Is the concept of speaker break in true? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Menarini View Post
There are many such 'experiences' you will read on the net..such as..my speakers sounded great out of the box, now after 2 months they have 'opened up even better'.
Question being about that last part above, did the speakers' drivers opened up or your ears opened up to appreciate the speakers' tonality better?

The later. You get accustomed to the speakers. However, in my case, all of my speakers sound exactly the same today as they did from day one, so apparently not everyone is subject to accustomization. This is really a manufacturer telling you to give them a chance, especially if you are moving into theirs from another speaker.


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Originally Posted by aats View Post
My speakers had "does not require break in" in their manual.

And I'm not sure about my Paradigms and that brand's recommendation on break in, but interestingly the Totem brand (that I own and respect, they make very good stuff) DOES recommend a break in period of many hours for their speaker lines - AND depending on the line, the recommended break in time will vary. Not sure what to make of that. But same deal - my Totems sound exactly the same today as they did right out of the box.


It should be noted - I am NOT a *golden ear* or trained listener....

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post #62 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 08:20 AM
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One thing I don’t recall ever hearing in these arguments, especially over time, is that you very likely are tweeking the sound. By this I mean things like speaker positioning, toe-in, eq, and other settings on your amp or receiver. When you first set up a speaker (a.k.a. “Out of the box”) it’s often placed in a similar position as the previous speakers (if there were any) or if new, placed in convenient spots. For those that say over weeks or more, it might be that they have slowly made these tweaks, which can certainly make significant differences in the sound. I think we often discount these things.
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post #63 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Red MC View Post
I don't think this is relevant to music listening, because when we're listening to our systems, our ears are hearing the music but our eyes are seeing a mostly static image of whatever is in the room. The two senses are not receiving correlated information.
It's absolutely relevant. When you see him mouthing an "F" sound, you expect to hear that sound, so you do. That's no different than expecting Component A to sound better than Component B in a sighted valuation.
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post #64 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 09:08 AM
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For the record, I wasn't trying to create a rat hole.

Our ears are absolutely relevant and crucial in understanding and evaluating audio. But they aren't perfect and can be affected by many things... "tricks" like the McGurk Effect, mood on a particular day (some days nothing sounds good to me), having a cold or allergies flaring up, etc.

IMO (and no more than that) using our ears as a sole source of information when other information is available is a risk. It's up to each of us to decide if the risk is significant or irrelevant, preferably by a conscious decision. My preference is to use other data (from experts in the field, independent tests, stuff like that) to help form opinions. It doesn't always work out as expected but at least for me (again, not saying anyone else!) leaning on the current science helps.

YMMV
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post #65 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post
Yet Harman still uses trained listeners actual ears to confirm their testing methodology. Just because your ears can be fooled doesn't mean that they're always fooled. Science also showed that eggs, cheese, dairy, MSG and salt were bad for us up until they weren't. These were studies correlating direct links to heart disease and high blood pressure. All debunked by newer science. Not saying driver break in is audible so don't break out the pitchforks just that there's no microphone that correctly mimics the human ear and how it perceives sound.

I had someone here once link me to a well known debunker who tested isolation pads for audio trying to show me how I wasted my money on 2 Auralex Subdude HT pads for my ported subwoofers. Turns out they worked the way they were designed and the blind test was no more knocks on my door from the person one floor below me. Never told them I was buying anything to fix the issue just that I would turn the sub's down. I didn't. Just because you test something in a controlled environment doesn't mean that product operates the same in all environments. This is actually recognized in the scientific community which is why there are trial studies, beta testers etc..
Btw, since I am a scientist...
1. We get better at science all the time and as we do, we can make new conclusions. The old conclusions were "made with the info available at the time"...
2. Second, things like Eggs and salt has always been considered bad, in higher doses by scientist and clinicians. Some wack-a-doodle promoting Atkins diets or other high protein diets might point to some poorly done studies (Like my last speaker challenge- no double or even single blind, and just my impression of one speaker, then the next, etc) and say "science says"....

