Cryogenic treatment of brass instruments?

On another newsgroup, the subject of cryogenic treatment of brass
instruments came up, with the claim that it was "snake oil" and offered no
improvement. On a trumpet newsgroup, I've seen postings by people who
claimed that their horns sounded much better after cryogenic treatment.
The general claim was that the treatment aligned the molecules and
relieved internal stresses in the metal, or something like that.
Perhaps you metal guys have some insight on cryogenic treatment as it
pertains to brass, and brass instruments in particular. Any basis in fact,
or pure BS?
Reply to
Jedd Haas
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"Jedd Haas" wrote: (clip)Any basis in fact, or pure BS? ^^^^^^^^^^^ Has anyone ever done a blind test on this? This is the kind of thing that can be enormously influenced by the placebo effect.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Cryogenics is a weird thing. The only documented eveidence of any effect is with ferrous materials. I know of no other documentation for having any molecular effects on any other material: non ferrous or plastics, etc. Having said that, though, I did a little experiment that I learned of in other newsgroups. I made two CD copies of a disc and simply froze one in a regular freezer for a few days. The frozen disc had a bit more bass and resolution. The effect seems permanent, too and this is without going to cryogenic temperatures. Perhaps it affects the thermal dyes used in a CD-R, but even in blind tests, most listeners can pick out the difference. Seems to me we need a little more research into this (probably means too much $'s, though). Oh yeah, I know a trombone player who had his instrument cryo'd. His comment was that it didn't affect the sound so much as it affected the slide action.
Stu
Stu
Reply to
audiodir
There are more than a few reasons to doubt that there is a real change here. And it's trivial to extract the song files from that CD, and compare the two disks.
Do you have an actual study to back that up? The problem is, it's a digital storage medium. They're either zeros or ones. The bits aren't going to be come zero-er, or one-er, just because it's been chilled, and if the bits get flipped, that's going to induce noise, not "a bit more bass and resolution". I won't even get into the error correction bits built into the format that also prevent this sort of thing from being plausible.
People were convinced that green magic marker around the edge of a CD made them sound better too, but that also isn't going to change zeros into ones, and even if it could, it wouldn't do them in an audibly pleasing and predictable way.
You could do it for free, with a Mac and iTunes. Or maybe even the PC version of iTunes. Or, if you agree that a CD-R is a digital storage medium, fill it with whatever data you want, freeze one, don't freeze the other, and run an MD5 checksum of both disks to verify that there's no difference.
Hard to say about the brass instruments. Without a controlled experiment, people are likely to hear what they think they want to hear, just like your frozen CD-R's.
Dave Hinz
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Actually, checksum didn't reveal any difference. I doubt if the cold treatment did anything to the dyes, but I inserted that coment just in case someone would speculate about the dye lots. I actually beleve it is doing something to the plastic.
Stu
Reply to
audiodir
Well then.
If the checksum didn't change, the data didn't change. If the data didn't change, you're reading it through the plastic, from the die, so nothing changed. You've already disproven it yourself.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Of course it made them 'sound better.' They paid a lot of money for that to happen, right? So they'll sound 'better' afterwards because all that money went in there for *something*.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
I tend to think the only difference would be that their lips would freeze to the 'treated' horns.
Reply to
Fred R
I want to get into the business of making $200 wooden knobs to go on the amp volume controls for the audio freaks. Beats working for a living...
Gregm
Reply to
Greg Menke
"audiodir" skrev i en meddelelse news:ib2Yd.77923$uc.67663@trnddc08...
I bought some cryo-treated strings for my bassguitar some years ago...
They were just as expensive as my usual brand ( DR ) but lasted only half the time before the sound went "dull"..
Errh.. Did you use directional cables* in your listening setup ?
