Subwoofer Breaking In - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 54 Old 12-01-09, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Subwoofer Breaking In

Hi All,

I just got an Outlaw LFM-1 Plus. So I know that there are two schools of thought on breaking in speakers. Mainly those who think it's not true and those who do. Does this divide also apply to subwoofers?

Secondarily , this question only applies to those who believe in it. How do I properly break in a subwoofer? The crossover is probably going to be set at 80hz. So should I avoid any THX low frequency type tests until I watch tons of movies at moderate levels?


Last edited by Emuc64; 12-01-09 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Duh, I meant 80hz not 80db.
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post #2 of 54 Old 12-01-09, 07:48 PM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

IMO the best way to "break in" any loudspeaker is to use it. Play it the way you want to use it right out of the box, it will not break. Yes, its performance will change subtly over time, for the better or the worse is a subjective question. But there is no harm you can do by just going for it.
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post #3 of 54 Old 12-01-09, 07:59 PM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

I agree, Break in will change how it sounds however just use it as you normally would.

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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

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Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
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post #4 of 54 Old 12-01-09, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

Hello dyohn & tonyvdb,

Thanks very much for alleviating my concerns. Being new and all, I didnít want to prematurely kill a $500 sub. Thatís a lot of money. So, Iíll do as you both suggest and play it normally.

Many thanks,
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post #5 of 54 Old 12-01-09, 08:27 PM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

I am on the side of "believer of break-in". I believe it applies to essentially all electronics and components, so your subwoofer would definitely be included in that.

You will be alright to use the subwoofer like normal, including calibration test tones. Test tones in general, in and out of 'break-in' time should be used in moderation especially as the frequencies go lower. Sustained frequencies can stress the subwoofer too much if done for longer periods of times.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #6 of 54 Old 12-02-09, 03:28 AM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

Every subwoofer will have a run in period and therefore I would make sure that it is run in before serious calibrating is done, yes initially you will calibrate but once the driver has loosened up then a recalibration will be required, an easy way to monitor this is to look at the response once new, then after run in you will more than likely see it has more depth/deeper response than initially tested...
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post #7 of 54 Old 12-02-09, 04:52 AM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

There is another way to break a sub driver in. It will speed things up a little but care will be needed. You can play a very low frequency tone constantly. Start with low volume and monitor driver excursion, then just leave it running, after a couple hours or so you can up the volume a little to allow more excursion and further run the driver in. Using a very low frequency tone means you dont really hear it, so you can just leave it running.

It will help speed up the run in process if your a little impatient. Just dont go silly with the volume at first, slowly work it up to a good 'exercise' level. After a day or two you should be very nicely run in.
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post #8 of 54 Old 12-02-09, 08:07 AM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

Another agreement. You can use it as normal. There is a concept of infant mortality in electronics, but many MFRs "burn-in" the electronics portion at the factory, so the customers don't see this. That may not apply to the driver, which isn't at risk.


Don't worry... nothing new here, I've already made that mistake. Trust me.
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post #9 of 54 Old 12-02-09, 01:02 PM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

I subscribe to the school of break-in by normal use. When I bought my Ascends for my HT, I feel that after about two weeks of use they sounded better than straight out of the box. Did they "loosen up" or did I become acclimated to their sound? Who knows. I do know my son, who heard them right out of the box, then a couple of weeks later, asked me what I did to make them sound better. ;-)

I do believe in infant mortality. I keep new electronics on constantly for a few weeks. While manufacturers might do a burn in, I doubt it's for more than 24 hours or so. That probably weeds out almost all units that will fail.

If I was to use a test tone for break-in, it would be white or pink noise.

Enjoy your new sub!
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post #10 of 54 Old 12-02-09, 01:59 PM
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Re: Subwoofer Breaking In

You are right there is a break in, but a better way to understand it is that break in is for the hearer not the speaker. Just like beer is an acquired taste so are speakers. This is because no perfect speaker exist. As a result we must adjust to the flaws of our new ones.

Playing the speaker while you are out is good if you want to scare of any potential robbers, but won't help the speakers. Remember we design speakers based on the driver put in it from the factory.

Mechanical speaker driver break in is proven to be myth in every experiment I've seen. Still it's speakers not vaccines so the myth isn't critical to dispel.
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