No, it’s not a figment of your imagination.
Running-in is important!
Interconnects, speaker cables and even AC cables and power bars that do not carry audio signal, need to be run in.
Do you remember the disappointing first few days with your new amp or CD player that had been a delight in the shop demo? Then, suddenly after several listening sessions, the music was back, even exceeding your expectations? It’s the same for most of the sophisticated mechanical or electronic devices that we own.
Our tests have shown that there are two important stages: after 48 hours and after 300 hours.
A new quality cable peforms at about 60% of its capability. After 48 hours, several elements settle into place and the sound becomes less aggressive and more open. The overall performance is much more detailed while remaining more “relaxed”. Listening fatigue has usually gone by this point.
After 300 hours, the designed level of refinement finally appears. Numerous testimonials from our customers attest to this ; the change often described as unexpected or incredible. At last, the urge to listen to your records over and over is back!
To run in interconnect cables, we suggest using an FM receiver (tuner), which prevents premature wear of your CD player. Just use a constant signal to your integrated amp or pre-amp, with or without volume.
The same method applies for speaker wires, except that the volume should be at listening level. Some owners let the system play at normal volume while they are away… neighbours permitting, of course.
For running-in AC cables, you can use a male IEC adapter with a conventional AC female plug. This small adapter allows you to plug your new AC cable in series with any household appliance that runs regularly in your home, such as the refrigerator, dehumidifier, fan, etc. Running in is more convenient and faster because these devices consume more power than some audio devices.
If you are patient – and a bit curious – you can simply connect everything and follow the gradual evolution of the process according to your listening. Do not forget to choose a piece of music that you know well, to serve as a reference point.
We regularly receive testimonials from customers who thought they had reached the end of the running-in period only to discover subtleties never noticed before … and this after several months of listening.