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Re: Ear-brain accomodation as important -- Driver Break in - Fact or Fiction?

Subjective ear-brain accomodation to a particular loudspeaker's sound qualities seems to be a neglected topic.

Often when exposed to a new speaker, I feel that it's too bright or has some other flaws, but such impressions are often mitigated after a few hours listening - giving time for ear-brain processor to 'get used to' the particular sound presentation.
But neutral requires no adjustment and that is the goal. Problem is the rooms we live in aren't conducive to that.
 

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We've had a few other recent discussions on the subject and the consensus is that whatever changes happen in a quality driver are inaudible and insignificant in the design. The favored break in procedure is to watch ones favorite movies while drinking ones favorite beverage and eating ones favorite snack. It seems this method produces a wonderful break in experience and leverages a positive pyschoacoustic effect.
:rofl: You are on a roll, as of late!!!! :T
 

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lsiberian wrote: View Post
We've had a few other recent discussions on the subject and the consensus is that whatever changes happen in a quality driver are inaudible and insignificant in the design. The favored break in procedure is to watch ones favorite movies while drinking ones favorite beverage and eating ones favorite snack. It seems this method produces a wonderful break in experience and leverages a positive pyschoacoustic effect.
:rofl: That's a good one! I must remember that when I get my next set of speakers!

However, there is another side to this "Speaker Break in" situation..
Speakers never reach an ongoing state of constant "flexibility" of movement!

Speaker drivers are constantly changing their amount of "flexibility" on a day today basis!
This can be proven by turning on your system after it hasn't been used for at least 24hrs, and taking an SPL reading, setting all levels to 75dB..
Then play a movie at fairly high levels for half an hour and then take another SPL reading..
You will find that the previously set levels of 75dB have now changed..The degree of change depending on the efficiency of each speaker..
The difference may not be too noticeable to the ear, however there has been a change in the freeness of the movement in the individual drivers..which would tend to suggest that they stiffen up a little when not played for awhile..
 

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break in's are fact. not only for speakers, but every peice in between like amps,cables, and cd to dvd players. just my two cents.
 

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break in's are fact. not only for speakers, but every peice in between like amps,cables, and cd to dvd players.
Sorry, but there is absolutely zero factual evidence of any sort of change in use with anything other than transducers such as carts and loudspeaker drivers.
 

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break in's are fact. not only for speakers, but every peice in between like amps,cables, and cd to dvd players. just my two cents.
So which is it, just your two cents or a fact? Got any data, or even some sound reasoning to support a hypothesis on anything but speakers? Amps maybe, if capacitors have been discharged for a long while and need to reform the dielectric, but even that is a stretch.
 

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:rofl: That's a good one! I must remember that when I get my next set of speakers!

However, there is another side to this "Speaker Break in" situation..
Speakers never reach an ongoing state of constant "flexibility" of movement!

Speaker drivers are constantly changing their amount of "flexibility" on a day today basis!
This can be proven by turning on your system after it hasn't been used for at least 24hrs, and taking an SPL reading, setting all levels to 75dB..
Then play a movie at fairly high levels for half an hour and then take another SPL reading..
You will find that the previously set levels of 75dB have now changed..The degree of change depending on the efficiency of each speaker..
The difference may not be too noticeable to the ear, however there has been a change in the freeness of the movement in the individual drivers..which would tend to suggest that they stiffen up a little when not played for awhile..
Speakers do warm up with use. Most of the changes are electrical, and cause a reduction in efficiency, and some shifts to the crossover responses. This heat gets out of the voice coil through small holes left in the back of certain drivers, and it conducts out through the magnets and pole pieces of all drivers. A driver being driven really hard may experience some warm-up of the spider, but in a home that would be pretty small, probably even hard to measure. I'm sure you can touch the surround on your woofer after it's been driven hard, and it won't be warm.

I haven't heard any claims from manufacturers that speaker surrounds get stiff if they are not used, except if the room gets very cold. Then the surrounds of some speakers can get stiff, and require a few hours to recover. What is the source of your claim that speakers stiffen up when not played.
 

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fact. fact. fact. when power is applied to capacitors, yes they need to form(thus break in), i just replaced some in my ribbons and they sounded very odd for about 5 minutes and as i have been playing them, they have indeed gotten better sounding. but if you guy's do not buy into that kind of stuff, that's cool. i don't buy into thousand dollar cables, but then again, nothing in my setup has the ability to sound that much better with said cables. there are those though, that swear by them. i would say it is what you have been exposed to that really determines what is what. i have heard amps, cd players, preamps that started life on the bright sounding side only to mellow out after many hours of playing. i have been as of lately comparing my pioneer cld-704 laser disc player (late 90's) against a carver sda-490t cd player with tubes in the ouput stages. with the same artist(disc) in both players as i have two copies of the same cd. i a/b them and for the life of have not heard any ground breaking differences. they both sound the same though my pioneer vsx-1014 reciever (used as a pre) driving a carver tfm55 (recently refurbished at hi-tech by roland) to my al-III ribbons. ilogical, but there it is. there is nothing that i can hear that seperates the two as of yet. speaking of the amp, it too has gotten better sounding after a month now of playing. is all this subjective, sure. i can't hear what you hear, as so on. i am going to buy a new jolida cd player, and have been told by several people to get a better power cord as it will make a difference. the manufacturer will not take a return on the player until the breakin period of a week has gone by as they even say the unit will not be 100% sounding until has been played for that amount of time. logical, no. are those people crazy, no. they just have exceeded my knowledge and experience on such things. i would bet that you have not ever even tried any high end stuff to that end. 5k cd players with 10k amps and so on to be that informed on the fact or fiction part of it. but then again, neither am i. so. again, my 2 cents.
 

