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Breaking in Speakers

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I have a set of Paradigms (Monitor 7s, CC-370, ADP-370s).

How many hours does it take to break them in? 100hrs, 200 hrs?

Any techniques that are best for breaking speakers in? Types of music? Volume levels? Should I just let them play day and night at a specific volume until they are broken in?
post #2 of 42
Just play them. As to whether you like the sound, that's another matter. So, don't play them so long that you can't return them if you're not satisfied.
post #3 of 42
I've never "broken in" speakers intentionally, but if I were to, I would probably play pink noise at 75 dB (as measured at the seating position to each speaker). That's where I would start. I would play that as much as possible without it being annoying. For example, if I went to work, and no one else was home, I would let the play the pink noise. In the evening, I would use them normally if I wished, or let the pink noise continue if I was doing something else and not annoyed by it.
post #4 of 42
Not to add any flame, or start a debate, but, just to be safe, I would check your product manual carefully for any break-in instructions. If it does specify a break-in period (for some particular quantity of hours- typically like 50 or 80 hours minimum) then I would be careful to play your system only at or below moderate levels.

Energy recommends 100 hour break-in period for their RC-Series speakers. I just set my digital cable TV for a "stream" music channel (ie. "Smooth Jazz", "Classic Rock", etc.,...), at low db levels (like -38db to -45db on my Yamaha RX-V2600 receiver, for example), and let my system play all day while at work. When I got home at night I would turn it up to moderate levels just to experiment. I did this for two weeks, before I really cranked it up for extended periods.
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFigueiredo View Post

I have a set of Paradigms (Monitor 7s, CC-370, ADP-370s).

How many hours does it take to break them in? 100hrs, 200 hrs?

Any techniques that are best for breaking speakers in? Types of music? Volume levels? Should I just let them play day and night at a specific volume until they are broken in?

What's the point? Are you not happy with them? Are you not going to listen to them until someone says they are "broken in?" Are you going to return them if they haven't improved after the break-in period?

Just play them and enjoy them and stop opening the same can of worms that someone does every week.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

What's the point? Are you not happy with them? Are you not going to listen to them until someone says they are "broken in?" Are you going to return them if they haven't improved after the break-in period?

Just play them and enjoy them and stop opening the same can of worms that someone does every week.

Plus 1 for Kal. the mods need to shut these threads down right away. This is the AV SCIENCE forum not the BS the Snake oil says to do forum.
post #7 of 42
Maybe there is some science to breaking in speakers? I think the moderators should actively encourage these types of threads.
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

What's the point? Are you not happy with them? Are you not going to listen to them until someone says they are "broken in?" Are you going to return them if they haven't improved after the break-in period?

Just play them and enjoy them and stop opening the same can of worms that someone does every week.

HUMBUG!

i was just wondering as i had heard that they sound better after they are broken-in.

plus, i didnt want to damage them.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFigueiredo View Post

HUMBUG!

i was just wondering as i had heard that they sound better after they are broken-in.

plus, i didnt want to damage them.

They do your on the right track just leave them on for about a week while your at work,and listen to them regularlly when you get home and then set the volume on low when you go to bed,its not hard,in a weeks time with most speakers they will sound their best,then you can figure out if they are the right choice or not.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFigueiredo View Post

HUMBUG!

Now you have it!
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeniguana00 View Post

Maybe there is some science to breaking in speakers? I think the moderators should actively encourage these types of threads.

Do you think this is the first time this has come up? Search, read, see what others have said and what has been proven. Why start another thread to regurgitate it?
post #12 of 42
Why start another thread? Because this brings the topic to the attention of those who would never think of breaking in their speakers. I also did a search, and there didn't seem to be too many threads on breaking in speakers (hardly any).
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoSpiral View Post

I've never "broken in" speakers intentionally, but if I were to, I would probably play pink noise at 75 dB (as measured at the seating position to each speaker).

I think you could run the risk of damaging your speakers doing this.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeniguana00 View Post

Why start another thread? Because this brings the topic to the attention of those who would never think of breaking in their speakers.

