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.



The Naysayers opinion on cable breakin is probably due to the system that is used (and perhaps the ears) is not revealing enough.

And/if you progress through this hobby with better equipment, cables and the breakin will be more apparent.


Ozzy - if that's what you hear then go for it.  The mind can do incredible things that feel very real.


I will put my system up against any out there and I’ll bet that it comes out as equal to far better than any out there 99% of the time, at any price point.

I will also say that once you arrive at the quality level of my system, it’s mostly subjective: what sounds good to me may very well sound like a crapper to you and vice versa.

Please note in the link below that I do not bother to include cables in my list of system components. I do include the room designer. If people only spent 1/10 of the time discussing room design as they do cable design, they might find themselves getting some genuine improvements to the sound of their system.


“…I just experienced cable break in firsthand…”


Good for you! Some of us ascribe that to the placebo effect. I’m one of them. In my 55 years experience since building a Dyna70 at age 14, I have had plenty of time to experiment with dozens of cables. In all that time, I perceived differences in only a few, and that perception could be ascribed to my mood as much as any concrete material quality of the cable, and certainly nothing that justified the outrageous sums that were being asked for them. I do have brand name cables, but they are only because they are the least expensive of the ones that I settled upon after all the experimentation. I cannot tell you what they are because I settled this question for myself decades ago.

Imo those sums of money are instead better on room treatment. If 1/10 of the time was spent discussing the science of room acoustics instead of cables, we would all be better off.



Sorry, but your system looks like a beginner’s system. Like we all started out with. It may be good for home theater though.

If you like it, then enjoy it!