Are They Having a Giraffe?
This week I have mostly been checking out Atlas cables...courtesy of the nice chaps at Weymouth HiFi. On a sale or return basis, I have one Opus digital coax cable, two Navigators and two Titans. All are, as I type, approx 45hrs into the recommended 48hrs burn-in period (although Atlas go for 72hrs - ‘a weekend').
And here's the ‘fun' part. In the box for the Navigator I/C Atlas include a tailor-made burn-in CD. Not music, mind you; oh no, nothing quite so prosaic. There's a whole range of weird sounds lurking at the periphery of my hearing whenever I enter our otherwise quiet living room. Even with the volume turned to zero I can still detect the whistles and warbles. I'm surprised the Other Half hasn't commented since she claims better hearing (why else should I need to turn the volume up to listen to music when she's perfectly happy with muted sounds?)
Anyway, Atlas claim that "The nature of the signals on this CD derives some inspiration from nature, particularly bells, which like cables undergo changes in their metallurgy or dynamic modulus over a period of time that subtly affects their tones." Er, yes, but bells are not exactly natural.
They further claim: "The signals have been generated mathematically according to rigorous criteria for frequency content and rate change of both frequency and amplitude. The disc will also give a significant demagnetising effect due to the way in which signals develop and decay, ultimately fading to zero. Magnetism in audio systems occurs because of the asymmetric nature and relatively sudden stops and starts of real music, but these signals have been kept carefully symmetric (over a short time-span) and only change gradually. However, as with any demagnetisation track, it is essential to play to the end of the track for full effect. In fact interrupting play in the middle of this track (or any other technical or music track) is one of the best ways of magnetising a system!"
Now, I'm an open-minded sort of chap and the CD was free so I've popped it in on repeat for a couple of days. But (de)magnetisation of my system?!? Are they having a larf? Yes, I know that some of you out there will think I'm gullible enough to think different cables make a sonic difference and that a burn-in period is a valid procedure prior to evaluation of said cables, but is this demagnetisation lark for real or a step too far?