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Old 02-04-2015, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by arjan_k View Post
It's possible that B&W already does a sort of factory break-in.
Other possibility is that break-in isn't very apparent in this loudspeaker.

The example I gave is a fullrange driver, just one unit doing the whole spectrum. That's a major difference.

Believe what you like. I work with test results.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
That's not what I've measured, on a few hundred occasions.

Bill, we've been through this before. I refer to audible differences, not measurable ones. I don't question your measurements and never have.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
... I would trust Bill and other designers who spend their lives designing speakers to know what they measure and they and their customers hear.

FWIWFM, IME/IMO, blah blah blah - Don

I trust Bill's measurements. I explained what his customers hear. I trust my test results above any opinions about audible differences. You are correct about the difficulty in finding opportunities to test this sort of thing. The only other one we were able to do in this manner were a pair of Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers. I can't remember the model. Same result, though. Do our tests provide definitive industry wide facts? No. But they are certainly better than opinions.


I'll change my mind when someone does similar tests and uncovers an audible difference. Until then I'm sticking with my results. Sorry.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Bill, we've been through this before. I refer to audible differences, not measurable ones. I don't question your measurements and never have.
Have fun in a conversation with audiofools who swear that they can hear difference with broken in cables.
To be fair most consumer grade drivers have foam or rubber surrounds, and they don't break in anywhere near as much as cloth surrounds. As most of my work is in the pro-sound realm I work mainly with cloth surround drivers, and the difference between them pre and post break in is pretty obvious, especially with instrument cabs, where the effect on that one instrument isn't masked by the presence of other sources, as is the case with recorded media.

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Old 02-05-2015, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Have fun in a conversation with audiofools who swear that they can hear difference with broken in cables.
To be fair most consumer grade drivers have foam or rubber surrounds, and they don't break in anywhere near as much as cloth surrounds. As most of my work is in the pro-sound realm I work mainly with cloth surround drivers, and the difference between them pre and post break in is pretty obvious, especially with instrument cabs, where the effect on that one instrument isn't masked by the presence of other sources, as is the case with recorded media.

I can accept that. I'll make an exception to my comments for musical instrument and sound reinforcement speakers. I realize our tests were limited in scope. Nevertheless, I'll bet that even with musical instrument speakers, familiarity breeds contentment. Musicians aren't immune to hearing bias. I'm a musician myself and I'm certainly not immune.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:21 AM
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Since there are two opposing camps on this topic (it has been this way for as long as I've been into audio), it really doesn't matter one way or another. If you have heard a difference, it won't influence the other camp one iota, and vice-versa. All in all, it's a moot point. I mean, who really cares one way or another? But I raise an eyebrow when I read uncompromising words such as, "always" and "never".

Reviewers usually allow 8 to 12 hours of "break in" before reviewing speakers or subwoofers. Is it necessary? Perhaps and perhaps not. Different surround material may take longer to break in. I couldn't get much sound from a BIC subwoofer I received as a Christmas gift for the first few hours (thought it was a bad sub). Steadily, over time (a few weeks) it seem to hit its stride. People can believe this or not. Makes no difference to me. I also suspect that for most speakers, one won't hear much of a difference, if any, between the first ten minutes and ten days later (I didn't on the EMP Tek R5Bi's). Not that speaker sound won't change over time, it very well may. But I doubt our ears could measure this minute, steady difference. Although if we had a speaker that has been used for a year, then bought a brand new pair, I suspect the difference would be readily audible.

Full panel speakers such as on my Maggies are quite different (mainly the bass panels). It's not that I had to baby these speakers, it just took a few months to stretch out the mylar panels to get the depth I had heard at the audio store. Had nothing to do with quality of sound.

As to the question if one needs to break in a speaker, I'd say it depends.

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Old 02-05-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick R View Post
+1 exactly what I found with the mains in the main system, but they go down to 38Hz most of the others struggle to go below 55Hz and didn't seem to need any burn in

Speaker manufacturers are well aware of the fact that the surrounds of cone-type speakers are somewhat rigid and stiff when new, and they become more compliant as they are operated. The amount of time for this break-in to take place can be quite short for some types of surround (suspension) materials, and can take hundreds of hours for other types of materials.

