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#59708 - 09/03/04 10:54 PM Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
So, what does everyone think. I read that Axiom's needed a couple of weeks of break-in before they really sounded smooth. Sounded like a crock, but after having new M2i's for a couple of weeks I'm starting to believe.

The obvious first thought is that maybe they just sound rough and I'm getting used to it, but I really don't think that is the case. The M2i's really DID sound harsh (mostly on cymbals) when I got them, but that harshness is completely gone now.

Is this a function of having metal drivers ? Assume it's the tweeter that needs to break in ?

Thoughts appreciated. I was torn between M2's and M22's -- almost tempted to order a pair of M22's so I can see if they sound harsh beside the M2s )

JB

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#59709 - 09/03/04 10:57 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
This has been discussed a decent amount around here. The majority here (including the all-mighty alan) think that it is your ears breaking in and not the speakers. There are some here who think the speaker breaks in though. Personally I don't care too much because they sounded good when I set them up and they continue to sound good
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#59710 - 09/03/04 11:16 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks. I'll search around for the old threads.

My assumption was also "ears breaking in" but I have to admit to being surprised by how much the sound "seemed" to have changed. I know how much we can adapt to different frequency responses (although I waited 5 years and my previous speakers still sounded crappy ) but I didn't think the old ears could adapt to what really sounded like distortion.

The same cymbal crash, same track, same volume, same seating position (as much as possible) really does sound smoother now. Oh well, another stinkin' mystery.

Then again, my dogs really seem to hate the new speakers. Don't know if it's the M2s or the sub, or just that I'm listening to all my CDs again, and playing them at "listening volumes" rather than just as background.

As you said, what matters is whether they sound good... and they sound GREAT.

Thanks !!




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#59711 - 09/04/04 02:17 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
it's your brain getting used to speakers, not the speakers sounding different over time.

same goes for amps, cd players, any kind of player, tuners, receivers, speaker cables, interconnects, and so on.

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#59712 - 09/04/04 02:54 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
It's funny when one of the most respected speaker manufactures in the world talks about break in but then other "Experts" say it doesn't exist. I'm not sure I buy it either but B&W talks about it and say what you will about B&W but I doubt there is another speaker company in the world that spends more on R&D then they do. Why say it if it's not true? I doubt B&W is trying to get people to keep there speakers past the return period or any of the other lame excuses people throw out for company's who say they have a break in period. It makes you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmm just a little. I didn't even bring up the fact that Monitor Audio, Paradigm, Wilson and a host of other world class speaker manufactures also mention it.

In reply to:

Expect the sound of your speakers to improve during an initial listening period. The time varies depending on the type of speaker and how you use it.




The above is from B&W's site.

Do I dare bring up the fact that David Wilson who is considered a speaker guru by most thinks that speaker grills do make a difference on speaker response even though once again most "Experts" say they don't? Sorry but I can't keep track of what exactly an expert is anymore! lol :-)

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#59713 - 09/04/04 03:46 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

The above is from B&W's site.

Do I dare bring up the fact that David Wilson who is considered a speaker guru by most thinks that speaker grills do make a difference on speaker response even though once again most "Experts" say they don't? Sorry but I can't keep track of what exactly an expert is anymore! lol :-)


The B&W quote is stating a fact. After listening to a speaker for a period of time, the sound will often improve. It's the buyer's perception of sound that matters. They don't tell you WHY the sound will improve. Their marketing department is smart. Would you buy a speaker that was marketed like this:

"If at first you think the sound from our speakers is lacking, just wait a while and your ears/brain will adjust to it."

No? I didn't think so.

And David Wilson is also stating a fact: speaker grilles DO make a difference, but In most cases we're talking fractions of a decibel which is inaudible to human ears.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59714 - 09/04/04 05:06 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
FordPrefect Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 1335
Loc: Ancaster, Ontario
Well first I had to let the speakers match the humidity level of my home, use a moisture density guage calibrated for mdf with a vinyl bias to avoid any errors.

Then I had to determine the electrical flow in my home amd make sure that it was matched to the natural electronic shift patterns in the Axiom speakers. Be carefull with the QS speakers, they can be bothered by heat ducts in the winter and airconditioning ducts in the winter. If your house uses the same ductwork for both heating and cooling then of course the Dipolar-Degree factor takes over and everything is fine.

Prior to the first listening session the grills should be washed in luke warm water and allowed to dry before reassembling them in an inverted position.

Other than the above, it's pretty much a case of plug and play.

_________________________
getting to 2,000 posts; one year at a time vp160/qs8/qs4/ep350/m60/m2200s

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#59715 - 09/04/04 11:36 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
LOL

Hey, you know what? I hear Bose makes excellent speakers. Their website says so. Maybe I should go buy some and believe they are awesome and spend a fortune on them. Then, they will sound better to me.

