Cable Break In for the Naysayers

I still cannot believe that in this stage of Audio history there are still many who claim cable break in is imagined. They even go so far as claim it is our ears that break in to the new sound. Providing many studies in the way of scientific testing. Sigh...

I noticed such a recent discussion on the What’s Best Forum. So here is my response.

______________________________________________________________________________________________ I just experienced cable break in again firsthand. 10 Days ago, I bought a new set of the AudioQuest Thunderbird XLR 2M interconnects.

First impression, they sounded good, but then after about 30 hours of usage the music started sounding very closed in and with limited high frequencies. This continued until about 130 hours of music play time.

Then at this time, the cables started to open up and began to sound better and better each passing hour. I knew at the beginning they would come around because they sounded ok at first until the break in process started. But now they have way surpassed that original sound.

Now the soundstage has become huge with fantastic frequency extensions. Very pleased with the results. Scientifically I guess we can’t prove cable break in is real, but with good equipment, good ears, it is clearly a real event.



@akgwhiz @ozzy

You say "if it can’t be measured it can’t be real" as a false argument. You are missing something very fundamental in electronics and physics, frequency changes can easily be measured on scopes that are much more precise than anything you can perceive by your ears. The resolution that scopes can see is billions of times more sensitive than your ears and the neurons in your brain. A simple frequency recording screen grab when a cable is new then compared to when the cable is used for 150 hours or so is a picture that is has many magnitudes more information than is necessary to show that there is no difference in the way the cable carries the data. Sure some thing science can’t measure "how much do I love my wife" and such but frequency or electronic timing is what engineers do best in fact the most accurate thing humans do is measure timing it’s out to about 20 digits I think, just imagine if the cable the signal was flowing through wasn’t burn’t in or in some sort of in between stage of burn in obviously that would leave these timing mechanisms useless, but they're not. Hope that is clear.

It's a broad general statement that declares that "i know that there's nothing I don't know".  That's my only point.   It's an over-reach imho.  Im not at all saying that we can't measure countless things with instruments  better than we can ourselves.  I'm a scientist and over my 38 yr career in my field there were numerous developments and insights that were "impossible" or deemed impractical.   Until some became common knowledge to a high schooler.  Einstein didn't like the idea of quantum connectivity calling it a "spooky action over a distance".  We can now observe it, recreate it.  Next, quantum computing.  Just sayin.  Have you watched the YouTube of the Cal Poly guys showing that electricity isn't simply the flow of electrons down a wire but is a primarily a magnetic-induced phenomena?  It's enlightening.  EE isn't my forte but there's always something to be learned.

+1 for Bigtwin re red wine especially. Bottle shock, then meandering evolvement of the palate, aroma, and body. Very real!


same thing with cables. My most sensitive instruments- my ears- tell me so.



I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the benefits of periodic cable cooking, and if I should purchase a cable cooker.

I somehow doubt this thread will be the one to put a rest to the same words and arguments (on both sides!) that has been raging on since I think the 1970's. Funny how the passion has been so fierce through the decades.

What would be productive is if someone were to organize a double blind test, to test such things as differences between power cords, broken-in vs brand new, etc.

This debate could fairly easily be put to rest, I think, with say 5-ish participants from both camps.  And maybe a few neutral judges just to have the bases covered.

If done right, with the right transparency and the right controls in place, the HiFi landscape could be changed forever by such a test.

Come on @jays_audio_lab or some other YouTuber, there is a huge opportunity here to be the one that organized the event that ended these decades-old debates.  I won't mention the other personality on the other side of the fence that could also participate; every time his name gets mentioned threads seem to go sideways!