Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Sneak Peek into Axiom’s Current Research and Development

Axiom’s Newest Speaker: The In-Ceiling M3

Outdoor Speaker Placement

Wall'O'Fame
Experimental Atmos
Greetings fellow Axiom owners...
Who's Online
3 registered (MarkSJohnson, pmbuko, Lampshade), 79 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
13322 Members
11 Forums
22894 Topics
404573 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17781
pmbuko 16275
SirQuack 13335
CV 11208
MarkSJohnson 10898
Meanwhile On Facebook

󾓶 The first review of the LFR880s is out! "If you are adding or upgrading stere...

So much going on in this month's newsletter - new product announcements, a new v...

Love this comment from Doug T! "The M22 bookshelf speakers sound so clean and a...

󾓶 Andrew has spoken! Big update on the AxiomPlay Wireless Platform on the Axiom...

Page 2 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#59718 - 09/05/04 10:33 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
I've said it before and I'll say it again,speaker break in does not happen.If the speakers don't sound good right out of the box no amount of break in is going to change it.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


Top
#59719 - 09/05/04 11:16 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
Yes Dr. Barton took some of his reference speakers and then measured them again over a decade later and they were within .5dB of the original measurement. In other words, no change.

Sometimes if you measure speakers a few times, you do get a variation of .5dB

it's brain break in, not speaker break in.

here's a simple way to prove it to yourself. buy two pairs of new speakers, different models. Listen to them at different times, and you'll see that every time you switch it takes you a bit of time to get used it. No, the speaker is not 'un-breaking in'. Your brain is just not used to the sound of it.

Eventually, though, you will get used to the sound of both.

Same goes for wearing wool socks, starting a new job, eating a different kind of food, moving to a new city, etc... the wool doesn't get soft, the food doesn't taste better, the city doesn't become simpler, it simply does those things RELATIVE to you.

Top
#59720 - 09/05/04 11:25 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Guy's relax a bit here. If you remember I said "I'm not sure I buy it either" It just makes no sense to me and nobody in this thread has said anything that answers me on why a company like B&W says there is a break in period? I'm just lost as to why they do it. We can joke and post smartass comments till the cows come home, but it still doesn't answer the question. From what I can tell B&W isn't hurting for cash and or sales. I would bet you they sell more speakers in a month then Axiom does all year and they do it at a much higher margin. They have no reason to lie to consumers and use Marketing bs to get people to buy there speakers. It just doesn't add up. Like I said before B&W isn't the only one who does it. There are some serious speakers companys out there that say the same thing. There is no way anyone is going to make me buy in to the argument that it's done for marketing reasons only. That is BS and shows very little understanding of what marketing is and does. Most good marketing is based on fact and research. Not all of it mind you.......................but that is another story.

I do agree with wid on if they suck out of the box, they will suck a year later regardless of break in, or whatever.

Top
#59721 - 09/05/04 12:58 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6251
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Since you say, "NOTHING is going to make me buy in to (sic) the argument that it's done for marketing reasons only," I'm probably wasting my time. But, maybe others will believe, as I do, that this is at least a possibility.

OK. I've said it before; I'll say it again. I'm not saying this IS the reason manufacturers talk about "break in" but it COULD BE a/the reason.

1. You're a speaker manufacturer.
2. You know that people become accustomed to a speaker's sound (mental break in).
3. So you say to the customer, give them a month (or x number of hours of use) to break in. Why? Because if the buyer is less than impressed with them immediately, he'll take the time to adjust to their sound, and like them better in time.
4. You DON'T say "give 'em a month (or x number of hours of listening) and you'll get used to them.

Why? Because (a) The customer will reasonably say to himself "I don't like the sound of these speakers, why would I WANT to get used to them"? So, he returns the speakers. And, because (b)a lot of people just don't believe that they will become accustomed to the sound of the speakers (mental break in) and like them better. So, they return the speakers.

In short, It's possible manufacturers promote break in to give you time to get used to the sound of their speakers, In this case, the "BS" isn't used to "get people to buy there (sic) speakers." If it's used at all, it's used to get them to KEEP their speakers, and thus cut down on returns.

Craigsub did a test where he listened to one of a pair of Onix speakers (Ref 2s, I believe) for a length of time that would satisfy anyone as a reasonable break in period (except for those who refuse to believe it is the brain that "breaks in"). The other was left pristine. He then did blind testing of the speakers and could not hear any difference at all. If the broken in speaker changed, he would have heard a difference between the two. He did not. However, my mind is open to any proof that speakers do break in.

In reply to:

Most good marketing is based on fact and research. Not all of it mind you.......................but that is another story.


