Breaking in a speaker - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Breaking in a speaker

I have been seeing several people posting lately on this forum and others stating that breaking in a speaker is a "wives tail" or a "myth". I personally think thats not true. I have noticed a big difference once both my Mission 765s and my ADS MS3 sub had about 3 months of use time on them.

What do others think?

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #2 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 01:47 PM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

"Breaking in" works with sub drivers. It loosens the suspension. I used test tones on my Atlas 15's when they were new. I noticed a big difference in output. For my current build of subs I'll use a spl meter before and after just to see what the "measured " results are.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 02:28 PM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

While I have no measureable or scientific proof, my old Sansuis and later my Techniques seem to really improve with age. I can't tell with my current speakers yet because I'm always messing with the room treatment or position of the speakers. They sound very good but I'm still trying to squeeze everything I can from them.


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post #4 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 06:51 PM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

I wonder if the people who call it a myth don't usually do it in the context of 'needing' special cd's etc to do it with?? I would certainly diss that idea, just use music and enjoy the run in process, not spend money on 'special' tones etc.
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 07:11 PM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

I can't remember who and when, but I do remember a manufacturer telling me that their speakers did not need to be broken in, and it wasn't because they were already broken it.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the JBL E90's I had seemed extremely harsh and bright when I first listened to my David Gilmour in Concert DVD. After about 40-50 hours of play time and with that same DVD, they did not seem harsh or bright at all... as if they had mellowed out. This is the first time I have noticed such a change in the sound of speakers.

The same thing has happened with my Boston Acoustics. They sounded somewhat tinny and on the bright side when I first hooked them up and played the Gilmour DVD and my Eagles HD-DVD. I don't think I've even mentioned this in my BA thread yet, in hopes it was temporary or simply me having a bad listening night. To be truthful, I was disappointed after reading so many good things about them. I am hoping that they simply needed some break-in time as well. It won't be much longer before I give those two DVDs a second run and I should be able to confirm if they simply needed breaking in. They've had a good 100 hours on them via various movies since I first listened.

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post #6 of 33 Old 09-24-07, 09:02 PM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

I think it’s more an issue of your ears breaking into the speakers. Anytime I change out speakers, the new ones seen a bit off” at first, because I’m not used to them, but the longer I listen to them the better they sound.

That said, I read in Stereo Review a long time ago the only kind of break-in any speakers need can be accomplished by playing FM-radio between-station noise overnight at a low level. That’s probably impossible with today’s digital tuners, so pink noise will work.

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post #7 of 33 Old 09-25-07, 06:31 AM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

I also wonder if the change in the type of materials used to build speakers makes a difference?
Assuming that there may be a change over time.


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post #8 of 33 Old 09-25-07, 07:59 AM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

When I first took my Klipsch speakers out of the box and hooked them up I thought they sounded weird at first. They were bright and the bass was just lacking. I knew about break in so I didn't box them back up. I left the house for work and let "The Incredibles" loop for a good 8 hours on a fairly loud volume. When I came back the speakers sounded much more refined, not bright and the bass was satisfying.

But then my car stereo and computer speakers started sounding better. I guess must have been because the HT speakers resonated the sub sonic ethereal gateway. This psychoacoustic mystery has got me psycho.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-25-07, 09:51 AM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

Speakers are often stored for extended periods in colder environments than a typical home.
This can cause suspension materials to become stiffer.
Once the speaker warms up to the ambient temp of a home environment, the sound will be close to the factory reference.

I guess it's possible that over time, the suspensions and diaphragms might begin to break down slightly, thus changing the sound, but this would hardly be a desirable effect.
It's roughly analogous to breaking-in new tires by driving 1000 miles on bad roads in order to "improve" the performance of the tires. Absurd.
post #10 of 33 Old 09-25-07, 10:03 AM
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Re: Breaking in a speaker

begin to break down slightly
This is a possibility but I agree that it would hardly be a desirable effect. On the other hand, I believe that, again if the effect is real, the material is not breaking down but merely becoming somewhat more flexible. Which brings me to my previous post that perhaps newer materials don't exhibit that type of behavior.


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