Remember when cigarette companies told you cigs were good for you? There is such a thing called "The power of suggestion" and it is very, very powerful. It's the basis of advertising. McDonald's and the likes have made billions by 'suggesting' to people that everyone wants what they sell.

OK, I'll stop my rant now. I hope this doesn't start a major amount of posts!

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#59716 - 09/04/04 11:53 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
donaldekelly Offline
local

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 274
Loc: Washington, DC
I think we can solve this argument for ever if we all just hang in there a few more pages worth!

I have been impressed with some peoples experiences of replacing busted tweeters and having to get (their brain?) broken in all over again to the new tweeter.

Plus most of the reviews that cover Axioms (M22s anyway) say there is a break in period for "metal Cones" or something like that. Different from paper or plastic type cones? I would think that professional reveiwers would not need 40 - 60 hours of brain break in time since they would have heard sharp detailed speakers before.

Plus, the guys who run their speakers while they are not home and then come back to hear something very different.

BUT - there is no scientific evidence for it and I would assume that it would be very easy and inexpensive to prove (or disprove?). Surely speaker companies measure this?

The guy who founded PSB speakers has been referenced - he measured the same speakers a decade or two apart and found very slight difference - not enough to change the sound after MANY years. But did he measure them new? I don't remember now.
_________________________
M22s, QS4s, M2 center, Hsu stf-1.

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#59717 - 09/04/04 11:55 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
donaldekelly Offline
local

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 274
Loc: Washington, DC
"The time varies according to the type of speaker..." They should have said according to your "ears and brain."
_________________________
M22s, QS4s, M2 center, Hsu stf-1.

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#59718 - 09/05/04 10:33 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6722
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


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#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.

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#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.

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

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
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

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#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.

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

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
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)

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#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

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#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



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#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.





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

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
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

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#59728 - 09/05/04 05:00 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
KCSkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hey there NH-

Yeah, it just seems that no matter how many cases there are for or against it, the bottom line comes down to your own personal belief. I don't have an interest in trying to change people's minds about it. I'd rather just share my experience with the subject with the hope that maybe my story could do someone else some good.

I was reluctant to post again here on the topic because I really thought the thread I listed preveiously would be the last time I get involved on the matter. But, since it's not turned into a flame way and everyone seems open-minded about discussing it here, I figured I would chime in.

Be good. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Kev

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#59729 - 09/05/04 05:18 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
KCSkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
In reply to:

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.




Ajax- You misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not calling the people who claim that speaker break-in doesn't exist liars. What I mean is that the people who say break-in doesn't exist usually are the ones who are very dismissing towards the people who claim it does (I being one of them). I was trying to say that since usually the naysayers are the ones telling the believers of break-in that they what they've experienced is all just their brain changing and not the sound, they should hook up the believers to a lie detector to prove that THEY AREN'T LYING about their experiences with speaker break-in.

I'm not trying to insult anyone here because frankly, it's beneath me to do that sort of thing on a message board. Please don't jump to conclusions like that. If you have any question about how I feel on the subject, or if I have a history of posting flames here (which I don't), look up my posts from the past. I come here to share my experiences with others in an effort to maybe help someone else they way this board has helped me.

As far as showing you proof, I can't. I can let you HEAR it, however. So you are more than welcome to come over with a new set of tweeters and we can sit back and hear the difference. Read what I had to say on the subject via the thread I had linked in my prvious first post in this topic if you have any questions about this. This isn't the first time I've been involved with this subject, and at no time did I simply just write off or insult those people who claim anything differnt than I do. I've said it before and I'll say it again- It seems that you either believe it exists or you don't. That's the only solid conclusion I've been able to come to about the topic.


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#59730 - 09/05/04 06:20 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I have no idea what your intent was, but your sentence read:
"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.

As you can see, the word "they" is referring to "people who insist.....etc. Nowhere in that sentence do you refer to the "believers," so I feel that stating it's "jumping to conclusions" to believe you meant the "naysayers" are liars, is passing the buck. If that is not what you meant, it was not unreasonable on my part to assume that it was.

Also, as you can see, you DID imply that people who don't believe in speaker break in "insist that speaker break in is some form of psycho-induced fantasy trip ." I have never said that, and I don't recall anyone else saying it. You've chosen to couch our argument in inflammatory terms to make our position sound insulting to yours. That just has not been the case. My post stated that everyone is free to believe what they wish.

Now, let's assume that you DID mean that "they (the naysayers) should hook up the believers to a lie detector to prove that THEY AREN'T LYING about their experiences with speaker break-in."