It's my opinion, and ONLY my opinion, that nearly all TV, radio, and print advertising contradict you.

So, everyone is free to believe as they choose. Until such time as there is PROOF that speakers break in, I choose to believe that the phenomenon of a speaker sounding differently after a given period of time, is simply one's becoming accustomed to it's sound.


_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

Top
#59722 - 09/05/04 01:20 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Jack,
You make some good points but your argument is once again going back to a marketing perspective. Hell you may be right and if so this is one of the greatest consumer frauds being perpetrated at this moment. I still however have my doubts. Soundstage is a site that is thrown around here a lot as a great source of reference for reviews etc and almost every speaker review they do, they bring up the break in time. Why? They got the speakers for free. There is no possibility of return. Soundstage is not the only one bringing it up. there a ton of others. They did a review of the Coincident Speaker Technology Total Eclipse Loudspeakers. In case you guy's don't know Coincident is another Canadian company and for the most part, make nice stuff. They are however out to lunch on what they think a set of speakers is worth. The ones reviewed here retail at $8000.00US a pair. One of the things the reviewer noted was this:

In reply to:

The Total Eclipses took quite a while to break in. At the outset, they were pleasant and totally absent of pain-inducing brightness or aggressiveness. Or, in other words, they were speakers that didn’t suck when fresh out of the box. But the bass was missing in action, and the dynamics, both micro and macro, were noticeably reticent. After 50 hours, the bass drivers started to connect with the rest of the music, and after 100 hours, the dynamics started to kick in. It was only after 300 hours (or so) that the speakers quit changing and seemed to offer a full serving of their ultimate sonic potential.




Now I'm not a fan of reviewers for the most part as they are all subjective but why did this guy bring it up? There is no gain or loss for him at all by doing so.

In reply to:

It's my opinion, and ONLY my opinion, that nearly all TV, radio, and print advertising contradict you.




No problem at all. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong either way. I'm talking as a guy who has had a hand in successful and not so successful advertising campaigns that most of you here would have seen. However it should be noted that most TV, Radio and print advertising have taken in to account Demographics, need, consumer buy-in, and about 50 other things that are all researched prior to ever being made. There are some companies out there that just advertise for $hits and giggles but most companies want there advertising campaigns to focus on something and someone. Thus the research.

Top
#59723 - 09/05/04 02:08 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5414
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
This is getting interesting. I think I heard three "actual test results" mentioned -- one attributed to Paul Barton, one attributed to Craigsub, and references by Donaldekelley to other people's break-in experiences with replacement tweeters.

Dr. Barton's test involved measuring frequency response over a long period of time and finding it unchanged. My guess is that if there IS a "break in effect" it would be too subtle to jump out in a frequency response chart. I don't think those tests are sufficient to prove or disprove the break-in theory.

Craigsub's test was more directly relevent to this topic -- a/b testing of a "broken in" vs "out of box" speaker. The speakers in question were "Onix R2"s (don't know anything about these, sorry), not sure about their drivers. This "break-in thing" seems to be more relevent to metal drivers.

Donaldekelly mentioned that there were some discussions about people who replaced a tweeter and "had to go through the break-in process again". This sounds worthy of more investigation -- surely the replacement tweeter would sound quite similar to the part it replaced unless there was either a design/production change or some kind of break-in effect happening (??).

To summarize :

- Dr. Barton / PSB frequency response over time -- inconclusive

- Craigsub "old vs new speaker A/B test" -- more conclusive but break-in seems to be more metal-driver related, don't know if Onix drivers are relevent or not

- Donaldekelly "replacement tweeter" break-in -- seems to support break-in theory but only a casual mention

There seems to be a bit too much support for the "metal drivers need break-in" theory to dismiss it out of hand. I have owned significantly different speakers over the years (homemade Philips/KEF => Quad ELS => original PSB Beta => Rogers LS3 + sub => no-name "I got married" speakers => Axiom) and *thought* I had a pretty good handle on the whole "breaking in the brain" thing.

I was surprised how the Axiom sound seemed to change over the first couple of weeks -- specific high-frequency sounds really did seem a bit unpleasant at first, enough so that I swapped L&R to see if I had a bad tweeter (nope).

I was always a big believer in the "if they sound crappy new they're gonna sound crappy forever" school of thought, but I really think the M2 high range smoothed out significantly.

Oh well, maybe it was just the placebos kicking in. I have been taking quite a few of them recently

Anyways, thanks to everyone for the great input. I expected to be shot down much more emphatically -- so far I can't say that I have seen conclusive evidence either for either side of the argument.

I wish I had 5.1 electronics -- this would be a great excuse to pick up another pair of Axioms and do some A/B testing. Problem is that I would probably want to try M22s this time so still wouldn't get the exact A/B comparison.

