• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Do Audio Speakers Break-in?

Trell

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
616
Likes
568
One side has no evidence to show that break ins do happen, another side keeps harping on FR to justify that it doesnt. Great.
I recall from this very thread that there is indeed a change of driver properties when first used, but this happens in matter of minutes or so. Small changes that might not be particularly audible at that.

Edit: or hours as from poster below, but still doubtful if it’s audible.
 
Last edited:

Raindog123

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
1,209
Likes
2,414
Location
Melbourne, FL, USA
Yes, measurements are so important. But in the end, you got hear it. With your ears. You're a human being...in totallity, you can hear, sense, feel and Intuit far more information than a machine. I said in totallity.

Please realize that with arguments like this we‘re totally in the Three-Card Monte territory:

DEF71E12-D538-4EC2-B21C-1F320CCEF6A1.jpeg


Because someone got fast sleight-of-hand and can dupe your (and mine) perception, it does not mean that the Theory of Probability laws are invalidated. No, they are not - we‘re just got duped, no matter how real - to our ears and eyes - it feels! :)
 
Last edited:

MarkWinston

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
477
Likes
242
Nope. One side has no evidence to show that break ins do happen while the other side asks for evidence.

Would be better to use science to debunk these claims, instead of telling people that its caused by their biasness and brains. I personally would like to see this debunked and over with by thoroughly investigating this matter. Im obviously not the person for this task, Im just another person that 'claims' to have experienced break in under certain circumstances
 

Trell

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
616
Likes
568
Would be better to use science to debunk these claims, instead of telling people that its caused by their biasness and brains. I personally would like to see this debunked and over with by thoroughly investigating this matter. Im obviously not the person for this task, Im just another person that 'claims' to have experienced break in.
You did not understand him, obviously.
 

audio2design

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
1,339
Likes
1,246
Can't believe this thread is still going :). People have shown minor (and permanent) driver parameters changes over break in times. I have personally done contract research where I noted changes in cone breakup over hours (high speed interferometry). Audible? If so minimal. A speaker will never go from bad or acceptable to good from it.
 

Bob Olhsson

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
3
Likes
3
John Dunlavy told me that drivers do require some break-in however any reputable speaker manufacturer should have already taken care of that as part of their testing and QC process.
 

Sandthemall

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
12
Likes
4
Ok story heard, but any measurements showing the same night and day differences?I

What I'm offering is anecdotal. If there was a real need for me to validate it for myself...I guess I might want to measure it somehow. Part of science is observation. You can measure all you want but at the end of the day, the final verdict...whether a speaker gets to market...is a bunch if people agreeing that, yeah...OK, it sounds really good.
There are a lot of people listening to 'perfect speakers on paper' who don't have a clue what a halfway decent speaker sounds like.

Yes, measurements are so important. But in the end, you got hear it. With your ears. You're a human being...in totallity, you can hear, sense, feel and Intuit far more information than a machine. I said in totallity.

In the end, it was a night and day difference.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
4,484
Likes
11,994
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
There are a lot of people listening to 'perfect speakers on paper' who don't have a clue what a halfway decent speaker sounds like.

Uh huh...
 

YSC

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,476
Likes
1,019
There are a lot of people listening to 'perfect speakers on paper' who don't have a clue what a halfway decent speaker sounds like.

Yes, measurements are so important. But in the end, you got hear it. With your ears. You're a human being...in totallity, you can hear, sense, feel and Intuit far more information than a machine. I said in totallity.

In the end, it was a night and day difference.
well, but myself didn't find any night and day difference on ALL speakers I owned, be it KEF LS50, X300A, the genelec 8030C, my friend have a set of some hundred thousand worth vivid G1 plus exotic tube amp and vinyl recordings, when he first set it up I went for audition, it was great, and a year later where he played it a hundreds of hours and I visit again, no improvement at all is experienced also, that's why I ask for some sort of measurement of proof! since I can't listen to your night and day difference and verify myself, your best way to share your discovery is by some kind of measurements, be it your decay plot of something else.

I do hear quite some night and day difference by my own health condition or tiredness though, some day the genelec sounds irritating when I was quite sick but that's it
 

YSC

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,476
Likes
1,019
I recall from this very thread that there is indeed a change of driver properties when first used, but this happens in matter of minutes or so. Small changes that might not be particularly audible at that.