It also is true that playing the speakers louder flexes the material more and will thus speed the break-in process.

Since drivers that operate below 100 Hz have greater cone excursion than higher-frequency drivers, break-in is primarily an issue at low frequencies.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:23 AM
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Ok the test we ran on high end speakers took place in an audio store. We compared a pair of B&W Matrix 801 speakers that had been on the sales floor for three months against a brand new pair that were just taken out of the box for testing and delivery the next day. 7 listeners were unable to tell one pair from the other in a blind test. You asked and you received.


I'm not questioning that that they "improve" over time. I'm just explaining that the change is in the listener, not the speakers. Try a similar test for yourself and you will understand what I am saying. Throwing comments from outside the ropes won't teach you anything.
Not exactly the ideal place to conduct a comparison test, not what I would call a meaningful result. At least my comparison tests were done in a more ideal environs, although the speakers in question were not the same they are least gave me a reference point.. See my post above how long is a typical "break-in period" for speakers?

And as for being taught anything, I suspect I have been in this game somewhat longer than you both professionally and as a hobby, over 50 years to be precise and luckily I have managed to avoid your know it all and arrogant attitude. I wonder who it is that really needs to learn something
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
Speaker manufacturers are well aware of the fact that the surrounds of cone-type speakers are somewhat rigid and stiff when new, and they become more compliant as they are operated. The amount of time for this break-in to take place can be quite short for some types of surround (suspension) materials, and can take hundreds of hours for other types of materials.

It also is true that playing the speakers louder flexes the material more and will thus speed the break-in process.

Since drivers that operate below 100 Hz have greater cone excursion than higher-frequency drivers, break-in is primarily an issue at low frequencies.
Yes, exactly what my brief post meant

Last edited by Rick R; 02-07-2015 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick R View Post
Not exactly the ideal place to conduct a comparison test, not what I would call a meaningful result. At least my comparison tests were done in a more ideal environs, although the speakers in question were not the same they are least gave me a reference point.. See my post above how long is a typical "break-in period" for speakers?

And as for being taught anything, I suspect I have been in this game somewhat longer than you both professionally and as a hobby, over 50 years to be precise and luckily I have managed to avoid your know it all and arrogant attitude. I wonder who it is that really needs to learn something

60 years for me. I am surprised that nobody in that time explained to you why manufacturers recommend break in periods. But I will bow to your superior knowledge because, after all, you shared it on the internet. As for our test results, they were what they were. I can't change them or redo them nor do I understand anything invalid about them. Sorry.

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:28 PM
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As other have said,if break in was real,where would it stop? Would it keep going until the driver fails? I know for a fact that when I got my Marin Logan ESL's,They sounded the exact same the 2nd I fired them up as they do 2 yrs later today. I've tried tons of speakers before I settled on those,let them run while I was at work for 100 hrs or more,never heard any difference. I don't believe in it myself.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:54 PM
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As other have said,if break in was real,where would it stop? Would it keep going until the driver fails? I know for a fact that when I got my Marin Logan ESL's,They sounded the exact same the 2nd I fired them up as they do 2 yrs later today. I've tried tons of speakers before I settled on those,let them run while I was at work for 100 hrs or more,never heard any difference. I don't believe in it myself.
I bought an EVM 12L in 1981. Out of the box the Fs was 60Hz. After break in it came down to the spec'd 53Hz. Twenty odd years later when I loaded into the last cab that I used it in Fs was down to 46Hz. The process never stops. Not that you'd hear it, being so gradual a change, but if you had one that measured 60Hz next to one that measured 46Hz you'd very much hear the difference.
IME those who believe in break in do because they know how and why it happens. Those who don't don't. Or at least they don't know that they do. It's exactly the same process that makes an old pair of shoes more comfortable than a new pair.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:56 PM
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That's a terrible comparison. Old shoes? Cmon Yoda! Listen with your ears,not measurements bro. Do you measure your monster cables breaking in? Can you measure your new receiver breaking in.They tell you to break your speakers in so you don't bring them back. They are broke in the sec you fire them up. Its a myth! Its like these guys throwing on an amp to power their speakers and all of the sudden,omg! I can't believe how the sound stage opened up and the mids are nice an lush and the highs are more airy.. LMAO! You seriously can't make this sh*t up!
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:05 PM
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The irony in a poster with the nom de plume "LowTech1" arguing theory and measurements with seasoned pros and engineers is just thick...

