[the gorgeous kim tae hee]

i am not sure if it is because of my frequency of upgrades, burning-in seems to take up a large part of my time in hifi. whether it is for tubes or cables, i do indeed spend a large amount of time in burning-in.

the law of physics is such that any new equipment would only sound optimal after at least 200 hours of burning-in. in my memory, equipment that took a considerable time to burn-in include the audio magic stealth mini reference (500 hours) and now the stage III gryphon interconnects (estimate to be in the region of 500 hours too). i have blogged about the minute changes in power tubes years ago, you can search the archive.

while burning-in is a long and boring process, observing the minute changes in the sound is an interesting one. for an interconnect and power cord, the first 10 hours are crucial, for it tells almost 70% of the "base" sound. once it is past 20 hours, the sound starts getting worse you can no longer use it as a guide.

i often leave my equipment (with the exception of power amp!) on overnight. in the case of burning-in the gryphon, i play my cd (XLO burn-in CD track #9, no less) non-stop for more than 10 hours a day. in the case of the audio magic, i had a mini fan switched on 24/7 to expedite the process. and the next morning when i wake up, i would switch on the system and monitor the progress. often times, it gives plenty of surprises, especially when the sound suddenly opens up, with its veil lifted. i would say in 8 out of 10 times, the sound changes, for better or for worse.

i always tell my audio buddies that the burning-in process is akin to a bud blossoming into a beautiful flower. if you observe it every day, the bud will bloom, the pedals will open up and the shape will form gradually - it is a magical process. in hifi, the same happens albeit in a more complicated ways. typically, an interconnect goes thru at least 20 cycles (the thicker the longer!) of what i call "peaks and troughs" - meaning it sounds good for 10 hours and then suddenly the sound changes for the worse, with the whole cycle repeating 20 times, each time the "good" gets better, the "worse" also get less worse, before the burning-in process completes.

the most frustrating part is when you think the "good" sounds has finally stablized, it gets worse again, so you need another 10-20 hours before you get back an even better sound. if you are the impatient kind, you may just give up!

trust me, i am an expert in observing these minute changes as i have played so many interconnects, power cords and tubes in the past 10 years. i certainly know when the cable has "some way to go" and when "it is well-cooked". i can't say i enjoy the process but i must say, you can beat physics and law of nature. i do know that in US, audiophiles buy cable burner which could expedite the process but i feel that's not a natural way to burn-in a piece the gear. during the entire 500 hours, i practically don't enjoy the music but waiting patiently for the day to come when i could sit back and relax.

if you are not into observing burning-in and you can't be bothered with "bad" sound for at least 200 hours, then my advice is - just enjoy the music!

it would be interesting to know what you do when you gear is burning-in.

28 comments:

hafiz said...

MaggieLurva,

Try the AudioDharma cable cooker .Your life will never be the same.

i was introduced to it by one of my friend 2 yrs ago ,and you wouldn't know how much better your cables are [and those burn-in time are just for 48hrs for most]

everybody should have access to one IMO.

sam elliot said...

Maggielurva...

1]audiodharma cable cooker.The best.The Ongaku of cable cooker,and fully endorsed Hafiz's recommendations.

2]Gryphon Exorcist.Unbelieveable to reburn and demag your system

Those 2 things ,I can't live without

GCK said...

Leslie, I use the Purist Audio burn in CD to burn my components. It does improves the sound by shorter time. Usually I will leave it to play overnight for cables and CDP and pre-amp, except power amp. If you need it, please let me know. It is way better than the Sheffield Lab/XLO disc for burning in.
What do I do while components are burning in? I just enjoy the music...

chase said...

Like you,I was using the XLO for the longest time until the chance encounter with Purist Audio Ultimeate system Enhancer.

The concept is the same with XLO[which is actually the pioneer]but i think with the Purist, the extreme frequencies get an extra 10-20% more kick.

I also feel that ,if you pretreat your cables with CAIG deoxit[also for tubes and equipment terminals]the bur-in time can be reduced by about 25 %.

The Last thing that I use during the bur-in processis to spray Nordost anti static spray generously ,on the cables to eliminate the statics.

Anonymous said...

I usually buy used cables, that saves a lot of burn in time.

However, sometimes the used items are mint and you really do not know how long or how much more to go in the burn in process.

zack poisel said...

I too has discovered the wonders of cable cooker.

I started off with the Nordost cable cooker,and one day tried the Audiodharma that my friend has.It has got to be one of the best kept secrect in Hi-fi!!!!!

Of course ,after the initial burn in ,I normally "re-burn" the cables every month to rejuvunate them.You have got to hear this to believe.

Longo said...

Anonymous.

I would advise you to be careful with used cables.It is OK to buy from seasoned audiophiles,people who are obsessively careful with taking care of the cable.

The biggest culprit that course sonic degradations in used cables are connector scratch,and loose soldering.I suggest looking at the connector would give an idea as to the type of abuse the cables has gone through.Me?I only buy new[you do get a fairly good discount on flagship models .Normally circa 20 %]

oliver said...

I am another one that Has switched to Purist Audio Ultimate System Enhancer.

