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Loudspeaker break-in

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Anonymous
September 25, 2004 2:31:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of break-in
to sound their best, while others disagree.

This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to provide
advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow those of us
they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of our ways without
comment.

I am breaking in a pair of Gallo Reference III speakers in my garage on 24
hour/day FM music, which I plan to stop at 120 hours. I do this on the
advice of Gallo, and am told by Gallo that more power the better, as they
personally believe in break-in, and several reports they have received say
that for these speakers there is a definite break-in point that must be
reached for best quality. They further recommend using high power for best
results. My problem is that once I bring these into my living room I will
not be able to give them high power very often, as I have a wife who will be
disturbed by the noise. I wish to find the best way to continue the break-in
these speakers a few hours at a time.

While I have hard the general statement that break-in if desirable, I
haven't seen anything specific onwhat to play and how loud. It would be
easy to put a CD on repeat on occasion when we go out. I wonder if anyone
has experience with the best signals to play through speakers for break in.
Music? What sort? Test CDs? Which CDs? Which tracks?

Wylie Williams
Saint Louis Missouri

More about : loudspeaker break

Anonymous
September 25, 2004 6:10:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Wylie Williams wrote:

> I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of break-in
> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>
> This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to provide
> advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow those of us
> they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of our ways without
> comment.

Many manufacturers of 'pro-audio' speakers specify parameters after a 'break-in'
period.

Before 'break-in' the resonant frequency will typically be higher than datasheet
values.

E.g.

"Notes
3. Thiele - Small Parameters follow a 400 Watt preconditioning period."


http://www.precisiondevices.co.uk/asps/uploads/super/9....


Graham
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 12:07:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Wylie Williams" <wyliewill@charter.net> wrote in
news:cj277d078o@news3.newsguy.com:

> While I have hard the general statement that break-in if desirable, I
> haven't seen anything specific onwhat to play and how loud. It would
> be easy to put a CD on repeat on occasion when we go out. I wonder if
> anyone has experience with the best signals to play through speakers
> for break in. Music? What sort? Test CDs? Which CDs? Which tracks?
>
> Wylie Williams
> Saint Louis Missouri

I have a CD that play different frequencies, I put it on repeat mode. The
CD cost a lot of money but it claim that by playing this CD through your
new speakers, it is reduce the break-in time by 5 folds!

I think it make sense since normal music (either from a FM station or CD)
can only play a certain range of frequencies.

Don't ask me how much the CD cost, because I got it from my local Hi-Fi
store, the owner has that. But if you want to play with that, I can mail
you one of this!

Lawrence
Related resources
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 2:54:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Wylie Williams" <wyliewill@charter.net> wrote in message
news:cj277d078o@news3.newsguy.com...
>I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of
>break-in
> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>
> This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to
> provide
> advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow those of us
> they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of our ways without
> comment.
>
> I am breaking in a pair of Gallo Reference III speakers in my garage on 24
> hour/day FM music, which I plan to stop at 120 hours. I do this on the
> advice of Gallo, and am told by Gallo that more power the better, as they
> personally believe in break-in, and several reports they have received say
> that for these speakers there is a definite break-in point that must be
> reached for best quality. They further recommend using high power for
> best
> results. My problem is that once I bring these into my living room I will
> not be able to give them high power very often, as I have a wife who will
> be
> disturbed by the noise. I wish to find the best way to continue the
> break-in
> these speakers a few hours at a time.
>
> While I have hard the general statement that break-in if desirable, I
> haven't seen anything specific onwhat to play and how loud. It would be
> easy to put a CD on repeat on occasion when we go out. I wonder if anyone
> has experience with the best signals to play through speakers for break
> in.
> Music? What sort? Test CDs? Which CDs? Which tracks?
>
> Wylie Williams
> Saint Louis Missouri

Stereophile's Test CD 3, track 20. You may want to keep your amplifier's
output below clipping levels...
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 3:37:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Wylie Williams" <wyliewill@charter.net> wrote in message
news:cj277d078o@news3.newsguy.com...

