What's the best way to break-in a new speaker?


Silver Supporting Member
I got this tip from the Celestion site!
Important Note! Before breaking it in it's advisable to "warm up" the speaker gently for a few minutes with low-level playing or background hum.
Break in a speaker with a fat, clean tone: turn up the power amp volume to full, and control the level with the preamp gain. Use a level that will be quite loud, but not painful in a normal size room.
Have the bass and mid up full, and the treble at least half. On your guitar, use the middle pick up position (if your guitar has more than one pick up) and play for 10-15 minutes using lots of open chords, and chunky percussive playing. This will get the cone moving, and should excite all the cone modes and get everything to settle in nicely. The speaker will continue to mature over the years, but this will get it 95% of the way to tonal perfection in the shortest time.


I also used a drum machine to break in a Celestion Gold. I didn't have to crank it that loud. I just turned it up to a level that sounded fairly loud in the house but that could barely be heard outside the house and let it run for 12 hours while I was at work. Could definitely tell a difference when I got home and plugged in.


+1 for using a home stereo. Mount the speaker in a cab and lay it face down on the floor. Crank the stereo and cover with as many blankets as you can find.
I did that for about three days 8-10 hours a day. mind you this was on my carpeted basement floor and there was no audible sound outside to disturb my neighbors.


Scumback Speakers

Platinum Supporting Member
If you can do the stereo break in while you're at work, that's effective. You'll have to have the cones moving, so 15-20 watts (fairly loud, folks!) is what you need to push through them. Put your CD player, Ipod, or whatever on loop, load up your favorite music, preferably with some strong bass & drums in it, turn the treble down to 1/4, the bass & mids up, and walk away for the day (better if you can do this for a few days in a row), or weekend.

Variac info: I bought my Tenma variac from Newark, SKU: 66F3591 for $118 plus shipping. You can get info on how to set it up for your speakers on Weber's site.


Some things to consider first on a variac.
1) It puts a 60 cycle hum through the speakers to move the cone. It's an obnoxious tone/noise.

2) You need to turn the speaker up to about 1/3 it's power handling to do it right. It will be an obnoxious roar.

3) You can do multiple speakers, hooking it up in parallel.

4) There are voltage guidelines to follow, PAY ATTENTION CLOSELY.

5) You will need to make up some cables to do it, sacrificing a power cable, then jumper cables from speaker to speaker. Get alligator clips or push on spade terminals.

6) Be prepared to let it go 18-20 hours per speaker for full break in. This will annoy the crap out of your kids, dog, cat and wife, not necessarily in that order of importance or whining!

I'm offering a new service now where I will fully break in a Scumback purchased through me for $5 a speaker. It will cost you about $150 to purchase, ship and setup your variac, so unless you do it all the time (like me) then you're probably wasting your money.

Hope this helps!

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