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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Opened the Wharfedale 225s this morning. Straight out of the box, the packaging is better than the Polk Signature s15 and Vanatoo T1E had (I've owned the latest two for 6 mos to a year). The little black sticky bumps supplied to place on the bottoms of the Wharfedale 225s look nicer and more substantial than the Polk Signature s15 and Vanatoo T1E had.

The very first thing I did was listen to top 40 radio on the AVR. Found the Polks brighter straightaway than the 225s (was not able to tell this on the Crutchfield compare). But I realized the 225s would not make good desktop near field speakers. There is a great distance between the tweeter and woofer and they're not integrated as well as on the Polks/Vanatoos. So you have to move your head back at least 3 ft from the 225s to get cohesion between the tweeter and woofer. Interesting.

Definite lack of clarity and muddy bass from the 225s on music :-( Then I realized I had all my AVR settings turned on and optimized by hand for movies. I switched to Pure Direct. No muddy bass, good clarity! :) But would like more bass. glad the RSL comes today.

I can say that at least music is not painful and fatiguing anymore. That cymbal or tringle that used to bother me on Susie Q no longer bothers me. But I can't say I'm really enthralled or immersed in the music, it's not fatiguing is all. I could listen for hours in background while working.

BYW this is all 128-256 bitrate on YouTube videos (canceled all my Tidal, Google Play, YTM, Spotify subscriptions in disgust with the Polk Signature s15 and Vanatoo T1E). I bet when I restart Spotify Premium, it'll sound better?

Can the human ear tell the difference between the audio quality on YouTube videos and Spotify Premium??
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is very strange, break-in appears real. Around the 30 min mark now, something opened up and the music suddenly became much better, immersive, captivating. Something just changed like a blanket being taken off the speakers?! It's only 11 am here and I'm reaching for a scotch...but suddenly I don't want to leave the room. OK, I'm going to play the worst screechy recording I know...Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock (National Anthem). Played It. Not painful. Wow, I could drink to that.
 

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This is very strange, break-in appears real. Around the 30 min mark now, something opened up and the music suddenly became much better, immersive, captivating. Something just changed like a blanket being taken off the speakers?! It's only 11 am here and I'm reaching for a scotch...but suddenly I don't want to leave the room. OK, I'm going to play the worst screechy recording I know...Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock (National Anthem). Played It. Not painful. Wow, I could drink to that.
30 minute break in can be a thing.. the drivers loosen up a bit.. ears break in that quickly sometimes as well...
 

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also .. now you have an idea of what you like .. a lot... explore wd higher end stuff next time the bug hits you... for now explore ways to maximize the 225's (there's a "mod" using spacers for the bottom slot port on youtube , it's like a $2 mod using home depot parts).... enjoy the new speakers.. my bet is : they get better over time and with the sub...
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I gotta work in another room so I'm just gonna play loud on the speakers for 4 hrs while not listening and hopefully improves even more. I gotta say playing my kid's top 40 music from 2019-2020 vs mine from 1964, I can see the difference in recording quality. If all I listened to was high-quality recordings and sources, I'd have kept the Polks and Vanatoos.
 

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Speaker break-in in 30mins sounds far fetched :) But seems you are enjoying them better than the previous ones!
it's the accepted rule from those that know better than i... most people that actually make speakers (like Dennis Murphy) will tell you there can be a change in fr over the first few minutes but that's about it.. now on the other hand .. people that want to discourage you from returning speakers they just sold you talk about some sort of mythical/ magical break in.. it's sort of a belief vs science thing...
 
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Yeah, I think the 225s were made in 2015 and they've been sitting in Music Direct's storage since then
i would doubt they've been sitting around that long , but drivers do tend to stretch out in the surrounds .. and the longer they have been sitting the harder it might be to "move" the surrounds...
 

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it's the accepted rule from those that know better than i... most people that actually make speakers (like Dennis Murphy) will tell you there can be a change in fr over the first few minutes but that's about it.. now on the other hand .. people that want to discourage you from returning speakers they just sold you talk about some sort of mythical/ magical break in.. it's sort of a belief vs science thing...
I won't pretend to have anything educated to contribute here :) There are conflicting claims on this "phenomena" ranging from no such thing to minutes to hours to days to weeks to ears break-in.
Logically thinking, getting used to a sound seems to me the main factor, but I wouldn't dismiss some changes due to mechanical parts softening/stretching or whatever.
OP didn't expand on whether it was the same tracks that sounded meh at first and then transformed.
 

