Is there a break in period for the Pioneer SP-FS52 or is the whole break-in period a myth? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks!
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post #2 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 08:30 PM
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From Klipsch:

 

http://www.klipsch.com/Education/breaking-in-speakers

 

There are other sites but you get the idea.


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post #3 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 09:02 PM
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Yes there is a break-in time. No it is not a myth.

I think my Cambridge Audio S30's took about 15 to 20 hours to notice a difference, and about 30 to deliver an absolutely amazing sound.

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post #4 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks!
So do you have to recalibrate the sound stage after the 30 hours? Basically do I have to run my XT32 setup again?
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post #5 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 09:54 PM
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You don't have to but there is definitely no harm in doing it just to make sure you're perfectly calibrated.

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post #6 of 31 Old 08-26-2013, 10:27 PM
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You can hear when your speaker is broken in very easily, just play it for 20 hours or so and let your imagination do the rest of the work.
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post #7 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 05:43 AM
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I just went through this with a pair of FS52s that I bought last Sunday. They started at 'pretty good', a bit threadbare on the bottom. Imaging was fairly deep, but everything seemed small and two dimensional, like cardboard cutouts throughout the soundstage. They improved as the week went on and have now gotten to the point that I'm shocked at just how good they are. That said, I'm yet to listen to anything loud and dynamic to see how they do, but they are simply outstanding with acoustic music. An incredible bargain.

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post #8 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Break-in not a myth, but I think the importance of it is greatly exaggerated by some. If you think your speakers sound like crap from the start, you're not going to magically fall in love with them after 20 hours of "break-in". And if you do, you likely just got used to the way they sound. I think subs benefit the most, and more often, large subs. Suspension loosens a little and the sub may start to dig a little deeper or play lower due to things loosening up a bit. But, break-in is not some magical phenomenon that some people claim. Tweeters and mid-range drivers, as well as subs under 8 inches, likely see zero benefit or sound change. In my opinion. I'll bet Mr. Bill F. would have a nice opinion on the matter if he happens to check this thread.

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #9 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempnexus View Post

thanks!

I have several friends who are well known speaker system designers, at least 2 with 100,000s of units sold. One is Earl Geddes who has fantastic technical credentials and is well known to many here who are into speakers.

Tom Nousaine the Sound and Vision reviewer is a good friend.

They all tell me that:

(1) There are small technical changes that happen to the speaker the first time you use it if it has not been used for a while.

(2) The changes are such that from an audibility standpoint, they may or may not be heard as slight changes.

(3) Speaker break in, as some audiophiles whoop and holler about it, is a myth.

(4) If your speakers sit around idle for a few weeks or months, they tend to regress. A few minutes after you start up your system after it has been off for several months, it is again about as broken in as it ever will be.
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post #10 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 02:38 PM
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From the P T Barnum school of A-V:

 

 

OK, so it only 'breaks in' interconnects and speaker cables, but hey.... 250 bucks is SUCH a bargain....



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post #11 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 03:08 PM
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Big fat myth. The speakers aren't changing at all but your ears are adjusting to the new sound that's all.What is even nuttier is those who believe that cables break in. Or that more expensive cables make any significant difference in sound quality. I use cable from Home Depot and technically it will sound the same as a $100 pair of cables!
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post #12 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEastSide View Post

I'll bet Mr. Bill F. would have a nice opinion on the matter if he happens to check this thread.
IMO having at least three threads running dealing with this same subject, and most of the totally subjective opinions within them being from non-professionals who, if asked to measure a speaker would use a tape measure, is a waste of time for all concerned. rolleyes.gif

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post #13 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 06:13 PM
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I've done nothing scientific, but from what I've read, and I thought I saw you mention this in a thread a few months back too, Bill, was that subs loosen in suspension, a little, whether noticeable or not, I don't know. And that most likely, tweeters and mids were affected zero by break-in. It's funny though, how many speaker manufacturers recommend it. Do they recommend it just because it's one of those things in audio lore that's been passed around so much that they assume consumers expect to see a section in their manuals about break-in, so they add it in there?