I would really love an explanation of how freezing a CDR should change the quality of the sound, when played in a CD player.. You see.. CDs are not like old LPs... On a CD the music is stored in a digital format, much like on a floppydisc.. The way the data is stored is a string of bits ( basically 1/0 or On/Off ).. These bits shouldnt change a whole lot, even if you freeze the CD....... LPs are a completely different animal, basically printing the movement of the speakercone in the vinyl disc directly..
One effect it may have is that it most likely cleans or atleast loosens a lot of the "gunk" that sticks to the brass-- That, in turn, could affect the sound of the instrument..
/peter ( still wiping coffee off the keyboard after reading the CD story )
Reply to
Q
Actually, I think the weird thing here is what people in audio will think they can hear.
Don't do a blind test; do a double blind test. Then the truth comes out.
Steve
audiodir wrote:
Reply to
Steve Smith
I have found that if I freeze a book before I read it, it becomes more meaningful.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Let me put it this way. "DBT" is strictly taboo on certain audio forums.
Seriously! Actual moderated groups, cannot seriously mention the subject.
Tim
-- "California is the breakfast state: fruits, nuts and flakes." Website:
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Reply to
Tim Williams
I tried freezing vodka, but I don't think it makes a better martini.
Gregm
Reply to
Greg Menke
Actually this is a common misconception. The actual reading of the disc is a totally analogue process. The reflected optical signal from the pits on the CD is not a strict "one" or "zero". The signal varies within a lower range which we call a "zero", and a higher range which we call a "one". There is a "guard" band between these two signal levels. It is only the digital circuitry that comes after the disc reading process that causes "binning" of the two signals into either a "one" or a "zero". It may not happen very often, but it is possible to introduce errors at the analogue reading stage. How this may or may not affect the sound I'll leave for others to debate. However, recall that many moons ago jitter was ridiculed and totally dismissed in the press as being an implausable cause for any affect on the sound. If I recall, it was one of these so- called nut case audiophiles that originally discovered and measured this effect. I do believe that low jitter circuitry is now pretty much standard in any decent quality digital equipment. Cheers.
Reply to
C.A. Decker
Any bits flipping because of analog effects is an error reading the medium. It happens, which is why there are ecc and checksums. Their job is to detect and/or recover from the error- the same kind of thing is done in more expensive computer memory to help recover from cosmic rays flipping bits here and there, among other things.
However, how the audio nuts go from arbitrary bits flipping between states to an organized effect like "better bass" instead of a simple increase in random noise is very curious to say the least. Particularly when such claims are not backed up by before and after disc images showing the beneficial effects and organized data tables showing the effect as a function of time-at-temperature.
Gregm
Reply to
Greg Menke
The instruments usually sound a lot better when warmed up if the musicians also got the cryogenic treatment at the same time. Must be the thawing effect... kind of spring-like. :-)
cheers T.Alan
Reply to
T.Alan Kraus
| | > I have found that if I freeze a book before I read it, it becomes more | > meaningful. | | I tried freezing vodka, but I don't think it makes a better martini. | | Gregm
No, but if you mix your screwdriver as follows it's even better: 1/3 ice 1/3 orange juice concentrate, still frozen 1/3 vodka from a freezer.
Instead of a screwdriver it's called a thigh spreader. Jimmy Buffet had some similar comments about the concept, but I can't quote them exactly. Something like "I can't feel a thing!" where the response is "That's the plan, baby!"
That's as much of that cryo crap as I'll ever vouch for!
Reply to
carl mciver
Drop an email to these folks, attention KO or Bob about that. If anyone in the idustry will know...these two yahoos should.
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Gunner
Lathe Dementia. Recognized as one of the major sub-strains of the all-consuming virus, Packratitis. Usual symptoms easily recognized and normally is contracted for life. Can be very contagious. michael
Reply to
Gunner
I thought that in the case of audio media the sections of the disk normally used on data CDs for error checking and correction data were instaed used to store extra audio info hence no error correction on audio CDs.
Greg Menke wrote:
Reply to
David Billington

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