Now in terms of speakers, I have yet to see ONE scientific study, with measurement, that suggests that a speaker will change enough to be heard, after the first couple minutes/maybe hour of play time. We all know our ability to perceive audio changes after days, hours or even minutes is very hard to gauge. As Dennis pointed out above, maybe some trained listener can tell differences after a few hours. However, a mic is more sensitive than our ears, so if you cannot measure changes, then you cannot hear changes.

One thing I have learned from almost 10 years on AVS..if you believe in speaker break in, you will hear speaker break in. If you don't believe in it, you won't hear it!

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post #66 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by D33vious View Post
One thing I don’t recall ever hearing in these arguments, especially over time, is that you very likely are tweeking the sound. By this I mean things like speaker positioning, toe-in, eq, and other settings on your amp or receiver. When you first set up a speaker (a.k.a. “Out of the box”) it’s often placed in a similar position as the previous speakers (if there were any) or if new, placed in convenient spots. For those that say over weeks or more, it might be that they have slowly made these tweaks, which can certainly make significant differences in the sound. I think we often discount these things.
Yes, I think that's part of it. Also, I think we tend to focus our attention on different aspects of the speakers' performance over time. My first impressions of a loudspeaker tend to be dominated by two things: frequency response and how it differs from my prior reference, and soundstage presentation. And often my first tweaks are trying to bring the sound closer to what I'm used to. I don't find myself listening to the music as much as focusing on the presentation of the speaker. You could say I'm a distracted listener. Once I've gotten used to the speaker's basic presentation, I'll start to notice other aspects of its performance. Over time, I'll be less distracted by the speaker and paying more attention to the music, and my enjoyment goes up. To me, a bad speaker is one that continues to distract. It might even be a good distraction at first, a "wow" factor, but if it's still taking your attention away from the music weeks or months later, it's a bad speaker.

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Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post
It's absolutely relevant. When you see him mouthing an "F" sound, you expect to hear that sound, so you do. That's no different than expecting Component A to sound better than Component B in a sighted valuation.
The effect relies on forcing the brain to choose between two conflicting senses that are involved in speech recognition. The visual cues match the 'fa' pattern and the auditory cues match the 'ba' pattern simultaneously. They both can't be right and your brain is forced to decide which to accept. All it demonstrates is that multiple senses are involved in speech recognition. Also, the McGurk video presents syllables in isolation. If they did this in the context of a sentence, the brain would go with whichever syllable made the sentence correct. If the brain wasn't able to sort this out, we'd have a hell of a time watching foreign films over-dubbed in a different language.

Music listening is not the same task as speech recognition, and when listening to an audio system there is no correlated but conflicting visual input that's forcing your brain to arbitrate between the senses. That doesn't mean somebody couldn't create a conflict for the purposes of trickery. For example, you could stage a faked vinyl vs. digital comparison where you tell the listeners that a turntable is playing, and the listeners see the tonearm drop and the album spinning, but secretly the source is still the CD player. If you ask listeners which they prefer, the ones who normally prefer to play records would probably say the faked vinyl is better than the CD, while others who think vinyl is an inferior format would probably say the CD is better than the faked vinyl. Even the listeners who genuinely didn't think they could hear a difference would be predisposed to pick one over the other based on their preconceptions about the formats. All that would really prove is that you can trick people if you want to. In normal, sighted component evaluations, there is no such trickery.

It's kind of a moot point anyway, because even if you want to select components via blind listening only, it's not really feasible to do so.
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post #67 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 11:17 AM
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The McGurk effect is relevant to evaluating speaker sound quality in the sense that there's a human tendency to be influenced by the visual appearance of a speaker and our beliefs that have been formed from all of the data we've ever been exposed to about speakers that have that appearance, including such things as size, configuration and brand. That's why there's a measurable variation in sighted and unsighted evaluation of speaker performance in A/B testing and the most reliable testing hides the speakers from view of those evaluating them.

seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/04/dishonesty-of-sighted-audio-product.html
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post #68 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 11:46 AM
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No, you're conflating two different things. Expectation bias is real, and I'm not going to argue it isn't. But it has nothing to do with sensory pattern recognition in speech processing. What I object to is taking an illusion/parlor trick that's based on how we combine multiple sensory inputs for speech recognition, and using it as an argument that loudspeaker break-in is imagined. There's no scientific basis for making that leap.
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post #69 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PrestigeAudio View Post
It's a myth. Audioholics did an extensive study on it a few years ago and posted the findings with measurements. Break in happens almost immediately (within moments) upon first use and any/if any changes after that are inaudible.