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #14 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 07:10 PM
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Speaker manufacturers tell you to break in your speakers for 100 hours or more so that by the time that hundred hours has passed you are passed the 30 day return policy!
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEastSide View Post

I've done nothing scientific, but from what I've read, and I thought I saw you mention this in a thread a few months back too, Bill, was that subs loosen in suspension, a little, whether noticeable or not, I don't know. And that most likely, tweeters and mids were affected zero by break-in. It's funny though, how many speaker manufacturers recommend it. Do they recommend it just because it's one of those things in audio lore that's been passed around so much that they assume consumers expect to see a section in their manuals about break-in, so they add it in there?
The effect tends to be greater with subs and woofers, mainly because they have so much more excursion than mids and tweeters, so the softening of the suspension has more benefit. Most manufacturers who recommend it do so because it is real, just as real as stiff new shoes becoming more comfortable after being worn, and for exactly the same reason. But diminishing returns set in at around 40 odd hours, beyond that there's far less change. If you do see recommendations for minimum break-in periods much longer than that you should be wary. I've seen some in the hundreds of hours, and not the least bit coincidental is that the manufacturers who do so tend to be of the snake oil variety IMO.

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post #16 of 31 Old 08-27-2013, 07:54 PM
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Here's the definitive answer, based on research rather than audiophool idiot conjecture:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Floyd Toole 
In parts of the audio industry, there is a belief that *** loudspeakers need to “break in.” Out of the box, it is assumed that they will not be performing at their best. Proponents vehemently deny that this process has anything to do with adaptation, writing extensively about changes in performance that they claim are easily audible in several aspects of device performance. Yet, the author is not aware of any controlled test in which any consequential audible differences were found, even in loudspeakers, where there would seem to be some oppor- tunities for material changes. A few years ago, to satisfy a determined marketing person, the research group per- formed a test using samples of a loudspeaker that was claimed to benefit from “breaking in.” Measurements before and after the recommended break-in showed no differences in frequency response, except a very tiny change around 30–40 Hz in the one area where break-in effects could be expected: woofer compliance. Careful listening tests revealed no audible differences. None of this was surprising to the engineering staff. It is not clear whether the marketing person was satisfied by the finding. To all of us [engineering staff], this has to be very reassuring because it means that the performance of loudspeakers is stable, except for the known small change in woofer compliance caused by exercising the suspension and the deterioration—breaking down—of foam surrounds and some diaphragm materials with time, moisture, and atmospheric pollutants. It is fascinating to note that “breaking-in” seems always to result in an improvement in performance. Why? Do all mechanical and electrical devices and materials acquire a musical aptitude that is missing in their virgin state? Why is it never reversed, getting worse with use? The reality is that engineers seek out materials, components, and construction methods that do not change with time. Suppose that the sound did improve over time as something broke in. What then? Would it eventually decline, just as wine goes “over the hill”? One can imagine an advertisement for a vintage loudspeaker: “An audiophile dream. Model XX, manufactured 2004, broken in with Mozart, Schubert, and acoustic jazz. Has never played anything more aggressive than the Beatles. Originally $1700/pair. Now at their performance peak—a steal at $3200!”
-Toole, Sound Reproduction (Focal Press 2009), at 353. (emph. added)

To put it another way, if a mechanical system changes dramatically in x hours of use, then by 2x hours of use it's probably all used up.

And even with big subs, it comes to nothing: resonance frequency and compliance move in opposite directions, resulting in de minimis real effect.
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Here's the definitive answer, based on research rather than audiophool idiot conjecture:
I guess that makes these guys idiots?
http://www.gr-research.com/myths.htm

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post #18 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Here's the definitive answer, based on research rather than audiophool idiot conjecture:
I guess that makes these guys idiots?
http://www.gr-research.com/myths.htm

 

I think the point is that there are small differences noted in driver suspension etc after a period of use, but there is no audible difference as a result.



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post #19 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 07:21 AM
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IIRC, Gene, over at Audioholics once wrote that 3 seconds is the ideal break-in time, which I tend to agree, though, but YMMV.
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 09:50 AM
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So it seems an acoustic suspension speaker may benefit from a small break in period, but what about things like horn tweeters and electrostatics?
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post #21 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 11:04 AM
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Some more food for thought, although the below article doesn't mention the 3 sec. break-in time at all...

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/speaker-break-in-fact-or-fiction

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post #22 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I guess that makes these guys idiots?
http://www.gr-research.com/myths.htm

Isn't that the guy with the initials DR? If so, probably so. I think he used to (or still does) tout boutique cables and upgraded caps making audible differences too.

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #23 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX View Post

From Klipsch:

http://www.klipsch.com/Education/breaking-in-speakers

There are other sites but you get the idea.

