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  1. #1

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    Default Evidence of cable break-in?

    I know cable "break-in" is a routinely disputed/discussed topic, but something occurred to me that I hadn't realized--or put together--until now.

    Television. Has anyone else ever noticed how it seems that your tv picture seems to improve over time, after first being connected via cable or satellite? I noticed this both with digital cable, and when we upgraded to satellite. The first 3 or 4 days the picture was acceptable, but not what I had hoped. Then over the course of that week it seemed to improve--significantly.

    This got me to thinking, maybe what I am seeing are the video cables breaking-in?

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
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    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  2. #2

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    ...or as many will argue against audio cable break in, it could be all placebo affect. It could also be the new cable box, satellite, or TV "breaking in".

  3. #3

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    Evidence? No. :D

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaara View Post
    ...or as many will argue against audio cable break in, it could be all placebo affect. It could also be the new cable box, satellite, or TV "breaking in".
    That's a good point, maybe the equipment breaking in; maybe a combination of the two? This is definitely not a placebo, not something this noticable that my wife also notices.

    IMO, placebo comes into play when you have a certain expectation, or predicted outcome/preconceived notion. I could see with my knowledge of electronics that playing a part--but my wife, nah. She has zero knowledge with this stuff, so there's no basis for preconceived notion. When a soft lifeless image becomes a focused well colored image, there's little room for placebo effect there.

    Placebo effect to me is limited to the same type of personalities that can't admit when they're wrong--it's just that simple. In others words, people who are subject to "denial" for whatever reason. It's personality driven--not psycho-acoustical, IMO. If I buy cable and I don't like that cable, I don't care what I paid for it or how glowing the reviews are, it's going back to the store.

    Case in point; my recent "shoot-out" with the $29 Signal cable coax vs the muched hyped, much praised $69 DH Labs D-75. The Signal cable won---placebo effect, non-existant. Here we have a "run-of-the-mill" coax that is inexpensive and largely unkown, against the giant-killing, well known--extensively reviewed DH Labs, and the giant-killer lost. Why? Because the SC sounded better.

    Ears: 1, Placebo: 0
    Last edited by steveinaz; 06-05-2008 at 12:02 PM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  5. #5

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    Your eyes are "breaking in".

  6. #6

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    Can't say if this applies to you - but here sometimes quality varies depending upon the time & the show. (I've assumed this has to do with bandwidth and S/N ratio per channel) But like others said... your imagination can get in the way.

  7. #7

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    nah, this was an improvement in picture across the board--not a station to station thing, those differences are well known.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
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  8. #8

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    not so much cable break-in to me, but the noticeable improvement of PQ happens when you connected the TV to any kind of Power Conditioners/regeneration boxes. That, I know of and noticed.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkatese View Post
    not so much cable break-in to me, but the noticeable improvement of PQ happens when you connected the TV to any kind of Power Conditioners/regeneration boxes. That, I know of and noticed.
    +1..

  10. #10

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    Cable break in, yes.

    I found my MIT AVt interconnects thin on bass at first, my S2's had more bass. About 200 hours later, my AVt's now have more bass.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  11. #11
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    I had a very interesting conversation with Cameron (Cambir) a few months ago. He got a pair of my ICs and I asked him to give me feed-back on what he thought. I chose their construction based upon testing with a number of different cables and constructions and created what I thought was the best combination. But, it's always helpful to get the perspective of someone else...
    We talked a few days later and he said he was skeptical of the ICs at first. When he first plugged them in, they were harsh. He said they didn't sound great but decided to leave them on his rig. After a little more listening he said they opened up and were a different animal then what he has first plugged in; they sounded good! The sound of the ICs changed over time, and for the better.

    To me, this is a perfect testimonial to cable break-in.

  12. #12

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    I have experienced cable break-in, BIG time. But I won't post it here because people will make fun of me.
    _________________________________________________
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  13. #13
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    You can tease us like that! It sounds like a good story!

  14. #14
    Stronzo
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    I had a break-in experience with two RCA cables once. I wasn't necessarily looking for it, nevermind from a set of male connectors, but I enjoyed the change just the same.

    No, I don't have an explanation; sometimes, these things just happen.

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    I had a break-in experience ... I wasn't necessarily looking for it, nevermind from a ... male ... but I enjoyed the change just the same.
    Are you sure you are posting to the correct forum? :D:D:D

    Sorry man, I just couldn't stop myself.

    LOL
    The world is full of answers, some are right and some are wrong. - Neil Young

  16. #16
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    Interesting view on cable break-in:

    http://www.audioholics.com/education...-psychological

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    Anything AH has to say, take it with a grain of salt.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  18. #18

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    Anything AH has to say, take it with a grain of salt.
    Absolutely, no point in letting facts change your belief system.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamM2 View Post
    Absolutely, no point in letting facts change your belief system.
    Coming from someone who can't hear the difference between cables. I rest my case.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    I have experienced cable break-in, BIG time. But I won't post it here because people will make fun of me.
    we make fun of you no matter what you post................:D

    I am going with eyes breaking in, the older my eyes get, the better ALL women look...........

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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Coming from someone who can't hear the difference between cables. I rest my case.
    What case?

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1 View Post
    ... I am going with eyes breaking in, ...
    that's what i'm hoping for too. so far my wife's break-in with the oval 9's that i brought home yesterday isn't going well. this morning it was something about '...they look like they belong outside...' or something.

    i'm going to tell her about this eye-break-in theory and see if i can maybe get some good eye-break-in placebo effect going on around here.

