The Hagerman Technology FryKleaner is an inexpensive burn in signal generator suitable for use on most any piece of audio equipment or cables. For a full description visit Jim Hagerman's site
Since I am constantly building and modifying equipment and cables it seemed something that could speed burn in would be very helpful. Jim Hagerman sells most of his products as either 1/2 kits - a PCB and directions or as an assembled and tested product. A parts list with Jameco part number is supplied if you are building the kit version. I ordered the kit and the parts from Jameco the same day and both arrived at the same time.
On the subject of shipping. Dealing with Jim Hagerman could not have been smoother. I purchased it via the web site and received an email from him that evening saying it would ship the next day and the shipping would be the actual cost of shipping. A nice change from the folks with, to my mind, excessive shipping and handling charges. The shipping cost from Hawaii was US $0.83. I received a second email the next day saying it had shipped and what the shipping costs were.
The PCB supplied by Hagerman Technology was a very well made double sided board. Easily among the finest I have seen in a DIY kit and better than many commercial products.
Top side of board
Bottom side of board
The instructions are fairly comprehensive and IMO assume the builder has some knowledge of electronics. A few parts could have been clearer but overall they are quite good.
Construction was straight forward. I chose to use sockets for the IC's, no real reason other than 'just in case'. I also chose to build it into a case and used the model suggested by Hagerman. The completed unit is shown below. I spent about 2.5 hours assembling the unit. It could be done quicker but I was not in a hurry, I enjoy the building process and don't like to rush it.
A double check of the board before powering up showed everything was in the right place and it worked perfectly as soon as power was applied. I connected it up to the oscilloscope and was rewarded with a display very similar to what Mr. Hagerman publishes in the manual.
Once connected to the system I slowly advanced the gain on the preamp and listened to the output. The unit produces broadband noise from 20Hz to 20kHz and has a sweeping pulse from 2Hz to 200Hz to exercise the power supply of the connected device(s). The output looks remarkably like music when viewed on an oscilloscope.
To this point I haven't used it to burn in any new pieces, but I'm sure that will come soon enough.
I did pull the cables off of the analog outputs of the DVD player in my home theater system and let them cook for 24 hours on the high setting. While these cables are at least 6 moths old, they rarely see use. I thought they might benefit from some time on the FryKleaner. I *think* they were a little smoother sounding but with a direct A-B I wouldn't bet on it.
Inevitably comparisons between the FryKleaner and the AudioDharma Cable Cooker will arise. Reading the information on the Cable Cooker it has a higher output voltage and will likely do it's work a little quicker. Of course the cost is 10 times greater for the standard version of the AudioDharma unit. On the plus side for the FryKleaner is that it's designed to connect to standard audio equipment to accelerate the process of burning in your gear. I also recorded the output and burned it to CD for use on CD Players and DAC's. (no you can't get a copy, you have to buy your own)
If you swap things around on a regular basis and want to accelerate the bedding in of various pieces of gear, the Hagerman FryKleaner offers an excellent value. A complete kit costs about $70 including shipping. The assembled unit from Hagerman is $125.00. In either case a low price to pay to ensure that you are getting the most out of your components.