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Old 02-08-2015, 05:25 AM
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60 years for me. I am surprised that nobody in that time explained to you why manufacturers recommend break in periods. But I will bow to your superior knowledge because, after all, you shared it on the internet. As for our test results, they were what they were. I can't change them or redo them nor do I understand anything invalid about them. Sorry.
First you trot out that you only believe in measurable results (your words, earlier post) and question the knowledge and experience of a professional speaker designer.

Then you claim to conduct a subjective test 'In A Store?' with yourself and seven other people of dubious existence with unknown aural acuity and intellect. Hardly measurable test results.

I also suspect your claim of 60 years experience, or perhaps this is age related and why you contradict yourself.

Keep digging son, soon the hole will be deep enough that all the hot air you can blow will not be able to lift you out.

I will not be responding further, my time is far too valuable. I prefer to discuss things with sensible people who have experience and at least know something about the subject and are aware with current technology, not everything is measurable.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by LowTech1 View Post
That's a terrible comparison. Old shoes? Cmon Yoda! Listen with your ears,not measurements bro. Do you measure your monster cables breaking in? Can you measure your new receiver breaking in.They tell you to break your speakers in so you don't bring them back. They are broke in the sec you fire them up. Its a myth! Its like these guys throwing on an amp to power their speakers and all of the sudden,omg! I can't believe how the sound stage opened up and the mids are nice an lush and the highs are more airy.. LMAO! You seriously can't make this sh*t up!
Obviously you've never bothered to read posts where I've said that there is no break-in of any component that's not mechanical, and you haven't the slightest idea how a driver functions. You certainly don't design speakers for a living. A parting word before you go on my iggy list: If you want to render an expert opinion you first must become an expert.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:52 AM
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I will not be responding further.

Thank you sincerely, son.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:03 AM
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Just run them for a day playing that music at the end from 'Mars Attacks'. Speakers are broken in and any aliens are dead.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:36 AM
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As for our test results, they were what they were. I can't change them or redo them nor do I understand anything invalid about them. Sorry.
They are valid for THAT particular situation, that doesn't mean break-in of loudspeakers is "voodoo". It just varies a LOT between loudspeakers.

I'm into designing and building loudspeakers for more then 25 years and did loads of TSP measurements of pre-broken-in and broken-in drivers, a deviation of 10-15% of Fs, Vas, Qes, Qms is typical for most drivers.

If you really want to hear a MAJOR difference then you should build a test pair of these CT237 (google it or check the lautsprechershop site)
Allthough I didn't exactly build this design I did build a fullrange system with this particular driver (Tangband W4-1320SIF). Do a blind test with these and your test results will be different.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:17 AM
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Wow,if you don't agree with the almighty Bill,you go on his ignore list. What a touch of class..
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:22 AM
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If you really want to hear a MAJOR difference then you should build a test pair of these CT237 (google it or check the lautsprechershop site)
Allthough I didn't exactly build this design I did build a fullrange system with this particular driver (Tangband W4-1320SIF). Do a blind test with these and your test results will be different.

So you are saying that if I were to build speakers with this driver, use a pair for 3 months and then bring out the second pair brand new and then compare them in a bias controlled test I would hear a difference? Why do you think that? Have you done a bias controlled test under those circumstances?


