Let's talk Speaker break in....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by swiveltung, May 8, 2015.

  1. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    you get a new speaker and it seems to take forever before you really know....
    Someone on another thread commented about how break in reached a threshold .....where it occurs suddenly rather than gradually .
    I discounted that as BS until recently ....and it happened to me.

    Was playing new speakers for weeks and liking them a lot right out of the box. Suddenly, at a gig, in the middle of a song .....Boom!.... the low end just got huge and the leads go into compression. Been that way ever since. Totally weird... Not sure I like it better in this particular case. But that's another story.
    Now I'm really frustrated because I'm not sure I can rely on all the speaker impressions I've got from speakers I've tried in the last 10 years! But I definitely understand this Break In comment now.

    Another time, I put a Greenback in my BFDR. Man I absolutely loved that speaker for maybe 6-9 months. After that it just seemed to be getting too ratty for that amp that already has some breakup. Eventually I took it out. reflecting back, the speaker probably got broken in and I didn't like the broken in sound as well as the original cleaner sound.

    Some speakers sound great right out of the box. Some never seem to be for me. Has this "sudden break in threshold" occurred to you before?
     
  2. Jordan63

    Jordan63 Supporting Member

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    oh yeah. I have a eminence governor that had real flubby low end and sharper highs, then all of a sudden it sounded great. It was not gradual at all.
     
  3. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    Break-in can be so dramatic on so many speakers that I don't even mount them in a cab until I run them at 1/3 power on a variac for at least 24 hours. That gets me speaks that are well over the hump and probably 97-98% completely broken in. I haven't noticed any changes in tone over time after the variac break-in.
     
  4. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    Actually, breaking in the 2nd pair of a set of four Greenbacks as we speak.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. GT100

    GT100 Member

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    Your neighbours must love you!

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  6. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    Raw unmounted speaker fed 60(or 50)Hz self cancel most of it (that's why speakers are mounted in baffles to begin with) so not much acoustic power is radiated.
    To boot human ear is less sensitive to real low frequencies.

    Only problem would be if they were sitting straight on a wooden floor, somebody living below you woud get crazy, but separated as shown, and on a mat (I use folded towels ), no big deal.

    If any, they might be a problem at, say, 3 a.m. , but during a normal day, hardly so.
     
  7. tuj

    tuj Member

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    seriously, how do you break in a pair of speakers, other than just hooking them up to a source and playing it back at near max continuous wattage? is there a faster way or a quieter way?
     
  8. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    Hook them up to a filament transformer for 24 hours or more
     
  9. ugameus

    ugameus Member

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    I have heard it before. I have bought and sold a ton of used speakers and never heard it with those. I have heard slight differences in speakers of the same model, ie. Vintage 30's, that I assume had different amounts of playing time on them. I had a Weber Blue Dog and Silver Bell, both 100 watts, that I bought new and I never heard it with those. I sold those off and eventually bought another new pair only this time they were 15 watts each. After about 10 hours on them playing at home BAM! I was stunned. I thought they sounded really good but were maybe a little stiff. Once that threshold was reached the stiffness turned into sweetness.
     
  10. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    :banana:bonk

    Yes!
     
  11. Bluewail

    Bluewail Silver Supporting Member

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  12. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    I had not looked closely at that calculator before. While it is safe, it is not technically correct.

    They are assuming the speaker impedance is constant. In fact, it goes all over the place, with a very pronounced peak around free air resonance. For guitar speakers this will be somewhere above 60 hz in most cases but still close enough to have significant effect at the 60 hz driving frequency.
     
  13. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm always curious why playing only one frequency through a speaker is the best way to break it in? Hitting them with 60 cycle hum just never seems like a great idea to me, is that the frequency you want to bring out of your speakers? I hook mine up to my stereo, put some guitar oriented music on a loop, place blankets over the cabinets, and let 'em go all day while at work. If you're breaking in two speakers at the same time you can wire them out-of-phase to cancel out some of the sound energy. I usually do this for a week. By the weekend the speakers sound great!
     
  14. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    There is an argument for a variety of frequencies, like a guitar would generate. The most audible break in seems to occur as a result of low frequency , larger excursion movement. I believe 60 hz works because it is below the free air resonance, so it doesn't result in an affinity to that frequency. Now if you used 80z, I think that would be asking for trouble.

    Having said that, guitar music is a great way to break them in.
     
  15. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I've not found that "break in" by manufacturers really works. Wish it did, but they just don't seem to be broken in.
    Wouldn't it be nice if they offered real break in, speaker actually played with music on a baffle, it seems to me watching the freq's with some sort of tracking the huge difference when it suddenly crosses that threshold would be visable.... all of a sudden the bass freq's would go berserk compared with before...
    Oh well... that's dreaming!
     
  16. off2kamp

    off2kamp Member

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    I just put a new speaker in my Princeton Reverb. I am thinking about playing a nice long loop of big open chords, turning it way up, then leave the room for a few hours. I would break it in myself but due to my ears I really can't play that loud anymore.
     
  17. gtone

    gtone Member

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    I record a loop with loud/soft, clean/dirty passages on it and play it back through my son's bass amp head driving my cab with the new speaker(s) muffled with pillows and moving blankets for several days while I'm at work. It takes a good 30 hours for the average speaker to make a difference.

    As I've said on other threads, Webers seem to go through the biggest metamorphosis during the break-in process. I've also noted that WGS speakers tend to sound quite nice right out of the box and seem to only mildly change.
     
  18. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    It's actually not much louder than the dehumidifier running at the other end of the basement! LOL. Without being mounted in a cab and when run at such a low freq (60HZ), they just don't generate much sound.
     
  19. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    Exactly, these were in my basement. Couldn't hear a thing outside.
     
  20. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    See above...
     

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