I can't speak for everyone on my side of the argument, but I don't believe, and I certainly have never said, or implied, that the "believers." are "lying." Again, you put words in my mouth. In fact, during the time I had the M22s in my possession (about 12 weeks), I KNOW there was a change in what I was hearing when listening to them. And I'M NOT LYING! Where we part ways, is deciding where the change took place; in the speakers or in my brain (or the ear-brain connection). I firmly believe that you heard a difference in your example (or at the very least firmly BELIEVE you heard a difference). Therefore a lie detector test would only show that you BELIEVE you are telling the truth. If you want to prove it, next time you replace the tweeters, graph a frequency response before AND after you make the change. If there is a change, the graphs should reflect it.

The thing that is difficult for us "naysayers" to understand is the "believers" apparent disbelief that their senses and/or brain could be fooled. My senses/brain has been fooled so many times. Optical illusions; the sound that seems to come from the left when it comes from the right; one person hearing the word "sizzle" when everyone else in the room heard "fizzle;" a pilot thinking he's turning left in a fog bank, when the instruments clearly tell him he's turning right; are all common examples of this phenomenon.

None of the above, however negates your point, in which I heartily concur." It seems that you either believe it exists or you don't." However, no test yet has supported the position that it does.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#59731 - 09/05/04 07:07 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
And as far as the new tweeters are concerned... Take one speaker, and out in a new tweeter. Leave the other one with the old tweeter, and do blind tests to determine if there is an audible difference.

The one caveat on this: Does the new tweeter have the same performance characteristics.

Better to do it with a pair of speakers... Take a pair of M-22ti's.... run pink noise through one for 100 hours at a high level. Leave the other new. Have someone else hook up both speakers on identical stands about 12-15 feet from you... and next to each other.

Listen to music in mono, and switch back and forth between the two for as long as you want... and chart the results... as long as you are honestly doing a blind test... you will have an answer.
_________________________
Remember, this is a HOBBY

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#59732 - 09/05/04 07:22 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
KCSkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Jack- why are you personalizing this? In no way did I mean to single you out here, or flame anything you have written in this post, nor in any other post you've ever put on in this board. My generalized statement has nothing to do with you personally. How much more open can I be about the fact that there are two camps on this issue, and no matter how much the two sides state each of their cases, it comes down to the fact that each person is going to decide based on his or her own experiences? I'm not going to insult someone for thinking a certain way that maybe I don't agree with. The conclusion I felt you're jumpping to is that I'm here to personally insult you or your point of view. Which I'm not. My statement "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, " is based on the history of reading and posting on the issue from previous threads. It's my take on how I usually get ridiculed when I claim I heard a difference over time with my speakers. I'm generalizing and I'm trying to use a little humor with colorful words to describe this issue, which I think is my right to do. My experience has been that most people who don't believe in break-in tell me that I've made it all up in my head. Which I don't agree with in the least bit.

If you would like, I can go back and change my statement to add the word "believers" to my original post, as you've stated I should. I'd be happy to if this would make it more clear for you or anyone else reading my previous post.

So, from what I'm reading, you and I are in complete agreeance to the fact that we've heard a change in the speakers (or my new tweeters) that support the break-in theory. I hope I'm correct on this.

As far as my brain being fooled, I agree with you that it happens to human beings all the time, which I of course am subject to as well. The fact that MY EARS PHYSICALLY HURT ME when I installed tweeters on TWO DIFFERENT SETS OF SPEAKERS AT TWO DIFFERENT TIMES MONTHS APART is enough to tell me that this wasn't something that my brain simply made up. Both times I installed new tweeters on my two sets of speakers this happened and I had to turn the sound down to a very low level to continue listening. I don't need to chart a graph to tell me that something was different sounding about this because I trust my physical reaction to pain as all the proof I would need. Beyond that, I agree with what you said about there not being a scientific test yet that supports the position that it does.

Peace.

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#59733 - 09/05/04 07:34 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Well I'm still on the fence over this. You guy's ever see the Good Sound review on the M60's? Anyway, Axiom has it all over there site and one of the things that got me about Good Sound was this:

In reply to:

speaker break-in is primarily a mechanical phenomenon of X amount of driver motions that loosen up the internal spider suspension and external rubber/foam surrounds. I've never heard warnings about reduced output levels during this period. In fact, rather the opposite -- play the speakers as loudly as is reasonable in your environment and for their type, and use bass-heavy material. A common trick is to put the speakers face to face (as closely as possible), wire one out of phase, and cover both with a thick blanket. This will cancel a lot of their output and be sonically less obtrusive. Still, the easiest thing is to simply play music 24/7 for a few days -- normally when you're sitting down to listen, at barely audible levels when you go to sleep, and cranked (not insanely, of course) when you leave the house. Don't worry about it too much. You'll note the speakers changing for a certain period, sometimes possibly seeming to make a step back before going forward again, and then one day, bingo -- they no longer change. That's it.




Why?


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#59734 - 09/05/04 08:25 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

Jack- why are you personalizing this?


Oy! Why did you personalize it? I think the personalization occurred when you SAID, whether you meant to or not, that "I think that for some 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."

