Interconnect cable burn in

April 6, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

13 comments on “Interconnect cable burn in”

  1. That’s why I’m keeping my expensive Furukawa solid core 7N PCOCC,
    1meter interconnects from 1993.
    I’m not going to spend another twenty years burning-in a new set of wires πŸ˜‰

  2. If the sound of a cable or an electrical device improves with burn in, does it then reach an optimum point from which it begins to deteriorate? I know I’ve experienced burn out.

  3. This is all crazy nonsense.
    A wire is just a wire.
    A cable is just a cable.
    The only exception to that rule, is if the cable and or wire is made of silver and gold.
    But either way, you don’t need to burn them in.
    Because an audio source is not gonna put stress on the inter connects.
    That only happens with speaker and power cables.
    Because the amplifiers draws currant from the outlet that you have the amplifiers plugged in to.
    But in the case of your speaker cables, if you’re driving a 1.5ohm load, that’s when you’re gonna put a lot of stress on that cable, especially if you’re using a thin one.
    At the same time, you’re really stressing out your power cables, because your amp is working 4 times harder then it would be to drive an 8ohm load.
    If you’re not careful, that could very well start a fire.

  4. Did anyone every make a component or a cable that sounded fabulous from day one, and then steadily degraded? It seems that it would be just as easy (maybe easier) to design a product that gets worse with use.

  5. If I may add… And Mark Thomas touched on this as well.

    Cables are similar to tubes in your audio system in the sense that they will degrade over time and their sound will begin to change simply with age. Companies such as Kimber Cable with the Naked Series cables, and Stealth Audio have some pretty interesting ways of combating this.

    The Naked Series is copper conductor, plated with rhodium then gold. The rhodium prevents the copper and gold from forming a different alloy which would interfere with conductivity, while the gold itself shields them from corrosion. This will give you a more “consistent” sound over a much longer period of time.

    Stealth fills the conductor tubes with helium to create a type of “vacuum” that prevents corrosion of the conductors as well.

    So while your cables may experience a bit of “burn in” (more the speaker cables), it may be more oxidation you are hearing over time. πŸ˜‰


  6. Directionality was key to the connection between my new PS Audio sacd transport and PS audio direct stream dac. There was no sound when I initially connected the I2S from transport to DAC. When I changed the direction of the cable, the sound occurred and was beautiful. Technician at PS Audio did not have an explanation for this phenomenon. Neither do I. Go figure. Any suggestions. The cable is wire world platinum HDMI cable. The directionality arrow I put it in, initially going from transport to DAC, no sound, switch the direction of cable from DAC to transport, sound occurred.

  7. Unless it’s PC-OCC copper it’s important to run it in the correct direction that is either shown with an arrow pointing the way or it’s the direction of the writing on the cable. The direction you read the writing on the wire is output to input. Wires do burn in and the demagnetizer signals on a test/burn in CD do work. Make sure you have clean connections. If you don’t have an interconnect cleaner just use rubbing alcohol.

  8. The sun and all of the planets and stars are all round but the earth is a flat frisbee flying through space…lol. It doesn’t matter If I can fly either west or east and arrive in eastern or western China. Let’s throw out those facts. πŸ™‚

  9. I wanted to pass along a very recent experience I had related to the burn-in of interconnect cables. I realize there’s a fair number of people who don’t believe that cable burn-in is “real” (Paul included) but here’s what I just went through with my newly purchased Morrow Audio 3M MA7 XLR interconnect cables. As you may or may not know, Morrow Audio offers a 60-day return policy on your cable purchases. I purchased this cable to see if it could outperform my current 3M Acrolink 7N-2070 II interconnect cables. Before inserting them into my audio system, I put them on my Audiokharma Cable Cooker and burn them in for a total of 425 hours.

    I then placed them into my system and began my listening evaluation. My initial reaction to the Morrow Audio cables was that they had a smaller soundstage, the higher frequencies were not as extended, the lower frequencies weren’t as firm and tight, and the overall sound quality felt dull and lacked clarity compared to my existing XLR cables. After further extended listening sessions, my conclusions didn’t change.

    I then reached out to Mike @ Morrow Audio to request an RMA to return the cables and obtain a refund. I explained what my listening experience had been after the 425 hours of burn-in. Mike then responded by stating that because of the physical design characteristics of their cables and more so as you progress up their product line, the cables I purchased wouldn’t reach their full potential until 700 burn-in hours is performed. Mike was so confident that I would eventually hear the full potential of his products that he extended my return period by an additional 15 days to accommodate more burn-in time.

    I placed the 3M MA7 XLR cables back on my cable cooker and burn them in for an additional 325 hours for a total of 725 hours of cable burn-in. I reinserted the cables back into my system for listening evaluation and I couldn’t believe the HUGE change I was now hearing from the same cables I had planned on returning due to lackluster performance. I was now hearing a soundstage larger then I’ve ever heard in my system, the high frequencies were very extended and crisp while simultaneously the lower frequencies were firm and tight with more energy. The overall sound was very refined with beautiful clarity and resolution that I enjoyed very much. As a result of the new sound reproduction I experienced with the extended cable burn-in, I decided to keep the cables.

    I wanted to present this posting because of my first-hand experience related to cable burn-in. I’ve always heard improvements with burning-in my cables prior to using them in my system, but this latest example was a very extreme case which I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t heard it for myself first-hand! I know there will be those who will not believe what I’ve experienced but I thought some of you may find it of interest. Standard disclaimer applies. I have no interest, affiliation or relationship with Morrow Audio and I’m just a customer. Sorry for the long-winded posting …

    1. Morrow is a good example. They’ve tested burnin themselves and include the results, including what will be heard at different points along the way, in their instructions.

      If Paul were a cable manufacturer, he’d have a different opinion, just like those that do make them have.

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