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How to" break-in" new speakers?

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers

ame

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Dear All

Just got Diamond 9.2 speakers for Onkyo 606 and started playing audio CDS.

Can someone guide me on how to "BREAK-IN" new speakers and for how long ?

Thanks in advance.

ame
 

venkatcr

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Well, breaking-in speakers is a controversial topic. Some believe in it, and some such as Paul Barton of PSB do not. In any case breaking-in involves running the speakers for a extended period of time. The time involved could be anywhere from 25 hours to 200 odd hours. It might make sense every 25 odd hours to 'test' the speakers and see if you like the sound. When you start liking the sound (of the same song), you can end the breaking-in.

One way to accelerate the process is to wire them up out of phase so that one speaker's connections are the wrong way around (wrong polarity). Place the speakers close to each other and facing each other. Insert a CD that has a large soundstage (such as Orchestral music) and see if you can loop the CD to play continuously. Keep the volume low, and leave it like that preferably through the night or during the weekend. The speakers will not sound too high as they are cancelling each other. At the same time, the speakers will be stressed. To audition you have set the cable connection back to proper polarity.

Repeat this process of breaking-in and auditioning till you like the sound that is coming from the speakers. In many cases, the speakers manual would specify the break-in period needed.

Cheers.
 

marsilians

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Its bit science and bit black magic and the border between the two is not known. Science because the drivers have to stretch and contract appropriately as they are glued in with certain tension when built. Black magic because you don't know how long this process has to go for. Also it is mental because your brain is processing new sound signature for the first time and has to be cajoled to a believe and like it.

I usually run a bunch of music genres at normal listening volumes (typically moderate to low) of 3 or 4 CDs and you will achieve the same effect as the pink noise sweep. Run this overnight for a few nights or best when the whole family goes out for dinner/shopping or weekend get aways, put the components to use.

I believe in it but to an extent ~50 hrs is my limit and its totally rule of thumb.

Genres are : pop, R&B, Jazz, western classical, hindi (really good for centers)
 

odyssey

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One way to accelerate the process is to wire them up out of phase so that one speaker's connections are the wrong way around (wrong polarity). Place the speakers close to each other and facing each other. Insert a CD that has a large soundstage (such as Orchestral music) and see if you can loop the CD to play continuously. Keep the volume low, and leave it like that preferably through the night or during the weekend. The speakers will not sound too high as they are cancelling each other. At the same time, the speakers will be stressed. To audition you have set the cable connection back to proper polarity.

Cheers.

You can follow this and you can try placing a heavy blanket around both speakers such that the volume is further reduced, and you are able to turn up the speakers a bit. You need to break-in at a reasonable volume, not low. In addition, depending on the speaker you may need a 100 hours or beyond for them to reach their 90% break-in.

cheers
 

reignofchaos

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This is a topic that causes huge debates around the world. My personal experience - Break in is very very real. Most bass drivers seem to take around 10-20 hours to break in and changes after that are quite minimal. Tweeters seem unrefined at the outset and seem to improve in refinement with time and this period is typically longer to the tune of a hundred hours. However this is not as easily perceivable as the change in mid-bass.
 

Asit

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Sure, the break-in period is really there, no doubt about it with my speakers (although quite old now, but I do remember quite vividly) and with all other speakers I have seen from out-of-the-box condition at places of friends and family.

However, from posts above (especially venkat's and odyssey's) it seems you got to do it in some specific ways. May be you do. I know some special CDs are available for breaking in CD players (and perhaps also amps) with continuous playing.

What I have always done with whatever I have bought (including any cables), I just use the equipments as usual, be that couple of hours of running every day or whatever at the normal volumes. Obviously the performance is not always great before the break-in. But I wait and things settle eventually. Is there anything wrong doing it this way? I guess not, but one may have to wait longer with certain equipments than the speacialised methods suggested above.

At the same time, I also understand that break-in of electronics and the speakers may be fundamentally very different events. But as I have observed they break in with normal usage over 50 to 200 hours, depending on the equipment. (Elsewhere I have mentioned I have really observed a break-in even for my LCD flat panel TV, the black levels and contrast just improved gradually over a period of a couple of months of normal watching to a significantly better condition than initially).

We all know all cars do break in, although the break-in is mostly mechanical in this case. But one has to maintain certain cautions at this period. Likewise, I thought for speakers to break in, there would be some mechanical elements involved (like vibration of some membrane, although no or negligible friction involved unlike in cars). Just becauise some mechanical parts are involved, I would have thought there should be some caution to be observed like no super-high volumes etc, no extreme high freq for sustained periods etc. But Odyssey above seems to have suggested a high volume. This confuses me a little.