True, unfortunately.

Quote:


I also did a search, and there didn't seem to be too many threads on breaking in speakers (hardly any).

Too bad. I recall too many. There were posts of subjective evaluations and references to controlled tests of various types and at least one was within the past month. If you are so motivated you can search more or elsewhere; it has also come up on other A/V - HT sites.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

If you are so motivated you can search more or elsewhere; it has also come up on other A/V - HT sites.

It all comes down to a lack of motivation.
post #16 of 42
Breaking-in speakers might be real, since they have a suspension that might lossen up. Since I buy my speakers used these days, they are already broken in if breaking-in is real.
post #17 of 42
I don't think breakin takes anywhere near as long as some manufacturers imply, or some people believe. I imagine the most happens in the first few seconds that the speaker is driven with a reasonable amount of power.
post #18 of 42
Just ask the speaker manufacturer, in most cases you'll find this is nothing but snake oil.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by emorphien View Post

I don't think breakin takes anywhere near as long as some manufacturers imply, or some people believe. I imagine the most happens in the first few seconds that the speaker is driven with a reasonable amount of power.

Not true breakend means a lot,and some speaker take longer than others,some drivers take longer than others,some crossovers take longer than others,some speakers are harsh right out of the box like Dynaudio for instance hearing some not broken in you will wonder what all the fuss is about.Just use it as a learning tool,its fun to hear speakers go thru their various changes,just enjoy it patience is a virtue,most speakers you hear at a dealer are already broken in,your fresh pair in the box isnt.
post #20 of 42
Interesting measurements and opinions related to speaker break-in: http://www.gr-research.com/burnin.shtm

One technique that can be used to minimize the amount of sound leaked to the rest of the world during break-in is to place the speakers very close to each other face-to-face, wire one with the polarity reversed (swap the + and - wires), and then play music, noise, whatever. Be careful not to place them so close to each other that the drivers might touch, or that the cabinets might vibrate against each other and ruin the finish. You can also drape a towel over them to further limit the sound leakage. Be sure not to leave the poliarity reversed when you are done.

However, just listening to them is a perfectly reasonable way to break speakers in.

-Max
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFigueiredo View Post

I have a set of Paradigms (Monitor 7s, CC-370, ADP-370s).

How many hours does it take to break them in? 100hrs, 200 hrs?

Any techniques that are best for breaking speakers in? Types of music? Volume levels? Should I just let them play day and night at a specific volume until they are broken in?

As you have and are about to find out... this is a very sensitive topic.
I personally think there is validity to the break in theory. If something has a moving part.
Speakers do.
Then I believe there is some amount of break in. How much obviously depends on each speaker as each speaker is made of different material.

Craig
post #22 of 42
This shouldn't be such a sensitive topic; it's not all that controversial if you think about it. Since a speaker is made of materials that have to move to create sound, it should be apparent that those materials need to be pliant so that they produce the best sound that they possibly can. I'm one who looks at the theories and does my own experimenting. I've broken in speakers in systems that I've built, but left commercial offerings alone. And I'll continue to leave them be if they are part of a store-bought system.

But if you have the individual driver and you want to get the "breaking in" out of the way and set your mind at ease all in one fell swoop, below is a reprint of a quick article I wrote about a method that I've read about and used. Bear in mind the following! You are relying on your eye and your judgement of mere millimeters of coil travel, so if you are breaking in a 4.5" driver with 4 mm of travel, well...you can decide if your eye is that accurate. With subs that have, say, 17 mm Xmax, it is quite a bit simpler, and safer.

Here's a procedure I learned that is fairly simple to use to break in a woofer. If you are installing your own woofers, be it for car or home use, and have found this thread because you're the type who wants to go about the installation systematically, covering all bases, then this procedure is for you:

You need a test tone CD (here is a download) with a 10 minute track of the tone that corresponds with the Fs of the woofer. You need to be able to hang the woofer up in mid air, through one of the mounting holes in the frame, letting it hang freely. There should be no walls close to the woofer, and the woofer certainly shouldn't be laying on the table on its magnet (as you often see in videos). The nearby table or wall acts to compress the air behind the cone so avoid those types of disturbances.