>I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of
>break-in
> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>

I am surprised that anyone who reads an audio.hign-end newsgroup doesn't
know that all quality speakers MUST be carefully broken in by playing the
Solti recording of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony (Decca 410 202-2) at
maximum volume late at night whilst consuming a half bottle (or so) of a
good vintage port or a slightly lesser quantity of a fine single malt
scotch. For ultimate speaker performance and longevity real purists will
likely wish to continue the break in with the Von Karajan, Verdi Requiem (DG
415091-2), Giulini, Bruckner 8th (DG 415 124-2) and Mravinski, Tchaikovsky
Symphony 4 (DG 419 745-2) on successive nights. At the end of this period
your speakers will be properly broken in and able to handle anything you
care to play through them to your complete satisfaction. If not, you bought
the wrong speakers and had better go shopping again!

D.
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 6:42:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Dersu" dersu@paradise.net.nz wrote:

>"Wylie Williams" <wyliewill@charter.net> wrote in message
>news:cj277d078o@news3.newsguy.com...
>
>>I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of
>>break-in
>> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>>
>
>I am surprised that anyone who reads an audio.hign-end newsgroup doesn't
>know that all quality speakers MUST be carefully broken in by playing the
>Solti recording of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony (Decca 410 202-2) at
>maximum volume late at night whilst consuming a half bottle (or so) of a
>good vintage port or a slightly lesser quantity of a fine single malt
>scotch. For ultimate speaker performance and longevity real purists will
>likely wish to continue the break in with the Von Karajan, Verdi Requiem (DG
>415091-2), Giulini, Bruckner 8th (DG 415 124-2) and Mravinski, Tchaikovsky
>Symphony 4 (DG 419 745-2) on successive nights. At the end of this period
>your speakers will be properly broken in and able to handle anything you
>care to play through them to your complete satisfaction. If not, you bought
>the wrong speakers and had better go shopping again!
>
>D.

But how can I complete the 150 hours of burn-in playback during the 7 day
return period to assure that I haven't unfairly disadvantaged the speaker with
this procedure?
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:20:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
news:cjd7fg0v62@news3.newsguy.com...


snip..................

> But how can I complete the 150 hours of burn-in playback during the 7 day
> return period to assure that I haven't unfairly disadvantaged the speaker
with
> this procedure?

Business minded ones invented some sort of burn in CDs to shorten the time.
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:27:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Wylie Williams" <wyliewill@charter.net> wrote in message news:<cj277d078o@news3.newsguy.com>...
> I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of break-in
> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>
> This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to provide
> advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow those of us
> they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of our ways without
> comment.
>
> I am breaking in a pair of Gallo Reference III speakers in my garage on 24
> hour/day FM music, which I plan to stop at 120 hours. I do this on the
> advice of Gallo, and am told by Gallo that more power the better, as they
> personally believe in break-in, and several reports they have received say
> that for these speakers there is a definite break-in point that must be
> reached for best quality. They further recommend using high power for best
> results. My problem is that once I bring these into my living room I will
> not be able to give them high power very often, as I have a wife who will be
> disturbed by the noise. I wish to find the best way to continue the break-in
> these speakers a few hours at a time.
>
> While I have hard the general statement that break-in if desirable, I
> haven't seen anything specific onwhat to play and how loud. It would be
> easy to put a CD on repeat on occasion when we go out. I wonder if anyone
> has experience with the best signals to play through speakers for break in.
> Music? What sort? Test CDs? Which CDs? Which tracks?
>

This was recently addressed elsewhere. From my experience with very
many drivers through the years, and from talking to transducer
engineers at some of the main manufacturers, there seems to be little
mechanical break in these days with the typical modern cone drivers
with polymer suspensions. Specifically, Cms and Rms, and thus
indirectly Fs and Qt don't significantly change from 1st hit to after
rumbling around for many hours. Possibly, the hysteresis profile
loosens up with some, but if you allow the cone to move enough this is
also of no importance, Fs won't change. Some have previously referred
to Small's recommendation in his 1973 paper to have the cone barely
moving when measuring T/S but this doesn't apply today and I don't
feel it ever did. Drivers back then had pleated surrounds and were
stiff with small Xmax's so maybe this was precautionary advice. This
small part of the article was not science.

