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Old 5th Oct 2017, 1:00 pm   #21
turretslug
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Trouble with this sort of thing is that no matter how much we think we are taking the wotsit, there are those who will have actually gone and done it and more.... Some hate the thought that there are fuses and breakers between their kit and the incomer, I hope that folk like that aren't burdening my house insurance. Some consider mains filtering to be akin to satanism, others talk of coils of high-purity copper tube akin to micro-bore pipe in place of meter tails, with huge MOVs! Best not to dig too far, I think- like a lot of news stories, it'll make you wonder about humanity if you pursue it too far for too long.
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 1:12 pm   #22
LeakyGrid
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boater Sam View Post
cryo treated 'tubes'.
This is not dead. The Quad VA-One is available with “audiophile-grade” valves treated by freezing at -300ºF for 48 hours.

Roger
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 1:21 pm   #23
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Oh yes!!!
Sounds very similar to the "do I add 2-stroke oil to the diesel in my diesel car to help with injector lubricity" argument.

Snake oil... The stuff that emanates from the mouths of slippery mouthed salesmen...
Buy one now, and get the next bottle for free...
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 2:32 pm   #24
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I was said that Quad had a sign in their lab saying "Here we believe in ohms law" sad to say even Quad are now pushing "posh" cables.

It is a load of round objects (to quote from Yes Minister, the reply was "Who is Round and why does he object").

And I have noticed all improvements are expensive!
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 2:47 pm   #25
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

this reminds me of the Simsons, Young lady, in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 3:26 pm   #26
David G4EBT
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quite apart from the capabilities of even the most expensive equipment, the one component that money can't buy is a new set of ears. With age, the ability to hear higher frequencies tails off and that begins in our teens. Anyone considering parting with serious amounts of money would be well advised to have a hearing test first.

I'm in my 79th year and have worked with power tools all my life and still do - routers, table saws, bandsaws, drills, chainsaw. I've always worn ear defenders even to cut a couple of pieces of wood on a bandsaw or use the dust extractor in my workshop. Likewise, when I rode a motorbike I wore ear defenders.

Many of my friends now have to wear hearing aids and or suffer from tinnitus - an affliction that mercifully, I don't suffer from. I've just checked my hearing at the link below - not very scientific, it's true, but a reasonable guide. I'm can't hear below 30Hz and I'm OK up to 13 kHz. Interesting to note that though the amplitude is constant, some frequencies - in the speech range, 300 - 600Hz sound much louder, as I guess they should do:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...cies-hear.html

But of course, high end hi-fi equipment isn't about discernable differences between one set of equipment and another, any more than buying a Merc 'C Class' at £29k in preference to a Skoda Superb at £20k, which is more highly ranked in reviews, and overall, is the top brand for reliability based on post-purchase customer surveys. These are aspirational products and buying decisions are largely emotional rather than rational and objective.

If buyers of any goods and services are happy with the outcome and consider it money well spent, the happiness they derive is a just reward for their expenditure, and that goes for audio equipment just as much as any other equipment. I recently noted that a Mullard OC81 used but tested 'white jacketed' transistor sold for £41.00 on an auction site. I don't know what the 'white jacket' signifies, but it clearly meant something to the bidders.
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 5:08 pm   #27
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
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"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Or perhaps in this case...

"Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by commercial gain"
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 5:11 pm   #28
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Two paintings placed side-by-side might be judged to be similarly appealing by the layman or of similar artistic merit by the cognoscenti, but if one is discovered to have the right signature on it, its value could escalate through the roof. Similarly, valves with "WE" or "Telefunken" on them could attract interest quite out of proportion to their actual functionality. There's undoubtedly a big emotional and "feelgood" factor associated with many human decisions and most of us will be guilty of letting heart lead head to a greater or lesser extent in some aspect of our pursuits. It's when it leads to impoverishment and/or ridicule and/or removal to the Gaussian fringe of existence that it's a serious problem.
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 8:36 pm   #29
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I used to work in a radio studio environment & my colleagues & I always had a chuckle at some of the more oulandish ideas in some of the hifi mags. Things like bricks to put on top of your CD player to 'stabilise' them & gold plated mains plugs (in 13A & 15A versions) were common but the one that got me was a suggestion - in all seriousness - that the fuses in your amp were detrimental to the sound quality. The article suggested removing them all & soldering lengths of speaker cable - a type was suggested - across the fuse holders.....
So, when your amp develops a fault & burns up because it has no protection.... well, it's not going to sound very good then, is it?
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 8:53 pm   #30
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I can't believe the price of the usb cable ! £5000 interconnects for hi fi what next .
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 9:01 pm   #31
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Replying to #29, I had a CD player that only worked if you put a yellow pages on top of it. The improvement delta was worth at least £1350
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 9:05 pm   #32
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

There sees to be an endless amount of this stuff.

