviously being robbed.

Let's say you dress up the cable real pretty and terminate it, now we can make an excuse for you up to 50$ a pair of 6ft. long speaker cables (which don't have nowhere near a pound of copper), this still means that in the price of 8868,00$, the large portion of 8818,00$ is what we in my parts of the world call "stupidity tax", something you pay simply because you don't know better. The fact that you (and cable vendors) ascribe something to these cables doesn't make it so.

Now imagine that!! 8818,00$ more expensive and not a single nuance better. Enjoy your cables.

WHENEVER the market says you're extra special it's out for your money.

P.S.: Fremer is wrong.
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,051
35
48
Marina del Rey, CA
#80
since I posted this thread - my experience is that perhaps the new cable is a bit more open up top after 100 hours. I don't think there is a night and day difference like Bluefox experienced (and to be honest, i find very little differences in XLRs).

i am going to do swaps for the third time in a week and then make my decision - i have rediscovered my disdain for cables through this process. The issue is I have 1/2 Zu cables and the other 1/2 WyWires and I want a single loom.
 

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