Some dome tweeters do change timbre after some running in, especially
coated fabric, but you can plainly hear them loosen up within a few
minutes. I assume we're discussing high end here, so there will always
be QA testing and very often 2x; before and after assembly. Assembly
line QA testing is also done after some run in and therefore drivers
themselves will not be virgins when you get 'em.

So what's with all those stories about how speakers change after
setup? How about atmospheric conditions changing with setup? Just got
your new speakers in February and you live in Minnesota, well yeah
they're going to "break in" or better said, warm up. Heck even
humidity can change a driver slightly if they were packaged in plastic
and then opened up in a damp environment. Many tweeters absorb some
ambiant humidity and get a bit heavier this way. Damping materials can
shift and slowly settle if oriented differently in the stock room. All
of this is potentially (but not likely) audible but doesn't come from
the drivers themselves, it comes environmental influences on the
drivers.

I'll leave break in of crossover components to those who know better
but that idea intuitively seems quite rediculous to me. As far as
break in program material goes, I'm with Dersu on this one, listen and
enjoy. Music in the emotional lines of celebration would probably work
best. If your new loudspeakers should require break-in, who cares,
they'll do it all by themselves so let them perform for you while
doing so.

If you should want to break an individual driver's cherry prior to the
design process to be sure, high pass filtered pink noise for tweeters
and for woofers / cone drivers +/- 1.5x Fs sinewave rumbling at 2/3
Xmax work well.
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 3:54:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 30 Sep 2004 00:20:46 GMT, "Chelvam" <chelvam@myjaring.net> wrote:

>"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:cjd7fg0v62@news3.newsguy.com...
>
>
>snip..................
>
>> But how can I complete the 150 hours of burn-in playback during the 7 day
>> return period to assure that I haven't unfairly disadvantaged the speaker with
>> this procedure?
>
>Business minded ones invented some sort of burn in CDs to shorten the time.

Ah, but were they approved by the speaker manufacturer? :-)

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:02:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:cji6b407u9@news3.newsguy.com...
.......

> >Business minded ones invented some sort of burn in CDs to shorten the
time.
>
> Ah, but were they approved by the speaker manufacturer? :-)

Smart businessman will only approach esteemed magz like TAS, Stereophile.

BTW, I believe I have read one speaker manufacturer did suggest burn in CD
to shorten the initial break in time. Let's see if I can find the speaker.
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 6:25:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 1 Oct 2004 23:02:08 GMT, "Chelvam" <chelvam@myjaring.net> wrote:

>"Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:cji6b407u9@news3.newsguy.com...
>......
>
>> >Business minded ones invented some sort of burn in CDs to shorten the
>time.
>>
>> Ah, but were they approved by the speaker manufacturer? :-)
>
>Smart businessman will only approach esteemed magz like TAS, Stereophile.
>
> BTW, I believe I have read one speaker manufacturer did suggest burn in CD
>to shorten the initial break in time. Let's see if I can find the speaker.

Please don't bother, that was supposed to be a *joke*. Break-in simply
does not exist.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
October 3, 2004 6:45:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Wessel Dirksen wrote:
>
> I'll leave break in of crossover components to those who know better
> but that idea intuitively seems quite rediculous to me. As far as
> break in program material goes, I'm with Dersu on this one, listen and
> enjoy. Music in the emotional lines of celebration would probably work
> best. If your new loudspeakers should require break-in, who cares,
> they'll do it all by themselves so let them perform for you while
> doing so.
>
> If you should want to break an individual driver's cherry prior to the
> design process to be sure, high pass filtered pink noise for tweeters
> and for woofers / cone drivers +/- 1.5x Fs sinewave rumbling at 2/3
> Xmax work well.