If you meant something other than what you said, you didn't say it very well. I think perceiving that as an insult is perfectly reasonable and NOT jumping to conclusions. I'm not a mind reader. I can only go by what you put on the paper.

In reply to:

So, from what I'm reading, you and I are in complete agreeance (sic) to the fact that we've heard a change in the speakers (or my new tweeters) that support the break-in theory. I hope I'm correct on this.


NOOOO! Perhaps I didn't say it well. I heard a change in my M22s, but I don't, for one minute, believe the speakers changed. I believe my perception of the speakers' sound changed. Please do not construe that to mean that I support the break in theory, or imply that I do. I don't know how to say it any clearer, though my mind remains open to any proof you can provide.

If you'll cease implying I've done something wrong, I'll be happy to let this drop.

Thank you,



_________________________
Jack

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

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#59735 - 09/05/04 08:57 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Uh-oh... I feel like the jerk at the party who starts a fight then steps back and watches while the house gets wrecked. That wasn't my intention at all... I was a charter member of the "it's all in your mind" camp until the Axioms showed up.

Just to be clear, I know that MOST of the perceived change is your mind normalizing the sound of the new system. I'm just starting to think that maybe the change is not 100% in the mind -- that for some speakers there might be a physical component as well.

Oh well, at least I still don't believe in $5,000 speaker cables

I guess the next step is to try some experiments. I have a Jeep so I'm used to driving around with a ton of spare parts (everything from oil to belts, hoses, u-joints and even a spare driveshaft) -- so I guess ordering a spare tweeter from Axiom "just in case of trail damage" might be the next step.

Auggh, how did I get into this ? I just wanted to pick up some nice speakers so I could listen to music again








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#59736 - 09/05/04 08:58 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
KCSkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
In reply to:

Oy! Why did you personalize it? I think the personalization occurred when you SAID, whether you meant to or not, that "I think that for some 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."




When did I use your name specifically? My statement was being general towards "SOME PEOPLE" not YOU, specifically. I didn't even realize that you had posted anything here until you told me that I was insulting you. I had to go back to see that you were in this thread. My original post was intended towards the first person who wrote here on this topic. I understand that no one here reads minds. But let's not let this get out of hand or off topic. I apologize that you thought my statement was insulting or somehow directed towards you specifically. My intent was neither, which I've done a good job of explaining earlier.

Honestly though, your statement was a bit confusing because I still think you're misreading my post. I read that you heard a difference that supports the theory of break-in, precicely because you heard a difference, opposed to others who claim they've heard no difference over time. The way you've written it here is a bit easier to understand than your previous post. So the fact is that you heard a difference and you have no scientific proof as to why that is, nor do you believe in speaker break-in. That's awesome that you have a point of view that is well defined on the matter. I'm not taking that away from you or anybody. So, good luck with it. I personally can't prove scientifically the difference in what I heard. I'm not a scientest. And I don't want to spend my time graphing changes on a chart on my speakers. I'll leave that to people who would enjoy such a chore.

I am confused by how I'm implying you've done something wrong. I don't see how I've done that here. But I really don't care, to be quite honest with you. I think at this point it's a complete waste of time and energy for everyone involved to keep this going.

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#59737 - 09/05/04 09:10 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Boy's, I have read and re-read this thread. I'm not sure I see KCSkins pointing a finger at anybody specific here. Maybe I missed it or there is something else going on here but I didn't take offence to it in anyway.

He has gone as far as to say he was not. Can we move on?

This is a nice little debate on a "What if" and nothing more. Let's leave it at that. We can all agree to disagree at the end of the day.

The one thing that still has me is my own warped thought process. If something moves it tends to move more over time. Would this not be true with a speaker? If so this would in fact change certain tonal qualitys of said speaker. If not why?

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#59738 - 09/05/04 09:42 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
donaldekelly Offline
local

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 274
Loc: Washington, DC
Craigsub is my hero! The first actual test I have read about to check on speaker break in (aside from the PSB guy, possibly).

I tend not to believe in speaker break in. And "brain break in" makes a lot of sense to me. I added to the questioning of the "brain break in" theory just out of curiosity- to get more info like this.
_________________________
M22s, QS4s, M2 center, Hsu stf-1.

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#59739 - 09/05/04 09:58 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Well this just keeps sinking lower and lower. I did try.

In reply to:

When did I use your name specifically?


No one said you used my name specifically. But, you see, I am one of "some people" to whom you referred. You make a statement that insults a number of people, including me, and when I take exception to that, you accuse me of personalizing it. OY!

In reply to:

I didn't even realize that you had posted anything here until you told me that I was insulting you. I had to go back to see that you were in this thread.


You mean you posted without reading the thread? You mean you made an generalized insult without seeing who you were insulting?

In reply to:

I apologize that you thought my statement was insulting or somehow directed towards (sic) you specifically.