    )

  23. #23

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    Well, I see you are back on the warpath. Thank you for letting the other cable threads run there course. ;)
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  24. #24

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    ******END OF DAY TWO: EYE BREAK-IN OBSERVATIONS******

    my wife didn't mention a word about my cables bothering her eyes the rest of the day yesterday, nor did she today. so, maybe there is something to this eye break-in stuff. there was no need to even mention the theory that her eyes might get used to the cables and that they might possibly even look better after her eyes adjusted to having them in the room, so the placebo effect can be safely ruled out.

    it should be noted, however, that a lack of a universal remote seemed to be her greatest concern and frustration with my rig this morning. she even pointed out a few in the saturday ads later this afternoon. though, this might lead to the possibility that mass confusion (even if unrelated) or distraction might aid in the eye break-in effect.

    anyway, for me hearing break-in oddities (even though i understand it is technically off-topic in this thread),.. yes i have. though, if i go in to any more depth than that, i'll have to kill the thread. heh.

    seriously, if the warpath thing was intended for me,.. i've got no bones to pick with ANYONE here, i'm on no warpath, i have no agenda to end every thread that i think i can add something to. i am here because you all give me a lot to think about that i wouldn't even consider if not for you and i may be clumsy, but i mean no harm or disrespect.

    )
    Last edited by scottnbnj; 06-07-2008 at 10:46 PM.

  25. #25

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    It's all good, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I was curious if anyone else noticed their TV picture get better over the first week--and wondered if cable break-in may be a factor.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  26. #26

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    thanks steve. i don't have much of an opinion that's worth anything on that, i'm not into technical electronics stuff and i'm not all that critical of video. i was more just playing along with a turn the thread might have been taking.

    for what you were looking for, i just don't see why anyone would doubt anything electronic and/or mechanical burning in. just from my limited personal experience, if electronics are going to fail, they'll likely fail in the first few months. if there's no burn-in or changes that go on, why would the first few months be a critical time period? why wouldn't they just fail the first time they were powered up? if there are changes, why would anyone doubt they could be seen or heard?

    for cables burning in, this might be apples and oranges, but since it's fresh in my memory and i'm here, i did notice that for the first hour or two with the oval 9's that i heard a phasey kind of thing going on a few times that would near pressurize and suck-out of the room that would last a few seconds. there was also something going on that, to me, sounded like various narrow frequency ranges boosting and sucking out in a couple-several db +/- range intermittently that went on several hours longer. this would also take several seconds or maybe a bit longer to run its course. these two things sound the same as i write them, but they were in some way different in more than just frequency ranges effected. i just lack in the listening skills and vocabulary to explain them. i can't imagine how either would be unmeasurable, they were certainly hearable.

    and yes, i pulled everything out and checked the connections as soon as i started hearing it. all was well and this stuff continued for a while after, then gradually subsided. for placebo advocates, no dice. i've never heard of this and it was far out of the range of anything that could be 'imagined'. it also didn't concern my memory of the old cables (other than they never did it and i would have noticed if they did). it was something changing as i was sitting, listening without me changing a thing in my rig as it was happening.

    to be fair though, i had the kav-300i unplugged for a couple hours during the switch. BUT, i've certainly done that before and never heard anything like what i heard above. so, even if it were the amp, it was something that the other cables did not make obvious enough for me or near anyone to hear. there's also a sub in the mix, so the first example could have been the rig/cables/speakers interacting with the sub differently. though, in the second example, that was in frequency ranges, sometimes, far above where the sub works. but it still leaves the same question as to why the old cables didn't do it and why it gradually ceased over a few listening sessions and doesn't repeat with the same music since?

    so, if those fat-fooks burned in or were even just shaking hands with my rig or something and it was obvious to hear, why couldn't smaller cables do the same thing that is visible on a big-screen with possibly (?, i have no idea about these things) a more delicate signal and path?

    anyway for what little it's worth, i'd obviously be on board with other electronics, including the cable/sat boxes, burning in too. and wouldn't doubt you being able to see some of the changes.

    )


    p.s.

    ******EYE BREAK IN OBSERVATION UPDATE******

    i'm beginning to doubt this eye break in theory. my wife brought up the trouble with her eyes breaking in to the oval 9's again last night. i told her that maybe i could make the columns of my speaker stands a bit beefier and run the cables down a channel in the back and cover most of what she can see of them on the floor with bass traps.

    she was interested in the speaker stand fix when i explained that i had saved and earmarked some really nice ipe for this and that i might be able to finish it in a way that vaguely approaches the cherry on the lsi's and that the front of the columns would be covered with a material to match the front of the speakers, like the cloth of the grille covers or a glossy black laminate.

    i wasn't looking at her, but i sensed a sharp anxiety spike in the room when i went on to mention the bass trap fix until i burst into laughter. i now gather she has some idea of what bass traps are and that they would be met with some resistance or, at best, an eye break in period. only time will tell whether it would be worse than her having to see the oval 9's, cause they aren't leaving for a while.

    i should have never showed her a pic of the lavender ones. i'm starting to think that that might have something to do with this.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    It's all good, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I was curious if anyone else noticed their TV picture get better over the first week--and wondered if cable break-in may be a factor.
    didnt read the whole thread but....

    cable break-in ????? if anything, it might possibly be LCD panel break-in. cables dont "break-in"

  28. #28

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    Evidence of cable break-in?

    Look for little burrs of plastic and rubber near any broken windows. If the cables get violent as part of the home invasion, they'll leave telltale choke lines.

    Joking aside, evidence would be a repeatable test or measurement.

  29. #29

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    If it's not measurable, it's not evidence. Cable break in is a myth and I'd like to meet a true believer in cabling who can also score > 50% on a cable A/B. That's not too much to ask. But hey, hobbies don't have to be practical, only entertaining.
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  30. #30

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    Why don't you try some different cables, it'll open your eyes.

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