I did use very low frequency(10Hz) sine waves at almost max. excursion of
the woofer to test if my cabinets are really airtight.
The reason for the low frequency is that the excursion is really strong
without pumping too much power into the driver. Any faults, like a
scratching voicecoil, a weak surround that flips over inside or debris in
the airgap can be spotted immediately, so this test is really useful. I do
not call this burn-in.
The whole term is misleading, as it comes from semiconductor testing for
space/aviation applications. Those parts are stressed at max.
temperature/power ratings to insure the functionality and detect early
failures. Certain kind of failures appear in the first hours of use and you
really do not want them to show up after the mission has just started, so
JANTX-specs have procedures to detect these and every single part has to
undergo this burn-in. This wouldn't apply to loudspeakers at all, since we
are not on a critical mission.
Usually it is also not of disadvantage to do this, unless you damage the
speaker, either by exceeding the max. excursion or power, which is likely to
occurr if you are not absolutely sure about what you are doing. So my advise
would be: forget about this, if you already have to ask.

--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 3:45:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of
>break- in to sound their best, while others disagree.
>
>This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to
>provide advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow
>those of us they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of
>our ways without comment.

Dear Wylie, I have worked at 3 loudspeaker companies and/or divisions
and been one of the loudspeaker system development engineers for WED
Enterprises for EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland. In many
cases loudspeaker break-in is useful. In a few cases loudspeaker
performance is all downhill from the first moment it is used. Some of
the more esoteric designs like electrostatic, thin-film, Heil AMT
loudspeakers or metal diaphragm tweeters or compression drivers,
benefit only marginally from a very moderate break-in period and then
it's into equilibrium and finally downhill performance for them.
While the surround on a loudspeaker can benefit from a break-in
period if it is cloth or paper coated with aeroflex, rubber
surrounds, polypropelene and foam surrounds don't change much so a
very short break-in is all that is needed. But the fabric spiders on
most loudspeakers definitely benefit from a longer break-in period.
Phenolic resin cone/surround/spider systems also benefit from a
substantial break-in period. Bextrene cones can also benefit from a
short break-in period.

What most designers I know define as "benefit" equates to the
loudspeaker having a certain characteristic performance that is then
repeatable for a long period of time (usually measured in years).
That's why most designers I know don't want to show-off their latest
designs until they have beaten on that design for quite a while and
they are sure it will sound "the same" for a long period of time so
others can audition it. Untreated paper cones and cloth or fiber
spiders are the two most variable parts of a loudspeaker design.
Those two parts can change quite dramatically over a period of 3 days
to about 1 month with heavy use.

Most speaker designers I know also like a speaker to be "broken-in"
with the kind of program material that will most likely be played
through it. But short of a narrow niche market product, most prefer
pink noise or swept sine waves or mixed random clock frequencies
(best case) as the program material to be used for the break-in.
While some loudspeaker designers suggest loud volume break-ins, so
they can avoid worst case scenarios most designers think medium
levels (90-94 db @1m) do the best job of breaking in loudspeaker
spiders and untreated paper cones. Too much "break-in" using very
loud levels can put a loudspeaker on the road to extinction pretty
quickly. Moderate levels are less likely to ever do that. But it is
the lowest frequencies that a driver will produce that break it in
the fastest. All the test signal sources I mentioned about cover
those ranges very well.

Using musical program for break-in can take a period in excess of a
month if the program is not wideband or loud enough. On the Cerwin
Vega assembly line woofers were routinely run for 20 minutes at 20
hertz with 20 watts of continuous energy in order to "help" them
reach equilibrium. At ESS and Marantz there was no break in done at
the factory. At Desktop and Disney systems were often run after
complete assembly with 20 watts of pink noise for 20 minutes before
the public ever heard them because they set-up protocols dictated
that. So this means that sometimes people who make decisions about a
new speaker may not have heard that item at its best yet. Sometimes
it's better to audition a 2 year old pair of somethings from the
dealers' showroom rather than a new pair of somethings out of the box
when doing an in-home test. Do-it-yourselfers should always
precondition component speakers before trying to build a system of
their own. And that's also why some of the results from the "ESS Wins
on Campus" tests varied slightly as the speakers became more
broken-in and consistent in their performance at each new college.
And finally, when a speaker is repaired under warranty by the
replacement of one single speaker component (out of perhaps 6 or 8),
the "new" speaker may sound very strange indeed until it too has been
able to break-in.

