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Speaker Wire 'Burn in'

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#1
Hi All,
Just getting into ASR and i love the move to 'objective measurements', i always found it funny that speakers/Amps all have objective measurements but things like speaker wires etc haven't, then pushed marketing and complete BS to sell more products.

The topic i have always wondered, has Amir ever performed tests to check if speaker wire 'burn in' is a real thing or not? I think its BS that a piece of copper would change its properties when sending an audio signal down it. However, i am happy to be proved wrong! Be interesting to see if any changes in the frequency response happen after so many hours of 'burn in'.....
 

Frank Dernie

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#3
Hi All,
Just getting into ASR and i love the move to 'objective measurements', i always found it funny that speakers/Amps all have objective measurements but things like speaker wires etc haven't, then pushed marketing and complete BS to sell more products.

The topic i have always wondered, has Amir ever performed tests to check if speaker wire 'burn in' is a real thing or not? I think its BS that a piece of copper would change its properties when sending an audio signal down it. However, i am happy to be proved wrong! Be interesting to see if any changes in the frequency response happen after so many hours of 'burn in'.....
IIRC the frequency response of all loudspeaker cables of adequate L.C and R with well contacting connectors is the same for all cables, whether "burned in" or not.
 

solderdude

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#4
Be interesting to see if any changes in the frequency response happen after so many hours of 'burn in'.....
It won't. Not even after many years. If it were all digital connections and TV cables would start to loose signal after a week or so.
And this is in the MHz to GHz range, audio is in the kHz range.

Some things in life are pointless to measure because of physics.
 
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Feyire

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#7
In my subjective experience, after switching my interconnects from a Mogami 2534 XLR cable (was used in my system continuously for over 1 year) to a freshly built and assembled Mogami 2549 XLR cable, I immediately noticed a difference which I can only describe as "sounding wrong".

In disbelief and confusion, I just decided to leave the music playing in the room and after a few hours came back to listen and then everything sounded much like I remembered (i.e. not sounding "wrong" anymore). Interpret that as you will, but to me the only difference between the first listen and coming back a few hours later, was music playing over time (i.e. "burn in").
 

BDWoody

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#9
In my subjective experience, after switching my interconnects from a Mogami 2534 XLR cable (was used in my system continuously for over 1 year) to a freshly built and assembled Mogami 2549 XLR cable, I immediately noticed a difference which I can only describe as "sounding wrong".

In disbelief and confusion, I just decided to leave the music playing in the room and after a few hours came back to listen and then everything sounded much like I remembered (i.e. not sounding "wrong" anymore). Interpret that as you will, but to me the only difference between the first listen and coming back a few hours later, was music playing over time (i.e. "burn in").
So, do you have to change them out each year? Are you thinking that the old wire had worn out, or maybe burned in too much?

Seems a lot of hassle... Do they have the equivalent of synthetic oil with a 'super long life cable' where you can maybe go 2 years?

I'm poking a little fun, but haven't seen anything that would indicate cables, or really anything else, needs or benefits from burn-in.
 

Chrispy

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#11
In my subjective experience, after switching my interconnects from a Mogami 2534 XLR cable (was used in my system continuously for over 1 year) to a freshly built and assembled Mogami 2549 XLR cable, I immediately noticed a difference which I can only describe as "sounding wrong".

In disbelief and confusion, I just decided to leave the music playing in the room and after a few hours came back to listen and then everything sounded much like I remembered (i.e. not sounding "wrong" anymore). Interpret that as you will, but to me the only difference between the first listen and coming back a few hours later, was music playing over time (i.e. "burn in").
Sounds like you were being burned in.....
 

