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  1. #1

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    Default Cable Break-in/adjustment period

    While doing a little research on cables and directionally I ran across this on the Audioquest web site. May help some understand cables.

    Important Cable Facts Running-In: As with all audio components, audio cables require an adjustment
    period. This is often mistakenly referred to as “break-in”. However, break-in is properly used to
    describe a mechanical change-engines break-in, loudspeaker and phono cartridge suspensions breakin.
    A cable’s performance takes time to optimize because of the way a dielectric behaves (the way the
    insulating material absorbs and releases energy), changes in the presence of a charge. Cables will
    continue to improve in sound or picture quality over a period of several weeks. This is the same reason
    amplifiers, preamplifiers and CD players also require an adjustment period. The key difference between
    “adjusting” and “breaking-in” is that things don’t “un-break-in”, however, electrical components do “unadjust”.
    Several weeks of disuse will return a cable to nearly its original state.
    The run-in time is essentially the same for all cables. However, the apparent need for run-in varies
    wildly. As with amplifiers and other components, the better the cable, the less distortion it has, and
    therefore the less there is to cover up the obnoxious distortion caused by being new. Since human perception
    is more aware of the existence of a distortion than the quantity, the better the cable, the worse
    in some ways it will sound when new, because the anemic forced two-dimensional effect reulting from
    being new will not be ameliorated by other gentler distortions. Please be patient when first listening to
    any superior product.

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    I think this is true. I hadn't had my rig up for a month or two and when I first powered it back up it sounded overly warm and muffled but after about a week it started to sound like its old self.

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    I think it's bull. If this were true and cables needed to "adjust" then there would be a measureable difference in sound/picture quality. I've never seen any papers or research showing this effect. If there were, then the company who wrote that bit would surely include it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I think it's bull. If this were true and cables needed to "adjust" then there would be a measureable difference in sound/picture quality. I've never seen any papers or research showing this effect. If there were, then the company who wrote that bit would surely include it.
    Earl and the baby KNOW otherwise........nice try.............. now reel em up and try another body of water....theres lots of em around........
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I think it's bull. If this were true and cables needed to "adjust" then there would be a measureable difference in sound/picture quality. I've never seen any papers or research showing this effect. If there were, then the company who wrote that bit would surely include it.
    . . . and of course we are to believe that you've read every bit of research on the subject of burnin. My ears tell me different.

    PS: you obviously haven't read anything put out by the cable manufacturer MIT.
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 07-13-2009 at 03:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I think it's bull. If this were true and cables needed to "adjust" then there would be a measureable difference in sound/picture quality. I've never seen any papers or research showing this effect. If there were, then the company who wrote that bit would surely include it.

    For your own knowledge you should do some research on the subject, learn and report back the facts. That is if you plan to be a contributing member here. I posted this information from Audioquest for some of the members here to better understand what really happens with cables and how to get the best performance from them.
    [U]Lets not start another cable debate!![/U]

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    There's a debate about cables? In my experience, you absolutely need cables for your system to sound good. I've never heard a rig sans cables that ever sounded realistic. :D:D

    Good info in the initial post. I've heard the difference between virgin cables and burned-in cables over the years. I still remain skeptical as to why that phenomenon occurs (just because I hear a difference doesn't mean I am willing to attribute it to a specific cause), but I have experienced it first hand. Now whether that difference is due to the cables themselves, the shielding, my ears, a placebo affect, etc. I don't really know. But the info you posted certainly helps me better evaluate the equation.
    [ My Rigs ] Balanced Audio Technology | Revel | Dodd | Monarchy | PS Audio | MIT | Polk | Etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    I think this is true. I hadn't had my rig up for a month or two and when I first powered it back up it sounded overly warm and muffled but after about a week it started to sound like its old self.
    HI - that was your ears adjusting :p Cables don't make a difference :o
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkg999 View Post
    HI - that was your ears adjusting :p Cables don't make a difference :o
    LOL!! . . . I also used some Q-tiips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I think it's bull. If this were true and cables needed to "adjust" then there would be a measureable difference in sound/picture quality. I've never seen any papers or research showing this effect. If there were, then the company who wrote that bit would surely include it.
    Hey Cpyder.

    This is an 'interesting' way of bursting on to the Polk scene. Now I can't answer this question, myself...but I am willing to 'listen'! Perhaps that's a better way to say 'welcome to Club Polk'.

    cnh

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    Default Play with it often

    Quote Originally Posted by NJPOLKER View Post
    The key difference between
    “adjusting” and “breaking-in” is that things don’t “un-break-in”, however, electrical components do “unadjust”.
    Several weeks of disuse will return a cable to nearly its original state.
    I have experienced this first hand. After returning from my honeymoon, my 2 channel system sounded very muffled comparatively speaking to before we left. Last night it definitely sounded better then it had the past couple of weeks.

    What does this mean?

    Play your rig loud, (not too loud) and play it often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Hey Cpyder.