Now that's condescending. YOU can't apologize that I THOUGHT it was insulting. It WAS insulting. You can only apologize for making an insulting comment (intended or not); something you apparently are unwilling to do. I cannot be held responsible if you didn't say what you meant. Again, I am "some people" so it WAS directed toward me.

In reply to:

I read that you heard a difference that supports the theory of break-in, precisely because you heard a difference, opposed to others who claim they've heard no difference over time.


Hearing a difference does NOT support the break-in theory. What you are alleging is that if I heard a difference, that means the difference MUST be in the speakers. It's my belief the difference is NOT in the speakers. I'm saying I PERCEIVED a change, NOT that a change took place. Can you understand the difference?

In reply to:

So the fact is that you heard a difference and you have no scientific proof as to why that is, nor do you believe in speaker break-in.


Well, you're getting close. I heard a difference. BECAUSE there is no scientific proof the speaker changed, and BECAUSE I'm fully aware ones senses/brain can be be fooled (become acclimated to a speakers sound), I, therefore, don't subscribe to the theory of speaker break-in. I'm open to any proof that it exists, and when confronted with that proof, will be more than willing to reassess my point of view.


In reply to:

I am confused by how I'm implying you've done something wrong. I don't see how I've done that here.


Well, I don't know about you, but I feel "jumping to conclusions" is wrong. I work very hard to avoid doing so, and I find it offensive when someone tells me I'm doing so. You've implied that I wrongly "thought" your comment to be insulting. You've implied that I "personalized this," when your insulting comment did that. Nothing insultingly personal about an individual, or about "some people," was said up to that point.

I'm perfectly willing to believe that being insulting was not your intent. What I cannot accept is that you seem to think anyone who could possibly find fault with that comment is the one who is wrong.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#59740 - 09/05/04 10:00 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Hero? Well hell you should love this. This shows break-in but within the first 60 or so minutes only.

In reply to:

Data originally posted on hometheaterforum.com

In summary, some woofers will not produce a normal amount of bass for a few minutes when first used.
The drivers could easily be broken in during quality control testing at the speaker factory ... but if not,
they will break in quickly at home.

The driver tested below had a significant change in the first minute of use ... and almost all the changes were in the first 60 minutes of use. There is no indication that extended break-in (10's or 100's of hours) was needed.

This Seas driver was tested by a company named
VAF Research Pty Ltd. and the results were reported by Philip Vafiadis.

The driver had an xmax (linear stroke) of +/-6mm but the break in tone only required +/-2mm stroke = not much of a stroke and probably made break-in take longer than necessary.

Results:

Qts with no break-in = .49
Qts after one minute = .42 (change probably audible)
Qts after 120 minutes = .41 (change vs. .42 unlikely to be audible)

Fs with no break-in = 35.47Hz.
Fs after 60 minutes = 32.03Hz. (change may be audible)
Fs after 120 minutes = 31.62Hz. (change vs. 32.03Hz. unlikely to be audible)




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#59741 - 09/05/04 10:08 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
donaldekelly Offline
local

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 274
Loc: Washington, DC
Great info

So, maybe there is break in during the first 1 to 60 minutes but often that gets done somewhat in quality control checks?

Thanks for the info.
_________________________
M22s, QS4s, M2 center, Hsu stf-1.

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#59742 - 09/05/04 10:10 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
...........and now I just found out that HSU recommends not hammering on your new HSU sub for a few day's. No mention of the word break-in but why bring it up? Does anyone have an HSU manual kicking around? If so please take a peek at let me know if you see any mention of this.

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#59743 - 09/05/04 10:24 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I find no mention of this in my STF-2 manual.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#59744 - 09/05/04 10:46 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Thanks for looking Jack. My SVS manual doesn't say anything about it either.

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#59745 - 09/05/04 10:54 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6722
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Nothing in the VTF-2 manual either.Theres also nothing in the manual for the Hsu Ventriloquist speaker system.
_________________________
Rick


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


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#59746 - 09/07/04 05:18 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Please remind me not to accidentally insult you, Jack.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59747 - 09/07/04 08:34 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Hey Peter? Don't accidentally, or intentionally, pass out personal insults. Consider yourself reminded.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#59748 - 09/07/04 09:08 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
jack-

your mustache is limp, and your momma dresses you funny!!!

now, how's that for an insult!! ok, ok.. i could do better but its early.. cut me some slack.

for what its worth, i DONT believe in speaker break-in.. i think its more the 'ears' breakin in theory.. it took me about 2-3 days to get used to the axioms.. of course, i had been listening to some Cerwin Vega MX-400's for over 10 years. plenty of bass, slight mids, and no highs..

i couldnt be more pleased that my ears have finally caught up!!

bigjohn
_________________________
EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#59749 - 09/07/04 10:44 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
No mustache these days, and being the caregiver for my 92 year old momma, I now get to dress HER funny. Payback is sweet.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#59750 - 09/07/04 12:08 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
I used to believe in speaker break-in until I got my M22's. They sounded good right out of the box. I don't think they sound any better than they did when I first juiced these boys. Maybe I was just blessed with perfectly tweaked ears.

