break in?

Posted by: BeethovenRocks

break in? - 04/25/05 11:11 PM

My 2nd M80 arrived today, happy and healthy. I've been playing ONE for 4 days now, heavy over the weekend, loud and merciless.

Comparing the two - if there's a "break-in" difference, it's not noticeable to me - or my dB meter. Loud, soft, heavy, rock, orchestral, choir, REALLY LOUD - with both speakers in the same spot (a second person rearranged them and switched cables - or not - while I sat stationary with the dB meter in one hand and the CD remote in the other).

I tried to hear a difference for two hours. That's a lot of music. Short takes and long takes, mix and match.

There may indeed be a break-in, but it's dang subtle.

If you are one of the folks who say they "Sound Like Garbage" for a month or so - wow. It may be true with other brands, or other axioms, or other pairs of M80s - but mine were good to go right outta the box.

Color me shocked ; )

(Believers, please don't bash me! I'm just one guy, one set of ears, one man's opinion. I'll outline my "qualifications" when I A/B the Axioms with the Altec VOTTS this weekend. Gotta wait til then for the cable to break in.)
Posted by: Ajax

Re: break in? - 04/25/05 11:25 PM

Thank you, BR. I'm not surprised. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no test using reliable scientific methodology that has supported the theory of break in.

And to those who are believers, please understand that nobody is saying you don't perceive a difference in the sound of your speakers after a period of time. I'm sure you do. But, the question remains "Is the change in the speakers, or is it in one's perception of the speakers?
Posted by: Wegiz

Re: break in? - 04/25/05 11:43 PM

Yeah, thanks for posting this. I'm sure it was quite a bit of effort, but maybe it will help shatter another myth for those that read this.

Cheers.
Posted by: SERadtke

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 01:12 AM

"Gotta wait til then for the cable to break in."

HEE-HEE-HEE!!
Posted by: freesey

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 02:23 AM

Im still waiting for my TV to break in.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 08:22 AM

I'm eying a group of shifty teenagers across the street. They look like they're waiting to break in. I don't have an identical set of teenagers to compare them to, though.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 10:08 AM


Posted by: SirQuack

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 10:14 AM

I agree with Ajax. Also, I believe on a number of occasions, Alan from Axiom has stated that it is your brain that breaks in or adjusts over time to the speakers.
Posted by: alan

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 01:36 PM

Hi Beethoven Rocks,

I'm delighted with the results of your experiment. It backs up what I've stated at various times on these boards--that "break-in" is a psycho-acoustical phenomenon wherein your ears and brain adjust to the sound of new reproducers interacting with the acoustics of your particular room.

Hey, these are reciprocating electrical motors--air pumps--that are amazingly adept at simulating the sound of real musical instruments, so it takes awhile for us to adjust to the new illusion.

If break-in truly occured, the years of National Research Council data measuring various speakers' frequency responses run from new condition to operation years later would indicate that. But the curves don't change. Nor do the ratings in our blind listening tests of both superior and inferior speakers. If the tonal balance of speakers changed after hours or years of operation, then the subjective comments would reflect that, and so would the rankings of the speakers, as would the frequency plots. Sadly, bad speakers continue to sound lousy years later. Really good speakers sound great out of the box, and continue to do so for years.

Regards,

Posted by: bridgman

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 04:58 PM

I think the mystery we are all trying to understand is how our ears can adjust to the speakers even if the speakers are playing at home and the ears are at work

I guess the only explanation is that our brains are able to adjust to remembered sound even if the sound is not playing at the moment. That is not inconceivable -- current thinking is that the strongest associations are with sound, ie meaning gets tied to the sound of a word, smells get tied to sounds, emotions get tied to sounds etc... with all of the other connections being indirect (image connects to sound, sound connects to smell for example) -- so it's not impossible that the brain has some extra capabilities to adjust to remembered sound.

Ajax (I think) made a very good point in one of the other threads... if the speakers were actually changing, then presumably some people would prefer the "before" sound not the "after break-in" sound, but AFAIK nobody has ever reported that.
Posted by: BeethovenRocks

Re: break in? - 04/26/05 06:04 PM

That approach made me grin: "These speakers were GREAT when I opened the box, but after a month or so they were really awful!"

It is truly a leap of faith. A new watch, a new street, a new beer, a new carpet - all things we don't see see every day, but find better (or worse) as time goes by. Have they, too, "broken in" in our absence?

Or, another way - our brains are complex, and hardly understood, a state of affairs agreed upon by nearly all experts in the field. So we will disregard that theory, and instead embrace one without any evidence, except opinion.

In the meantime, thanks, Axiom, for getting my replacement here so quickly - four days from phone call to delivery, including a Saturday and Sunday. I've been pleased as can be with All Things Axiom at this point.