A few speaker companies may "burn-in" their finished speaker systems
the way amplifier companies routinely do, but not too many just due
to the space constraints. Cerwin Vega and Disney had airplane hangar
sized facilities to use and so a little burn-in space could always be
found. Desktop had a tiny speaker and so a burn-in room didn't take
much space, but companies like B&W or JBL would need a very
significant amount of space to use for just burning in speakers if
they chose to do that. It might be a good idea because when a dealer
takes a new speaker out of the box to demo to a customer, they may or
may not make a sale based on sound that might change in the next
month. Broken-in speakers would be better to sell assuming they
sounded good. Failures in the field would go down too because early
speaker failures would be caught during break-in. But it would make
broken-in speakers much more expensive and that might reduce their
competitiveness so it's a trade off. UNLESS, all buyers have long
auditions periods they use to determine which speaker to buy, and
then all speaker buyers are willing to break a speaker system "in"
for the required time. Life's a series of trade-offs and this is just
an good example of how it works. TTG

we don't get enough sand in our glass
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 7:31:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Wylie Williams wrote:

> I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of break-in
> to sound their best, while others disagree.
>
> This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to provide
> advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow those of us
> they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of our ways without
> comment.

Many pro-audio loudspeaker maufacturers *state* that the Thiele Small parameters
they quote are measured after a pre-conditioning period.

E.g.

http://www.precisiondevices.co.uk/asps/uploads/super/10...

read note 3 at the bottom of the data sheet.


Graham
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 3:27:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"watch king" watchking99@lycos.com wrote:

>>I know that many audiophiles believe that speakers need a period of
>>break- in to sound their best, while others disagree.
>>
>>This post is a request for those who believe in speaker break-in to
>>provide advice, and it is also request that those who disagree allow
>>those of us they believe to be mistaken to continue in the error of
>>our ways without comment.

Why should that be a condition? Believers of any sort of audio mythology would
aslo like to be given all sort of psychological room but many of them have no
reservation about complaining about actual experiments about cables,
amplifiers, bits OR break-in which challenge previously held beliefs.

>
>Dear Wylie, I have worked at 3 loudspeaker companies and/or divisions
>and been one of the loudspeaker system development engineers for WED
>Enterprises for EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland.

What is your time profile?

In many
>cases loudspeaker break-in is useful. In a few cases loudspeaker
>performance is all downhill from the first moment it is used. Some of
>the more esoteric designs like electrostatic, thin-film, Heil AMT
>loudspeakers or metal diaphragm tweeters or compression drivers,
>benefit only marginally from a very moderate break-in period and then
>it's into equilibrium and finally downhill performance for them.

>While the surround on a loudspeaker can benefit from a break-in
>period if it is cloth or paper coated with aeroflex, rubber
>surrounds, polypropelene and foam surrounds don't change much so a
>very short break-in is all that is needed.

I've annually test dozens of consumer loudspeakers every year for the past
decade and I ca'nt remember the last time I saw a cloth or paper surround on a
consumer level loudspeaker.

But the fabric spiders on
>most loudspeakers definitely benefit from a longer break-in period.
>Phenolic resin cone/surround/spider systems also benefit from a
>substantial break-in period.

I know a driver designer who told me that spiders (basically, in his terms, a
blend of cloth and goop) do have a break-in period that extends as long as the
QC at the end of the production line for either driver or finished speaker. In
the few cases where QC is not conducted in either case then it appears to last
for the amount of time the speaker needs to be played loudly for the first
time.


Bextrene cones can also benefit from a
>short break-in period.

When was the last time you saw a bextrene cone? .

>
>What most designers I know define as "benefit" equates to the
>loudspeaker having a certain characteristic performance that is then
>repeatable for a long period of time (usually measured in years).
>That's why most designers I know don't want to show-off their latest
>designs until they have beaten on that design for quite a while and
>they are sure it will sound "the same" for a long period of time so
>others can audition it.

