Audio speaker break in period.

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Las Palmas Norte, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. I'm going to assume, that after replacing my aged Pioneer home audio woofers, the new ones would need a period of break in time? I'm only basing that on guitar speakers and not pushing higher volume levels during the first while. What say youz?
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  2. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    567
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Unless you replaced your woofers with ones with the EXACT same parameters, or with the same woofer, then they're not going to work optimally, because in stereo speakers the box and crossover are tuned to the exact parameters for the woofer used. Any deviation can result in incorrect box alignment, which can cause either a lack of bass, or bass too boomy, depending on whether the box tuning is too high or too low for the new woofer. And it can also cause the crossover to not blend the woofer and tweeter (and midrange if there is one) correctly, resulting in either a gap between the woofer and tweeter, or too much overlap between them, or their respective levels not balanced between them, with one being too loud and the other too soft.
    If the woofers you used are an EXACT replacement, then everything above is no longer relevant. But, the woofer suspension will loosen up some, and may be too stiff at first, resulting in sound that may be described as bland or flat or lacking dynamics, or somewhat too tight and constipated. I'm not as big a believer of speaker break in as some, but any mechanical transducer is going to be stiffer when new, and will loosen up some after time.
     
  3. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    71
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    There was a time when "hi fi" speakers were quite often put together by hi-fi fans. But that ended years and years ago, and for reasons that DougMen touched upon.

    Today's systems are highly integrated. The speakers, the crossover, the cabinet design. And many are an amazing value. Today's mid priced speakers are often far better than very expensive ones not too long ago.

    For those reasons most people view them as 'use up and throw away' items. Although their life-span, if not abused, can be decades.

    "Break in" is one of those things upon which no agreed to, fact-based answer, can be found. There are (or were -- i do not any longer keep up to date with these things) "golden eared" people who say they can discern things others can not. Double blind testing often suggests that what they really enjoy is more "sensitive" imaginations. But, again, as DougMen says there is some basis to believing that "break in" can make at least a small difference. Just as it does for shoes. I certainly have found it so with some guitar speakers. And the quality years of use have given often explains why old amps sound "better" than newer ones.

    FWIW my serious listening system uses speakers made in the 1980s. They are ADS L980 Series 2 -- the same ones used for the mastering of many of Telarc's most famed recordings.

    I spent months listening to speakers -- bringing a few favorite LPs I knew well to upscale stereo shops -- before choosing them. And yes, they cost a packet, but 35 years of great sound made that money well spent.

    Yet if a driver was "blown" I'd only replace it with an identical one. Even an equally fine one from a different maker would by necessity take away from the speaker's carefully designed near perfection.

    -don