I've been in the A/V industry 20 years and own an A/V design firm. Break in was invented by dealers and manufacturers years ago to get people to keep their gear and not return it. After a period of time people get used to or just learn to live with their equipment. Companies know this. Thus, "break in". Any company rep who brings up break in during any kind of meeting immediately loses credibility with me.
***I've been in the A/V industry for over 40 years and have extensive, global locations around the world (Business Name - "Break-In Audio") to finely adjust speakers for maximum performance based on your listening habits (content - Blues, Rock, Folk, Metal, Reggae, etc.)

These are specialized, hermetically sealed and temperature controlled audio rooms that have been thoroughly tested and sonically proven. Yes, indeed, breaking in your speakers will not only improve their performance but increase your listening experience to the "Nth" degree. All kidding aside, maybe the speaker woofer needs to stretch out a bit but after a couple of hours, your speakers should be good to go. If there are any defects, you'll find out pretty soon.

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post #70 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 12:22 PM
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Break-in is definitely real, I used to break in speakers all the time in my youth:

[]https://youtu.be/u69rOc5cBHQ?t=93
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post #71 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Btw, since I am a scientist...

1. We get better at science all the time and as we do, we can make new conclusions. The old conclusions were "made with the info available at the time"...
Not always. Sometimes it's made with built in biases based on the attitudes of the times, poor testing methodologies and poor testers. I harken back to the one Mars rover that crashed into Mars before deploying its boosters because a bunch of NASA scientists/coders input the wrong longer measure for distance and no one caught it until it was too late. I believe in science and scientific testing methodology. I just also think you should always be retesting in general over time for both your reasons and mine.

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2. Second, things like Eggs and salt has always been considered bad, in higher doses by scientist and clinicians. Some wack-a-doodle promoting Atkins diets or other high protein diets might point to some poorly done studies (Like my last speaker challenge- no double or even single blind, and just my impression of one speaker, then the next, etc) and say "science says"....
Actually they weren't. Eggs and whole milk were a staple part of the American diet until egg yolks along with dairy were incorrectly linked with a higher risk of heart disease. The issue with salt was linking harm from its higher use beyond those already suffering from high blood pressure saying it was a contributing factor when in fact it is not. I don't know anything about wack a doodle diets as I don't believe in dieting and I don't get my information from quacks pushing Atkins or South Beach etc... I believe in good science but I also believe scientific studies and conclusions in general should be constantly scrutinized as even peer reviewed studies have been shown to be wrong in their conclusions for a whole host of reasons.



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Now in terms of speakers, I have yet to see ONE scientific study, with measurement, that suggests that a speaker will change enough to be heard, after the first couple minutes/maybe hour of play time. We all know our ability to perceive audio changes after days, hours or even minutes is very hard to gauge. As Dennis pointed out above, maybe some trained listener can tell differences after a few hours. However, a mic is more sensitive than our ears, so if you cannot measure changes, then you cannot hear changes.
It's no secret that money in audio for extensive studies of anything is extremely lacking and this isn't a high priority for studying extensively as there's no money in it. It's mostly done by private individuals and enthusiasts. I'm actually skeptical that it's audible as well and it's more breaking in your ears that's taking place. My main point is that who is the decider that something has been properly and thoroughly studied enough? Whole host of alphabet govt agencies, corporations, engineers, scientists, statesman, investors decided Theranos was well founded in good science. You literally had a sociopath with no degree of any kind other than a high school diploma dictating testing procedures to highly degreed and published scientists and engineers. They also let her put her name on patents she had not put any work into whatsoever. Don't think it's so bonkers to just say "Hey I'd like to see some more driver types tested."

