Weird loudspeaker cable treatment, a bit of home science!

edited August 2013 in Other hi-fi gear
Colin suggested something to me a couple of years ago, which I didn't follow through on, because I thought it sounded a little too ridiculous to take seriously. Obviously, this is because I am the trained chemist and renowned audio designer, and not a window cleaner. Oh, wait....

Colin suggested I take the TQ black I had newly acquired, and heat it up in a basin or bath of very hot water, adding more heat with a freshly boiled kettle. It is best to suspend the plugs just out of the water to prevent the inside of the cable jacket getting wet. Next stage - plunge them into very cold water for a couple of minutes, before removing and drying. Then, place in your freezer for a few hours.

After they have returned to room temperature, put them back into your system, and see if there is a difference. This ought to work with almost any speaker cable, not just TQ.

So, if you have read this far, to the question you are asking. Well, the aim is rapid, and extreme temperature change inasmuch as it is possible in the home. When heating the cable, the copper cores will expland faster and further than the insulation surrounding it, so the insulation will be stretched whilst in a malleable state. Then, when rapidly cooled, the copper will again contract faster and further than the stretched insulation.

When the cable is returned to room temperature, the insulation (dialectic) is now stretched permanently, leaving an air gap around the core(s) of the cable. This lowers capacitance (for one thing), and as a result your system may sound different. Mine certainly does, and for the better, particular in terms of the depth of the stereo image, and more so in terms of bass warmth and texture. It's rather like I have gone one up the range of the TQ cable range, and this is very gratifying.

This effect isn't unlike what cryo treatment does, the temperature range is similar-ish. Say 80-90d Celsius of heat, cooled to -40d C isn't far off (if your freezer goes that cold!) - proper Cryo is -150d. I probably only managed 100 - 110d of temperature change myself.

So it seems a bit daft, but try a little chemistry at home, courtesy of Colin ( @Brain_Dead ). It'll cost you nothing, waste some time, and may just result in a decent result.


  • Thanks Alan,

    I really must try this - had forgotten , as Colin recommend this to me a while ago.

    I must clear a space in the freezer - I'll try & do it this weekend  !

  • Yeah. Col has been trying to get me to do it, too. although i hadn't bothered, as my cables - like Alan's - are very much run in.
  • Yes, but moving the insulation away from the conductors is not going to occur with normal running-in . I can see this as an additional 'tweak' that's available.
  • I can go along with that, but as I understood what Col told me months ago, the tweak would not be as effective on run-in cables.

    Maybe I misunderstood...
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