Edit: or hours as from poster below, but still doubtful if it’s audible.
same doubt here, and if it's audible by no way it requires weeks or years to break in... well, maybe break it need decades, but a hundred hours? comon... if something after a hundred hours will behave very differently, it won't stop going bad in same timeframe, it's not just initial softening of some suspension but wearing out of something. even a piston engine don't need hundreds of hours of high load just to break in
 

ctrl

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
1,078
Likes
3,484
Location
.de, DE, DEU
Can you define this “spectral decay”? To me it sounds exactly like the change, evolution of _frequency response_ in time - one set initially and changed over time?
My point is this, there is no reason to use FR as an indication or proof that break ins do not exist or isnt audible.
....
People have shown minor (and permanent) driver parameters changes over break in times. I have personally done contract research where I noted changes in cone breakup over hours (high speed interferometry). Audible? If so minimal. A speaker will never go from bad or acceptable to good from it.

For those new to the thread, here are a few measurements of drivers to give you an idea of the magnitude of deviations involved in this topic.

For the near field measurements shown (distance <2cm from the woofer cone) please note that there are 1.5 years between the measurements and I cannot guarantee that the measurement conditions were exactly the same (did not anticipate the break-in thread).
Therefore, please do not overestimate every small deviation.


Subwoofer Dayton RSS390HF-4 - measured 2018 before "break-in", versus measured 2020
frequency response 2018 versus 2020
1634489597819.png
Hardly any change in the frequency response, if then a slight deterioration.

burst decay 2018 versus 2020 (same as CSD but oscillation periods instead of time, it's a better "measure" to evaluate decay problems). Pay a little attention to the scaling
1634491046677.png 1634491063873.png
Also hardly any difference. Around 300Hz a slight improvement, but at other frequencies (e.g. 80Hz) slight deterioration.


Midwoofer SB17NAC35-4 - measured 2018 before "break-in", versus measured 2020
frequency response 2018 versus 2020
1634492315918.png
Between 1-2kHz there is a slight deviation.

burst decay 2018 versus 2020
1634492340567.png 1634492367950.png
Besides the small change of 1-2kHz, no change.

Whether these small changes can cause a change in the sound from good to bad or vice versa, may be rather negated in these two cases. But what you can also see is that not every change has to lead to an improvement.

With certain PA drivers, the differences could be greater, for example, because of very "stiff" spider and surround. There can always be exceptions, of course, but a good driver should not change much after a few minutes of (high excursion) oscillation with a sinusoidal signal.
 

krabapple

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
1,031
Likes
1,073
If there was a real need for me to validate it for myself...I guess I might want to measure it somehow. Part of science is observation. You can measure all you want but at the end of the day, the final verdict...whether a speaker gets to market...is a bunch if people agreeing that, yeah...OK, it sounds really good.

There are a lot of people listening to 'perfect speakers on paper' who don't have a clue what a halfway decent speaker sounds like.

Who decides what a 'halfway decent' speaker is? You? What, then, if people equally as experienced as yourself disagree?

You've gotten nowhere. And that's where purely subjective accounts get you.
 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,535
Likes
6,584
Location
Paris
Uh huh...
Yep and literaly the same post twice a the row...
Who decides what a 'halfway decent' speaker is? You? What, then, if people equally as experienced as yourself disagree?

You've gotten nowhere. And that's where purely subjective accounts get you.
ed747610-3ab5-49f0-8696-ef49ec9fb85a_text.gif


Anyway, @ctrl, thanks for providing data in the middle of this mess.:)
 
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,358
Likes
135,591
Location
Seattle Area
Not by time. FR dont show how long the sound lingers on. Huge difference.
Except it does. Look at the waterfall from my last speaker measurement:

index.php


Trace back every elongated curve and you see a corresponding peak in the frequency response in the back. This is why if you EQ those peaks, the length of time the resonance lasts reduces with it. The two domains (time and frequency) are completely connected to each other.

There are some rare cases where this is not so but as a general rule, you get no more information in the waterfall than frequency response. Inversely, you can actually see misleading results in waterfalls due to the countless parameters that go into them.
 

MarkWinston

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
477
Likes
242
Do comment on this... manipulated/inaccurate/wrongly measured/false/forced data?

 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,535
Likes
6,584
Location
Paris
Do comment on this... manipulated/inaccurate/wrongly measured/false/forced data?

OK, so you don't have a clue what GR "Research" is?
 

NTK

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
1,283
Likes
2,531
Location
US East
Do comment on this... manipulated/inaccurate/wrongly measured/false/forced data?


This is from (Amazon's preview of) Dr. Toole's book Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms.

He measured the frequency responses of the whole loudspeaker (not just driver) and conducted listening tests. There were measurable differences in the woofer compliance—no surprise here. Changes in the FR were minimal, and the listening tests showed no audible differences. You don't have to take his words for it, you are welcome to conduct your own tests.
 

Attachments

  • Toole-breaking-in.PNG
    Toole-breaking-in.PNG
    676 KB · Views: 13
Top Bottom