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Author Topic: DCT-Deep Cryogenetically Treated Hi Fi Cables !..what are they all about ?  (Read 23517 times)

Offline neilep

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Some of you may know that I luff my music,  I know some of you love yours too...some of you even attempt to make you own !

I have DCT (Deep Cryogenetically Treated )Hifi Speaker cables and interconnects....and I have to say even after extensive listening tests the difference between these and the non DCT ones is phenomenal !!
 
Sound Stage is 3dimensional, presence, clarity, imagery..it all leaps up a level that immerses you in the sound picture.

What I don't understand is what does Cryogentically treating these cables  ?  and why does it have so much effect on the sound ?


Thanks...if you're close by...call in....you can hear for yourself !!



 

Offline ukmicky

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When you heat and freeze metals you can change the structure of the metal and therefore alter its properties.

Cryogenically frozen copper gets incredibly cold and i assume you can then change its properties and how electricity will flow through it by altering the speed at which you heat it up. I assume this would then alter the cables resistance to electricity flowing through it.(SOMEONE TELL ME IF I WRONG :)

Allowing a more efficient delivery of the sound signal reaching your speakers as the frequency characteristics of the music sent to and from the amp to your speakers would suffer less loses through resistance

The cables would also heat up less during high power noisy neighbour sessions which must then also benefit the Amp placing less strain on it preventing a loss of quality of the sound reaching the speaker.
 
This is all guesswork and probably wrong
« Last Edit: 24/08/2007 03:49:20 by ukmicky »
 

Offline JimBob

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I believe that it imparts a small crystal structure to the metal - lead shows cubic structure naturally - and this may help conduct electrons better. Cryogenic temperatures freeze metal - actually , they freeze anything.

But I really don't know - it is my guess.
 

Offline Karen W.

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I thought that was it but even though it has been treated like this does it permanently alter the metal. You know the Chrystaline structure you are speaking of... I always thought one removed the heat would bring the item that has been treated back to its original state. Was not the the reason they started this, referring to humans that is. If it alters the metal in Neils wires why not altering Walt Disney's head so as rendering it changed when removed from its cryogenic chamber as such... I do not understand how this would have a lasting effect on his wires enough to make a noticeable change in sound quality etc!
 

paul.fr

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seeing as everyone is guessing. i will guess that Jimbob and micky are right. do i get a prize?

 

Offline Karen W.

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Some of you may know that I luff my music,  I know some of you love yours too...some of you even attempt to make you own !

I have DCT (Deep Cryogenetically Treated )Hifi Speaker cables and interconnects....and I have to say even after extensive listening tests the difference between these and the non DCT ones is phenomenal !!
 
Sound Stage is 3dimensional, presence, clarity, imagery..it all leaps up a level that immerses you in the sound picture.

What I don't understand is what does Cryogentically treating these cables  ?  and why does it have so much effect on the sound ?


Thanks...if you're close by...call in....you can hear for yourself !!



I thought you might find this interesting!
Written by Keith Howard for Hi-Fi News and Record Review, July 2001
http://www.frozensolidaudio.com/Freezing%20Issue.htm



The answer came serendipitously for me, while I was researching an article on Deep Cryogenic Treatment (DCT) for HFN's sister magazine Race Car Engineering. DCT involves the cooling of metals and other materials to very low temperatures, typically around -190C. Liquid nitrogen (boiling point -196C) is usually used to achieve this although other liquefied gasses can be used to reach even lower temperatures (for example, neon, boiling point -246C).

Early experiments with cryogenic treatment - America's Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory built a cryogenic facility as early as 1952 - plunged the component to be treated straight into the liquid coolant, with the result that many were damaged because of thermal shock. Today's DCT equipment is computer controlled so that components are cooled and warmed slowly either side of the 'soak' period over which the minimum temperature is retained. Typically each phase of the process takes many hours, and although liquid nitrogen is still used it never comes into direct contact with whatever is being treated. Instead it is usually dripped into the cryogenic chamber where it evaporates and cools the contents indirectly.

