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Author Topic: Speaker break-in  (Read 1611 times)

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Offline Natural Sound

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Speaker break-in
« on: March 18, 2012, 11:42:36 am »
When breaking in a pair of speakers does it matter if they are playing at background levels or, "turned up a bit"? I'm guessing that the break-in time would be longer if done at background listening levels. I ask this question in general terms but I'm trying to break in a pair of Fostex FE 166E drivers. Thanks.
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Offline porcupunctis

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Re: Speaker break-in
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 01:08:21 pm »
I broke in a pair of 166e speakers about two years ago.  I ran them for about 8-10 hours per day until I had about 60 hours on them.  I set them at my "normal listening" volume.  At that point they were much better but since then I think they have improved even more. 

I'm sure that the volume has some affect on the break-in but I done this often enough to have reliable data to share with you.  I'm sure others will have more to share but it seems reasonable that you would want to break them in at a volume that will at least "get the cobwebs out". 

What kind of a cabinet do you have them in?  Mine were in horn cabinets (bk-16).
Randall Massey
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Lifetime audio-electronics junkie

Offline Grainger49

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Re: Speaker break-in
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 02:14:01 pm »
Part of what is "wearing in" is the suspension/spider of the speaker.  So it needs to move.  Background levels are not best for moving the speaker.

I suggest that if you don't want to listen to swap the phase on one speaker, turn them to face each other and throw a couple of blankets, quilts, or bed spreads over them.  This will minimize the sound produced and will flex the speakers.

Offline 4krow

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Re: Speaker break-in
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 10:57:26 am »
Couldn't you just sell 'em with a 30 day money back guarantee? Then they will be broken in for you. Seems like the speakers with stiffer surrounds are the ones that take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to break in.
Greg Peyton
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Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: Speaker break-in
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 01:15:26 pm »
Some say, and it makes sense to me, that the fibers of the cone need to break down a little bit. This would ostly happen near the voice coil, where cone stresses are highest. It would provide a little treble reduction, and some damping of resonances - the latter would be especially important for a raw FE166 or other whizzer-cone driver, since the whizzer gets no resonance damping at the outer rim.

I'm sure you could get an argument going on other forums about this, I don't think it's universally accepted. But I believe I first heard of this from Terry Cain, who also said that cryo treatment was worth around 500 hours (IIRC) of break in, but had the disadvantage that half the time the magnets would fall off.  :^)  Maybe Clark would remember better?

If this theory is accurate, then it's the same as with spiders and surrounds, you need to give the cone enough movement to exercise the mechanical parts. For suspension parts, it's going to be displacement (low frequency energy); for the cone itself it will be acceleration (high frequency energy). So it should be excited by a broadband source with a similar spectrum to the end use, i.e. music is an excellent choice.
Paul Joppa


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Re: Speaker break-in
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 02:14:40 pm »
You can do the following: place speakers face to face, inverse polarity on one of the speakers and play them with normal listening volume. It will be quet and effective.