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Burn in of component leads?????

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by stu1972, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. stu1972

    stu1972
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    Hi,

    I heard a guy mention that component leads only reach their full potential after a burn-in period.

    Is there any truth behind this?

    Stu :)
     
  2. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    About as much truth as the claim that £5 a metre speaker cable will work any better than 5A twin flex :laugh:

    Why should it ? A piece of wire is a piece of wire.
     
  3. Thunder

    Thunder
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    Not completely true, different wires have different electrical characteristics, resistance capacitance etc. But no cables dont have a "run in time" Read the Beekeepers thread for all you need to know on cables :D
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Yes, I know that - I've been an electronics engineer for more than 30 years, and a hi-fi enthusiast for even longer.

    The effect that any cable less than 20 metres long is going to have on what you hear will be negligeable. You don't listen to music with a capacitance or resistance meter, you listen with your ears.

    The only people who will tell you that expensive cables work better than cheaper ones are either the people who are trying to sell them to you, or the ones who have already fallen for the sales patter, and refuse to believe that they've thrown their money down the drain.
     
  5. stu1972

    stu1972
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    I myself am a time served mechanical engineer with an understanding of basic electrical principles. It just didn't sound right about a "burn in" time on component leads.
    If you fancy a laugh, check out ebay (U.S) sometime, guys selling component leads on there claim there leads are superior as they have been "burned in" for at least 500 hours!!!!!!!

    LOL!!!

    Cheers,

    Stu :)
     
  6. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant
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    Hello Stu,

    So it's the ebay seller that gave you that idea :D

    Just plug it in and dont worry about it :smashin:

    Mark.
     
  7. Thunder

    Thunder
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    Digital and video signals are very sensitive souls otherwise kit manufacturers wouldnt go to the expense of multilayer PCBs and low noise transformers. if your running cables all over the place its surely common sense to give it a cable that impedes its journey as little as possible and gives it good shiedling and protection from outside interferance :thumbsup: I dont advocate spending massive amounts on cables but I would say that you can get better than B&Q power flex for connecting many grands worth of precision electronics together :) Im a great believer in if it dosnt measure better then it isnt better and dont hold much faith in subjective measurment :smashin: Unless of course its ABX :D
     
  8. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Believe me (speaking as someone who has spent many years repairing and maintaining AV kit), manufacturers of domestic equipment don't spend a penny more than they have to ! Quite often multi-layer boards save on production costs (because they're quite cheap to produce in quantity), and it's often at the expense of performance, not the enhancement of it. Digital signals especially are not hardy souls - usually digital kit either works, or it doesn't. The whole point of digital is that errors in transmission can be corrected, causing no degradation of the sound or picture. I have to chuckle when I see people talking about RCA cables for powered woofers, because of the levels of signal and the limited frequency response of these cables, anything slightly better than a piece of wet string would suffice :laugh:

    The only thing you are likely to lose over a few tens of metres of thinner cable is a few milliwatts of power, which your ears will not notice at all, and this is easily overcome by turning the volume control up a tiny but. As far as shielding is concerned, unless you are living next door to a transmitting mast, or planning to leave your mobile phone straddling the cables, it's not a problem.

    To be honest, you would benefit more by spending the money you would have spent on the cables on the parts of your system where it would have some effect.
     
  9. Thunder

    Thunder
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    Well in your opinion why then does more expensive equipment made with higher quality materials and far more advanced PCB designs sound better than cheap equipment using single layer PCBs frame transformers and poor quality resistors and capacitors? :confused: I know for one that TMA invested a massive amount producing six layer PCBs for their equipment manufactured at their formula 1 plant in Woking. I have been told by TMA engineers that multilayer PCBs are much more complicated to produce and were used by themselves to stop crosstalk and interferance? If the quality of the materials in a piece of AV equipment has no effect on the end SQ or VQ then they might as well, as you suggest be made out of wet string and shoe boxes :) John Mulcahy their ex head of engineering has always said to me that the stability of a digital signal is vital in order to produce accurate reproduction, if data is lost it cannot be put back. This is one of the reasons TMA came up with sync link in order to match the clocks in the source component and processor to make sure that no jitter or degredation is introduced to the signal, the stabilty of a digital signal I have been told is vital. Having read TMAs extensive research paper into AV cables (I dont know if its still available) they came to the conclusion that cables do indeed have to be well engineered but only to a point, ie certain cables have to meet certain criteria to carry certain signals but past that its not worth any more expense. I definatley fall on this side of th camp. Get a cable that gets the signal from A to B with as little effect on the signal it carries as possible :)
     
  10. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Multi-layer PCB's are not that expensive to produce in quantity - PC motherboards can use 16 layers or more, and even when they are assembled with the chips and other components they only cost between £35 and £100. Also, multi-layer boards are only useful in (a) computer applications, where the time that it takes a pulse to travel from A to B can be critical, and (b) in applications where a lot of multi-pin devices have to be fitted into a very small space.

    The use of multi-layer PCB's in audio equipment can be counter-productive, because tracks carrying signals which are too close together can result in capacitive or inductive coupling, which leads to crosstalk.

    Funny, I was always under the assumption that the advantage of digital systems was that data could be corrected when it got corrupted, which is the reason why a CD still gives good sound even when the data stream off the disk has been corrupted by surface scratches and other imperfections.
     
  11. Thunder

    Thunder
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    We will have to agree to differ Nick :thumbsup:
     

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