How would you describe the sound of a speaker that needs to be broken in?

goodsal

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,055
I have a Clark Beaufort with a brand new Weber 12A125 that I asked Weber to break in for me before sending. It sounds great clean, but when pushed to light breakup it doesn't sound nearly as good as using my Fulltone OCD on top of a clean tone. I wonder if the speaker still needs more breaking in. Problem is I only play at home at low volumes and can't crank it for 10 hours.

I tried playing the amp through the speaker in my original '64 Blackface Princeton Reverb which has an original Jensen 10" ceramic speaker, and it sounded much better.

How can I tell if the Weber just needs more breaking in or if it's something else? I'm thinking of buying a vintage Jensen speaker for the amp, but don't want to waste my money.
 

NICE47

Member
Messages
19
just keep playing. Does it sound kinda stiff or boxy? Give it a lil while before you make any decisions
 

JLee

Senior Member
Messages
2,895
Give it some more playing time. I just got a Weber Alnico Bluedog that sounded a bit fizzy in the top end under a decent amount of amp overdrive/distortion. It's warmed up considerably from just a few hours of playing at moderate levels.
 

Random Hero

Member
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3,509
I've always wondered about breaking speakers in; do they need to be broken in with volume, or do they break in from just being played over time?

Surely at serious volume, they'll break in "better"?
 

phoenix 7

Member
Messages
25,732
The Celestion Gold in my Clark Beaufort sounded like cardboard -- very stiff and middy, dull, not much in the way of highs. Generally pretty bad! That was 3 months ago. Now it sounds incredibly good.

Play it as much as you can, as loud as you can. You'll hear it start to open it up pretty quickly in the first 40 hours or so.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,207
Stiff, boxy, flat, muffled. Stuff like that. It's always the same disheartening kind of thing. Given the quality of the speaker and the amp, have faith a while longer. I haven't always been able to play at high volumes. But I do try to vary the input -- throw in lots of chords, some hard strumming, not just lead lines -- to break in speakers. One day you'll realize it sounds rather different, and that will be that.
 

Steve Dallas

Member
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8,344
It varies from speaker to speaker. The consensus is around stiffness for most or all speakers. Beyond that, some sound muffled and later open up. Others sound razor bright and mellow out over time.
 

goodsal

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,055
I stuck the amp in a box and surrounded it with a comforter and pillows, hooked the speaker up to another amp and cranked my iPod through it for about 7 hours. When I was done it was a different amp. I was close to selling it and now I can't stop playing it. Weber claims to have broken it in for me, but it clearly needed some more pounding.
 

cram

Member
Messages
14,237
y'know..? I'd like to see someone test this out. I mean something like taking a recording of a certain bit of playing at the time of the speaker being brand new and then put it through stress for a duration of weeks. At certain points during this process (with the mics in the same spot and the room isolated from any environmental changes) take the same recording.

I believe I recognize the characteristics of my old speakers compared with my new speakers of the same model, but I've not seen a study like this that quanitfies the changes.

Has anyone ever seen something like this?
 

cram

Member
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14,237
Look at that...

I can kill a thread quicker than most can make wise assed remarks.

The secret skill and technique to killing a thread is to ask about something past common experience on an internet forum.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
38,171
Look at that...

I can kill a thread quicker than most can make wise assed remarks.

The secret skill and technique to killing a thread is to ask about something past common experience on an internet forum.


+1!
 

bosstone

Member
Messages
3,399
Take an existing, broken in speaker at lower volume and very gently press you fingers evenly around the center to outer edge of the speaker. That will give you a little indication. You know how you can sing the same note with your mouth only partially open and then open your mouth wide and how it sounds fuller and more resonant? That is like the difference between new and broken speakers. When you first start singing but at least hitting the notes and then after a half hour of singing...
 

The Smith

Member
Messages
1,632
I call that sound pinched. While you're at work, blast solo cello music through it for a day. The next day, Play Massive Attack's "Angel" through it over and over. Now yer ready to go!
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,558
y'know..? I'd like to see someone test this out. I mean something like taking a recording of a certain bit of playing at the time of the speaker being brand new and then put it through stress for a duration of weeks. At certain points during this process (with the mics in the same spot and the room isolated from any environmental changes) take the same recording.

I believe I recognize the characteristics of my old speakers compared with my new speakers of the same model, but I've not seen a study like this that quanitfies the changes.

Has anyone ever seen something like this?

An excellent question, but hard to put to the test. It's hard to "take the same recording" as any engineer or producer could tell us. But I'd like to see someone have a go at it.

My take on it is that you can hear that a speaker is not broken in, but it's more of a thing you feel under your fingers as you play. As the cone relaxes, for a lack of a better term, you gain more control under your fingers as to how the cone travels. The response, as far as the movement of the cone, widens. Your attack of the guitar strings more directly relates to the movement of the cone and everything feels more alive. I'm using some odd terms, maybe, but it's the best I can do!
 

zoooombiex

Member
Messages
2,562
It varies from speaker to speaker. The consensus is around stiffness for most or all speakers. Beyond that, some sound muffled and later open up. Others sound razor bright and mellow out over time.

+1 most of my experiences have been that new speakers are very tight and stiff, and the low end is very dry and weak, and the high end is narrow and brittle. over time, the low end opens up and the high end softens.

But a couple (anything with a hemp cone) is the opposite - muffled high end and boomy in the bass, until you pound on it quite a bit and then the bass gets more punchy and the high end opens up.

As for breaking it in, as someone else suggested, you can wrap the cab in blankets and whatnot to cut down the volume while you break it in. I use a CD player into a little crate powerblock for that.
 




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