    This is an 'interesting' way of bursting on to the Polk scene. Now I can't answer this question, myself...but I am willing to 'listen'! Perhaps that's a better way to say 'welcome to Club Polk'.

    cnh
    The deal is, these guys see other people on some of the other sites saying that crap and they think it sounds cool, or makes them sound more intelligent than everyone else, so they start repeating it. I don't know how many times I've read that exact same quote. The least they can do is to say something original, or at least put it in their own words
    Last edited by dragon1952; 07-13-2009 at 05:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon1952 View Post
    The deal is, these guys see other people on some of the other sites saying that crap and they think it sounds cool, or makes them sound more intelligent than everyone else, so they start repeating it. I don't know how many times I've read that exact same quote. The least they can do is to say something original, or at least put it in their own words
    I don't visit many sites and the other couple I don't visit often. It makes sense that the guys around here know a lot more than all the other sites combined. I trust the guys here and trust my ears more and I gotta say I can here difference's in cable's/wires. As for the adjustment/burn-in for components, no doubt whats so ever.

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    Default

    I see we have more ccwards abusing the tags feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    I think this is true. I hadn't had my rig up for a month or two and when I first powered it back up it sounded overly warm and muffled but after about a week it started to sound like its old self.
    Clean your friggin ears out!!!:D:D
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    I see we have more ccwards abusing the tags feature.
    I know we will find out who the coward is who is doing it.
    Can any of you guys imagine what kind of a total coward you must be to do something like that? I mean a true to life, picture in the dictionary coward. If you have something to say come "out" and say it but this anal dripping has no respect for it's self so when "it" is found out we'll have one less around which is a good thing.

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    Wow, not quite sure why everyone just attacked me. My point was that until someone can bring some evidence to the table (not presented solely by a company who makes their money selling multi-thousand dollars cables) to suggest otherwise, I'm in disbelief. I'm also quite startled that so many of you are jumping on the wagon to believe a simple sales pitch, lacking any double-blind testing. (Or testing in general) Don't get me wrong, I'm not ruling out the possibility that there is some effect of "unadjusting", but in all reality it's probably similar to stating that my gravitational field is affecting everyone in this forum as they read this. The question is - is it measurable and not negligible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    My point was that until someone can bring some evidence to the table (not presented solely by a company who makes their money selling multi-thousand dollars cables) to suggest otherwise, I'm in disbelief.
    So what? You're in disbelief. Why should we care? Really, why should we care?

    Why would you inject yourself into a discussion of a topic you are highly skeptical of? I do not believe that life, intelligent or otherwise, exists on Mars. However, I would not inject myself into a discussion held by a group of believers in Martian life forms. I certainly wouldn't inject myself by starting off with "I think this is bull". What purpose would it serve? Do you think it makes you look smart, or at least smarter than the discussion participants?

    I am not "attacking" you. I just want to know why you would want to participate in a discussion that you think is "bull".


    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I'm also quite startled that so many of you are jumping on the wagon to believe a simple sales pitch, lacking any double-blind testing.
    I'm just speculating, but perhaps after trying the product they liked what they heard? You think that could have something to do with it?
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 07-14-2009 at 12:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    So what? You're in disbelief. Why should we care? Really, why should we care?

    Why would you inject yourself into a discussion of a topic you are highly skeptical of? I do not believe that life, intelligent or otherwise, exists on Mars. However, I would not inject myself into a discussion held by a group of believers in Martian life forms. I certainly wouldn't inject myself by starting off with "I think this is bull". What purpose would it serve? Do you think it makes you look smart, or at least smarter than the discussion participants?

    I am not "attacking" you. I just want to know why you would want to participate in a discussion that you think is "bull".
    I'm sorry. I guess I was under the impression that a forum was a place to discuss topics and invite open discussion. If I'm mistaken, please correct me. If I told you that my Ipod outputs a digital signal I would thank you for calling me out on it and correcting my misconception. I'd rather be educated than ignorant.

    Oh, and I'm still waiting on some science to back up Audioquest's claim. In the meantime, here's some interesting reading on the topic.

    "Audio Cable "Break In" Science or Psychological?"
    http://www.audioholics.com/education...-psychological

    "Break In" is not a proven audible or measurable phenomenon. The perception of changes in sound quality with time is likely attributable to the classical placebo effect, i.e., a listener anticipating a possible audible difference is predisposed to hear one whether or not it exists."

    And a little more on overly-expensive cables,

    "Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil"
    http://www.audioholics.com/education...-you-snake-oil

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    Ohhhhhhhh. I see. You're here to educate us with selected readings from Audioholics.com.

    I'll be back in a minute or two. I need to go and upgrade your status.

    EDIT:

    I'm back from the pause that refreshes. Reference attached pic below. Good night.
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    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 07-14-2009 at 01:04 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    I'm sorry. I guess I was under the impression that a forum was a place to discuss topics and invite open discussion. If I'm mistaken, please correct me. If I told you that my Ipod outputs a digital signal I would thank you for calling me out on it and correcting my misconception. I'd rather be educated than ignorant.
    My iPod Classic, used with the Wadia iTransport docking station, outputs a digital signal that is fed into my new Bryston DAC. Works great.