Also Audioholics has a whole article on how inadequate a mono microphone is at substituting for the human ear(great read by the way.) Sensitivity is just a small part of it. This is the main reason active room EQ is so limited and needs to be used along with passive EQ and the consumers own ears. For the record I own a CSL UMIK1 and have used REW. I also have my own ears and use them as well. Nothing wrong with doing both.





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One thing I have learned from almost 10 years on AVS..if you believe in speaker break in, you will hear speaker break in. If you don't believe in it, you won't hear it!
I'll tell you what I believe in. I believe in research. I believe in institutions. I believe in science. I also believe that each and every one these beliefs should always be rigorously challenged on a regular basis because like you said things change and like a believe testers and testing methodology can be fallible. Do I think testing one or 2 drivers is some definitive study? No. Do I believe that most all cases of speaker break in is actually ear break in? Yes. At the end of the day believing or not believing in it doesn't hurt anyone as long as the consumer isn't being led out of any no hassle return window by a manufacturer. Most all speaker makes that don't push driver break in still promote some type of passive biamping. Are they also trying to get their customers to keep their speakers past their return window? Probably not. The bottom line is to understand what your listening biases are and then demo speakers that align with those biases. Ordering bookshelves initially is a good way to reduce return shipping costs if any as you get a chance to hear their sounds design strategy without having to box back up large towers if not satisfied. Take your time and vary your content and both drivers and ears will break in accordingly. Good discussion.

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post #72 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post
<snipped for brevity sake> ... but interestingly the Totem brand (that I own and respect, they make very good stuff) DOES recommend a break in period of many hours for their speaker lines - AND depending on the line, the recommended break in time will vary. Not sure what to make of that. But same deal - my Totems sound exactly the same today as they did right out of the box.


It should be noted - I am NOT a *golden ear* or trained listener....
Bear in mind, this was the same speaker company that used to prominently feature their speaker "beaks" to enhance audio quality. As far as I can recall, they were a set of little metal doohickeys which you would place on top of your speakers. Not sure if they still promote them or even offer them on their website anymore, but pretty embarrassing stuff.

So it probably shouldn't be too surprising that they are on the, "break-in your speakers for hours upon hours!" side of this debate.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard P. Feynman
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post #73 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Bear in mind, this was the same speaker company that used to prominently feature their speaker "beaks" to enhance audio quality. As far as I can recall, they were a set of little metal doohickeys which you would place on top of your speakers. Not sure if they still promote them or even offer them on their website anymore, but pretty embarrassing stuff.

So it probably shouldn't be too surprising that they are on the, "break-in your speakers for hours upon hours!" side of this debate.

HA! Yes, I've seen those! They offer *special* cables too...... My local dealer carried none of that craziness. Which is so funny - that a good speaker company would resort to such things when there is no need to do so.....

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post #74 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post


Actually they weren't. Eggs and whole milk were a staple part of the American diet until egg yolks along with dairy were incorrectly linked with a higher risk of heart disease. The issue with salt was linking harm from its higher use beyond those already suffering from high blood pressure saying it was a contributing factor when in fact it is not. I don't know anything about wack a doodle diets as I don't believe in dieting and I don't get my information from quacks pushing Atkins or South Beach etc... I believe in good science but I also believe scientific studies and conclusions in general should be constantly scrutinized as even peer reviewed studies have been shown to be wrong in their conclusions for a whole host of reasons.
It's far from a settled issue whether eggs and dairy fat cause heart disease. It's much more settled that high sodium intake increases blood pressure. It does, but only in people who are sensitive to salt and the effect isn't as large as was once thought. I mention this only because studies of the health effects of foods are much less reliable than the kinds of tests we've been discussing for loudspeakers. You basically can't do properly controlled clinical tests for foods. How would you come up with a placebo egg or a placebo stalk of broccoli? And any such test would have to be very long term and expensive to tease out health effects. As a result, most of the literature relies on association tests where you compare the health outcomes of individuals with different diets. It's very difficult to control for all the differences between people in the two groups, and that's why the science seems to flip flop daily. Loudspeakers are much easier to test, and we should place high confidence in well designed and conducted blind listening tests.
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post #75 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 07:17 PM
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Most of the loudspeakers I have purchased sounded fine out of the box or after a brief amount of playing time, like while eating supper. But a pair of Dahlquist Preludes we purchased in the late 1990s, for our first theater room, sounded terrible when first hooked up--very edgy and harsh in the upper midrange and unlistenable. They sounded so bad that getting accustomed to them could never happen.