Surprising to see this on a manufacturer's site. I think it is probably more accurate to say that we break in to new speakers rather than that new speakers have a break in period. Nevertheless, the purpose of the statement is to reduce returns because people aren't used to the new sound of new speakers and are often uncomfortable with it. If the manufacturer can get the customer to spend some time with the speakers, familiarity seems to breed a better reaction to the sound The longer the customer keeps the product, the less likely there will be a return. Saying there is break in period, right or wrong, does tend to motivate the customer to spend more time with the new speakers.
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post #24 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post


Surprising to see this on a manufacturer's site. I think it is probably more accurate to say that we break in to new speakers rather than that new speakers have a break in period. Nevertheless, the purpose of the statement is to reduce returns because people aren't used to the new sound of new speakers and are often uncomfortable with it. If the manufacturer can get the customer to spend some time with the speakers, familiarity seems to breed a better reaction to the sound The longer the customer keeps the product, the less likely there will be a return. Saying there is break in period, right or wrong, does tend to motivate the customer to spend more time with the new speakers.

 

I've found other speaker mfg. sites that say basically the same as the klipsch site. Not hard to find using google. Believe what you want. I neither agree or disagree with them. Too many arguments about it. If some one can hear an improvement that is there good for them and If they hear it and it's not really there, good for them too.


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It's not surprising that a manufacturer will tell you break in will improve their speakers. People are so suggestible and auditory memory is so vague that many are going hear a change whether it exists or not.
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post #26 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 03:03 PM
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All you can do is sift through the facts such as Bill has offered and opinions and come up with your own conclusion with your own ears.


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post #27 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Here's the definitive answer, based on research rather than audiophool idiot conjecture:
I guess that makes these guys idiots?
http://www.gr-research.com/myths.htm

Idiot no, but willfully and intentionally misleading yes. Danny Richie is one of audio's greasier con-men. He relentlessly evangelizes the whole mythology, often discussing the "sound" of wires and even caps with different brands, this break-in idiocy, etc. And he throws in just enough science to trap the unobservant.

I once had a funny exchange with the con-man regarding an "upgrade" he offered for the Behringer Truth monitor. His "upgrade" consisted of taking the same circuit topology and same parts values as the factory crossover, but rendering it in "audiophile" parts. He claimed FR was the same, but that his fancy parts magically made it a better speaker. He offered to send one around with his crossover and the factory one (inputs for both clearly marked on the back - I think his had some feckless snake-oil connector) for people to ooh and ahh at his magic crossover parts.

I challenged him to send his demo one to me for blind listening and third-party measurements. His ultimate excuse for not sending them to me in the end was that my "upstream equipment" was too cheap to showcase the differences. Said equipment at the time was an $1000 Anthem AVR, and a $1600 Sherwood Newcastle A-965 amp that received a sterling review from Dr. David Rich. He also quite interestingly wrote that people who don't use idiot (sorry, High End) wires often can't resolve the differences his magic crossover components make.

He also regularly opines that the miniDSP, which is now in regular use by Dr. Earl Geddes, Dr. John Kresovsky, Siegfried Linkwitz, etc., is beneath his standards and only "mid-fi."

So yeah, I figure anything Danny throws up on the internet is a half-truth in service of his evangelist agenda. And here, that is clearly the case.

In your link, the greasy con-man shows nothing except for what I wrote in my previous post: Fs and compliance move in opposite directions. He also shows some thermal compression due to running drivers hard for a long time.

Note that he did not compare frequency response, or even model the differences he found to show that they were relevant and material to a drive unit in a cabinet. Basically, he shows nothing that remotely contradicts what I quoted from Dr. Toole above, but uses half-truths to convince people otherwise.
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post #28 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX View Post

All you can do is sift through the facts such as Bill has offered and opinions and come up with your own conclusion with your own ears.

Be careful about trusting your ears. They are connected to your brain and your brain fools you a lot.
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post #29 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 04:39 PM
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I can offer this. We did a blind test at an audio dealer after hours several years ago. One of the guys had ordered a new pair of B&W 801 matrix speakers and the dealer had a pair on his sales floor that was several months old. We couldn't tell the new ones from the old ones in a blind test. So I would say that it is 99% myth and 1% maybe because we might have done better with more listeners.
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post #30 of 31 Old 08-28-2013, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post


Be careful about trusting your ears. They are connected to your brain and your brain fools you a lot.

 

Yep, I'm well aware of that but I still have to go by what I hear.


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