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#59751 - 09/07/04 01:38 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
curtis Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 1501
Loc: Manhattan Beach, CA
You know....I think there are good arguments for each side. To be honest.....I just do not know what to believe. All I know is what sounds good to me.

I do have some questions......if all things mechanical change over time, what makes speakers different? And....why do speaker "surrounds" go bad?

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#59752 - 09/07/04 01:43 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The fact is that your ears/brain DO adjust, even over a very short period of time. If you listen to music in your car, you probably experience this phenomenon on a regular basis.

Do you ever get into your car in the morning, turn the key in the ignition, and then get painfully blasted by the stereo that you left on at a high volume? Do you remember it being that painfully loud when you turned off the car yesterday? Probably not. When it happens to me, it's always shocking how harsh the music sounds at that volume.

Another example of this phenomenon is when you listen to music through headphones on mass transit -- planes, trains, busses, etc. Your ears adjust to the high level of ambient noise, so when you want to listen to your music, you need to compensate by turning up the volume of your music player. If you use that same setting in a quiet environment, it's going to sound loud and possibly uncomfortable.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59753 - 09/07/04 01:49 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

And....why do speaker "surrounds" go bad?


Exposure to the elements: dust, sunlight, oxygen, etc. Time takes its toll on everything. I have a feeling the surrounds break down even on speakers that are never used.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59754 - 09/07/04 08:44 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
dmn23 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 649
Loc: Nashville, TN
Okay, I'll happily admit I know nothing about speaker design. But I've owned more than a few guitars in my day, and right now I've got a seven year old Taylor that's just now starting to break in, and a two year old Lowden that's mellowed just a bit. As the wood ages and responds to the vibrations of the soundbox, the tone most certainly does change.

So my question is this: I know speaker cabinets (and well made stands) are supposed to eliminate the same resonance that makes the guitars sound so wonderful. But does the type of wood (or other material) used for making the cabinet have an effect on the speaker's tone, and does that change as the wood ages?
_________________________
M22ti mains, EP175 sub, VP150 center, QS4 surrounds

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#59755 - 09/07/04 09:03 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Yep, I'm lost on this to. If something moves, it moves more over time. I keep saying that because that would change the tonal sound of said speaker. If not, then why doesn't a woofer, tweeter or even a midrange move more as it ages? (I almost said breaks in!)

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#59756 - 09/07/04 10:22 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>> (I almost said breaks in!)

Step away from the edge there buddy...

My guess is that speakers don't change much over time because most of the speakers we buy have designs intended to stabilize and minimize driver variations rather than amplifying the sound.

If you made a guitar out of 1" MDF it probably wouldn't sound very different over the years either.

I have a viola pushing 25 years old and it's starting to mellow out a bit... or maybe it's the placebos again.

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#59757 - 09/08/04 02:39 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
SpockTheater Offline
local

Registered: 04/06/03
Posts: 220
Loc: Shreveport, Louisiana
Since a couple of posts have mentioned instrument "break in" I thought I'd add another one. I play oboe and sax usually a couple times a week and so I'm ALWAYS listening for changes in my tone since I tend to pride myself in consistency. Now does my tone change at times? Yes, and does my reed change? Yes. Why? When I notice it the most is when the humidity is at it's highest levels. My tone on oboe more than sax, tends to mellow especially in the middle octave. Now if I had a pair of wooden cone speakers I would think that they would sound different given certain conditions. However, my Axiom's are aluminum and I've not noticed a fluctuation in tone. Only two times have I noticed a change in sound with my Axiom's.

1. When I switched from a cheap old Kenwood 70x2 receiver to my current NAD T762 120x2 100x5. Should I have heard a difference? I better have for nearly 3 times the cost of the old Kenwood and I definitely did hear a LOT more details. So much that I had to get use to hearing music with that amount of detail. The first few days I dare say things sounded sterile, but on day 4 I became use to the sound and have loved it since then.

2. When I was playing around with placement in my new apartment. At first I had them closer to the wall and further apart (about 10'). There my mains seemed to "distant". I guess that tells you that I like the "front row" sound more that the "balcony". Anyway, I moved them in about a foot and further out from the wall and BAM!! There was the presence that I wanted and the soundstage I knew was there.

Well, that's my experience. Not much in terms of "break in". Sorry.