I played them at a moderate level (using an FM music station) the first evening and late into the night with the door closed. In the morning I restarted the FM music and let them play while my wife and I were at work. I listened to them for about 2-3 minutes that evening. Still terrible. Using the same song (Linda Ronstadt's What's New) on Day 3, again for about 2-3 minutes, they were still unlistenable. This went on for a few more days. No improvement. My patience was running out. I told my wife the speakers were going back to the dealer. I let them play one more day while I was at the office. Before disconnecting and packing them up I gave a final listen after dinner. Using the same test song as on all prior days, I did the equivalent of a double-take with my ears: inexplicably the Dahlquists sounded smooth as silk. I mean smoooth. Go figure. After being replaced by Polk LSi25s in our new theater room several years later, the Dahlquists have resided in our master bedroom for a long time.

As I have learned, whether break-in is needed or not depends on the loudspeaker itself. Usually it is not needed in my experience, but sometimes...

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post #76 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 07:52 PM
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[quote=PhilharmonicDennis;58120754]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post

It's far from a settled issue whether eggs and dairy fat cause heart disease.
Whatever settled means the link was made then pushed by doctors and nutritionists. Think the one study was done in 2012. Was another flawed study done more recently which many heart doctors poked big holes in. Here's the most recent one I found on dairy. Yes I like my eggs and cheese.

Quote:
It's much more settled that high sodium intake increases blood pressure. It does, but only in people who are sensitive to salt and the effect isn't as large as was once thought. I mention this only because studies of the health effects of foods are much less reliable than the kinds of tests we've been discussing for loudspeakers.
I mentioned the same caveat regarding salt intake and I'm not equating testing methodologies between food and speakers. Lot more money available to test food than speakers and people have many more variables that can skewer things one way or another. I get that.

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You basically can't do properly controlled clinical tests for foods. How would you come up with a placebo egg or a placebo stalk of broccoli? And any such test would have to be very long term and expensive to tease out health effects. As a result, most of the literature relies on association tests where you compare individuals with different diets. It's very difficult to control for all the differences between people in the two groups, and that's why the science seems to flip flop daily.
Agree. You would have to have a large control group like a nursing facility or the like. Not happening anytime soon. There's other examples that have nothing to do with food regarding low sample size and type. I'm not even saying more varied driver type testing would show anything different but it would show that a wider array of driver types were tested to account for material differences and acoustical properties.


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Loudspeakers are much easier to test, and we should place high confidence in well designed and conducted blind listening tests.
I'm just asking for more driver types to be tested. Nothing antithetical to confidence that I see.

Anyways people should buy and keep what sounds good to them whether that's 100% decided out of the box or a few days to a week later at least it's found out. Similar to how most new car buyers seem happier when they pick up their actual hard license plates over leaving initially with the paper tag. Is the car driving better or are they just more comfortable driving it after 10 days or so? More than likely the latter I agree.

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post #77 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 09:11 PM
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[quote=Madmax67;58121010]
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post

Whatever settled means the link was made then pushed by doctors and nutritionists. Think the one study was done in 2012. Was another flawed study done more recently which many heart doctors poked big holes in. Here's the most recent one I found on dairy. Yes I like my eggs and cheese.



I mentioned the same caveat regarding salt intake and I'm not equating testing methodologies between food and speakers. Lot more money available to test food than speakers and people have many more variables that can skewer things one way or another. I get that.



