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Speaker break in question

Hammered

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,535
I've heard people say they've played CDs or mp3 thru their amps or cabs to break in a speaker . So how do I go about this with my Marshall SL5 , the SL5 has a 8ohm and 16ohm out and my cheap but good souding stereo has your standard CD player and aux out. Thanks in advance
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,685
I wouldn't worry about it. You have to play a speaker really loud to "break it in", and sometimes for a hundred hours or more. You don't want to be around for that due to the extreme levels of volume, and your neighbors won't appreciate it at all. Just play the amp like normal and let it "break in" naturally.

I put the words "break in" in quotes, because another name for that would be "wearing a speaker out". When is a speaker broken in, and how long does it stay that way before it wears out? It's basically like buying a car with no miles on it, and then letting it run on a dyno for 30k miles before driving it. That would be a pretty silly practice, just like breaking in a speaker.

So if you MUST have a broken in speaker, buy it used. Otherwise, just play it like normal with the understanding that throughout the ENTIRE lifetime of the speaker, not just the first few hours, it's characteristics will change. So when is a speaker "broken in"? I guess when you feel it's at it's peak. Honestly unless you're recording before and after clips, you really can't tell the difference in tone. You may THINK you can hear a difference, but "speaker break in time" is way, way, WAY longer than anyone's short term memory. And there's all kinds of psychoacoustic tricks that your mind can play on you. Don't trust your mind anymore that you would myths on the internet when it comes to things like this.

Now if you're still convinced that you need to break in your speaker, just get an adapter cable to match the CD out, or aux out (probably RCA hookups), or whatever you plan to use, to a 1/4" jack and plug it straight in to your amp. Make sure you don't plug the speaker outs on the CD player into the amp's input! You could really mess things up that way. Just use a line level signal output on the CD player, and you'll be fine. It may not sound the best due to an impedance mismatch, but sound quality isn't what the goal.
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
Yep, that's what I did, did power chords and other things all over the fretboard, looped it, let it run for some hours.
 

buddhuu

Active Member
Messages
76
I'm kind of with Silent Sound.

While I do believe that speakers' sound characteristics do change with use, I think that the routine of breaking in is overhyped.

There is some minor early change that seems to happen after the first 24 hours or so of play, but it is just that, minor. I think that a lot of people attribute improvements in sound to speaker break-in when in reality they have just learned how to get the best tones out of the amp; they have become familiar with how to dial in the good vibes.
 

eflatminor

Senior Member
Messages
2,284
I've heard people say they've played CDs or mp3 thru their amps or cabs to break in a speaker . So how do I go about this with my Marshall SL5 , the SL5 has a 8ohm and 16ohm out and my cheap but good souding stereo has your standard CD player and aux out. Thanks in advance
Just get the proper connectors and hook it up. Sounds like you'll need RCA to a stereo quarter inch. Whatever it takes to get the signal to the speakers will do the trick. Put on a dynamically wide range recording or get a CD specifically designed for breaking in speakers (Stereophile Magazine has sold them). Bury the speakers into pillows or whatever will keep the neighbors sane and turn it up. After 24 or so hours, you will notice a difference.
 

trailrun100s

Member
Messages
3,570
I put the words "break in" in quotes, because another name for that would be "wearing a speaker out". When is a speaker broken in, and how long does it stay that way before it wears out? It's basically like buying a car with no miles on it, and then letting it run on a dyno for 30k miles before driving it. That would be a pretty silly practice, just like breaking in a speaker.
That's a poor analogy. Cars have a break in period for the first 500-1000 miles where the engine runs optimally past that point. Same with brake pads...

Speaker do the same. After 24 plus hours, most speakers will soften a bit in a number of parts( the surround), and then perform admirably for decades...There is a change in tone that occurs...

But it will happen on it's own just by playing lots of hours at decent volume...The break in process just speeds it up...

Just do a search, there are a lot of threads on this topic...
 

IM4Tone

Member
Messages
3,769
I'm kind of with Silent Sound.

While I do believe that speakers' sound characteristics do change with use, I think that the routine of breaking in is overhyped.

There is some minor early change that seems to happen after the first 24 hours or so of play, but it is just that, minor. I think that a lot of people attribute improvements in sound to speaker break-in when in reality they have just learned how to get the best tones out of the amp; they have become familiar with how to dial in the good vibes.
Depends on the speaker brand. Some I've not been able to tell much difference and others are noticeably different after 80-100 hrs. of 95 to 100 db playing.

Unless it sounds "bad" to you, just play it.
 

Hammered

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,535
I'll think I'm just gonna go the "just play it route" , thanks for all the info
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291
after 80- 100 hours broken up over months its much more likely its your perception thats changing, not the speakers sound.

of course the sound will change over time but its subtle, nothing to get excited about.
 

Lullabies

Member
Messages
2,054
I'm with the Loopers.... Loop some clean power chords and open chords and let it play for a few hours at a decent volume. I put my cab or amp facing down on a bed so it does not annoy the neighbors or family members!

Also if you don't want to wear out tubes or whatever just plug the speaker or cab into a solid state head and let it run for as long as u need.
 

Fishyfishfish

Member
Messages
6,377
Depends.. On V30's I used to swear I could hear a difference after 30 or 40 hours
of gig volume, so I would put the cab in the closet and wail away for a few hours.
With other speaks I could only "kind of'" hear a difference ( probably only in my head anyway) I would just play and not worry about it.
 

Lullabies

Member
Messages
2,054
Depends.. On V30's I used to swear I could hear a difference after 30 or 40 hours
of gig volume, so I would put the cab in the closet and wail away for a few hours.
With other speaks I could only "kind of'" hear a difference ( probably only in my head anyway) I would just play and not worry about it.
This is true.. the stock MC90 speaker sounds pretty good right out of the box or in a new amp but V30s and Greenbacks need some break in
 




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