DIY cryo treating?
Jan 24, 2005 at 2:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

chillysalsa

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Anyone with access to liquid nitrogen try cryo treating anything?

And if you did... did you hear a difference in A/B testing?

I'm very skeptical of it right now... I did a search of a research papers at the university library, and absolutely nothing came up for the following criteria:

(copper)
and
(elec*) or (resist*)
and
(cryo*)

The only things that came up were about 150 papers that relate to electrical resistivity of copper AT low temperatures, but nothing about cryogenically heat treating copper, and then measuring it at room temperature.

My background in materials tells me that it's all audiophile snake-oil, but I was just curious if anyone has any experiences or can reference some serious papers (no advertising!) about this subject.
 
Jan 24, 2005 at 3:32 PM Post #2 of 18

kevin gilmore

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I have access to unlimited amounts of liquid N2 and storage containers
to soak stuff in. Weeks to months...

If someone wants to send me pairs of things to cryo i can do that.
Label them, cryo one, and not the other. Some products change
color or shine a little, so dbt may be a little hard to do.
 
Jan 24, 2005 at 3:38 PM Post #3 of 18

chillysalsa

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I have access to small amounts at school, but not for extended periods.

I still don't see any scientific basis for phase changes or transformations that would be expected to occur and be retained to room temperature. And if the material isn't fundamentally changed, I don't see why a change would be expected.
 
Jan 24, 2005 at 3:49 PM Post #4 of 18

kevin gilmore

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Some metals specifically pure silver and tin do exhibit molecular changes
when cooled. And they stay that way till they go significantly over room
temperature.
 
Jan 24, 2005 at 3:55 PM Post #5 of 18

drewd

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I tried it out last fall.

I still have a great relationship with my alma mater's engineering and physics departments and a few of the professors there are also audio enthusiasts.

In fairness, I should say that the physics doc that I did this with expressed, shall we say, unreserved skepticism about cryo treating before we started.

We did the tests on some mil-spec copper wire with teflon insulation. The wire was solid core, 26AWG in each case. The cable was terminated with locking WBT-style RCA plugs made of gold plated copper and connected with Kester 2% silver solder.

We used liquid nitrogen and dipped the cable and connectors for about two hours, then let them warm up to "handleable" temperature. We listened with a Rega Planet CD player through a Musical Fidelity A308 integrated amp and a pair of Magnepan MG-20.1 speakers. Later on, I also did some listening with a modded Pioneer DV-563A universal player through one of my PPA amps and with a pair of Beyer DT-880 headphones.

And the winner was...

We couldn't hear any difference. We even got crazy and cryo'd a different set of cables in helium (at about 2 degrees K). No difference.

So then we talked about what happens when you cryo silver and copper wire. When the wire gets really cold, its structure does change - no question about that. Both the copper and the silver lattice structures become more consistent over the length of the wire. That's great, because the electron mobility increases and that's just what you'd like in a good conductor.

But...warm the wire back up and that lattice structure goes back to its old state with plenty of defects and stresses.

The whole cryogenic thing has been going on for a long time...not so much in audio circles, but in mechanical engineering. Engineers and scientists have been doing research for something like 40 years on "cold tempering" structural metals with mixed results.

On the other hand, I found some fun things to do with liquid nitrogen, like breaking things (flowers, bugs, pencils, etc.) and if you stick your finger in it for just a second or two, it feels really, really weird (no, not frozen...)

-Drew
 
Jan 24, 2005 at 3:59 PM Post #6 of 18

chillysalsa

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From an article on cable claims:

Quote:

Cryogenic treatments. Cryo treatments have their place in metallurgy, but not for audio. Copper is a soft metal, completely different from the high strength alloys that can gain some additional strengthening from controlled cryo. Copper, like silver and other highly conductive metals, has weak internal bonds. The atoms are constrained in a crystal only by the weak attraction of the positive copper ions and the sea of electrons moving through the conduction band of the lattice. The crystal structure is more like a bucket full of molasses-covered golf balls than a crystal-like salt or diamond. Extreme thermal cycling won't improve the crystal structure, but the extreme contraction and then expansion on warming to room temperature can actually weaken the metal by introducing faults in the crystal and grain boundaries. In no way does this treatment do anything to improve the conduction layer the electrons travel through, so the cable isn't going to conduct a signal any better. Also, dielectrics chosen for audio cables are only supposed to keep their properties at standard temperature and pressure. At cryo temperatures, the dielectric will most likely become brittle (even if it seems pliable) and start flaking internally. Its dielectric properties may change significantly due to the unknown effects the temperature cycle has on the long chain polymers of most cable dielectrics. If the material becomes brittle and hard, its dielectric coefficient will change and could increase resistive leakage across the dielectric. If the company also offers to cryo treat your CDs and electrical plugs, run away fast, as this is pure physical voodoo.