DCT's effects have been most widely studied in the context of engineering steels, where it is used to complete the heat treatment process. The properties of many steels can be enhanced by first heating them to about 900C and then rapidly quenching (cooling) them in water or oil. The metallurgy of this process is well understood. Heating has the effect of transforming the steel into a soft solid phase called austenite; on rapid quenching most - typically 85% - of this is converted into a much harder form called martensite, which is responsible for the quenched steel's enhanced hardness. Increased brittleness is an undesirable side effect but subsequent tempering - raising the steel's temperature to between 200 and 600'C and then cooling it in air - can offset this, and restore both ductility and toughness (the ability of the material to resist cracking).

The problem with this process is that the conversion from austenite to martensite is incomplete, which results in internal stresses that can weaken the metal and compromise its dimensional stability. What DCT does, in effect, is complete the quenching process so that most of the retained austenite - the source of the internal stresses - is converted to martensite. The benefits can be dramatic. When DCT is used to treat tool steels, for instance, tool life is typically improved by 200-400%, sometimes 600%.

Although DCT's effect on steel is the most completely understood, the technique is also quite widely applied to other metals such as east iron, titanium, aluminium and brass, and to non-metallic materials such as plastics. In this case the improvement in physical properties apparently results from the elimination of dislocations in the material's microstructure. Trumpets and other brass instruments have been found to produce a better tone after DCT, and it is also used to treat guitar and piano strings.

For our purposes the most important finding is that DCT also beneficially affects the crystal structure of copper. Cryogenic treatment of welding electrodes, for example has been

shown to improve their current capability and extend their working life. As soon as I first read this it struck me. Here is an ideal means of establishing whether the crystal structure of an audio cable's copper really does have an effect on its sound.

But I'd need two willing collaborators in the experiment, who I found in Max Townshend of Townshend Audio and Greg Bartlett of Frozen Solid a DCT facility based in Stowmarket. Max's Isolda cables have a deservedly fine reputation and - critically - he assembles them himself, starting with bare copper strip. So it is possible to 'get at' the conductor and treat it prior to assembly thereby allowing the comparison of two otherwise identical cables. Max was keen to try it and Greg Bartlett kindly agreed to process a small quantity of copper strip FOC, so away we went. In a matter of a few weeks I had two sets of Max's speaker cables each 4m in length, and three sets of his interconnects, all 1m long, only one pair of which in each case had been cryogenically treated. With the speaker cables I knew which was which, with the interconnects I didn't, they were identified only by letters.

The speaker cables arrived first. Max delivered them in person (together with a car-full of Seismic Sink products, of which more on another occasion) so that we could listen to the differences together. Townshend cables already use annealed copper because Max had found that it sounds better: DCT is, in effect, a super annealing process, and it was quickly apparent that the cable with the cryo-copper sounded better still. I've now done the comparison many times, and the difference continues to astound me. The DCT cable has greater resolution and a notably airier, more natural sound - to such an extent that, having heard it for himself, Max returned home and immediately arranged for a first batch of copper to go to Frozen Solid for treatment. Cryo versions of his cables will be available by the time you read this.

Because DCT has the effect of reducing copper's resistance somewhat, it was important to check that the audible differences could not be explained away by small changes in frequency response at the loudspeaker terminals. To test for this I used MLSSA to measure the difference when using the two cables. You can see the outcome in Fig 1. MLSSA gives a rather noisy plot at this resolution (I could have used smoothing to disguise it) but even so it is clear that the disparity in frequency response is comfortably within +/ - 0.01dB across the entire audible frequency range - much too small a difference to account for the significant change in sound quality.

If anything the interconnect cables, when they arrived a little later proved even greater a revelation than the speaker cables. Max had identified them as A, B and C, and only when I told him that I vastly preferred pair C over the other two did he confirm that this was indeed the cryogenically treated set. Once again, the sound of the treated cables was characterized by manifestly superior transparency. Music was dynamic in a way that simply eluded the other two cables (one annealed, the other not) - more finely etched and yet more weighty and punchy too.