If anyone is thinking about buying some M2i's in the Toronto area let me know -- I can bring mine over when you unpack yours and we can A/B 'em.

Thanks again everyone.

JB


Edited by bridgman (09/05/04 02:13 PM)

Top
#59724 - 09/05/04 02:40 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
Has anyone been able to establish through blind testing whether or not any speaker has broken in ? Noussaine did a test on this a few years back... with blind tests... and noone could identify a sonic difference between several speakers...
_________________________
Remember, this is a HOBBY

Top
#59725 - 09/05/04 04:28 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
KCSkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Bridgman- For what it's worth, here is what I had to say about this topic from the thread "science behind speaker breakin" a while back-
http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=Advice&Number=55593&page=&view=&sb=&o=


In reply to:

Though I don't really agree with a break-in theory on SS equipment (tube equipment undoubtedly changes w/time as the tubes degrade), I know for a fact that my speakers, tweeters specifically, have become less-harsh over time.

My M60's were demos and had some use on them by the time I hooked them up to my system. They sounded incredible from the get go. But when the tweeters blew due to an electrical issue I had to purchase a new set from Axiom. I got them in and put on one of my test CDs that I usually listen to and immediately I had to turn the volume down to almost nothing because it was so harsh sounding that it felt like my ears were going to start bleeding. Like I had read about, I had left the stereo running when I was out at work for the next few days. I also ordered the resistors from Axiom and installed them. But even without the resistors on, the tweeters lost their harshness over time. I didn't dream this up and I surely didn't "get my brain used to the new sound" because I was already used to the sound previously from my speakers.

As it goes, I finaly found replacement tweeters for my rear Advent speakers and installed them last week. Same issue. Very harsh from the get go. Much more mellow after a few days of running time. I'm sure that I'm not the only one seeing a pattern here.

The way I feel about break-in on speakers can be equated to the break-in on a new baseball glove (minus the oil, of course). You've got to massage them in for a while before they perform at their optimum level.

And with that said, I really feel this topic's been beaten to death on the boards. It's quite apparent that it's just a black and white issue now. It seemes to me that you either believe in break-in or you don't.




I hope this helps somehow. I've heard the difference. Some people here still think my brain "made it up." I don't agree in the least bit. I think that for some of the people who insist that speaker break-in is all some form of psycho-induced fantasy trip, they should be using a lie-detector instead of an SPL meter for thier tests.

-Kevin



Top
#59726 - 09/05/04 04:42 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Hey Kevin,
I was hoping you would pop into this thread as you have always been vocal on the subject. I'm still on the fence as to be honest I have never paid much attention to break in. I have up and until lately always just assumed it was true. Woofers, midranges etc all move and most things that move tend to have a break in or wear in period. It only stands to reason that more or less movement would create tonal differences.

I think you are however right on the money with this thought:

In reply to:

It seemes to me that you either believe in break-in or you don't.





Top
#59727 - 09/05/04 04:55 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6251
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

I think that for some of the people who insist that speaker break-in is all some form of psycho-induced fantasy trip, they should be using a lie-detector instead of an SPL meter for their tests.


What a shame you feel it necessary to insult people who believe differently than you. And NOBODY said "speaker break-in is all some form of psycho-induced fantasy trip." Implying others are liars, and putting words into their mouths just negates and weakens your arguments.

Show proof of your beliefs, and you may regain my respect.

And, as long as we're quoting from that thread. how about this:

Finally, and perhaps most controversially, Barton talks about the supposed break-in effect of components that has become so popular in audio today. Break-in refers to running components for a long time (sometimes hundreds of hours) to the point where their components "settle" into their proper operating mode. Barton doesn’t doubt that some components do change subtly, but he thinks that the major improvements people think they’re hearing aren’t in the components at all. Barton doesn’t doubt that people are hearing these changes, but thinks that what they’re hearing is actually brain break-in.

Barton has examined his own speakers to test this. He has taken a Stratus Gold loudspeaker, built and measured some ten years ago, and re-measured it today. The deviation is slight, perhaps 1/4dB at most. Although that deviation can possibly be heard, it is certainly not a huge difference that one may attest to hearing. Instead, Barton surmises that the difference in sound that people are hearing over time is conditioning of the brain. He cites experiments done with sight that indicate the brain can accommodate for enormous changes fairly quickly and certainly within the hundreds of hours that audiophiles claim changes occur in. Could this apply to hearing, too? Barton thinks that more often than not, what happens is that the changes in perceived sound that are attributed to component break-in are simply the brain becoming accustomed to the sound. He warns listeners not to fool themselves.



_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

Top
Page 2 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.