As a seasoned audiophile for the past 30 years, I have experimented with various methods of cable break-in. The simplest method is to play recordings for about 100 hours and then listen critically. Next is running white noise from a radio source. Another method is a special break-in CD.
Enter the Cable Cooker. A specialized electronic device that uses sweep frequency tones at higher voltages to quickly break-in cables. One connects cables to this outboard box for about 24 hours and then places the cables into service in their system. All done and ready to hear the ultimate sonic experience? Not really, at least in my experience.
It depends on cable design/type: In the case of exotic alloys, multiple conductors, and heavy dielectrics, break-in time can be over 400 hours system time and a cooker is required to reduce this time. At the other end of the spectrum, basic single conductor air-core designs may only need 50 hours of system time (no cooker needed). Our Reference cables fit the latter criteria. Also another factor is that cooked cables initially sound bright, especially silver cables (perhaps I am hearing things).
Mechanical deformation negates cooking: One of our designers performed an experiment to see if cable break-in was negated after coiling, packing, and shipping the cables. We system burned the cables for 50 hours and listened; Sounds great. We round trip shipped the cables and listened once more. Wow! Not the same sonic result. It was as if the cables were not even broken-in. Another 50 hours and the cables sounded the same before we originally shipped them. We tried this test with a few other cable brands and got the same result. This test also confirms audiophile opinion that just rerouting a system cable can change the sonics due to internal mechanical changes of the wire and dielectrics.
Cable cooking results are varied from many of the folks I have spoken with over the years. It will be interesting to hear from our readers of their own personal experiences.
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