Delighted as I am with the outcome of this experiment (although I don't imagine for one moment it will change the minds of those who regard cables sonics as a figment of others' imaginations) I have now to concede, rather like Scott trudging forlornly up to the South Pole that someone got there before me. While the copper was with Frozen Solid being treated, I stumbled across a Pearl advert in a 1993 issue of Glass Audio that mentioned cryogenic treatment of vacuum tubes.
 

Offline neilep

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THANK YOU MICHAEL, JIMMY BOY, PAUL AND KAREN....

The information provided is fantastic and Karen THANK YOU for seeking that out for me........wonderful information !

The company I obtained my cables from also DCT components also....eg : Plug adapters...

The sound is so revealing it's silly....almost too revealing....you can hear everything !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Yes that guy sounds like he is in total agreement. I kinda put the whole thing in because it explained more about Cryogenetically treated cables and what is done and how it works.. I thought the process was interesting to say the least. I had no idea they did this stuff to metals and such things!
Way cool!
 

Offline neilep

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Yes that guy sounds like he is in total agreement. I kinda put the whole thing in because it explained more about Cryogenetically treated cables and what is done and how it works.. I thought the process was interesting to say the least. I had no idea they did this stuff to metals and such things!
Way cool!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!
 

Offline Karen W.

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LOL LOL I bet thats what wALT IS SAYING RIGHT ABOUT NOW TOO! lol
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Amazing; I would never have thought that the quality of cables would make an appreciable sound difference.
 

lyner

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Are all the internal connections in your system also treated this way?
Are the loudspeaker speech coils and the crossover networks treated, too?
I think it is likely that many hi fi buffs listen with their wallets.
And what is the frequency response of the room in which you do your listening?
What about the reverberation time and the traffic outside?
Do you favour Valve power amplifiers? They make a nice sound but it isn't the original.
Sorry to be a misery but there is a limit to what you can achieve, objectively.
Once the CD  dies as a medium, you may as well buy a cheapo system, in any case. There will never, ever be anything to touch the CD for fidelity of recording.  The mass market just can't hear the difference. MP3 may be 'digital' quality but it is a very low fi system and it is likely that everything is heading in that direction.
The only aspect of 'quality' that will remain for hi fi equipment will the the depth of shine on the wooden boxes.



 

another_someone

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CD-SA was certainly noticeably superior to CD, but alas never took off.


Not sure that one would wish to treat the crossovers in the same way as the cables - crossovers contain complex components (even if they are passive), and how those materials (particularly if the include capacitors) will behave to freezing would be very different to the way that copper wire will behave to freezing.

I am not in a position to judge whether freezing the cables does make a noticeable difference, but if it does reduce noise on the cable, then that would still have some value to the sound even if noise continues to be added in other aspects of the system.  Clearly, if we are talking about increasing the spectral range, then that is only meaningful if the entire system is of a similar quality, since loss of spectral range in any one component cannot be made up for by better spectral range in another component; but noise is cumulative, so any reduction in noise in any one component still has an influence even if noise still continues to be added elsewhere.
 

Offline neilep

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Are all the internal connections in your system also treated this way?
Are the loudspeaker speech coils and the crossover networks treated, too?
I think it is likely that many hi fi buffs listen with their wallets.
And what is the frequency response of the room in which you do your listening?
What about the reverberation time and the traffic outside?
Do you favour Valve power amplifiers? They make a nice sound but it isn't the original.
Sorry to be a misery but there is a limit to what you can achieve, objectively.
Once the CD  dies as a medium, you may as well buy a cheapo system, in any case. There will never, ever be anything to touch the CD for fidelity of recording.  The mass market just can't hear the difference. MP3 may be 'digital' quality but it is a very low fi system and it is likely that everything is heading in that direction.
The only aspect of 'quality' that will remain for hi fi equipment will the the depth of shine on the wooden boxes.