 
Aug 31, 2006 at 1:10 AM Post #7 of 18

studeb

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anybody else try DIY cryo? Kevin?

IMHO plunking cable into N2 is not quite right, rather brutal. this is not like hardening steel i would have thought a slow cooling cycle would be better.
i am not sure i agree with the quoted web site, but then i am not a metallurgist, just some schmuck. If you believe what is written there, then you cannot accept silver mix/plate cables can be different from regular copper.
 
Aug 31, 2006 at 1:24 AM Post #8 of 18

nelamvr6

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When in the Navy I had some buddies who worked with satellite communications. they worked with what were called cryo-amps. These were amps that were cryogenically cooled, they exhibited incredibly low noise.

Of course the difference is that they were continuously cooled, never allowed to return to room temp.
 
Aug 31, 2006 at 1:52 AM Post #9 of 18

nikongod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nelamvr6
When in the Navy I had some buddies who worked with satellite communications. they worked with what were called cryo-amps. These were amps that were cryogenically cooled, they exhibited incredibly low noise.

Of course the difference is that they were continuously cooled, never allowed to return to room temp.



indeed, think of a computer that is overclocked using a "spray" of liquid nitrogen as a coolant... but that is an effort in cooling, not in altering the electrical/mechanical properties of the part.

with good enough heat control you can significantly overdrive many parts. parts rated for 40W sometimes take 80 if they are not allowed to overheat and burn up.
 
Aug 31, 2006 at 2:23 AM Post #10 of 18

threepointone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nelamvr6
When in the Navy I had some buddies who worked with satellite communications. they worked with what were called cryo-amps. These were amps that were cryogenically cooled, they exhibited incredibly low noise.

Of course the difference is that they were continuously cooled, never allowed to return to room temp.



if anyone's interested, it's because of johnson-nyquist noise. with that kind of cooling, you could probably turn the noisiest audio equipment silent. assuming, of course, that your equipment can handle those temperatures.
 
Aug 31, 2006 at 5:25 AM Post #11 of 18

Garbz

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Along with having endless negative impacts as well. Remember all those graphs of temperature vs output stuff, and the fact most "audiophiles" perfer to listen to their amps warmed up.
580smile.gif


I'm sure it will be silent, most probably because using standard components it won't work at all.

On the original topic metals do exhibit superconducting properties at very cold temperatures but unless you keep them cool nothing will change. Cryotreating is just basically marketing speak for "we bought cheap cables put them togther and want you to pay us 1000x their value for them."
 
Jan 8, 2017 at 3:05 AM Post #12 of 18

dhruvmeena96

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I tried it out last fall.


I still have a great relationship with my alma mater's engineering and physics departments and a few of the professors there are also audio enthusiasts.


In fairness, I should say that the physics doc that I did this with expressed, shall we say, unreserved skepticism about cryo treating before we started.


We did the tests on some mil-spec copper wire with teflon insulation. The wire was solid core, 26AWG in each case. The cable was terminated with locking WBT-style RCA plugs made of gold plated copper and connected with Kester 2% silver solder.


We used liquid nitrogen and dipped the cable and connectors for about two hours, then let them warm up to "handleable" temperature. We listened with a Rega Planet CD player through a Musical Fidelity A308 integrated amp and a pair of Magnepan MG-20.1 speakers. Later on, I also did some listening with a modded Pioneer DV-563A universal player through one of my PPA amps and with a pair of Beyer DT-880 headphones.


And the winner was...


We couldn't hear any difference. We even got crazy and cryo'd a different set of cables in helium (at about 2 degrees K). No difference.


So then we talked about what happens when you cryo silver and copper wire. When the wire gets really cold, its structure does change - no question about that. Both the copper and the silver lattice structures become more consistent over the length of the wire. That's great, because the electron mobility increases and that's just what you'd like in a good conductor.


But...warm the wire back up and that lattice structure goes back to its old state with plenty of defects and stresses.


The whole cryogenic thing has been going on for a long time...not so much in audio circles, but in mechanical engineering. Engineers and scientists have been doing research for something like 40 years on "cold tempering" structural metals with mixed results.


