Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth?

Posted by: jerrymb

Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 06:46 PM

Fact or myth?
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 06:47 PM

It's a myth. That's a fact.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 06:56 PM

It is in fact a myth.

To actually be useful. It is actually your ears which adjust to the sound of the new speaker. That's why many manufacturers suggest there is a break in period, so you get used to how the new speakers sound vs. the one's which they are replacing.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 07:06 PM

Really, how about all those gluons which need a bit of relaxation?
Posted by: fredk

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 07:29 PM

Fact , Fact!! The only thing that is a myth is that you cen break in the speakers with any old music and wander off.

The speakers must be fed a steady and varied diet of only well recorded music. Many hours. No wandering off.

Alcahol also adds to the break in experience. Something about bonding to the negative ions that can inhibit those buttery smooth tones.

Jeez you guys!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 07:31 PM

Alcahol? Fred's already slurring his words!
Posted by: merchman

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 07:33 PM

laugh
Posted by: fredk

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 07:35 PM

Am not. Just breaking in speakers...
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 08:42 PM

I always get a chuckle when I read product reviews that are broken down into sections of "break-in" or "burn-in" period... after 10 hours, 30 hours, 50 hours, 100 hours etc and claim dramatic improvement in sound quality, soundstage and bass extension. Unfortunately, they lack clairvoyance to the break-down period. cry
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/23/10 11:11 PM

Myth, Jerry. The woofers cycle hundreds of times and the tweeters thousands of times in the very first second of operation. Any permanent break-in occurs in a very few seconds during testing at the factory. It's been said that "Break-in was invented so that we couldn't return anything!".
Posted by: Murph

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/24/10 07:01 AM

and break dancing was invented so we couldn't enjoy videos in the 80s.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/24/10 10:07 AM

When playing recordings through a speaker, the voice coil in the driver does heat up and there is slight movement in driver itself so it is possible for the parameters of the loudspeaker driver (Thiele/Small) to change slightly when in use. This has been shown by using extreme measures such as playing a sine wave through a driver for specific periods of time. It is a extreme test however it really doesn't prove anything. I can put a 10hz sine wave through the driver and I can tell you it will definitely cause "break-in". grin

The two problems I have with the pseudoscience behind break-in is knowing the exact time period the driver parameters have changed and then claiming it to an improvement in sound quality (can't it degrade sound quality? no change at all?). We never hear about the latter claims.

Secondly, with a well designed driver when at rest for a period of time (and it is not blown or defective) and measure the driver lets say after 24 hours of rest (not just for 1 minute or an hour after use), the Thiele/Small parameters will revert back to their equilibrium state (or very close to). This final measurement is what all these break-in tests lack. In real-world conditions we might have 12-24 hour breaks or more between our listening sessions.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/24/10 05:24 PM

If the speaker crossover or electrical device uses a capacitor of any kind, break/burn in will affect variables.

Check out this post, it is very interesting:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/parts/81355-capacitor-burn-break.html
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 02:32 PM

As I have always said, if you can hear a difference after 1 or 100hrs of "break in", what does the next 1-100hrs of break in yeild? A poor/sloopy sounding speaker? I highly doubt anyone can hear any audible differences in playback due to this surround loosening associated to "speaker break in", if you could I do not think I would want to hear that speaker after a 1000 hrs of playback, it would be terribly loose.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 04:18 PM

Break in of electrical components is a debate with two firm positions, you believe or you dont. Two of the worlds best speaker makers also disagree on speaker break in. Harbeth say it is not needed, B&W recommend 15hrs. I guess it could also be down to build materials.

I wonder what side Alan and Ian are on?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 04:25 PM

Firmly on the "not necessary" side, from what I recall.
Posted by: prototype3a

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 04:53 PM

I believe people who believe in burn in also wear tinfoil hats to prevent the government from reading their thoughts.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 07:10 PM

I have own many speaker who were most of the time brand new here is a short list...