Well beating-on a design doesn't seem relevant to break-in as far as I can see.
If beating-on a speaker to assure its functioning properly was an issue why
doesn't EVERY manufacturer worth his salt break-in EVERY product before it
leaves the factory?

So you might argue that they ALL break-in exactly the SAME way? Why should that
be so ..... doesn't everything that isn't a fixed quantity have a bell-shaped
performance curve? Why would anyone EXPECT that every product would "break-in"
in exactly the same fashion?

Why would a high-end company let any product out of the factory BEFORE assuring
final performance IF break-in was a real phenomenon?

Untreated paper cones and cloth or fiber
>spiders are the two most variable parts of a loudspeaker design.

Untreated paper cones are an antiquity. Cloth or other fiber spiders are a
certainty. So? According to the driver designers I've asked spiders break-in
immediately.

>Those two parts can change quite dramatically over a period of 3 days
>to about 1 month with heavy use.

And your experimental results can be found where? I've personally conducted 3
experiments on woofer break-in and found that 1) a reduction in Fs of 3-10% can
be measured immediately following a long break-in period (when the voice coil
is still hot) which is matched by an increase in compliance; 2) the 'fresh' and
broken-in T/S values yeild exactly the same optimal enclosure volumes; 3) the
"broken-in" values return to their 'fresh' values after a few hours of rest and
4) sound quality is the same for either a freah or broken-in driver installed
in identical enclosures.

>Most speaker designers I know also like a speaker to be "broken-in"
>with the kind of program material that will most likely be played
>through it. But short of a narrow niche market product, most prefer
>pink noise or swept sine waves or mixed random clock frequencies
>(best case) as the program material to be used for the break-in.

References please. I know several finished system designers (Paul Barton of PSB
is the most well known; Bill Dudleston of Legacy is anoher of the more well
known) and more that a couple driver designers and not one suggests that
break-in is a real factor in speaker sound.


>While some loudspeaker designers suggest loud volume break-ins, so
>they can avoid worst case scenarios most designers think medium
>levels (90-94 db @1m) do the best job of breaking in loudspeaker
>spiders and untreated paper cones.

When was the last time you've encountered an "untreated" paper cone?

Too much "break-in" using very
>loud levels can put a loudspeaker on the road to extinction pretty
>quickly.

Sure;I'd agree with that. One of the most dangerous recommended techniques is
placing a pair of reverse-polarity speakers face to face and putting signal
into them to 'break them in' to avoid the 'sound' of break-in. With noise
signals this may well be the best method of inducing early speaker failure of
any of the current techniques.

Moderate levels are less likely to ever do that. But it is
>the lowest frequencies that a driver will produce that break it in
>the fastest. All the test signal sources I mentioned about cover
>those ranges very well.

Hmmm; my experiments used a sine wave near the woofer Fs that induced near
maximal stroke (in free air.)

>Using musical program for break-in can take a period in excess of a
>month if the program is not wideband or loud enough.

Holy cow; so I can't use music for break-in. Can you translate exactly how I
might break-in a speaker where the manufacturer specified 100 hours of break-in
with music using a different source?


On the Cerwin
>Vega assembly line woofers were routinely run for 20 minutes at 20
>hertz with 20 watts of continuous energy in order to "help" them
>reach equilibrium.

In what year? 20 minutes/20 Hz/20 watts doesn't seem close to 100 hours
specified by Thiel for the CS1.6 I tested. Also 20 watts (seems minimal.) So
what was the break-in period for finished speakers? Or didn't the tweeters
'need' break-in?

At ESS and Marantz there was no break in done at
>the factory.

Which is exactly what I've seen at the loudpeaker companies I've visited and
the engineers I've asked about the topic with.


At Desktop and Disney systems were often run after
>complete assembly with 20 watts of pink noise for 20 minutes before
>the public ever heard them because they set-up protocols dictated
>that.

Meaning you were testing for crib-death? How was the 20-minutes determined? Are
you suggesting that 20-minutes is a suitable break-in period? How was 20-watts
determined? Pretty hard to break-in tweeter with 20-minutes of full band pink
noise without toasting most of them isn't it?

So this means that sometimes people who make decisions about a
>new speaker may not have heard that item at its best yet.

