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Does sound quality in cables and such decay over time?

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In an advert of a high quality cable manufacturer I read their cables don't degrade over time. So that made me wonder: do cables degrade over time? I mean I am sure that a cable wil stil work after ten years (or hundred) but according to some sound quality in cables are about 'unmeasurably' small differences that can make a lot of difference sound wise.

I know capacitors can decay after a longer period of time, but those are not a cables 😉.

I just bought a second hand Shunyata Hydra V-Ray of ten years old for instance, would/should that still work just as good as when it came right out of the box?

 

Have any of you experienced decay of sound quality in cables or devices without moving parts after years of use?

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Hoi,

 

I suppose it does (wear). But my thinking would be very indirect and based on other (dark) matter in the first place : burn-in.

 

So why on earth would a cable get better because of burn in (hard for me to digest but so anyway) and "better" only. Why could it not deteriorate sound per the same means ?

 

Beside the above, in one or two occasions too many I experienced it the other way around: at first good sound which after that deteriorates. And this as electronic general behavior.

Our DAC too (NOS1) is good after one day of burn in, then deteriorates significantly to only come back at some better level at day 5. So at day 1,  3 and 4 it sounds like a drag. This is 100% repeatable for everyone.

 

All in other words: who tells that a cable is at its best after 6 months of usage ? Maybe after that it goes down hill again.

Thus this is not particularly about wear (like oxygen influence etc.) when a cable is at its best, which IMO is not necessarily in the infinite future.

 

Otherwise a cable can loose its targeted impedance  because of various reasons. Think the chemical which makes the cable's jacket or isolation flexible. As you will know, the "weakeners" will disappear from plastics over time (the plastic now breaks easily). This is a property that influences impedance and thus also the cable's performance. I say "performance" but that depends on the cable type, but because all such things make an audible difference, the cable will change sound because of it. And then again, nobody tells it will be for the worse (except when it is about literal performance, like a 75 Ohm digital cable should have an impedance of 75 Ohm - and not only today).

 

 


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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29 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

Our DAC too (NOS1) is good after one day of burn in, then deteriorates significantly to only come back at some better level at day 5. So at day 1,  3 and 4 it sounds like a drag. This is 100% repeatable for everyone.

Peter

 IME, that is normally due to forming of larger value electrolytic capacitors, where you may hear a similar cycle before they fully  stabilise. This behaviour was reported by numerous constructors of the John Linsley Hood PSU add-on, where the large value electros in the capacitance multiplier section are operated at voltages well below their voltage ratings.

 You may be able to verify this by powering up the large value filter capacitors for several days before installing them.

 I have noticed similar behaviour when the JLH PCBs haven't been powered up in the device for several weeks, however , in that case they only need around 24 hours of operation to sound normal again.

 

Regards

Alex


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 30-05-2019

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1 hour ago, PeterSt said:

Our DAC too (NOS1) is good after one day of burn in, then deteriorates significantly to only come back at some better level at day 5. So at day 1,  3 and 4 it sounds like a drag. This is 100% repeatable for everyone.

 

On the first day people are deeply shocked or surprised by the much better than usual sound quality.

But they now have very high expectations and it comes down as a disappointment that the second, third and fourth days aren't as impressive by comparison, even though the sound is just as good.

By day five they've grown accustomed to the sound. 😏


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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I've always experienced SQ changes over time; I accept this as being part of the business currently; eventually all the factors that contribute to this will be understood, and under control - but in the meantime ...

 

Digital replay often used to have this characteristic of starting off being inoffensive; then going through an irksome stage of having somewhat unpleasant characteristics, then finally stabilising into a decent long term quality. My first CDP took days to settle down from a cold start, the only solution was to leave it on 24/7.

 

Cables have a couple of factors - the typically poor integrity of the contact surfaces of the connectors is one thing that changes SQ on more revealing setups; and electrostatic behaviours can also influence.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Breaking News!  Scientists find that Cable SQ is not related to the Reward System in the Brain!

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/health/thirst-brain-drinking.html

 

 


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, One and a half said:

There's plating and plating of metals. Covering of metals to protect them from corrosion need to be applied correctly at the manufacturing stage, which often are not.

Yes.  That fits with one of my cable major criteria:   Is it defective or not? 


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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