SimpleTheater

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#12
The topic i have always wondered, has Amir ever performed tests to check if speaker wire 'burn in' is a real thing or not? I think its BS that a piece of copper would change its properties when sending an audio signal down it. However, i am happy to be proved wrong! Be interesting to see if any changes in the frequency response happen after so many hours of 'burn in'.....
Wire burn-in is a fact! I bought my speaker wire thirty years ago and I can tell you that a 16kHz test tone, that was shrieky and loud when I first got the speaker wire, is now barely audible. So not only is that proof that speaker wire burns in, I’ll add it is constantly burning in and that 16 kHz test tone might not even be audible in the next year or two. You don’t need Amir to test anything because I’ve already proved it. The copper MUST be changing its properties to reduce high frequencies so significantly. I can think of no other possible reason.
 

Mnyb

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#13
Why would cable burn in be limited to audio , we would be in series trouble if this was a real issue :)

Power lines and data centers comes to my mind . Medical devices etc ,satelites

Electrical Engineering is not special or different for audio , audio is just a less demanding subset where most problems are known and solved decades ago .

The big things seems to happens in acoustic knowhow ie speaker and headphone design . More like electromechanical and mechanical engineering and fluid dynamics ?
 
OP
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Thread Starter #14
To be clear, i think its subjective snake oil and the mind wanting to hear a difference, so it convinces you there is a difference. Its just cool to see the graphs which 'put to bed' any notion of any change in frequencies and it is indeed your brain playing tricks on you
 

Feyire

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#16
So, do you have to change them out each year? Are you thinking that the old wire had worn out, or maybe burned in too much?

Seems a lot of hassle... Do they have the equivalent of synthetic oil with a 'super long life cable' where you can maybe go 2 years?

I'm poking a little fun, but haven't seen anything that would indicate cables, or really anything else, needs or benefits from burn-in.
The reason why I changed the cable, was because I wanted to see if there was any difference in my system between the star quad arrangement of the Mogami 2534 (which is typically used in high EF and EM interference environments) as shown below:

1616411103000.png


vs the standard Mogami 2549 as shown below:

1616411109051.png


In the end, I couldn't tell them apart. So out of laziness, I just kept the 2549 in my system.

Sounds like you were being burned in.....
I got a good laugh out of that one. Who knows, perhaps it so - the human "burn in" factor :D
 

DonH56

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#18
I can think of a few reasons related to the cable why it might have sounded different, related to the common-mode rejection of the quad arrangement, and in a high-noise environment. The difference should be immediately apparent, assuming the noise is always present (*). No reason the wire itself would change after "burn-in". And again it is always "interesting" how burn-in always and only makes a "positive" change. It is incredibly difficult to believe how much perception can influence the sound, along with emotional state and such. It was shockingly humbling to discover how few of the grandiose changes I thought I heard were not really there when I participated in blind testing many years ago. I think emotional and physical state is a huge player in the differences we hear.

FWIWFM - Don

(*) One of the sneaky little changes can happen is when a noise source is intermittent, leading to hearing changes that are real but not necessarily related to any particular component change. Since the difference is sporadic and subtle it is easy to convince ourselves a component change made all the difference, and later we are no longer so focused we simply miss the change induced as the noise source goes on and off. The difference is measurable, natch, assuming you have the instrumentation available and in place to see it. Rare. The recent debate about differential (balanced) circuit noise rejection is a case in point; few of us instrument our systems all the time even if we have access to the equipment, and far fewer have access to an EMC or EMI/RFI test lab and time to run such experiments. Especially when the results are well-known and understood through prior research.
 
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#20
Wire burn-in is a fact! I bought my speaker wire thirty years ago and I can tell you that a 16kHz test tone, that was shrieky and loud when I first got the speaker wire, is now barely audible. So not only is that proof that speaker wire burns in, I’ll add it is constantly burning in and that 16 kHz test tone might not even be audible in the next year or two. You don’t need Amir to test anything because I’ve already proved it. The copper MUST be changing its properties to reduce high frequencies so significantly. I can think of no other possible reason.
I've found that the universal properties of copper itself must be changing. I've tried many different cables and none of them will reproduce even a 12 kHz test tone no matter how high I boost the signal or how long I let it burn in. I've tried to verify these results with my kids but for some reason they refuse to come to this side of the house anymore.
 

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