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This is very strange, break-in appears real. Around the 30 min mark now, something opened up and the music suddenly became much better, immersive, captivating. Something just changed like a blanket being taken off the speakers?! It's only 11 am here and I'm reaching for a scotch...but suddenly I don't want to leave the room. OK, I'm going to play the worst screechy recording I know...Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock (National Anthem). Played It. Not painful. Wow, I could drink to that.
Excellent speaker break-in tips here, including a listening playlist at the bottom:

There's a very easy way to get around the "are the speakers breaking in OR are my ears breaking in" issue: break in the speakers using the technique in this link WITHOUT listening to them at all, so that there will be no "before" vs "after" impressions when you're done. In other words, have the speakers playing while you're out of the house / at work.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed. The change I noticed was likely over the first 12 min and nothing after that...it was within 3 songs...it was 30 mi after i started playing music but I was working and pausing the music to do phone calls or focus on work so it was less than 15 min of playing
it's the accepted rule from those that know better than i... most people that actually make speakers (like Dennis Murphy) will tell you there can be a change in fr over the first few minutes but that's about it.. now on the other hand .. people that want to discourage you from returning speakers they just sold you talk about some sort of mythical/ magical break in.. it's sort of a belief vs science thing...
 

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now on the other hand .. people that want to discourage you from returning speakers they just sold you talk about some sort of mythical/ magical break in..
Excellent point!
 
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Agreed. I fully concede break-in can be false. It could totally be the placebo effect, which is VERY real. I was expecting break-in since Zorba said he noticed a change in his Diamond 10s and a couple YouTubers said they noticed changes. That may totally be why I experienced the change :) The change I noticed happened during the first 10-12 min when I had just connected the wires for the very first time and played FM top 40 (NOT what I listen to). I did this because I did not plan to listen to the speakers for first hr and planned to leave the radio on while I was in the other room. But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed for 15 min in the room...
Of course it was a different song and likely different band - it was the radio and unintelligible hip-hop with (I dare say) explicit lyrics :cool: It could totally have been my ears adjusting (as my audiologist firmly believes and uses medical science to explain - but she says ears take weeks-months to break in because the brain is rewiring!)
I won't pretend to have anything educated to contribute here :) There are conflicting claims on this "phenomena" ranging from no such thing to minutes to hours to days to weeks to ears break-in.
Logically thinking, getting used to a sound seems to me the main factor, but I wouldn't dismiss some changes due to mechanical parts softening/stretching or whatever.
OP didn't expand on whether it was the same tracks that sounded meh at first and then transformed.
 

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I think the audio science has proven that break in is real, but as mentioned above, most measurements show some changes soon after playing a speaker (minutes to maybe a few hours), but not some much after multiple hours and days later.
but hey, I am not going to tell anyone what the break in period is for a speaker....
 

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Agreed. I fully concede break-in can be false. It could totally be the placebo effect, which is VERY real. I was expecting break-in since Zorba said he noticed a change in his Diamond 10s and a couple YouTubers said they noticed changes. That may totally be why I experienced the change :) The change I noticed happened during the first 10-12 min when I had just connected the wires for the very first time and played FM top 40 (NOT was I listen to). I did this because I did not plan to listen to the speakers for first hr and planned to leave the radio on while I was in the other room. But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed for 15 min in the room...
Of course it was a different song and likely different band - it was the radio and unintelligible hip-hop with (I dare say) explicit lyrics :cool: It could totally have been my ears adjusting (as my audiologist firmly believes and uses medical science to explain - but she says ears take weeks-months to break in because the brain is rewiring!)
Yep, I forgot to advise you to "break in" the speakers in another room or when not at home BEFORE listening to them at all, just to remove the possibility of "placebo effect."
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Excellent, will do. I'm actually out of the house for 4 hrs right now while the speakers are blasting at home...hoped that would take care of any worries or placebo effects. In the evening, I'll go home and really listen to my music. Also, the HT room (living room) in which the 225s are in as of now are not where they're meant to be. I put them there today only because the AVR and speaker stands are already there and wired up. That room is less reflective due to carpets, cloth sofas, love seats. The real test will be in a few days when I move the 225s to my home office. I do think I need the sub though...not with top 40 but for my classic rock and acoustic - the recording has so little bass it sounds anemic. If i was playing modern pop, I wouldn't need a sub because there's lots of bass in the recording. Just what I noticed playing top 40 vs old music on the 225s this morning...
Excellent speaker break-in tips here, including a listening playlist at the bottom:

There's a very easy way to get around the "are the speakers breaking in OR are my ears breaking in" issue: break in the speakers using the technique in this link WITHOUT listening to them at all, so that there will be no "before" vs "after" impressions when you're done. In other words, have the speakers playing while you're out of the house / at work.
 
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