Agree. You would have to have a large control group like a nursing facility or the like. Not happening anytime soon. There's other examples that have nothing to do with food regarding low sample size and type. I'm not even saying more varied driver type testing would show anything different but it would show that a wider array of driver types were tested to account for material differences and acoustical properties.




I'm just asking for more driver types to be tested. Nothing antithetical to confidence that I see.

Anyways people should buy and keep what sounds good to them whether that's 100% decided out of the box or a few days to a week later at least it's found out. Similar to how most new car buyers seem happier when they pick up their actual hard license plates over leaving initially with the paper tag. Is the car driving better or are they just more comfortable driving it after 10 days or so? More than likely the latter I agree.
I don't think we have any serious disagreements, although I'm still not quite sure what you were saying about salt intake. As for eggs and cream, we're going to have to wait awhile to straighten all that out. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my white egg omelettes and vegan ice cream.

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post #78 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 09:47 PM
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don't think we have any serious disagreements, although I'm still not quite sure what you were saying about salt intake. As for eggs and cream, we're going to have top wait awhile to straighten all that out. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my white egg omelettes and vegan ice cream.
Sorry, the deal with salt intake is they extrapolated it to everyone instead of just those at risk for high blood pressure and that was an example of over generalizing the risk factors which is actually done a lot in health studies i.e. the aspirin a day thing which heart doctors today are not supposed to recommend. Everything in moderation so I'll stick to my whole egg omelettes and dairy rocky road. Glad your back and feeling better by the by. Great now I'm hungry.

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post #79 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 09:54 PM
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Sorry, the deal with salt intake is they extrapolated it to everyone instead of just those at risk for high blood pressure and that was an example of over generalizing the risk factors which is actually done a lot in health studies i.e. the aspirin a day thing which heart doctors today are not supposed to recommend. Everything in moderation so I'll stick to my whole egg omelettes and dairy rocky road. Glad your back and feeling better by the by. Great now I'm hungry.
Thanks for the explanation. I think that's a fair assessment of the state of the science on sodium intake. You really ought to try some of the vegan ice cream. it's actually quite mediocre.
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post #80 of 96 Old 05-30-2019, 10:14 PM
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Thanks for the explanation. I think that's a fair assessment of the state of the science on sodium intake. You really ought to try some of the vegan ice cream. it's actually quite mediocre.
Lol. I thought you were going to say it's heaven on earth but I appreciate your honesty. I actually have no issues eating vegan/healthy as long as it's seasoned right and tastes good. I finally stopped eating bacon years ago because 52 isn't the new 22 and I rarely eat desserts and almost no fast food now that I'm out of retail. No salt in my salt shaker( keep kosher salt and large sea salt in the pantry only for seasoning large cuts of meat) I also cook from scratch most days so less processed meals. Actually for good eating using the Davita (kidney friendly) website's large library of downloadable recipes is also a good thing to try. Don't have kidney disease myself but I eat multiple recipes from there all the time. I like to feed my body as well as my mind. Good talking to you sir.

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post #81 of 96 Old 05-31-2019, 07:38 AM
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Audioholics 2 page article for those inclined to read their research and sited respective sources, graphs, charts, and notations: https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...act-or-fiction

For those less ambitious folks, below is their conclusion summary.....

"In an electrodynamic driver featuring the usual surround-diaphragm-spider construction, driver suspension mechanical compliance plays a key roll in determining the measured value of various driver parameters. All of these parameters will shift as the mechanical compliance of the driver's suspension shifts in value. The bulk of a driver's compliance shift will occur at the time of initial burn in.

Subsequent shifts in compliance are largely temporary in nature. An example of one such mechanism contributing to such temporary shifts is that which arise from the elastic deformation of butadiene-styrene surrounds. Given sufficient time to recover, these changes tend to reverse themselves and the driver returns to its pre-stimulus state.

