The molecular level explanation of "cable burn-in"

According to one cable seller

"The insulation (or dielectric) will absorb energy from the conductor when a current is flowing (i.e. when music is playing). This energy-absorption causes the dielectric's molecules to re-arrange themselves from a random order into a uniform order. When the molecules have been rearranged, the dielectric will absorb less energy & consequently cause less distortion."

So it’s the plastic polymer (as dielectric insulation) to undergo some sort of molecular rearrangements to minimize the distortion. Probably one of the greatest scientific discoveries ever!

“Many premium AC cords constrict or compress the audio transient as their characteristic impedance restricts the transient current.”

We all know impedance restricts current but how possibly “many” premium AC cords constrict/compress the audio transient (when not carrying audio signal)? Then again is it achieved by this molecular rearrangements of the cable insulation?

Unfortunately there are no measurement data or mathematical formulas to be found to back up this amazing scientific discovery. Simply “it happens”. So I came up with a formula for them.

∆E = P - SoT

∆E: energy absorbed by dielectric

P: energy (power) drawn from wall outlet

So : Smake Oile

T: Dielectric Transition Temperature


Who knows why, but trust your ears.

If you can't tell the difference between cheap and expensive cables, your system isn't very resolving or you've got the speakers in the wrong place.

I’ll make everyone mad.  The main cable doesn’t effect the product it serves.

Instead, a poorly insulated main acts as an antenna and transmits garbage from inside the component it serves under certain circumstances.

You can test this with a cheap main and a cheap interconnect from different devices.  Tape them together for a bit of a run.  You can definitely pick up a hum or hiss or pop. 

In the typical rats’ nest of wires  behind so many audiophile set ups, you’ll get plenty of touching wires with plenty of parallel runs.  Frequently you’ll get some noise.

Run your wires carefully, try not to let them touch, give everything space, and where they have to cross, do so at 90 degrees (or a sharp angle), and use nice, but not exotic, wires, and all such issues disappear. XLR/balanced wiring and components helps a lot, too.  

The most sensitive run is from your turntable.  Any issue there is multiplied along and it’s the weakest signal in the chain.  Run it balanced (or however one wants to describe it) if you can.

All the exotic wires, difficult to repeat issues, difficult to test, issues are explained by the above.

Source:  I was an electronic countermeasures officer in a rather long and unpleasant war, and would face things like components working differently when one was placed on top of the other and not the other way around, that no Raytheon engineer could explain but sure as Hell happened consistently. 


“If you can't tell the difference between cheap and expensive cables, your system isn't very resolving or you've got the speakers in the wrong place”

Maybe.  Or the set up doesn’t have the interference the fancy cables are solving in another situation.  Or the components were designed to use the wires being used.

It’s all very situationally dependent.

My mom had alcohol issues and once used a zip cord on me. To her surprise the evidence appeared the next morning in the form of red welts. She put long sleeves on me and buttoned up my top button before sending me off to school.  These days I can appreciate a better cable in a different manner.