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

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

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!!


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

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6319
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.

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

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

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.

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

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?

#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: 16418
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 can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#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: 16418
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 can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

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

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

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

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!)

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

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5590
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.

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

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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