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Old 01-23-2013   #1
 
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Default Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I dont know if its just me but Im quite sure my speakers changes tonality. Definitely its not beak-in, as im using them for two years already. Because of this, i gained the habit to retune my system every 2 months-or-so, primarily on the EQ, just to make it sound right again.

Yesterday, i got hold of an old canton karat bookshelve in a hi-fi store and i was surprised when the dealer told me "that Speaker sounds better now since speakers sounds better as they age, provided they are not broken". Do speakers changes sounds overtime? Do they sound better as they age?

Is this another myth or some truth behind?

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Old 01-23-2013   #2
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I was informed on another forum that the Speaker "break-in" period was just a trick to aviod warrenty claims on newly installed equipment.

Wish I could comment on speakers changing tone, etc. My suspicion is that yes they can... probably depending on listening volume and frequency of use. But it also would depend on the speaker. A quality driver shouldn't change much. I am interested to see what others have to say about this.
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Old 01-24-2013   #3
 
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From what I know , run in is common term used in home audio as well,
By playing the system , you are passing electric signal and current thru all connecting wires and cable , include those within Equipments too, this will helps for the ion dielectric arrange themself into a uniform pattern .. Result is that signal flows is cleaner and faster ..hence better sound .

For Speaker , the voice coil will be more relax and flexible after prolong use a.k.a. Run in . Result is faster transit response mechanically and hence sonically improvement .

Just my two cents worth

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Old 01-24-2013   #4
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Rearrange the ions??? No. Just, no.

Break-in is nothing but a way for you to get used to your speakers to keep you from taking them back. Break-in has been debunked so many times it's not even funny.

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Old 01-24-2013   #5
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

wine ages, wooden guitars, violins, etc.., age

electronics aging

Pretty certain, that's why young men marry OLD women !

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Old 01-24-2013   #6
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But..
But, the electricity get faster after the components relax!

Edit: I once heard a pair of 20 year old funky pups. It was like audio nectar from passion fruit plucked off the cliffs of mount Olympus!

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Old 01-24-2013   #7
 
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Every electronics component have their life span . They probably at their peak condition after some usage and then when hitting the top of the curves , they start deteriorate. Wires , cable , Speaker components will last most longer under normal condition and environment.

So are we , every years , a new product will launch to have better performances , it is just our on calls to upgrade again ...and so the cycle begin as before ...just fact of life ..lol

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Old 01-24-2013   #8
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Nah, I think we just get more used to them. Same thing as when you do a tune and after living with it a couple days you think its the mack daddy tune til you hear a good system and wonder what the hell you were thinking. Your mind can definitely play tricks on your ears.

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Old 01-24-2013   #9
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I'm pretty torn on Speaker break-in. I wish I could have had my tweeters measured when brand new vs now. They seem to be slightly less harsh but with no loss in detail now. I noticed this first and then learned from Emilios that these tweeters do mellow out after several hours.

In the beginning the 110s were not harsh but some sibilance was there. Now it's completely gone and I use no eq on these tweeters.

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Old 01-24-2013   #10
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

It's funny, the test Tom Nousaine did in the 90s about Speaker break-in was using Dynaudio drivers. lol

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Old 01-24-2013   #11
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

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Originally Posted by quality_sound View Post
It's funny, the test Tom Nousaine did in the 90s about Speaker break-in was using Dynaudio drivers. lol
I remember that vaguely. Was he using midbass drivers?

My biggest question is what can change over time? Suspension, sure, but it seems that makes little to no difference. In a tweeter especially, what can possibly change to change the sound...

I can easily believe it's just me getting used to the sound. What kind of made me start wondering again is what I noticed matched what Emilios said would happen and I did not have that information before I made my observation. Can the dome "soften" over time with enough "vibrations"?

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Old 01-24-2013   #12
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I'm not good with the science behind it but I can tell you that, when I got my SR6500s, I put them on an oscillator because they are "known" to "need" breaking in. When I first put them on the oscillator (at Fs) the cone was barely moving, so little that I had to put my hand up to it to see if it was even working. It was just vibrating but not excurting (probably not a word, you know what I mean). After about 4 hours of being on the oscillator, it rapidly started getting louder and the excursion path increased. After that time, the cone was moving freely like you would expect any mid to.

Just my couple of pennies.

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Old 01-24-2013   #13
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

If break in is a myth, then tell me why parameters change after some use.

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Old 01-24-2013   #14
 
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

Id love to hear the responses to this...
mechanical tolerances will change over time, given their use.

Electrically eh I dont think so, I chuckle when I read how the guys filter sounds better after he let the cap burn in..

But "break in"? thats like the guy who says you should "baby" your new fully built motor on the dyno for 1000 miles...
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Old 01-24-2013   #15
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

Quote:
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Id love to hear the responses to this...
mechanical tolerances will change over time, given their use.

Electrically eh I dont think so, I chuckle when I read how the guys filter sounds better after he let the cap burn in..