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New ribbon tweeters could have a break-in period, even a warm-up. They are inefficient, and I expect they change parameters with use.

Well tubes do age, not just break in, they continuously change with life, and that sort of thing could be what people hear when they are claiming break-ins on something that lacks this characteristic.

Your CD player vendor is pretty smart. He knows that the longer you keep something the less likely you are to return it. He knows your ears will break in, not the CD player. And if that CD player is so "high end", why doesn't it come with a better power cord?
 

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I experienced a dramatic break in with my Sennheiser HD600 headphones used with a Asus Xonar Essence STX as a headphone amp. I thought I had lost my headphones (sister came to clean while I was sick) and replaced them with identical ones. The new ones sounded very different for the first couple of hundred hours but now they sound the same. I found the older ones and did AB testing, not ABx but the sound was very different.
I generally don't believe in high end nonsense with cables and such but it makes sense to me that a mechanical system such as headphones would change quite a bit over time.
 

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I believe it to be fact. Many of the Drivers i have purchased or seen state that there t/s parameters are before break-in or sometimes after. And weather or not it makes a differance i know first hand especially with subs that the suspension loosens up after awhile.:T
 

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Your right, there is no evidence for any sort of break in with electronic components. Its the mechanical properties of transducers that change with break in. People like to think they can hear whats not measurable but it purely placebo effect. Placebo effect is very real and occurs all the time, especially when someone spends a lot of money on something like cables. There is this whole subculture that's entirely made up of people with too much money and too much time to fantasize about what might sound better. I used to love reading Stereophile but the off the wall talk of the entirely subjective was too much for me. There's even a language that's developed around it. I wonder if its somehow linked to testosterone as it seems to affect only males.
 

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The first thing we audiophiles learn is to throw in the garbage all of the 'audiophile language' we picked up from from the mass marketing monkeys, and self absorbed golden eared wanna bees, that write equipment reviews for certain magazines, that make their money from the same advertisers they are reviewing equipment for:bigsmile:
Not to mention any names &$^#()phile.
 

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If a new drive has a stiff suspension, that softens when its starts to be used, and this is factored into the design, then driver break in has to be real. The driver will move more easily under a given load once the tight new materials start to loosen up, which in driver terms should mean a deeper/warmer/more bass driven character. Its only like new shoes that soften up.

I for one subscribe to those effects, and having tested a fair few new drivers, I'm pretty sure I notice it happen too. This can be measured, because the TSP's of a brand new driver are different to what they will be after 100 hours use, with the driver upto operating temperature, and played at a good volume. Ive not read this thread, but thats where I stand on that. How audible it actually is I guess depends on the driver and its application, but I think the effects are most noticed at lower frequencies, so the less they are present, I would say the less they are noticed. I cant say if a tweeter has the same break in, or that Ive ever noticed it on tweeters, but subs and bass in speakers, I have.
 

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wow, how could i have not seen it. you know those things called atoms have to be a fad like the atom bomb. you can't see them (Atoms) with the naked eye. yet they bounce around when they are conducting energy. how could i have missed it. therer could never be any kind of change on a molectular level in things. kind of like the earth being round when we all know it's flat and you will just fall off the edge when you get there. stupid placebo people that call themselves audiophiles. how dare they say such things after they spend all that money and look for some rational explanation for spending it and what the benifits are. how dare them...............
 

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and self absorbed golden eared wanna bees, that write equipment reviews for certain magazines, that make their money from the same advertisers they are reviewing equipment for:bigsmile:
Not to mention any names &$^#()phile.
Doesnt a public consensus of a good or bad product make this almost impossible? Dont publications loose creditability if this is shown to be true? Can you cite specific examples of products that, you believed, clearly received scores higher than they should have from these big publications? I realize all reviews, 'pro' or otherwise, must be taken with a grain of salt and its all subjective, but Im still curious what makes you say the big boys are willing to sacrifice their name in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
 

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My bad, I should have used the term an 'educated' public consensus. For those with a basic education, taking audio advice from a Bose owner would be a lot like taking financial advice from a poor man. But Ill do the research into your claim.
 
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