Cable burn in

Hi all. I’m guessing that what I’m experiencing is pretty normal. But it can’t hurt to get some feedback. I purchased a DMS-650 from Cary Audio which is a DAC/Streamer. Since hifi folks have highly opinionated views on cables, nothing is included with the unit. So when I set it up, I had to scramble and I found the three conductor cable that came with a cheap Sony DVD player. Then I replaced that RCA interconnect with a much better quality Blue Jeans cable. Initially the increase in quality was apparent and obviously worth it. However the sound could be hasrsh on certain recordings. Various tracks had a harshness that wasn’t there before. I’ve been playing internet radio during the day for burn in. Now that harshness has vanished. Sitting down to listen last night, things were actually too warm. Some tracks sounded almost muddy. The sparkle was diminished in an obvious way. I am guessing that once burn is complete the sound will settle happily in the middle somewhere. Is that a reasonable assumption?  I’m also likely going to order power cables and an interconnect from Audio Envy or maybe some other companies to compare. The guy who sold me the Cary Audio gear is not a salesy guy, but he did pretty emphatically recommend some higher quality cables. 


@chiadrum leave your BlueJeans cables alone for now and let them settle.

Before you embark on the cable shopping spree, I would recommend addressing the upgrades in the following order:

1. Components and speakers - make sure that is taken care of and you have the best possible components you can afford

2. Room acoustics - at least minimal acoustic treatment (bass traps, first reflection points, area rug, etc)

3. Speaker cables, power cords, interconnects, ethernet cable - after your room acoustics are in order.
Everything matters. Don’t expect sonic miracles from low end cables (you get what you pay for) just like you wouldn’t from low level components

Going crazy with cables not having properly matched components and room acoustics taken care of will put you on a cable and component mary-go-round.




A cable is a mechanical system that needs burn-in. Every material subject to an electrical field creates a dipole. For non conducting material this dipole is at the atom level so that electrons are more to the side of nucleus that randomly around.

^that^ almost sounds like magnetism?


The overall charge of the material remains neutral. The electrons having a mass (very very light), moving them around amounts to a mechanical action.

A charge moving around a coil also produces a magnetic field.



The atoms in the cable insulation get organized in a dipole one way or the other, when ever there is signal traveling in the wires. As the burn in progress the atoms dipoles get organized from a random state, so that less energy is extracted from the signal and more of it reaches the next component in the chain.

What happens in an AC signal, the the polarity flips 180?

Or if I wire the speakers in reverse polarity, then do they need a long time to reform?

Of course: anything the Church of Denyin'tology's popes can't fathom, they'll summarily dismiss (uneducated twits that they are).

"As I already mentioned, this characterization doesn't apply to me. I'm an educated professional in a relevant field."

+1 @fair 

Quite the condescending statement "uneducated twits that they are" typical around here. I don't deny the need for quality cables in a system, however the point of diminishing returns is reached very quickly. As I stated earlier, a professional grade cable that has been tested and proven to meet it's design specs to perform audio signal transfer is all one really needs. They perform their duties in virtually every aspect of recorded music production. Engineers are listening to studio monitors via signal that is transferred and amplified through such cables. In a home listening environment, the same types of cables produce optimum results. Noise rejection and faithful, neutral signal delivery due to intelligent design, high quality wire, insulation and jacket along with quality end terminations. Now take the same 3.00 per foot bulk cabling and install say 20.00 in termination hardware and you have at most a 60.00 pair of 2 meter interconnects. That's a professional grade, studio quality pair used by industry pros who record the music you listen too. I make them all the time in RCA and XLR configurations. Now they wouldn't appeal to the audiophile masses at that price point in that physical appearance. Put a thicker than necessary insulation over the wire with pretty colored braided sheath and a 1500.00 price tag, then the upper tier deep pocketed ones will buy the clever marketing hype. In this real world, professional experience based example >60.00 is your point of diminishing return.

Had my interconnect cables custom made to be 10’3.47” long….mathematically this is the perfect length as all the distortion has plenty of room to disperse.

The AC based audio signal degausses any residual polarization that might be attributed to cable break in.  Sorry about that. 

Spend a hundred dollars and get a LCR meter.  Measure your cables.  You will then discover where your harshness comes from.