Cable burn-in. A slightly new perspective

A couple of months or so ago I decided to chop-off the flimsy captive mains lead on out Sony 4K TV and attach an in-line IEC connector so that I could use one of our Chord C Power cables on it. These are no longer made but were excellent value at just £60 and make a substantial and worthwhile improvement over out-of-the-box mains leads. We use one on the block that feeds our router and EE8 switch and also on our AV components and mains block. I was reluctant to do this while the TV was still in warranty as it would have invalidated it. But now there was nothing to lose.

I should start by saying that we listen to TV sound via our main system. The cable in question had been used for a long time elsewhere so was very well run-in. I noticed a worthwhile improvement in sound and picture when it was fitted, and thought that was that. However, things have continued to improve very substantially over the past weeks. So what is going on here - why the continued improvement with an already well run-in cable?

What I postulate is this. Although the cable was run-in, the TV electronics were now subjected to a wider performance envelope and so also required burning-in with respect to this. Hence the improvement.

I’m just guessing of course, but it would explain things. So if this is indeed the case, then when we experience cable burn-in with our hi-fi electronics then it’s actually not just the cable that is burning in. It’s the electronics that are re-burning in with respect to the new performance envelope that they are now subjected to.

This would certainly explain the odd reports from time-to-time of well run-in used cables still giving rise to burn-n effects.


Im struggling with seeing how mass produced disposable electronics in a TV would “re burn in” in sympathy with a new lead being used. Its a stretch when considering hi end audio kit, but a Sony TV?

Anyway, thats not important. If you perceive an improvement, job done.

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Yes, for example using speakers for some time and then upgrading everything up stream would require the speakers to take a while to be comfortable handling the extra grip and frequency extension.

Some “burn in” test tracks that are available feature energy at the frequency extremes to stimulate the areas that might not be utilised in some systems.
Most folk I’m sure can only hope to achieve total 100% burn in.


I’ve always thought that part of the burning in process is to allow the cable to relax in its new position after being bent in different directions-possibly a load or rubbish

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And equally possibly - not. Mechanical stresses in cables is well-known to affect performance. Well-known to those who hear it anyway.

Another very intriguing aspect of this that occurs to me. If higher performing cables do result in increased burn-in of electronics due to the larger performance envelope they are subjected to then would this still be beneficial even returning to a lesser performing cable? In other words, having been more comprehensively burnt-in would the elctronics sound better no matter what?

So, for example, I could borrow a complete Chord Music cable loom for my system, which I could never in a million years afford to buy, and use it for a while to attempt to maximise the burn-in of all my electronics. Then when it was returned I would still possibly retain at least some of its benefits!

Now to find a dealer prepared to loan me the cables …

This, in principle, is little different to the use of cable burn-in machines. Except it is maximising the burn-in of electronics. Next on the market - sets of loan burn-in cables to maximise your electronics - only £500 a week!

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There are companies already offering pre burnt in and previously cryo cables.
I wonder how they burn in cables to the style of music you like. :thinking:


Presumably they rock them side to side for rock’n’roll. Leave them in the rain for Blues. Cover them in oil for garage, wave them over-head for Disco, other ideas from anyone?


What’s burning into what again?

If you’re saying that both component and power lead burn in to each other sympathetically, then it would be surprising if your component knew the positive benefits to retain once you give your loaner “burnt in with a statement system” power leads back. If this is any definite physical process at all then wouldn’t a possibility also be the component and OE cable just burn “out” sympathetically once your loaner loom went back?

I guess you’re assuming that burn in is a plastic process, vs elastic, and that there’s some ultimate level of it that’s only achieved when component and lead are both pushed to the limits of some ultimate envelope? Don’t know if that’s what your getting at? Plenty of people report hearing components left for a while burn in all over again, so their experience suggests an elastic process…

IMO this is all bit potty (the idea, not the person @PJL - nothing personal!!!). But I’m very happy if people subscribe to either view, and hear the evidence :slight_smile:


Get shown porn films for Jazz :zipper_mouth_face:

Drag them through a forest for ambient.

I would like some more detailed information as to how the 4K Sony screen got its captive power cable intercepted with a new IEC.
That’s the crucial information missing here.

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Cutting a captive cable is not a great idea IMO, it impacts resale value and next owners method of connecting power.

In this scenario the hifi would indeed beneficially produce better hifi until the - “use it or lose it” reality sets in. The burn in is in abstract terms an “outwardly” concept. Here things take shape forming in time.
The longer things left the closer things become. “Inwardly” and time goes backwards.

Its resale value is £0 to me.

The captive mains cable was cut to around 10cm in length and terminated with a C14 in-line IEC.

To connect power simply use any mains power cord terminated with a C13 IEC.

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I made a simple empirical observation and a gave a few of my thoughts on it. A simple musing - nothing more. Treat it as such.

I just played the same four chords through them for a week. Then, I woke up one morning…etc etc.



Sir, you are only echoing my own thoughts.


Don’t misunderstand me PJL, I’m not dis’ing what you’ve done, just making the resale point.
I have a DIY cable on my TV, but it is not captive, it has a fig-8 plug, supra 1.5mm and MK silver Toughplug.
Does it sound or look better, not that I noticed (at the time) the objective was to have the right cable length. Plus I have the original as and when I sell the TV.