As the enclosure compliance in both totally enclosed boxes and vented cabinets dominates that of the driver for most practical implementations of either type enclosure currently in production, any potential changes in system amplitude response attributable to changes in driver suspension mechanical compliance tend to be minimized. Normal production unit-to-unit driver spec variances can affect final amplitude response of a system to a larger degree than that expected from normal pre- post-burn in driver suspension compliance changes.
"

^ Translation for the hyper lazy: "Burn in" doesn't appreciably change the measurable performance of a loudspeaker. Not over a period of minutes, hours, days, or months.
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post #82 of 96 Old 05-31-2019, 09:22 AM
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[quote=PhilharmonicDennis;58121288]
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I don't think we have any serious disagreements, although I'm still not quite sure what you were saying about salt intake. As for eggs and cream, we're going to have to wait awhile to straighten all that out. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my white egg omelettes and vegan ice cream.
I mean people can twist the research done on high fat/ cholesterol items (eggs, bacon, butter, etc) and of course, in moderation, there is no harm. Some people, like a lot of folks on the Atkins dieters, are eating 3 eggs a day. For some people, that would make any difference in health...but on average, people consume eggs at a level above 7/WEEK tend to have some issue with LDLs and cholersterol (especially diabetics). Of course, we all know one guys who had a bacon, cigarette and whisky diet and is 105 yr old...but for everyone of those guys, there are 10 who have major healthy issues at age 50...

Anyway, back to Speakers, I have yet to see a study with measurements that shows speaker breaking is significant and can be heard after maybe a few minutes- hour of play time...
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post #83 of 96 Old 06-03-2019, 10:45 AM
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I'm not going to jump on either side of the line of this debate, but here's what my ears are telling me:

With a brand new set of speakers, I usually get a bit of fatigue listening to them at first. This is not high volumes...just normal listening like I'd do with any other set I own. After about an hour or two of stepping out of the room, I'll come back and the fatigue will mostly be gone. After that, it's usually gone altogether.

One could say that this is just my ears not being acclimated to the new sound, but if I swap out the speakers for another pair (I rotate speakers quite frequently) then the next time they are on, there is no more fatigue. Can my ears "remember" after months of not hearing them, or is there something else going on? No idea.

We know that measurements don't sometimes paint the true sound of a speaker...
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post #84 of 96 Old 06-03-2019, 12:04 PM
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Can my ears "remember" after months of not hearing them...?
To some extent, yes. Our hearing also stores & retrieves acoustical profiles of rooms we've been in: i.e., when we walk into a familiar room while having a conversation, our hearing doesn't acclimate to it all over again but instead pulls it's acoustical profile stored in memory. So, familiar loudspeakers will still sound familiar even if you haven't heard them for a while.
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post #85 of 96 Old 06-08-2019, 10:00 PM
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I’ll add to this and say, I had bought a pair of Dynaudio Contour 20s just over a week ago (8 days exactly), this is the 4th pair of Dynaudio speakers I have owned. My Excite X16s seemed great from start to finish, the Focus 160s seemed to get bright over a few days.,. Only kept them about a year and traded in for Focus 260s which stayed with me for 5 years, another speaker that was great start to finish. These Contour 20s.... sounded like an upside down U, the bass was non-existent and I felt like they played with almost NO volume. I had to check the speaker cables to make sure they were plugged in correctly and not out of phase. After 3 days, approx 5-6 hours, I asked the dealer if my amp is incapable or if these things need to really break in. I mean my tiny surrounds (DM2/6s) had more volume and bass when I hooked them up. He said they’re a little inefficient, well I turned the amp to the point where with my previous speakers I’d be blasted out of the room to get to any kind of regular listening level. I regretted buying these speakers. I really did and now I could t get my old ones back. So I was stuck and not happy after 3 days. So I ended up putting my ear to the port hole and I could hear very good bass... ok let’s change positions, asked the guys on the forum how they had theirs tried a few. Finally found a spot where they started to sound good (10-12 hrs now). Put the Marantz into stereo mode and told the kids to play Xbox all day (such a great dad! lol). Let’s say 8-10 hours... I got home... completely different speaker. So I said kids I’m gonna play music (that came with complaints). but now... I did not have to crank to 55 on the digital dial, I was at 45, it had volume and bass. Say 25 hours and 5 days in my possession? They’ve sounded perfect since. Like the other Dynaudio speakers I’ve owned over the past 10 years. I mean even my wife said at one point, “these look a lot nicer but they sound like *****” so I know it wasn’t just me. She even said, can’t you get your thing and do that annoying calibration. Well no because we’re in the midst of moving and that’s packed away. So yes, somehow time changed things. And let me tell you when your wife says they sound like poop, your heart sinks!
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post #86 of 96 Old 06-08-2019, 10:26 PM
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The Goldilocks Principle should work.

