Craigas

Burn-In - The Physics Behind It

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1 hour ago, Metatron said:

In terms of possible explanations for cable burn-in, I'd go for the idea that crystalline imperfections are seen much like rocks in a fast flowing river, which create a turbulence around them. A theory (link below) claimed the size of such would be related to the signal being propagated. I would wonder if over time, a bit like water wearing on the rocks and achieving an optimum flow around them, something similar could happen at the molecular level. I would still question if it would be audible as frankly I just don't believe in cable burn-in.

Stereophile still have a link to the article which was penned  by the scientist Malcolm Omar Hawksford (https://csee.essex.ac.uk/research/audioresearch/People.html)

Somehow his Fez-like head wear does not engender me to taking him seriously. 

My concern over the article is it opens doors for 'heard' differences in the normal audiophile context that aren't checked by ABX or similar to be claimed vehemently as if they are huge and not achievable by other kit upgrades. Secondly, the quantitative data of some of the effects that could in theory be audible are not shown, so the magnitude of the effects is not appropriately discussed. However, it is likely not to overturn the studies on cables whereby most people imagine a difference. That said, I've heard differences in friends' systems where I expect none, albeit, did not go on to test via ABX to see if they are actually there when cognitive biases are removed.

For those who are interested in the article, which uses Maxwell's equations to explain various effects in cables.... here it is...

https://www.stereophile.com/reference/1095cable

I hope it isn't taken as definitive evidence by believers in 'night and day' differences. Sure, there are finer things at work in cables, but audibility of them remains questionable and usually doesn't make it through ABX tests.

Unfortunately from a metallurgical point of  view there’s no evidence to support electrical turbulence from crystalline imperfections. 

Thr only thing that affects the sound from a metal conductor is its LCR properties, and not its composition, purity, crystalline makeup of whether its been cryo treated or not.  Though some of those will affect R. This is in relation to domestic Hifi btw, so no need to come up with ‘skin effect’ or other spurious electrical anomalies to muddy the waters.  Hth 😀👍

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1 minute ago, Devil said:

Unfortunately from a metallurgical point of  view there’s no evidence to support electrical turbulence from crystalline imperfections. 

Thr only thing that affects the sound from a metal conductor is its LCR properties, and not its composition, purity, crystalline makeup of whether its been cryo treated or not.  Though some of those will affect R. This is in relation to domestic Hifi btw, so no need to come up with ‘skin effect’ or other spurious electrical anomalies to muddy the waters.  Hth 😀👍

Exactly. As I said, I'm not a believer in cable burn-in, or general differences unless it can get through an ABX at more than statistical chance. I was merely showing an article that I don't go along with that tries to scientifically rationalize why we might hear differences in cable. I was merely postulating a reason in the context of the article itself. (As in, if I had to theorize what influences could be at work, via published evidence or theory I could find to support some notion, what would it be? And that article is the only theory I could find - and it is just theory. I was careful not to call it a study or evidence etc).

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1 hour ago, MartinC said:

No, but the fact that there is no measurable difference does.

Martin (and Tony) total non-sequiturs.  Trying to make a serious point.

Sorry guys wrong forum.  Gave it a go.  Out of here......

Donuk beautiful downtown York

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2 hours ago, Metatron said:

https://www.stereophile.com/reference/1095cable

I hope it isn't taken as definitive evidence by believers in 'night and day' differences. Sure, there are finer things at work in cables, but audibility of them remains questionable and usually doesn't make it through ABX tests.

I similarly hope it isn't taken as definitive evidence, because there is an awful lot going on there that is supposition wrapped up as fact. More saliently is that, as is so often the case in similar examples, what is mentioned as 'significant' is actually anything but. The question is not whether there are any physical properties, of course there are, the question is whether there are any that could possibly have any audible effect at audio frequencies. If your hearing range extends to around 100 MHz then you might have a problem :D

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2 hours ago, Donuk said:

Martin (and Tony) total non-sequiturs.  Trying to make a serious point.

Sorry guys wrong forum.  Gave it a go.  Out of here......

Donuk beautiful downtown York

I was making a serious point too.

Just because everything might not be fully understood from a theoretical point of view it does not mean that you can't conclude things from measured data. Measuring the voltage waveform at different stages along the HiFi chain is not a challenging task, and so for situations where there is demonstrably no difference in this waveform then there is no possibility for there to be an acoustic difference. 'Burn-in' is a real phenomenon when it does make a measurable difference but not when it doesn't. No new physical model of a currently not understood process can change this fact.

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Thanks all for the replies, good thread, and some great contributions whatever side of the fence you are on. Thought it might be a knife fight :) 

Personally I can see burn in simply as a result of the connectors connecting more due to more time as they relax into each other, more signal as a result, for cables anyway. The other side of me says no possible way but in the end I'm a believer. I get the measurable argument, and Martins recent post "'Burn-in' is a real phenomenon when it does make a measurable difference but not when it doesn't. No new physical model of a currently not understood process can change this fact." which I agree with in so far as technology supports the measurement. Is it naïve to think we create this physical object and it doesn't just settle in, just like everything else in nature--boy did I just say that.

Anyways I'm open to it but depends greatly on the medium that is burning in, some more than others, cables are a stretch for sure but the jury is still out for me on that.

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3 minutes ago, Craigas said:

 Is it naïve to think we create this physical object and it doesn't just settle in, just like everything else in nature--boy did I just say that.

1, yes. 2, yes. But I'll forgive you.

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30 minutes ago, Craigas said:

Awesome, I'm saved, at last :)

Best you check the type of priesthood Rabski is from :whistle:

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On 08/03/2019 at 12:52, Tony_J said:

Just because we don't like the answer that known physics gives us doesn't mean there is some unknown peice of physics that will explain the latest cockeyed idea we just dreamed up.

That kind of describes how physics tends to progress...9_9

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