Cable Break-In
Jun 30, 2005 at 5:15 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 41

drewd

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Since there have been a few posts about building cables, and since building cables is, perhaps, one of the easiest ways to get into DIY, consider this essay by George Cardas that I just ran across today:

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?ar...Cable+Break-In

He discusses cable break-in and some other issues associated with cables. It's a little light on facts and is, I guess, sort of a "trust me, I know what I'm talking about" article.

I offer no opinion, just the essay. OK, maybe one small opinion: the phenomena that he describes are real. But the effects on an audio signal? I'm skeptical.

-Drew
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 6:45 AM Post #2 of 41

JWFokker

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Considering he's the name behind some of the most overpriced cables ever manufactured, I would hardly consider him a reputable source of information. A company like Cardas is exactly the type of organization that would promote 'audiofool' beliefs.
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 8:29 AM Post #4 of 41

Emon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JWFokker
Considering he's the name behind some of the most overpriced cables ever manufactured, I would hardly consider him a reputable source of information. A company like Cardas is exactly the type of organization that would promote 'audiofool' beliefs.


So true.

I just read that essay, and...wow...
Quote:

It had been observed in mid eighties that many cables could be improved by wiping them with a anti-static cloth.


The needle on my ******** meter just broke off. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty certain that static charge builds up on the air around dielectrics. Like when you rub a balloon on your head, only one side feels charged, not all around it. Or when you wipe the static off your monitor, you have to touch almost every inch of the screen to remove the charge, you can't just touch it once.

And it gets better...
Quote:

We now use an anti-static fluid in all our cables and anti-static additives in the final jacketing material. This attention to charge has reduced break-in time and in general made the cable sound substantially better.


Yeah, if you read the article, he talks about how static charges remain in the cable and cause it to sound bad or something. They discharge over time which is where cable burn in comes from...again, I'm no expert, but I think my ******** meter just exploded. How's a static charge supposed to be in the dielectric and slowly discharge into the conductor? How's that low static charge supposed to even penetrate the insulation? How is it, that any static charge that may SOMEHOW be inside the cable not just instantly discharge the moment the circuit was complete when you played audio?

Feel free to prove me wrong with some factual data, but everything I know about physics tells me this is crap.
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 12:54 PM Post #6 of 41

Todd R

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Emon
It had been observed in mid eighties that many cables could be improved by wiping them with a anti-static cloth.

The needle on my ******** meter just broke off. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty certain that static charge builds up on the air around dielectrics. Like when you rub a balloon on your head, only one side feels charged, not all around it. Or when you wipe the static off your monitor, you have to touch almost every inch of the screen to remove the charge, you can't just touch it once.



Ever tried it? (especially in the winter)
Go to your local Radio Shack and get a can of their anti static spray. Spray it on a towel and wipe down your cables (works great on TV screens too to keep the dust down).

Tell me if you don't hear a difference. I hear what it does.
Costs $5.49.
Cheap enough so you can afford to buy a new ******** meter.
TR

Anti Static Spray
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 1:03 PM Post #7 of 41

Todd R

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JWFokker
Considering he's the name behind some of the most overpriced cables ever manufactured, I would hardly consider him a reputable source of information. A company like Cardas is exactly the type of organization that would promote 'audiofool' beliefs.


Why would a person who's primary business is making cables not be a reputable source of information about cables? Who would know better, the guy at Radio Shack?

The best cables are expensive, but that does not mean they don't also offer good quality lower priced models. The 300b Microtwin at $120 is a good example of a great cable at a reasonable price.

You really shouldn't slam a company's products if you've never tried them, you might be surprised.
TR
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 1:46 PM Post #8 of 41

skyskraper

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whilst i wont buy his products because i dont have a need for them, i don't have a problem when other people do and i'm sure they are a quality product with solid engineering behind them.

HOWEVER, he is in the business of selling cables, and it is in his interest to keep a certain level of esoteric mystique to his products.

i will try the static wipe and see how it goes, i wonder if i can find my anti static spray.
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 1:56 PM Post #9 of 41

Garbz

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I'm going to have to side with Emon on this. There's no way to my knowledge of physics that a copper conductor can be effected by a static charge especially when there's a complete circuit.

But like you said Todd at $6 it's hardly something to complain about. I'd be more worried if you were buying a $80 antistatic audiophile spray or some crap like that. Personally I don't really think there's an ounce of truth in half of the stuff cable manufacturers say.
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 2:42 PM Post #10 of 41

AtomBoy

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Um, my BS meter smoked when he said that the mechanical stress in the wall of the room needs to settle before a system doesn't sound bad and very stressful.

I just read the O'reilly Mind Hacks book and after going through the optical illusions, its easy to believe that someone could make themselves experience all kinds of effects that aren't really there.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/mindhks/

Google for 'blind spot test' and try some of those. Your brain doesn't just make you not notice your blind spot- it actually fills in what it thinks should be there!
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 2:43 PM Post #11 of 41

BlazerFRS

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This made me laugh:

Quote:

A note of caution. Moving a cable will, to some degree, traumatize it.


rolleyes.gif


Sounds like good old psychoacoustic syndrome to me... but if your interconnects sound better by wiping them with an antistatic cloth, by all means...
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 5:38 PM Post #12 of 41

Todd R

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One more thing to keep in mind guys.....
When you read comments from manufacturers like this, they are for the most part, addressing the guys with the mega buck systems. Systems that are extremely sensitive, revealing and where every little change is heard clearly.

George's comments apply to all cables in general, but the "Phenomenon's" he mentions probably won't be noticed by the guy with a C-Moy and SR-60's. Even thought that is fine equipment, it's not going to show you everything that's revealed with a top of the line system.
TR
 
Jun 30, 2005 at 6:09 PM Post #14 of 41

nikongod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Thaddy
Man he must have the hardest time actually sitting down and enjoying the music...


i cant listen to my system, it sounds tooooo bad. it has distortion from the tubes ont eh amp. there is hum 50DB below the music level at comfortable levels. my cables are made of cheap junk. infact, in about 3 days i am going to sell it. parts that do not sell will be crushed with the left-driveaxleshaft from a dana 60 axle. i broke the axle when i was trying to drive my jeep cj7 up a lampopst to iritate a mall security official.

that above was a wounderfull lie. im not sure i wrote 1 true line there.
the best lies are often made by people who actually know the truth.

perhaps my lies are a bit incredulous. a better lie would be "you will hear the diference between ofc cables at $3/ft compared to the cheap junk ofc that comes with your headphones." that lie is better.
 

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