The idea is to play the sine wave tone through the woofer at resonant frequency in free air. A very slight amount of power will enable the woofer to move at full excursion. You have to first find out what the Xmax is so that you can look at the excursion and gauge (by eye) the approximate excursion you're putting the woofer through. A subwoofer with a one-way excursion of 12 mm would look like its moving about an inch as the voice coil moves back and forth. You'll note that you are allowing only a few watts of power to reach full Xmax, so be careful with the volume control.

If you're working with a car subwoofer, you can prop the trunk lid and hang it from that. If you're working with a home sub, you can hang it from the ceiling of the room near the amplifier. Play the tone at Fs, watch the cone movement while adjusting volume, and let it flap and whirrr for the 10 minute period. It will sound more like a fan than a subwoofer. Allow 10 minutes cooling time, then run it again a few sets. Your woofer is now broken in.

There is only a small percentage of DIYers who will go through this procedure. They are the ones who make sure they have a test tone CD for setting gains, who make sure they damped all the sheet metal while the car is torn apart, who made sure they grinded all the paint off the metal before securing the ground wire. This is just another of the steps to ensuring that when you are ready to debut the system, it will sound the way you had hoped it would.

The download I referred to in that statement doesn't show up because I copied this from the12volt pages where I originally wrote it, but you have test tone resources described on these forums as well. I used test tone generator.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockemsockem View Post

I think you could run the risk of damaging your speakers doing this.

Just as breaking them in is bunk. Explain what you mean by what you posted? How could this possibly hurt the drivers?
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tawaun da bomb View Post

Not true breakend means a lot,and some speaker take longer than others,some drivers take longer than others,some crossovers take longer than others,some speakers are harsh right out of the box like Dynaudio for instance hearing some not broken in you will wonder what all the fuss is about.Just use it as a learning tool,its fun to hear speakers go thru their various changes,just enjoy it patience is a virtue,most speakers you hear at a dealer are already broken in,your fresh pair in the box isnt.



Really and what is the physics and science behind what you posted. Audio is PHYSICS always hass been always will be it is not magic. Now explain your voodoo.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxcooper View Post

Interesting measurements and opinions related to speaker break-in: http://www.gr-research.com/burnin.shtm

-Max


It would be interesting if it were not on a manufactures page and from a independant source.
post #26 of 42
audioholics has an article on speaker breakin, but I don't find it to be particularly substatial. Regardless their "results" agree with me, in that while there are changes for the most part it's over and done with quickly with regard to what will have a notable sonic impact.

Granted not all of us have to disagree on any of this... there's plenty of room for personal preference in speakers and other things that how much breakin they need can also be up for debate.
post #27 of 42
Well, the way I see it, speaker break in is kind of irrelevant anyway. I'm not going to keep a speaker that doesn't sound good to me right away.

I will say that I've only bought new speakers, and they've always sounded great right out of the box. If it so happens that they've subtly improved in a week or so (I don't believe this, but whatever) then great! That's just a bonus.

Bill
post #28 of 42
Would the procedure be any different to break in a new set of Bose speakers?
post #29 of 42
It takes so little effort and so little time to breakin speakers assuming they've never ever been hooked up. The time the manufacturer gives you is time you ought to be spending getting them in good positions. The GR-Research work simply indicates that the parameters that characterize a drive change upon use and return to their original values, give or take a little bit, after they've sat for a while. You'll find that the changes that occur are typically less than exist in driver to driver variations from a manufacturer. This is nothing new and has been done far more rigorously in the past.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

Really and what is the physics and science behind what you posted. Audio is PHYSICS always hass been always will be it is not magic. Now explain your voodoo.

Its been stated before,on this thread transducers and crossovers have moving parts,it doesent take a Physics degree to figure it out,im gonna stay out of this thread,because to many people are being closed-minded about this subject and they already are predetermining their results
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