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View Full Version : Breaking in a Guitar Speaker Question


wishkahdaddy
07-11-2010, 10:43 AM
I'm wanting to run continous music through my guitar cab to break a couple of new speakers in (EV12L, and a Sugarcone). How loud does the music have to be to properly break in a speaker? Any rules of thumb for doing this? Thanks

Jef Bardsley
07-11-2010, 12:56 PM
What we need here is a "can o' worms" smiley. :D

Assuming you've read all the threads on this subject and just become confused, I'll offer this:

When a speaker is built, the surround and spider are coated with a material that makes them stiffer. When this dries, it's a bit too stiff. As a speaker is played, it loosens up and the speaker will have more bass and smoother highs. So....

If you use low levels of music to break your speaker in, then it will be broken in for low levels of playing, as at low levels it doesn't move very far. It might still sound harsh when played at higher levels when the speaker moves more. The saving grace is 'music' usually includes a bass guitar, and those bass notes will move the speaker 4 times farther than the same note an octave up on a guitar. So, basically, if you play bass heavy music at 1/4 of your gigging volume, you should be good to go.

The "For how long?" is a tougher question as speakers vary in the doping and the amount used. I suppose the empirical answer is, "Keep doing it until you no longer hear an improvement."

FFTT
07-11-2010, 01:03 PM
I tend to think of speakers like the sound board of a guitar.

The more sound you push through them at all frequency ranges and volumes,
the more seasoned the tone.

That EVM12L can take a lot of punishment and they do take a while to break in.

On average 50 hours at full band volume is what I've found works best.

SatelliteAmps
07-11-2010, 01:07 PM
I use an ipod through a guitar amp that is playing guitar instrumental mp3's. I like to let it run 6-12 hours straight at decent volume.

wishkahdaddy
07-11-2010, 06:01 PM
I guess I need to read old threads...Anyhow, thanks for the info. I actually have received great advice to crank some old Van Halen through the speakers and all will be grand...
Thanks again!
What we need here is a "can o' worms" smiley. :D

Assuming you've read all the threads on this subject and just become confused, I'll offer this:

When a speaker is built, the surround and spider are coated with a material that makes them stiffer. When this dries, it's a bit too stiff. As a speaker is played, it loosens up and the speaker will have more bass and smoother highs. So....

If you use low levels of music to break your speaker in, then it will be broken in for low levels of playing, as at low levels it doesn't move very far. It might still sound harsh when played at higher levels when the speaker moves more. The saving grace is 'music' usually includes a bass guitar, and those bass notes will move the speaker 4 times farther than the same note an octave up on a guitar. So, basically, if you play bass heavy music at 1/4 of your gigging volume, you should be good to go.

The "For how long?" is a tougher question as speakers vary in the doping and the amount used. I suppose the empirical answer is, "Keep doing it until you no longer hear an improvement."

VaughnC
07-11-2010, 06:43 PM
Buy a variac, just use enough voltage to get the cone moving pretty good, and leave it hooked up in the garage for a week or so.

realityczech
07-11-2010, 06:50 PM
I seem to remember a round table discussion on this topic back in the 60's and 70's...
Hendrix, Clapton, Blackmore and Beck all agreed about hooking up their speakers to a turntable for a few weeks and play some poker until they were "broken in".

Then Pete Townsend walked into the room...

Cheers!

Lucidology
07-11-2010, 06:52 PM
Play a bass through it ...





(jus kiddin)

Tone Meister
07-11-2010, 07:19 PM
I use an ipod through a guitar amp that is playing guitar instrumental mp3's. I like to let it run 6-12 hours straight at decent volume.

Yep, or a signal generator if you have access to one.

FFTT
07-11-2010, 07:40 PM
A Hollow body comes in handy for really helping to wake up the top end.