I was also using the XLO,and also thought that the high became crispier with the PURIST.

I normally demagnitised Once a month ,and reburn in around once a month.Occasionally,when in the mood,I will borrow my brother's Gryphon's Exorcist.

junichi said...

Even Japanese people like the Audiodharma cable cooker.Every Japanese audiophile must have one.Japanese people recook cables once a month.Must try,Must try!!Cable s become more open,music more space, transient last longer.Not very expensive,but buy the Pro versions

Krames said...

Most Cables manufacturers{Virtual dynamics etc]use the cable cookers extensively.

Some manufacturers of course do not tell you that.

In US,most of major dealers will have a cable cooker[Mostly Audiodharma]and will cook it for you for a fees.But I think it is better to own one,since a monthly reexposure is recommended by Aln Krafton,the designer.Once you started using though,you will not look back.It really is like a major component upgrades.

aboon said...

can the cable cooker cook Maggie mee and char kwe teow or not?

CSLim said...

This is the first time I aqm hearing about the cable cooker.

None of my audiophiles friends incliuding some hard core kaki are aware ....looks like we are missing out here?

K said...

there have been a recent posting in audio asylum about cable cooker and the general consesus has been good.

i have also ordered one last week and was thoroughly impressed with alan Krafton.

azo said...

I have been using the Gryphon Exorcist since it was first introduced.Suffice to say that it was the best bucks I have ever spend on a piece of hi-fi.

bluth said...

I had the chance to use the Dedicated audio cooker,The Nordost cooker and Audiodharma cooker.

The audiodharma is certainly many classes above the dedicated audio,and noticebly much better than the Nordost.The Nordost unit is good for Nordost cables,which I think is not popular in this part of the world.

For System burin,I think The Purist Audio is MARGINALLY better than the rest.

Poisel said...

MaggieLurva,

You spend that kind of money on cables and do not own the Audiodharma cable cooker?Please tell me you are kidding!!!????

If not run to your dealer[surely they have one ,right??!!!}and try.The Gryphon will start flying!!!!

Bartsch said...

there are several things in Hi-fi that IMO ,nobody can do WITHOUT:

1]Finite Elemente feet.Whichever one depending on your budget;Under EVERYTHING.

2]Dedicated AC line with Ac receptacles.Again depending on yopur budget.

3]Audiodharma cable cooker.Yup,you wouldn't know how good your cables are till you put them through.

4]Room acoustic treatments.

Then your system would be ready to Rock!!!!

Anonymous said...

agree with above.

I have been using the Nordost cooker[I use all Nordost cables in my set up]

Will be checking the audiodharma methink

loituma said...

I was using the all Stealth cablings in my set u,and since they discourage the use of cable burners I resisted using.

One day having heard[yet again]the dramatic change heard in my Neighbour system after a round of cooking,I decided what the heck....and the results were amazing!!!!and my cables?better than ever

ames said...

I left the Stealth camp for other reasons....too laidback for my liking....maybe should have tried to cook it up first

YTK said...

Nobody here likes the Cardas disc?

I also have the XLO and alternateit on monthly basis with Cardas.

Anonymous said...

I use cheap cables that sound bad so i dun think any cable cooker will help. Any one think otherwise?

jiji said...

anonymous,

Yes ,It will improve your cable performance for sure.BUT it will not make your IC sound like stage 3 Gryphon,I can bet on that..

the key is ,the audiodharma will let your cable work at its best.In my experience though,the most obvious results are seen in Reference Cables{maybe because the owner of such cables also has very transparent system?]

tgyap said...

I actually enjoy listening the bur in process

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hey guys,
wonderful feedback you gave.
embarrassingly, i must admit that i am ignorant of audiodharma, or any cable cooker for that matter simply because no dealers in malaysia bring them in. such things won't sell here, not at RM2K. so you know how "backward" we are :-(

i am now convinced that it must be good. i definitely need one to reduce my chores.

aboon,
why are you always hungry??

sam elliot said...

Maggielurva,

I do not think you ever need to feel embarass.

The fact of the matter is 90 % of audio reviewers use them ,but only Mike Framer[stereophile]mentioned it in his associated equipments.

Likewise,overwhelming majority of ultra hi-end cable manufacturers use them,but very few publicise it...

The good thing is you don't just brush it off,like some people,without using it.And we all could exchange our experience so that we could enjoy the hobby more.

CHEERS

Anonymous said...

If all the hi end cable manufacturers uases them and have already burn in the cables, do we still need them?

Is it not better to let regular listening burn in further?

poisel said...

The way i understand,The cable manufacturers normally bur in their flagship models. Normally the bur in process last for about 1-3 months.

Unless you buy the cables direct[eg lessloss cables fr Lithuania] you will need a further burn-in.It is akin to switching off your electronics for a long time,you will need to re burn in everything,Right??of course the burin time will not be as long as before.

Anyway even with the Audiodharma,you should recook your cables periodically.

Like everything else in our hobby it is best to experience it firsthand.For me though,there is no turning back.Why don't you Write to Alan Krafton,he is so helpful