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post #87 of 96 Old 06-09-2019, 08:53 AM
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Those of us who've read thousands of speaker reviews over many decades may have been conditioned by reviewer comments about noticeable audible change after a break-in period to expect to hear that. It would be easy to confuse this with the psychoacoustic event of our auditory system going through an adjustment period to a new speaker sound. The only way to differentiate between the two would be through scientific measurements and double blind testing. Otherwise we're just relying on faith that we can somehow tell the difference.

It would be fun to take speakers that have been used for a few hundred hours, repack them into their original shipping boxes, unpack them as if they're brand new in front of a group of listeners, start playing music for a few hours and ask the listeners if they detect any change in sound as the speakers were "broken in from new."
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post #88 of 96 Old 06-09-2019, 02:24 PM
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Maybe a few hours I can see and it would probably be negligible at that.

Those claiming long periods, weeks months, to break-in may just be getting used to the sound and even mentally talking themselves into speakers they have purchased.

I have owned KEF Reference, Dynaudio Confidence, Sonus Faber etc and I have never experienced a perceived phenomenon where the tonal character of the sound changed drastically after extended periods of use.

But that’s me. I prefer to say I don’t care for this speaker over praying the sound is going to change to my liking over weeks months of use.
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post #89 of 96 Old 06-10-2019, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Those of us who've read thousands of speaker reviews over many decades may have been conditioned by reviewer comments about noticeable audible change after a break-in period to expect to hear that. It would be easy to confuse this with the psychoacoustic event of our auditory system going through an adjustment period to a new speaker sound. The only way to differentiate between the two would be through scientific measurements and double blind testing. Otherwise we're just relying on faith that we can somehow tell the difference.

It would be fun to take speakers that have been used for a few hundred hours, repack them into their original shipping boxes, unpack them as if they're brand new in front of a group of listeners, start playing music for a few hours and ask the listeners if they detect any change in sound as the speakers were "broken in from new."
If you read back through this thread, you will see a post by Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio where he tells us he has done this. He had one trained listener who could tell a difference between a new and not so new speaker, but others could not. he also has conducted measurements on one speaker that was suppose to have an unusually long break in period, but could measure much change after the first few minutes...

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post #90 of 96 Old 06-10-2019, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
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If you read back through this thread, you will see a post by Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio where he tells us he has done this. He had one trained listener who could tell a difference between a new and not so new speaker, but others could not. he also has conducted measurements on one speaker that was suppose to have an unusually long break in period, but could measure much change after the first few minutes...
Oh sure, lots of variables here. There's a big difference in speaker designs and manufacturing variability that could make some drivers more susceptible to at least minor audible change from break-in than others. Then there's the undeniable fact that some people have more sensitive auditory systems than others, case in point being that a tiny percentage of people are known to have a sense of absolute pitch.

Once out in the wild this concept can easily be confused with the psychoacoustic event of adjusting to a new speaker sound. So you end up with review after review of many different speaker designs by many different reviewers of varying auditory sensitivity that can give the impression that speaker audible change from break-in applies to all. This ends up being interpreted by casual readers that break-in always makes an audible difference to everyone with every speaker, and that assumption then gets amplified in social media and forums where it's often stated as an absolute.

What percentage of speakers actually produce audible change from break-in to what percentage of listeners is the real question. There's plenty of room for snake oil salesmanship here.
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