Cripes !!

all I can say if after eight years of selling this stuff (owning to high end specialist stores in london)and doing countless hundreds of demonstrations , not alone but with associates and clients, I learned to know what to listen for.

yes, you can even get your components treated this way now but I never ventured that far.

The premise of the hifi is to listen to as near as ewe can get to the recording as laid down and recorded by the engineer in the studio. To ne able to take up all that information and transfer it as reliably as one can from the disc to your ears.

I have no idea of the acoustics of my own room...i did not want to get that anal about it...I used my own ears for what was best for me.....and.....after very very extensive listening sessions....I know it to be true...for me...anyway.

SACD does take it that much step further but then you have upsampling processing now too.

My amp and cd are valve transistor hybrids...

I hope CD never does dies a death.......There are still hard core vinyl fans out there too....after all...everything needs to be turned to analogue in the end so that we can hear it.
 

Offline neilep

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...if you're interested...these are my speakers...they weigh 30kg each !

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Reference_series/AE3_features.asp
 

Offline Karen W.

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what is 30k in translated weight approx?
 

Offline neilep

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what is 30k in translated weight approx?
about 66lbs... think !.. 1kg = 2.205lbs...yes..just checked !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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wow those are beefy speakers!!! Oh my goodness! mine might weigh 2lbs each!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Do you have cinder blocks under them to support their weight?? Wow! My   1 speaker is about 10 inches tall, the other is 5 inches tall by 2 and 1/2 inch wide! they are little with big sound! LOL
 

Offline neilep

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Do you have cinder blocks under them to support their weight?? Wow! My   1 speaker is about 10 inches tall, the other is 5 inches tall by 2 and 1/2 inch wide! they are little with big sound! LOL

They come with solid metal plinths.....in fact..I don't think there's any wood in these at all...they really are a thing if beauty....beautiful black gloss ...but the sound !!......it's better than being there !!!....for me that is !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Sound like nice speakers! Mine are tiny small and ok!

Do your do a surround sound kind a thing!
 

Offline Karen W.

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I have never heard the word plinths before! Education much today!
 

Offline neilep

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I have never heard the word plinths before! Education much today!


Don'tneed surround sound with these speakers.....they have a three dimensionality all of their own....besides.....surround sound is in the realm of home cinema.....when you go to see a band...they are in front of you on the stage....and you listen with two ears.......once the speakers have been positioned correctly to compensate for my sitting position then they just sound sublime.....
...but Karen....this is my passion.......and.....it's one of the only true ways I can really relax........besides..being in the business....I got all the components at trade prices......
 

Offline Karen W.

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I have never heard the word plinths before! Education much today!


Don'tneed surround sound with these speakers.....they have a three dimensionality all of their own....besides.....surround sound is in the realm of home cinema.....when you go to see a band...they are in front of you on the stage....and you listen with two ears.......once the speakers have been positioned correctly to compensate for my sitting position then they just sound sublime.....
...but Karen....this is my passion.......and.....it's one of the only true ways I can really relax........besides..being in the business....I got all the components at trade prices......

I know its your passion and I think its terriffic but I wouldn't know the difference in the quality of the sound as I have always struggled with that! LOL..I have an appointment onMonday next to put ne speakers all through my VAN SO i CAN ENJOY MY NEW CDPLAYER WHILE i DRIVE TO THE DOCTORS HALF ASLEEP. pERHAPS IT WILL LULL ME INTO COMPLETE UNCONSCIOUSNESS AND i WILL SLEEP LIKE A BABY! lol dang caps! sorry.. am too lazy to do it over! LOL
 

Offline Karen W.

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Hey! I just saw the link for your speakers they are pretty streamlined for as much as they weigh. Their looks could be deceiving according to their weight!
Those are very cool. I have never been, but to, two country and western concerts in my life with the exception of seeing the POINTER SISTERS doing a 4th of July concert in 77 in Boise, Idaho, when staying with my sister!
We just have to travel so far that it has always been out of my reach do do so!
 

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