Warfedale diamond 9.2
Monitor Audio RS6
Monitor Audio RX6
Quad 22L2
Focal 826V

Call me a fool but yes they all need a break time period. Placebo or not, it do not need a baccalauréat to realise the sound is changing.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 07:19 PM

But that's just it. People have looked at the output of a speaker with a spectrum analyzer. It doesn't change.

Only the listener's perception of the sound changes.

I know my system sounds best on spring days, when there's a soft breeze coming in through my living room windows, carrying the scent of fresh blossoms. I'm sure it has something to do with the density of the air while when it is suspending traces of plant matter.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 07:37 PM

Mine always sound best whenever I've had a drink or two of my favorite beverage, either Zaya rum or maybe Samuel Adams beer but also I've noticed the damn things always seem to perk up a lot whenever a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune is being played whether I'm in a chemically induced state of mind or straight up sober.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 09:23 PM

Rick's method "sounds" the best I think.
Posted by: DaMagicman

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 09:40 PM

I agree with Rick and Fred....speakers sound better with a drink in hand...or both hands
Posted by: GOD

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 09:54 PM

Another consideration.

I've never purchased speakers (of ALL things) without having heard them (more than once) and without immediate A/B's with others, price be damned. Then, after I know what $16,000 sounds like, I return humbly to the middle floor "salon" and dive headlong into reality. I've never been disappointed when I got them home.

When I opened my M60's and plugged 'em in, I WAS disappointed. That changed radically within a few days. That's when I finally brought in my Snells and put them side by side. THEN I was even happier, considering that "replacing" my Snells would have cost $20,000 and the company finally bought the farm last month anyhow.

I'm glad there was a debate here. For whatever reasons, anecdotal or other, I was relieved that others didn't like thiers outta the box and also felt way differently a few days later. It slowed down my rush-to-judgement and changed my mind, too.

Happy happy happy. Joy joy joy. God, now I'm quoting Billy West!
Posted by: GOD

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 09:57 PM

Or was that the week I changed dealers??? Hmmm? grin
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/26/10 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: DaMagicman
I agree with Rick and Fred....speakers sound better with a drink in hand...or both hands


Add some of that green stuff and food much later on into your listening session and you just might hit the trifecta. smile
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 09:54 AM

Mine always sound best when I turn on the music not intending to sit and pay close attention, like when I'm cooking a meal in the kitchen. Then a particular song comes on that really makes the speakers shine and it draws me into the living room. I turn up the volume and sit down on the couch, only intending to stay for a minute or two. Next thing you know, the casserole is starting to smoke and it triggers the smoke detectors, interrupting my bliss.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 09:57 AM

What's the proper burn-in procedure for a casserole?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 10:00 AM

Use a well-seasoned (broken-in) pan. It's really difficult to scrape burnt-on food from a brand-new pan.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 10:09 AM

New label on speakers "Warning - Listening to these speakers may induce zombieness. Put away all food items and turn the oven off. Responsible listening only."
Posted by: wbedford

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 11:54 AM

Not sure if this poster was using a spectrum analyzer, but this little test is interesting:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/51840/burn-in-techniques/30#post_593776
Posted by: fredk

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/27/10 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: DaMagicman
I agree with Rick and Fred....speakers sound better with a drink in hand...or both hands

Much alcohol. You must reach the right concentration in the air. It then permiates the speaker drivers and breaks them in properly. Multiple Sessions provide the best results.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/31/10 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: wbedford
Not sure if this poster was using a spectrum analyzer, but this little test is interesting:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/51840/burn-in-techniques/30#post_593776

He managed a 0.4 hz drop, I highly doubt anyone would heaar such a drop/change in playback of actual material.

GR Research has also done some testing with their own drivers and came to the conclusion the speakers do loosen up marginaly after a few minutes/hours but they question whether anyone could ever hear the minimal differences they measured.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Speaker Break In: Fact or Myth? - 08/31/10 02:22 PM

There were no measurements of the drivers taken after a significant cooling down period which makes those tests pointless. I would have liked to see the drivers after the "burn-in" period of 100 or so hours measured after 12/24 or more hours when the driver has not been in use. Not a very convincing test IMO .