Note added later: The set of my speakers I mentioned above were bought as demo items. However, the sales person told me that they were sparingly used. If I remember correctly, he mentioned something like 30 hours. Now I know all his estimates were on the coservative side. May be actually it had only 20 hours. What I remember is that things (especially the highs) improved significantly gradually over a period of 70-80 hours of my listening to them.
 
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arnprasad

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Found this post while googling for breaking my speakers. Couple of dumb questions:

(a) what will happen if we dont 'break in" into speakers ? apart from maybe not getting optimal sound..no other loss?

(b) I have seen few posts where people have mentioned that playing it 2 hours a day for few days does the trick. Hence if i use the speakers in normal use ..after a month its broken into?
 

Ambio

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Found this post while googling for breaking my speakers. Couple of dumb questions:

(a) what will happen if we dont 'break in" into speakers ? apart from maybe not getting optimal sound..no other loss?

(b) I have seen few posts where people have mentioned that playing it 2 hours a day for few days does the trick. Hence if i use the speakers in normal use ..after a month its broken into?

(a) Nothing much. Just like a car. It performance better after crossing certain number of hours of use. You can expedite it by using burn-in tones or just play normally and don't bother about it. I have never bothered about break-in. If sounds horrible out of the box, then the speakers are not for me.


(b) Depends on the speakers. I have seen one manufacturer recommending 600 hours. Harbeth says 24 hours, Klipsh 40 hours.

Hope that helps.
 

sunder

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(a) Nothing much. Just like a car. It performance better after crossing certain number of hours of use. You can expedite it by using burn-in tones or just play normally and don't bother about it. I have never bothered about break-in. If sounds horrible out of the box, then the speakers are not for me.


(b) Depends on the speakers. I have seen one manufacturer recommending 600 hours. Harbeth says 24 hours, Klipsh 40 hours.

Hope that helps.

Spendor says that no need any break in for their speakers!
 

Ambio

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Spendor says that no need any break in for their speakers!

According to their website..

Do my speakers need "running-in" ?

Your loudspeakrs will benefit from a period of running-in. During this period the stresses in the suspension system will relax and stabilise. This period is dependent on many factors and can vary from days to weeks depending onhow often and how loud you play them. This is not a cause for concern and your speakers will improve as you use them during this initial period.
 

Ambio

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Cant really answer you that as I do not believe that break-in would change the characteristic of the speakers that much. Maybe, another 3dB at the bottom octave. The mechanical part of a speakers is the surround and the coil. I don't think the coil require break-in (IMHO). Since the surround is made of rubber they may get hardened when in disuse. So break-in is generally to make the rubbers flexible enough to move.

The exact period may vary. If you live in a very cold place then you may need a longer break-in. Take the example of Harbeth, the bass will sound loose when the temperature is in the 30 Celsius and above. They probably sound the best at 25 Celsius. The difference in sound is due to the elasticity of the surround.

Speaking from experience with 8 different speakers, I don't really know when the speakers really reached its optimum sound. I didn't notice the drastic difference. Unless you are expecting a miracle sound after break-in then I would not really worry about it. Break-in will not significantly alter the sound. What happens is you get accustomed to the new sound after several hours of listening.

Why not contact Polk for their suggestion?
 
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jagdish_p

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so if we just use the speakers for cable tv/music from HPTC....so after 2-3 months they are broken in?

Yes that's the best method - just ensure that you do not play at loud volumes.


About 100 hours of usage will suffice and after that you can increase the volume levels
 

omishra

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I played FM radio for 3 months and felt sound changed to excellent. Anybody from my family could switch on radio and speakers were singing for at least 6 hrs a day with low volumes. Recently after using it for 2 years, for <3 sec I hooked same speakers for full volume (accidentally). Now I feel bass is definitely detailed and relaxed.
 

sunilkm

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Recently bought the wharfedale 220. I could not find any "break-in" hrs mentioned in the user manual came with the speakers or did I miss it somehow?

I have gone through couple of threads here on "break-in". Would like to know any other precaution I should take during the break-in period.

As mentioned in this thread is it just fine to listen to music for few hrs a day at normal volume to break-in.?

Is there any restriction on playing movies during this period as it may have sudden highs and no dynamic range as of music?

Please advice.
 

bigron

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Just hook your speakers and play along. They will "break-in" with passage of time.
If you think break in is something that works then let them play at a reduced volume continuously for a few days before critical listening.
 

alpha1

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It is funny considering the points:
a) that it is so easy to break-in the speakers by playing noise/tones/music for a certain period
b) that speaker manufacturers and listeners claim that it does improve the sound reproduction

yet, no manufacturer sells an already broken-in speakers!
 
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