But "break in"? thats like the guy who says you should "baby" your new fully built motor on the dyno for 1000 miles...
I doubt anyone breaks their speakers in for safety just like an engine doesn't have to be broken in for safety. My only break in is 30 minutes of varying rpm for a flat tappet engine. Otherwise nothing can fail because it was t broken in properly. Journal bearings don't break in. A roller valvetrain not really. Only ring to cylinder wall wear in is of a concern and the majority of it is done within 30 minutes. The only concern there is the finish, not whether it will "break".

With speakers all I can imagine is mechanical parts changing and I doubt you'll ever tear a spider or surround because they were too stiff due to no break in lol. I'm still wondering if the cone itself can have a change of sonic quality over time especially a tweeter.

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Old 01-24-2013   #16
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I guess I don't understand how an engine comparison to a Speaker is relevant.

I mean, you have to break in baseball mitts so, why not speakers?

There. Now its 1 to 1.

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Old 01-24-2013   #17
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

I don't think I have ever owned a subwoofer that hasn't changed in sound over the 1st several hours of break-in. I experienced this long before I even knew it was a possibility.

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Old 01-24-2013   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatsDownLow View Post
If break in is a myth, then tell me why parameters change after some use.
Tell me why those parameters exactly offset when they do change so the net result is no change in freq response, output, Power handling, and required enclosure size.

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Old 01-24-2013   #19
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Any change you heard, particularly in a mid or sub, was simply the suspension stretching out to its normal operating position. This is the position it was spec'd at and where it will remain for the life of the driver. Once that's done (an it'll take minutes at best unless you're babying the piss out of it) it won't change unless it's damaged or an outside force gets introduced.

And change you heard that took "weeks" was your east adjusting, nothing more.


Matt - it was the midbass drivers.

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Old 01-24-2013   #20
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

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Any change you heard, particularly in a mid or sub, was simply the suspension stretching out to its normal operating position. .
Now that seems reasonable.

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Old 01-24-2013   #21
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

So after a few hours of listening to music at reasonable volumes everything should stay the same unless something is becomming damaged?

End of story?
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Old 01-24-2013   #22
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I have measured changes in T/S parameters over about 80-90 hours of break in with pink noise playing. Same ambient room temperature during this time.

Q lowered, VAS went up and Fs went down. T/S parameters didn't change further after this period. Observed the same thing with both my Scan subs and my Peerless HDS mids, the mids took about the half time though.

So I do believe speakers should be broken in, I'm sceptical about break in periods of cables, amps and other equipment though. Don't have enough technical knowledge to comment on that, but it seems very unlikely to me.

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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

Since CMS changes, LF will change. It is also said that distortion profiles will change. We should see if Erin would be willing to take a set of new speakers, break one in for hours, and then test both so we can see what exactly changes and the true extent of those changes.

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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

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I doubt anyone breaks their speakers in for safety just like an engine doesn't have to be broken in for safety. My only break in is 30 minutes of varying rpm for a flat tappet engine. Otherwise nothing can fail because it was t broken in properly. Journal bearings don't break in. A roller valvetrain not really. Only ring to cylinder wall wear in is of a concern and the majority of it is done within 30 minutes. The only concern there is the finish, not whether it will "break".

With speakers all I can imagine is mechanical parts changing and I doubt you'll ever tear a spider or surround because they were too stiff due to no break in lol. I'm still wondering if the cone itself can have a change of sonic quality over time especially a tweeter.

For me I like the 1st start on the motor to be till operating temp is reached. Change the oil and trailer down to my tuner and dyno, there relatively quick like you said, the rings will seat however they wont seat "breaking in/babying the engine". 300 miles later the Car runs better then when she came off the dyno.
mechanical tolerances changing...

I have watched guys 300 miles after "breakin" spittin oil past the rings because instead of the rings seating to the cylinder wall, the walls seat the rings lol that should make sense...I mean thats what your hone is for let the rings fill the gaps...I digress..

How it relates to speakers is the "seating process" No matter what you do breakin, drive em hard out the box whatever, your mechanical tolerances will change. They have to.

But I think Quality Sound is right the change is quick and now spec is nominal...that is until material half life and what not comes into play...

Buick between you and I, I think the material can very well change its sonic characteristics over time... Material is not "solid" and atoms move and vibrate about in their lattice crystal structures.. filling in gaps of other atoms or being pushed out of the way, I believe even this can have effect on what we hear. I can keep going but Im sure I sound pretty crazy right about now...lol

The same way different woods are used to give guitars a different tone.. regardless of them all having and playing the same E string. Then we can add how about a 70 year old piece of alder to 10 year old piece.
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Default Re: Do speakers sounds better as they age?

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Since CMS changes, LF will change. It is also said that distortion profiles will change. We should see if Erin would be willing to take a set of new speakers, break one in for hours, and then test both so we can see what exactly changes and the true extent of those changes.
Tom Nousaine did this already. This exact test. In the 90s. It's a dead horse.

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