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#59758 - 09/08/04 10:06 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
Wooden instruments like violins, guitars, etc certainly change in tone as the wood ages and dries. As the wood ages the internal damping diminishes, which allows more strongly peaked resonances. The thing is, this is all irrelevant when considering speaker "break-in" as people generally discuss it. People will leave the speaker playing at a high volume for 500 hours, and then hear a difference in the sound. They're not talking about the quality of the wood changing substantially in what really amounts to ~20 days. That type of chance occurs with years and years of time, and I doubt it would change significantly in MDF.

I think the only way I could be led to believe in speaker break-in is if someone did some objective analysis of speaker excursion in a controlled environment and showed that after extended play the surround element "softened" significantly enough to create an audible difference.

That said, I haven't heard any difference in my system over the time I've had it.
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#59759 - 09/08/04 10:22 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
dmn23 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 649
Loc: Nashville, TN
I figured as much. It kind of seemed like an apples/lawnmowers comparison, particularly since I was thinking of acoustic instruments. The best sounding acoustic instruments are generally the most fragile. The whole point is to move air. Also, as I mentioned in my post, it's taken years for a noticable change in the guitars I've owned.

Big slabs of wood aren't immune from this, though. There are perceptible differences in the tonality of solid body electric guitars. Here's an interesting overview of wood tonality if anyone would like to check it out.
_________________________
M22ti mains, EP175 sub, VP150 center, QS4 surrounds

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#59760 - 09/08/04 02:49 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
I think you've got something there, SpockT!

The discussion has mostly centered around mechanical break-in, but I rather like your observation about humidity. Even though the aluminum in the cones would be unaffected by changes in humidity, the entire speaker system (including all of its components made of other materials) could, conceivably, maybe be impacted by acclimating to the temperature and humidity of a new environment. Whether it's enough to hear or not, I don't know or care. But I had not considered the impact of temperature and humidity. Of course, if those are the agents of change, then "break in" of the speaker (rather than your ears) could be accomplished without playing music; just let the things sit and get used to their new space.
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bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#59761 - 09/08/04 03:02 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I agree with the apples/lawnmovers analogy. MDF is used BECAUSE it has many advantages over solid wood, chief among them being its material uniformity (no knots or density variations) which contribute to its highly predictable and favorable acoustic properties.

MDF is an amalgam of adhesive resin and wood fibers bound together under intense pressure and heat. Here's a short page about it. It is made from wood, but at the same time, it is NOT wood.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59762 - 09/08/04 08:51 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
les9596 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 38
Loc: The beautiful Puget Sound WA U...
I's like to add my 0.02 to this. Not because I know anything, but just because I have 2 cents

Please allow me to assert that speaker drivers are motors by virtue of the fact that they convert electricity into motion. Therefore, they generate heat from friction and will wear. No doubt about it. If you graphed the wear over time, it might not be much, it might not be linear, but it would be there throughout the product life-cycle. To some degree, however minor, everything with moving parts will exhibit "break-in" performance changes. So the argument is never really about speaker break-in. Physics demand that.

The argument is about hearing that break-in performance change.

And when that's the argument, it's no longer a single-body problem (measure the driver and know.) Now it's at least a three body problem: The speaker, the ear (or other measuring device), and the transmission medium (currently air). An answer for one set of variables isn't a universal answer either. Change any of the variables and you're right back where you started. The odds of resolving this in any sense other than statistical just went way downhill.

Fortunatly, I do happen to have the final answer. It's simply that-(insert another .02 to continue, please)



_________________________
Larry 5.1 M22/VP100/QS8/PB1-ISD

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#59763 - 09/08/04 09:40 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
.02 Deposit has been made, you may continue..........................:-)

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#59764 - 09/09/04 01:19 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

Please allow me to assert that speaker drivers are motors by virtue of the fact that they convert electricity into motion. Therefore, they generate heat from friction and will wear.


I will allow you to make that assertion. Will you now allow me to counter it? (BTW, I've only got 5¢, but you can keep the change. )

Speaker drivers are motors, yes, but the heat produced by their motion comes not from friction (except for miniscule amounts), but from the current flowing through the voice coils. No part of a speaker driver experiences contact friction (i.e. two surfaces sliding against each other). What little friction there is comes from the relative motion of microscopic molecule chains as the cone, surround, and spider flexes.

Try this experiment (only in your head if you want to). Take an average sheet of printer paper. It's pretty flimsy, right? Now grab it lengthwise, keeping it relatively taut. Now flap the sheet of paper up and down rapidly, being careful not to tear it How long do you think it will take until the paper begins to exhibit signs of wear?
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59765 - 09/09/04 02:14 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>How long do you think it will take until the paper begins to exhibit signs of wear?

Probably will take a while, although I admit I haven't had the patience to try.

The question is "what happens if you flap a thin sheet of aluminum or titanium the same way" ? Do you get the same change in physical properties, or more, or less ?

As far as I can see the break-in phenomenon / myth seems to be limited to metal drivers.