20-minutes out-of-the-box should get you in business shouldn't it; even in
extreme cases.?

Sometimes
>it's better to audition a 2 year old pair of somethings from the
>dealers' showroom rather than a new pair of somethings out of the box
>when doing an in-home test.

As far as it goes you seem to be extrapolating a recommended 20-minutes to
2-years with no corresponding data.

Do-it-yourselfers should always
>precondition component speakers before trying to build a system of
>their own.

So exactly how doesa DIY speaker builder manage to "pre-condition" speakers?
Under what conditions?


And that's also why some of the results from the "ESS Wins
>on Campus" tests varied slightly as the speakers became more
>broken-in and consistent in their performance at each new college.

Would you like to share some data with us that supports that conclusion?
Includng the chronology?


>And finally, when a speaker is repaired under warranty by the
>replacement of one single speaker component (out of perhaps 6 or 8),
>the "new" speaker may sound very strange indeed until it too has been
>able to break-in.

Do you mean that in the 70s manufacturers had less ability to make the same
speaker 2 times in a row? And that listener aclimitization may take time as
well ..... especially if the speaker that was replaced may have been "wearing
out."

>
>A few speaker companies may "burn-in" their finished speaker systems
>the way amplifier companies routinely do, but not too many just due
>to the space constraints.

I don't know of a single speaker manufacturer that breaks-in speakers? And I'm
not aware of any consumer amplifier manufacturers who 'routinely' break-in
products before shipment. Perhaos you can update us on this.

Cerwin Vega and Disney had airplane hangar
>sized facilities to use and so a little burn-in space could always be
>found.

And 20-minutes/20 watts/pink noise was the break-in period? Doesn't resemble
the 150 hours recomended by at least one well-known manufacturer.

Desktop had a tiny speaker and so a burn-in room didn't take
>much space, but companies like B&W or JBL would need a very
>significant amount of space to use for just burning in speakers if
>they chose to do that. It might be a good idea because when a dealer
>takes a new speaker out of the box to demo to a customer, they may or
>may not make a sale based on sound that might change in the next
>month. Broken-in speakers would be better to sell assuming they
>sounded good. Failures in the field would go down too because early
>speaker failures would be caught during break-in.


Crib death should be part of QC don't you think?

But it would make
>broken-in speakers much more expensive and that might reduce their
>competitiveness so it's a trade off. UNLESS, all buyers have long
>auditions periods they use to determine which speaker to buy, and
>then all speaker buyers are willing to break a speaker system "in"
>for the required time. Life's a series of trade-offs and this is just
>an good example of how it works. TTG
>
>we don't get enough sand in our glass

I'm of the opinion that the speaker break-in proponents are missing a a key
point here. If it were true that speaker (and any other component) BREAK-IN is
a legitimate concept someone should have produced a replicable experiment
showing that this IS the case.

So far the ONLY experimental evidence shows that break-in is an urban legend.
IMO it's the same thing as the BigFoot phenomenon ..... its easy to believe but
its much harder to produce evidence.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 3:31:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"watch king" <watchking99@lycos.com> wrote in message news:<ckkenf03007@news2.newsguy.com>...

> Dear Wylie, I have worked at 3 loudspeaker companies and/or divisions
> and been one of the loudspeaker system development engineers for WED
> Enterprises for EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland. In many
> cases loudspeaker break-in is useful. In a few cases loudspeaker
> performance is all downhill from the first moment it is used. Some of
> the more esoteric designs like electrostatic, thin-film, Heil AMT
> loudspeakers or metal diaphragm tweeters or compression drivers,
> benefit only marginally from a very moderate break-in period and then
> it's into equilibrium and finally downhill performance for them.
> While the surround on a loudspeaker can benefit from a break-in
> period if it is cloth or paper coated with aeroflex, rubber
> surrounds, polypropelene and foam surrounds don't change much so a
> very short break-in is all that is needed. But the fabric spiders on
> most loudspeakers definitely benefit from a longer break-in period.
> Phenolic resin cone/surround/spider systems also benefit from a
> substantial break-in period. Bextrene cones can also benefit from a
> short break-in period.
>
> What most designers I know define as "benefit" equates to the
> loudspeaker having a certain characteristic performance that is then
> repeatable for a long period of time (usually measured in years).
> That's why most designers I know don't want to show-off their latest
> designs until they have beaten on that design for quite a while and
> they are sure it will sound "the same" for a long period of time so
> others can audition it. Untreated paper cones and cloth or fiber
> spiders are the two most variable parts of a loudspeaker design.
> Those two parts can change quite dramatically over a period of 3 days
> to about 1 month with heavy use.

