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bobinnv's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 19 2008 - 9:44am
Do cables get old?

I am using a pair of Audioquest type 4 cables, which I bought in 1993. Is there any reason to think they have deteriorated in any way over the years? Are the "type 4" cables Audioquest sells today the same as the type 4 from 15 years ago?

Thanks for any advice.

dcstep's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Do cables get old?

Well, generally, cables get better with age. Of course, this can vary depending on your climate. I humid areas, there can be corosion at the terminations and up under insolation. Early Monster Cable, for instance, was notorious for this. However, it's not really common, but something to be aware of. If everything looks good, then things probably are good.

I have no idea if it's the same; however, I can't see why they'd make changes and not change the name. AQ is constantly coming out with new products.


Chizzap30's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 18 2007 - 6:47pm
Re: Do cables get old?

I agree tha cables do indeed get better with use. They "break-in". That's why Nordost has the Vidar. It runs signals through the cables for about 100 Hours which to them equals 100 years of normal use. So as for then wearing out. Probably not an issue. However, you might want to just check the contacts on your equipment and the cables and maybe clean them.

dorokusai's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 28 2007 - 6:42pm
Re: Do cables get old?

I remember watching my old Monster Cable, the original clear jacket style, corrode before my eyes but that was hopefully a different time

If you keep the terminations clean and intact, it would be the last of my worries.


struts's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:02pm
Re: Do cables get old?

Do cables get old?

Yes they do. Just like with wine some get better with age and some get worse. Just like with wine, oxidation is a major factor. Just like with wine many of the effects are subjective.

Most popular metal conductors such as copper and silver tarnish in contact with air and tarnish more quickly in the presence of impurities. Solder joints oxidize as well. At the molecular and sub-molecular levels there are a lot of more complex effects at work. A Siltech dealer I knew once told me that their silver cables improved with age although he couldn't provide any convincing explanation for this assertion.

I don't think there is necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer to your question except to say that the effects of aging on cables cannot be ignored completely. YMMV but checking for visible signs of oxidation at contact points/solder joints is a good start.

Buddha's picture
Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Do cables get old?

If they break in, then they probably also break down.

I'm surprised some adventurous cable maker hasn't touted the superior lifespan of his products yet. Or, at least marketed about the time intervals one should consider for replacing cables.

It seems there is an unappreciated marketing ploy going to waste!

The points about oxidation are well made. It seems overly rare to read about anybody's cables sounding worse over time, eh?

I am of the belief that cables break in in a fashion similar to Zeno's Paradox.


It takes time X to break in a cable halfway.

It then takes time Y to get the next halfway to break in, etc...

In theory, a cable is never fully broken in.

I have some 22 year old cables that are still improving.

The average cable is probably broken or traded in for the next new thing before it ever gets fully to its apogee of cable turpitude.

bluesky's picture
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: Nov 30 2010 - 1:51pm
I'm using a pair of 1980

I'm using a pair of 1980 Sansui Hi-Fidelity professional black jacketed speaker cables and they are in great shape and sound really nice.

Guess everything gets 'old' but as long as the metal in the cables haven't turned green, all is fine, and from what you guys are saying, very well broken in! The cables work perfect! Thankful I have them.

Allen Fant
Allen Fant's picture
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: Sep 12 2010 - 3:42pm
IMO, cables do not grow old.

IMO, cables do not grow old. I think different, newer technologies come and go....

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