I have already explained why audiophiles hear improvement in their speakers over time, much to Rick's chagrin and anger. It happens to me every time I change speakers. My testing says that it has nothing to do with the speakers and everything to do with familiarity and hearing bias. Help me understand the motivation for your conclusion.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:00 PM
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So you are saying that if I were to build speakers with this driver, use a pair for 3 months and then bring out the second pair brand new and then compare them in a bias controlled test I would hear a difference? Why do you think that? Have you done a bias controlled test under those circumstances?


I have already explained why audiophiles hear improvement in their speakers over time, much to Rick's chagrin and anger. It happens to me every time I change speakers. My testing says that it has nothing to do with the speakers and everything to do with familiarity and hearing bias. Help me understand the motivation for your conclusion.
It is the beauty of the human mind that it can accommodate for deficiencies in incoming sensory information and experiences anyway. If this is a flaw, I think we should be happy to have it. Listener break-in is a blessing, not a curse.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:22 PM
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So you are saying that if I were to build speakers with this driver, use a pair for 3 months and then bring out the second pair brand new and then compare them in a bias controlled test I would hear a difference? Why do you think that? Have you done a bias controlled test under those circumstances?


I have already explained why audiophiles hear improvement in their speakers over time, much to Rick's chagrin and anger. It happens to me every time I change speakers. My testing says that it has nothing to do with the speakers and everything to do with familiarity and hearing bias. Help me understand the motivation for your conclusion.
1st of all, I experienced break in in an objective way with a car sub that I have tested, once a week for a few months with the same song and setting. There was a bass note in the song that it wasn't able to reproduce from may to the end of september when it finally happened. It's not a matter of perception or settings or temperature. If anything, getting deeper bass should not happen in cooler temperature like end of september but rather in hotter tempreature like july.

2nd, These guys,(gr-research.com/myths.htm) have made extensive tests with a series of woofers of different brand and models. They hooked them up, used them for a period of time, measured their TS parameters (scientific measure of how a drivers perform in order to be able to build a perfect box for it.) after different period of usage from 1 minute to 80 hours and found that the TS parameters not only change throughout the entire process but never revert back to their initial values, no matter for how long they're cooled down.

Like they say in their papers, it's not proof that their sound is changing, but it's proof that something scientific, measureable and not imaginary is going on in the break in period.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:51 PM
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It is the beauty of the human mind that it can accommodate for deficiencies in incoming sensory information and experiences anyway. If this is a flaw, I think we should be happy to have it. Listener break-in is a blessing, not a curse.

Well said. Our brain takes short cuts all time whenever it encounters an obstacle to its processing. We should thank mother nature that it does. Otherwise we would all be treading water in a manner of speaking.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:57 PM
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1st of all, I experienced break in in an objective way with a car sub that I have tested, once a week for a few months with the same song and setting. There was a bass note in the song that it wasn't able to reproduce from may to the end of september when it finally happened. It's not a matter of perception or settings or temperature. If anything, getting deeper bass should not happen in cooler temperature like end of september but rather in hotter tempreature like july.

2nd, These guys,(gr-research.com/myths.htm) have made extensive tests with a series of woofers of different brand and models. They hooked them up, used them for a period of time, measured their TS parameters (scientific measure of how a drivers perform in order to be able to build a perfect box for it.) after different period of usage from 1 minute to 80 hours and found that the TS parameters not only change throughout the entire process but never revert back to their initial values, no matter for how long they're cooled down.

Like they say in their papers, it's not proof that their sound is changing, but it's proof that something scientific, measureable and not imaginary is going on in the break in period.

Measurable differences aren't always audible so I won't comment on the second paragraph. But the first paragraph is interesting to me. I wonder if the driver to which you refer had a fabric surround. I ask because Fitz has said drivers with fabric surrounds do take a while to break in audibly. I've never had a chance to test speakers with such drivers and it may motivate me to create an opportunity to do so.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:07 PM
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Measurable differences aren't always audible so I won't comment on the second paragraph. But the first paragraph is interesting to me. I wonder if the driver to which you refer had a fabric surround. I ask because Fitz has said drivers with fabric surrounds do take a while to break in audibly. I've never had a chance to test speakers with such drivers and it may motivate me to create an opportunity to do so.
The sub was a JLAudio 8W7 (yes an 8" sub in a car) on a 250/1 amplifier.