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    For your viewing pleasure.....

    Now back to the question of the blinded testing. Here is what the now publisher (Robert Harley) of one of the major magazines wrote a few years ago....


    Quote:
    Blind tests nearly universally appear to indicate that no differences exist between electronics, cables, capacitors, etc. In fact, one infamous test "revealed" that no sonic differences exist between power amplifiers. Mark Levinson, NYAL Futterman OTL tube monoblock, NAD, Hafler, and Counterpoint power amplifiers were all judged to be sonically identical to each other and to a $219 Japanese receiver (footnote 7). This very test, wielded by the objectivists as proof that all amplifiers sound alike, in fact calls into question the entire blind methodology because of the conclusion's absurdity. Who really believes that a pair of Futterman OTL tube amplifiers, a Mark Levinson, and a Japanese receiver are sonically identical? Rather than bolster the objectivist's case, the "all amplifiers sound the same" conclusion of this blind test in fact discredits the very methodology on which hangs the objectivist's entire belief structure.

    If differences do exist between components, why don't blind tests conclusively establish the audibility of these differences? I believe that blind listening tests, rather than moving us toward the truth, actually lead us away from reality.

    First, the preponderance of blind tests have been conducted by "objectivists" who arrange the tests in such a way that audible differences are more difficult to detect. Rapid switching between components, for example, will always make differences harder to hear. A component's subtleties are not revealed in a few seconds or minutes, but slowly over the course of days or weeks. When reviewing a product, I find that I don't really get to know it until after several weeks of daily listening. Toward the end of the review process, I am still learning aspects of the product's character. Furthermore, the stress of the situation—usually an unfamiliar environment (both music and playback system), adversarial relationship between tester and listener, and the prospect of being ridiculed—imposes an artificiality on the process that reduces one's sensitivity to musical nuances.

    Going beyond the nuts and bolts of blind listening tests, I believe they are fundamentally flawed in that they seek to turn an emotional experience—listening to music—into an intellectual exercise. It is well documented that musical perception takes place in the right half of the brain and analytical reasoning in the left half. This process can be observed through PET (Positron-Emission Tomography) scans in which subjects listening to music exhibit increased right-brain metabolism. Those with musical training show activity in both halves of the brain, fluctuating constantly as the music is simultaneously experienced and analyzed. Forcing the brain into an unnatural condition (one that doesn't occur during normal music listening) during blind testing violates a sacrosanct law of science: change only one variable at a time. By introducing another variable—the way the brain processes music—blind listening tests are rendered worthless.




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    More reading/education for you, Cpyder.

    http://www.stereophile.com/features/113/
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Big Shocker this thread turned out to be.

    You can read a thread title and know right off the bat the flame potential it has. This thread was a lock.
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

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    More cowardly tags.

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    NJ POLKER

    I am a material scientist for 40 years and I'm not commenting on what you hear.

    The "Cable facts" you quote are not cable facts or science in any way shape or form.

    "The dielectic changes of a charge" This is not true. A dielectis is a non conducting material or insulator. What property are you suggesting changes with charge. How does this change the dielectic material? What are the units of this change? We are talking very low voltages and low frequincies here.

    I have no idea what "anemic forced two demensional effect" is but I think you or some one else is pulling your leg.

    This pure and simple BS science.

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    Probably the reason you thought you were attached was your opening line. "I think it's bull."

    Personally I could care less what my system sounds like to others. If you do not believe that cables or a quality CPD or tubes (just examples) make any difference, then so be it. They are my ears and my money. If I truly believe that the sound is enhanced by the addition of "whatever", then so be it. Until the day comes that someone else manages my income, I will spend it as I see fit. I work hard and big and spend hard and big. Enjoy.

    PS - Thanks to all for showing me that there is a difference in quality.
    Michael ;)
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    Audioholics only promotes what they sell.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa View Post
    NJ POLKER

    I am a material scientist for 40 years and I'm not commenting on what you hear.

    The "Cable facts" you quote are not cable facts or science in any way shape or form.

    "The dielectic changes of a charge" This is not true. A dielectis is a non conducting material or insulator. What property are you suggesting changes with charge. How does this change the dielectic material? What are the units of this change? We are talking very low voltages and low frequincies here.

    I have no idea what "anemic forced two demensional effect" is but I think you or some one else is pulling your leg.

    This pure and simple BS science.
    I've got the material scientists on my side. :)

    And, I'm not saying nice cables are worthless, just that most of the "science" behind the multi-thousand dollar cables are.

    Bluefox - How do you like the transport? Thought about getting one myself.

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    The reason I started this thread was when I read this information on Audioquest's web site I knew some will find it educational, I did. The information on the "disuse" of cable for a few weeks they convert back to almost original condition. I can't imagine that happening too often but it goes to show what Hearingimpared heard after he had his rig down for a couple months. Then again maybe he just needs more Q-Tips.

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