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#59766 - 09/09/04 04:47 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16301
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

As far as I can see the break-in phenomenon / myth seems to be limited to metal drivers.


This makes absolutely no sense to me at all. The only difference between a metal-coned driver and a non-metal-coned driver is -- you guessed it -- the cone material. If ANY component of a speaker driver experiences break-in, I would think that the cone is the least likely suspect. And it it's a METAL cone to boot, it's more rigid and less susceptible to change over time.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#59767 - 09/09/04 07:43 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5449
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>If ANY component of a speaker driver experiences break-in, I would think that the cone is the least likely suspect. And it it's a METAL cone to boot, it's more rigid and less susceptible to change over time.

Yeah, I know. That's why we all have trouble believing that break-in really makes a difference, but there do seem to be a bunch of people (including myself now) reporting that the Axioms seem to have a bit of a hard edge when new which mellows after a week or two.

If the people reporting this phenomenon were talking about their second or third pair of speakers it would be easier to write this off as "adapting to the new sound" but we're normally talking about people who have listened to and lived with a dozen or more different speakers and who (should) have a pretty good idea what to expect.

Oh well.


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#59768 - 09/09/04 09:58 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
les9596 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 38
Loc: The beautiful Puget Sound WA U...
In reply to:

I will allow you to make that assertion. Will you now allow me to counter it? (BTW, I've only got 5¢, but you can keep the change. )




pmbuko, for a nickel, you can counter my assertion and raise me another assertion and a half!
_________________________
Larry 5.1 M22/VP100/QS8/PB1-ISD

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#59769 - 10/06/04 10:31 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
slack Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 28
i have read about reviewers breaking in speakers by reversing the wiring polarity of one of the speakers, face them against each other, pop in a CD on 'repeat' and go do something for a week or two...the reversed polarity is supposed to cancel out the sound from the speakers ...anyways, my thought is this would not be a case of breaking in the ears as they are not listening to the speakers during the break in period ...any comments??

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#59770 - 10/06/04 12:02 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

i have read about reviewers breaking in speakers by reversing the wiring polarity of one of the speakers, face them against each other, pop in a CD on 'repeat' and go do something for a week or two...the reversed polarity is supposed to cancel out the sound from the speakers




Hmm.. that's kind of two wrongs making a right. Reversing the polarity on one speaker causes phase cancellation (and thus attenuation), but then facing the speakers at each other puts them in a push-pull arrangement (like an isobaric sub) so they're both moving in unison as one speaker. That's definately the oddest way of speaker break-in I've heard of.

So how do you know how long to break them in for? If it takes 168 hours (24x7) to break them in until they sound good, does that mean after the next 168 hours they will be too loose and sloppy? And 168 hours from then they'll be so mellow they'd rather sit back with some ganja and listen to Bob Marley than reproduce any music themselves?

Break in happens in less than 10 seconds, and is really limited to getting all the parts moving for the first time after manufacture.

Bren R.

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#59771 - 10/06/04 02:15 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
Twirly22 Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 70
This forum's shibboleth is that there is no such thing as speaker break-in, only listener break-in, so there must be a scientific explanation as to how listener break-in can occur without the presence of the listener.

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#59772 - 10/06/04 02:53 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

so there must be a scientific explanation as to how listener break-in can occur without the presence of the listener.



Hope. Everyone wants to do the absolute best thing to squeeze that extra .01% out of their equipment - everyone buys the same stuff off the shelf, you want to believe your 3805/M60/QS8s are just SLIGHTLY better than the next guy's.

Somehow, anyhow... get those electrons in line, break in your speakers, Put a slab of the Rock of Gibraltar on top of your CD-P to scare off the pratas. Anything.

Bren R.

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#59773 - 10/10/04 06:14 PM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
demasoni Offline
local

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 206
Loc: VA, USA
I don't think you can break in the cone area, there's simply no electric current or any type of signal being flow through them, It's even more unbelievable to break in those paper cone speakers. However, the voicecoil might be able to "break in" for a very short period of time but I have yet to hear any difference in any speakers I've own in the last two decades. Not that I do not believe breaking in, just that speakers is not one of them.

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#59774 - 10/13/04 02:46 AM Re: Breaking in speakers -- is it for real ?
leaf Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 64
Hey there,

If it's a brain break in then anyone who came to visit would think your speakers sounded harsh. Wouldn't they?

If it's a physical break in period then everyone would hear it. Wouldn't they?

I deal in perceptions of customers. Customers have certain expectations. It doesn't really matter if I meet those expectations. What matters is that the customer perceives that I do.

I purchase a set of axioms. I have certain expectations. If I percieve that they meet my expectations out of the box or in 20 days it doesn't really matter.

IE Jack percieved an insult wether indended or not makes no difference.

Back to work for me. I expect totally obnoxius conventioneers. I'm totally convinced my perceptions will not prove my expectations incorrect.

Leaf






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