I can't find what material it was on JL's website but on crutchfield it said Polyester foam.

The enclosure was sealed.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:21 PM
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The sub was a JLAudio 8W7 (yes an 8" sub in a car) on a 250/1 amplifier.
I can't find what material it was on JL's website but on crutchfield it said Polyester foam.
Foam surrounds won't have as much post break-in parameter shift as cloth, as they're not as stiff to begin with and don't soften as much with use. But the spider is still cloth, and if that's particularly stiff initially there still can be a significant spec shift.
Humidity can cause response changes as well. While it's not break-in per se, a pulp cone can have an increase in mass, resulting in a lowering of Fs, in very damp conditions. You may hear it, you may not, but changes do occur with the weather, or for that matter moving a speaker from a dry living room to a damp basement.

Edit: Beware of cold temperatures too, as they severely stiffen suspensions, which I was reminded of when I started my car this balmy 10 degree morning. This is when you'll really notice the lack of bass, as I did today. Don't turn up your radio trying to find that missing bass, just let the car's warming and the heat that the drivers themselves will create soften the suspensions and in an hour or less things will return to normal.

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nicklevys View Post
The sub was a JLAudio 8W7 (yes an 8" sub in a car) on a 250/1 amplifier.
Just an 8" sub in a car? I've got a JL 12W0 on a 600 monoblock in mine Sounds pretty good, although I'm getting some ideas about how to make it sound better...

I didn't notice any change in the sound with break in, though.

Theory is a great place, everything works in theory.

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Old 02-11-2015, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
So you are saying that if I were to build speakers with this driver, use a pair for 3 months and then bring out the second pair brand new and then compare them in a bias controlled test I would hear a difference? Why do you think that? Have you done a bias controlled test under those circumstances?
If you read my posts in this thread then I don't have to explain it again.

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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
I have already explained why audiophiles hear improvement in their speakers over time, much to Rick's chagrin and anger. It happens to me every time I change speakers. My testing says that it has nothing to do with the speakers and everything to do with familiarity and hearing bias. Help me understand the motivation for your conclusion.
Ok, for one last time.

Last year I did build some small bookshelf loudspeakers to replace my floorstanders(new furniture....). The loudspeaker is in fact a 4" fullrange driver (Tangband W4-1320SIF). After I finished one loudspeaker, which was already broken-in due to testing/listening, I build the 2nd one. After connecting the 2nd loudspeaker to my stereo the stereo-image was completely "off". The stereo-image gravitated toward the not broken-in loudspeaker, the "mids" were very forward and the highs sounded harsh compared to the broken-in one. I first thought I made a mistake in the crossover, not so. Then I swapped the loudspeakers to make sure it was not the amp, source, or listening-room, not so.... hmm.
Then I let both loudspeaker run for a few hours with music on moderate volume, low and behold, the stereo-image restored and the harshness was gone.
Since I had a direct comparison one can't say that the effect was in my ears(brain) and that my brain/ears got used to the sound of the loudspeakers. This can of course happen when you have a pair of loudspeakers that you are listening to overtime. This is NOT the case here. My girlfriend witnessed it too and she's no audiophile.
Now it's your turn.

Last edited by arjan_k; 02-11-2015 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:18 AM
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Do tweeters break in or soften over time??

I ordered a new pair of Monitor Audio GSFX to replace GS10 as my surround, even though they are different design, they uses the same tweeter and same woofer.

The GSFX is brand new, last pair in stock from US distributor's warehouse, GS10 is about 6-7 yrs old with regular daily use.

After the GSFX arrive, I hooked them up to my 2 channel setup to check for defects and I immediately thought they sound a little bright and a little harsh.

So out of curiosity, I remove GSFX from stands and put on GS10 and I swear, the brightness and harshness is gone.

I have owned the same series of speakers for the past 6-7 yrs, so I should be familiar with how they sound..

I am not sure what I hear is the difference of speakers break in or if I am already biased with my first impression of the new GSFX.
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