On the other hand, I found some fun things to do with liquid nitrogen, like breaking things (flowers, bugs, pencils, etc.) and if you stick your finger in it for just a second or two, it feels really, really weird (no, not frozen...)


-Drew
lol lol lol

This is not how this is done my friend. This way you can even worsen the whole thing up.

By the way you tried helium. Again great lol bro.

The process have to see many factor when you really wanna see the big difference.


Avoid thermal shock. You need the best machines which can control not only cooling time but warming time too.

Do it in hybrid way.
Do it dry, then wet and then dip it for lowest possible 26hrs. And heat very very slowly. Heating is important.

Results.

Micro aircrack filled
Surface cracked filled
Stress relieved
Even distribution of specific grains
Smaller grain formation

Bro helium 3, 4 method to near 0k(0.004K) can create virtual molecular bonds which can lead to electron speed jump analogy.

This will make current fast(decrease in resistivity and special resistance-ohm mm^2/m) by great factor



Just people do it in very stupid fashion. It has to be controlled.

This may even lead to less molecular vibration resulting cooler metal.

So you get exact metal resistance when you go cryo with reduced resistivity and cooler metal means less rise in resistance when heat is generated

Even it becomes a great heatsink too
 
Jan 8, 2017 at 3:11 AM Post #13 of 18

dhruvmeena96

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Heating up is never controlled properly and marketing gimicks are true.

But if treated properly with all factor included.

Plus intelligent designing of cable to reduce emi

A intelligent design amp with lowest noise and high qiality components

And high standard check.

Cooled at -20 celsius for without moisture will go very silent when played.


Important is design of cable, amp etc.


Even cmoy can kill most of amps
Agdr cmoy can take the best amps down

Then pair up quality parts

And then go with material construction and hand matching it.
 
Jan 8, 2017 at 9:35 AM Post #14 of 18

kevin gilmore

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for me liquid nitrogen is so cheap its essentially free. l consistently use about 700 liters per week for the magnets and cryostreams.
 
I have tried cryo'd everything.  Controlled cool down over 5 day period. Soak for 2 weeks. Warmup over 5 days. All controlled with eurotherm and appropriate valves and heaters.
Done it many times for many people. I've yet to be able to hear a difference. The people I have done it for have yet to hear a difference either.
 
now liquid helium is a different thing entirely, costs me $10 per liter. liquid helium has no heat capacity so the cooling down over 5 days would at a minimum consume 100 liters
depending on what you are cooling down. And then probably another 50 liters to keep it that cold for 2 weeks. and it you want it to warm up for 5 days, another 25 liters to get it to
77K where you can continue to warm with liquid nitrogen. And that $10 per liter is the university volume price, with helium recycling etc. Any non-volume delivery of helium in the 250 liter
containers is likely to cost double or more with shipping, appropriate handling etc.
 
if anyone is advertising liquid helium cryo I would not believe them without pictures. And the price is going to be stupid. Containers of liquid helium look very different than liquid nitrogen containers so
its kind of obvious if something is being faked. Helium reliquifiers that would be required to maintain a supply for this kind of thing are about $1M with the compressors, bags, torpedo's and everything else
necessary. As in not going to happen.
 
And the liquid helium transfer lines are double vacuum lines, also stupidly priced. require pump down every 6 months etc, and then you throw them away after 2 years because they start to leak and can't be fixed.
 
As far as active preamplifiers, i have 2 and they run at 25 Kelvin. Yes they are quiet. Very quiet. The support circuitry and cooling are extensive, the helium pump to make 25K requires 10kw of 3 phase electricity and the equivalent of 10kw of process chilled water at 10 liters per minute. Not something i ever expect anyone at home to decide to do. There are newer versions that would be much cheaper running at 80K but the
support stuff for that is also a pretty complicated pile of stuff.
 
Jan 8, 2017 at 4:35 PM Post #15 of 18

AudioCats

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  for me liquid nitrogen is so cheap its essentially free. l consistently use about 700 liters per week for the magnets and cryostreams.
 
I have tried cryo'd everything.  Controlled cool down over 5 day period. Soak for 2 weeks. Warmup over 5 days. All controlled with eurotherm and appropriate valves and heaters.
Done it many times for many people. I've yet to be able to hear a difference. The people I have done it for have yet to hear a difference either.
 

 
That is some very discouraging information....
confused_face.gif

 
Anyway, have you tried cryo-ing metglas material? do they crack after the treatment?
 

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