But what elevates it to hilarity is when they wheel out the pseudo-science to back up their assertions.

"Stranded wire has many places where the strands touch together and this smears the sound" - priceless!

Adding a screen reduces the openness and spatiality or words to that effect.... Oh boy.

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Old 5th Oct 2017, 11:24 pm   #33
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

The only type of cable I have come across where it actually is advantageous to break it in before use, is the coax cables employed for long distance HVDC power transmission. Subjecting the cable to what is conceptually a very low frequency indeed AC (periodic smooth polarity reversals of voltage taking what from memory was hours per cycle) was found to be beneficial by conditioning the insulation to relieve dielectric stress at any voids or imperfections so that insulation breakdown was less likely to occur. No personal experience, but I did read some technical papers on the topic in the 1980's in connection with a project at work.
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 11:39 pm   #34
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
'...Subjecting the cable to what is conceptually a very low frequency indeed AC (periodic smooth polarity reversals of voltage taking what from memory was hours per cycle) was found to be beneficial by conditioning the insulation to relieve dielectric stress at any voids or imperfections so that insulation breakdown was less likely to occur.'
That's how you're meant to pressure-test XLPE (cross-layered polyethylene) high-voltage cable, and for similar reason (0.1Hz or something like) Although I was told on a HV SAP refresher course once that it was only because of imperfections in manufacturing that this was the case.

D.C. pressure-testing is good to a point but not recommended.
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Old 6th Oct 2017, 12:38 am   #35
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
Those who have worked with professional/military kit probably get quite a liking for aerospace/PTFE-type wiring neatly loomed up, expensive and quality connectors, sturdy machined fittings with stainless fasteners and so on- Argus 25's recent post about a beautifully made monochrome monitor provoked the comment that it would likely have worked as well if it had a single SRBP circuit board and a plastic case......

Thing, but perfectionism is a slippery slope, as some of the audiophool excess proves.
To some limited extent, I agree with these remarks.

However the counter argument is that if the perfectionism is based in Science and not a delusional (fixed false belief system) or a Faith based (proof absent system) then the attempts at perfection seen in the construction of some apparatus gives us all a "quality reference" to aspire to, when we design and build our own equipment.

To inspect the insides of something like like that Avionics monitor I cited, or the build quality of items like vintage Tek scopes, not just the mechanical engineering, but the electronic design and the whole combination of "form and function" is an educational experience.

Any Engineer would be a fool to ignore this and not take the opportunity to learn from it and aspire to its standards.

To think that a low quality pcb & components with probably equally uninspiring circuit design stuck in plastic box could be anywhere near as good or reliable as properly constructed apparatus, might be even more delusional and foolish than thinking crystals are going to help your audio system.
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Old 6th Oct 2017, 12:55 am   #36
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

At Plessey we were taught that Avionics stuff was generally built in hermetically sealed boxes to ensure reliable operation in a non-pressurised environment at high altitudes where the low pressure would give rise to flashover of high voltage circuits. PTFE wire was essential in hermetically sealed containers as the Chlorine/Hydrochloric vapours given off by PVC will build up and eventually attack and dissolve plastics such as polystyrene, with deadly effects on capacitors etc. In non-pressurised equipment, these corrosive vapours can safely disperse without causing damage.
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Old 6th Oct 2017, 1:00 am   #37
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

i think I agree with your "form and function" comments Argus which overlap with aesthetic "arty" ideas. In the nineteenth century [or earlier] books often describe engineering as [the] ART-meaning the art of creating something that had a value of itself. I polished up one or two radio chassis in the sixties that it was then a shame to put back in the cabinet-probaly still is! i really thought that I might be on the wrong track there until adverts for the John Lennon Plastic Ono Band featuring TV's chassis etc enclosed in clear perspex boxes appeared around 1969..... celebrating the quality/mystery of their construction!

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Old 6th Oct 2017, 8:57 am   #38
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I am in hospital at the moment having a new knee.
Thank you David for this post it has really cheered me up.
There is no substitute for stupidity.

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Old 6th Oct 2017, 9:04 am   #39
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
That's a variation on 'conspiracy or cock-up' when grossly stupid things happen instigated by those who should know better and those who suffer start to question why.

Two things to bear in mind re: audio cables:

* Emperor's New Clothes.

* Blind Listening Test.
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Old 6th Oct 2017, 10:19 am   #40
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

My favourite terminology in the subject website is 'bright, edgy, distorted and closed in'-
The presumable inference being that if you don't know what words 1,2 and 4 mean, you are not a real enthusiast- and must find out without delay.

This general arena of silliness reminds me of the film where Christopher Lee stars as a modern art critic, giving 5 stars to a painting that turns out to have been executed by a chimp.
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