I presume you're making assertions about changes in measured
characteristics of speakers over time. What measurements do change
during break-in, and how much?
>
> Most speaker designers I know also like a speaker to be "broken-in"
> with the kind of program material that will most likely be played
> through it. But short of a narrow niche market product, most prefer
> pink noise or swept sine waves or mixed random clock frequencies
> (best case) as the program material to be used for the break-in.
> While some loudspeaker designers suggest loud volume break-ins, so
> they can avoid worst case scenarios most designers think medium
> levels (90-94 db @1m) do the best job of breaking in loudspeaker
> spiders and untreated paper cones. Too much "break-in" using very
> loud levels can put a loudspeaker on the road to extinction pretty
> quickly. Moderate levels are less likely to ever do that. But it is
> the lowest frequencies that a driver will produce that break it in
> the fastest. All the test signal sources I mentioned about cover
> those ranges very well.

Are there really clear differences in measurements of speakers,
depending on the signal played through them during their initial use?
>
> Using musical program for break-in can take a period in excess of a
> month if the program is not wideband or loud enough. On the Cerwin
> Vega assembly line woofers were routinely run for 20 minutes at 20
> hertz with 20 watts of continuous energy in order to "help" them
> reach equilibrium. At ESS and Marantz there was no break in done at
> the factory. At Desktop and Disney systems were often run after
> complete assembly with 20 watts of pink noise for 20 minutes before
> the public ever heard them because they set-up protocols dictated
> that. So this means that sometimes people who make decisions about a
> new speaker may not have heard that item at its best yet. Sometimes
> it's better to audition a 2 year old pair of somethings from the
> dealers' showroom rather than a new pair of somethings out of the box
> when doing an in-home test. Do-it-yourselfers should always
> precondition component speakers before trying to build a system of
> their own. And that's also why some of the results from the "ESS Wins
> on Campus" tests varied slightly as the speakers became more
> broken-in and consistent in their performance at each new college.
> And finally, when a speaker is repaired under warranty by the
> replacement of one single speaker component (out of perhaps 6 or 8),
> the "new" speaker may sound very strange indeed until it too has been
> able to break-in.
>
> A few speaker companies may "burn-in" their finished speaker systems
> the way amplifier companies routinely do,

They do? Then why do they tell consumers that we have to burn in their
products?

> but not too many just due
> to the space constraints. Cerwin Vega and Disney had airplane hangar
> sized facilities to use and so a little burn-in space could always be
> found. Desktop had a tiny speaker and so a burn-in room didn't take
> much space, but companies like B&W or JBL would need a very
> significant amount of space to use for just burning in speakers if
> they chose to do that. It might be a good idea because when a dealer
> takes a new speaker out of the box to demo to a customer, they may or
> may not make a sale based on sound that might change in the next
> month. Broken-in speakers would be better to sell assuming they
> sounded good. Failures in the field would go down too because early
> speaker failures would be caught during break-in. But it would make
> broken-in speakers much more expensive and that might reduce their
> competitiveness so it's a trade off. UNLESS, all buyers have long
> auditions periods they use to determine which speaker to buy, and
> then all speaker buyers are willing to break a speaker system "in"
> for the required time. Life's a series of trade-offs and this is just
> an good example of how it works. TTG

Speakers are mechanical, so break-in is at least plausible. But I've
yet to see any real evidence that any physical changes that occur with
initial use (as opposed to long-term decay) are sufficient to cause
audible differences. Given your assertions above, I'd expect you to
have such evidence. Do you?

bob
!