My friend Stephaen Harrell (6Moons reviewer) loaned me his Hagerman ‘Fry Baby’ cable conditioning device a while back, and I was rather astonished at the performance increase that comes from giving cables a good fry. That combined with Mark Coles dedicated conditioning of every Sablon Audio cable that he makes, using one of Alan Kafton’s audioharma Cable Cooker devices, led me to conclude I needed a cable conditioning device of my own. After all, as a reviewer I want to make sure I get the very best out of every cable sent to me for review, and as a Hi-Fi enthusiast I want the best performance out of my Hi-Fi investment!
Alan’s audioharma Cable Cooker appears to be the best of its kind, so I decided to purchase one and find out what it could do for my cables. This is a personal purchase and not something sent to me for review, so you will not see a review of it at Positive Feedback Online. However, I will update you with the results I experience as I use it over time.
The Cable Cooker allows you to cook a pair of speaker cables and pair of interconnects at the same time. Alan says about cooking time:
“That is dependent upon the gauge of the conductors, the number of conductors, and the amount of dielectric material. Generally, for brand new cable, the suggested guidelines are 2 to 2 1/2 days for interconnects… 3 to 4 1/2 days for speaker cables… and 4 to 5 days for power cabling. Heavier-gauge designs, and those with more complex wiring geometries usually require more conditioning time than what the above guidelines show. Many customers have determined that “more is more” in these cases, performing additional conditioning in incremental stages. Periodic Cooking-and-listening tests are essential to determine the optimal conditioning time for each design.
For instance, if you Cook a new interconnect for 24 hours, listen, and then repeat the listening tests after every 6 to 8 hours on the Cooker, you will find the optimal time for that model. When you find little or no improvement from the previous listening test, the cable is probably fully conditioned.
Cables that have been in a system for quite some time usually need only 24 to 36 hours on the Cooker to improve greatly… with speaker cables and power cables, sometimes a bit more. Again, this is determined by the (heavier) gauge of the conductors and complexity of design. And doing a “periodic recharge” of a system’s cabling every 3 or 4 months insures that a system will be at it’s optimum performance level. This makes the Cable Cooker a great long-term value. Conditioning is not a one-time phenomenon.
First on the cooker are my Auditorium 23 speaker cables and a pair of Acoustic Revive interconnects. These cables have been in the system on and off for quite a while, so I thought I’d cook them over the weekend and see what happens. Stay tuned.
Update #1: After 24 hours of burn in I removed the Acoustic Revive interconnects from the Cable Cooker and placed them in the system in the preamplifier to amplifier position and listened to a little music. I could discern no obvious change in their sonics after 24 hours of conditioning so I placed them back on the Cable Cooker for a longer burn-in.
Update #2: After 96 hours of burn in I again removed the Acoustic Revive interconnects from the Cable Cooker to give them another listen in the preamplifier to amplifier position. This time the Acoustic Revive interconnects sounded noticeably different: the sound quality now took on a much greater degree of naturalness (which I expected from the conditioning process), and a much greater sense of transparency with an increased sense of space (which I really wasn’t expecting). Another thing that I noticed was that LP surface noise was somewhat more obvious with the cooked cables, but perhaps that’s just a result of the greater transparency. The four days of conditioning resulted in a better sounding interconnect, no doubt about it.
More to come.
For more information you can contact Alan at ALAN@AUDIOEXCELLENCEAZ.COM