Bass Drivers - Quickest / Best Way to Break In?


As a proud owner of new EgglestonWorks Andra I speakers, I am completely impressed and satisfied with their sound, from 63 Hz and up. In my room, they are amazingly live, dynamic, detailed but natural, very well balanced (as the frequency response shows (Rives CD, RS analog meter)), and the sense of acoustic space is just unbelievable.

But then there's the bass...I know the Dynaudio bass drivers (two 12" in each cabinet) take some time to break in. I have bearly any audible response below 50Hz; the response drops 15 to 20dB from reference (80dB) very quickly after 63Hz. When I crank up the volume on the 20Hz tone, I get the woofers moving, but the equivalent volume level would be around 95db at 1Khz. That's loud folks!

I tried respositioning the speakers closer together, to simulate a friend's setup, also Andra Is, and he's only down 3dB at 31Hz. No such luck for me, so I don't think it's a room thing, not for the lowest octave and a half range like this, so it must be break in, right? My bass drivers just don't seem to want to move that much at 80dB.

What would be the safest way (for the drivers and the simple low pass bass crossover). I assume that playing the 20Hz tone repeatedly may cause overheating of either? I guess I am impatient! I have about 50 hours on the speakers thus far (yeah, I know, that's nothing!).

Thanks!
1markr
I have bearly any audible response below 50Hz; the response drops 15 to 20dB from reference (80dB) very quickly after 63Hz.
That sounds like a problem with the drivers, or the crossovers, or something else in your system rather than a break-in issue.
Are you kidding? You cannot expect changes on the order of 15dB from "break in," even if you assume that it will change anything. It is room acoustics and/or setup. Putting the speakers closer is not the issue. It is the relationship of the speakers to room boundaries and the room modes consequent to their dimensions. So, while you are doing a long-term break in, read up on such things. Try www.rivesaudio.com for a start and links.

Kal
Kal,

I am leaning Grant's way here (on the driver or crossover perspective; I know it's not my system, since it was also used on my Andra IIs)...I only agree with you on the "can't gain 15db during break-in" statement, and not on the room issues. If it were a room issue (it's not, since my Andra IIs, similiar bass driver configuration) in the exact same spot had plenty of low bass at 30 and 40 Hz.
Yup. Sounds like you're not getting a signal somewhere around 63Hz or above...or there's a hole in the signal.

Have you tested just one speaker at a time? A crossover or driver problem would likely only occur in one speaker or the other. If they're both responding the same, then I believe you need to look upstream.
It sounds to me like the speakers are faulty - maybe a crossover soldering problem.

Arthur
I can't believe it's upstream since nothing really changed since the Andra IIs.

I did look at both speakers, and neither of the bass drivers are moving very much with a normal music signal at normal to louder listening levels. Hardly moving = hardly any bass.
Mark, I can't tell from your response, "I did look at both speakers", whether they were both operating simultaneously when you looked at them, or if you looked at them with only one or the other operational at a time.

Have you listened and tested just one speaker at a time by using a balance control, or by disconnecting a left interconnect, and then a right interconnect (don't disconnect the speaker cabling to do this as you might risk damaging your amp without a load attached)?

Also, a stupid question, but something that's possible...did you connect the speakers in proper phase, or is perhaps one speaker lead reversed?
Sorry to intrude, but fact is I have had very similar things occur and after 300 hours I have had drivers that were very stiff all of a sudden open up and drop quite a bit in impact and octave range... However this is not the whole story, your room has incredible impact on the results, room acoustics will in fact start erasing some of the holes in frequency response, especiall the room loading factor that will give you the smooth / full / wooly even bloom your missing to gain back warmer and much more impactfull presentation.

I really doubt eggleston would ever dare ship a non-fully tested against the reference speaker on site product, this is the practice of all super hi end companies from my understanding.... Unless you have shipping damage or really badly matched equipment.
Grant, I checked both speakers out while playing a 20hz tone (volume level normalized to 80dB @ 1kHz), and felt both drivers...very slight movement on the bass drivers of both l and r channels. I then cranked the volume up to what would normally be about 95dB @ 1Khz, and I got the drivers moving pretty well, and they were outputting about 80dB (or slightly less) of the 20Hz test tone.

So to answer your question, no, I didn't inspect them individually while the alternate channel was unpowered.

Phase is correct, as it was one of the first things I checked, as are the connections.
I'd suggest checking them out individually. It doesn't make logical sense that both speakers would display the same anomaly if the problem was with a driver, drivers or crossover.

If they both respond the same during the individual troubleshooting, then my money is on a problem upstream.

Do you have another pair of full range speakers available, or even a pair of monitor speaker that go into to 50Hz range, to install to rule out an upstream problem?
Hi Mark, can't be of any help. But good luck with your new Andra 1's. Hope the problem is not them.. Emerson
I can put my little VSA VR-1s back in the loop, but I'm not sure that they go deep enough. I can also connect my cdp directly to my Dodd monoblocks to at least rule out the preamp.

That just reminded me....I used to run off the 4ohm taps on the Dodds, now they are on the 8ohm...hmmmm, could that kill my lowest two octaves?
I am leaning Grant's way here (on the driver or crossover perspective; I know it's not my system, since it was also used on my Andra IIs)...I only agree with you on the "can't gain 15db during break-in" statement, and not on the room issues. If it were a room issue (it's not, since my Andra IIs, similiar bass driver configuration) in the exact same spot had plenty of low bass at 30 and 40 Hz.
Well, having that addition info, I tend to agree. OTOH, it is hard to imagine that both speakers had the same malfunction. Is there any difference between them, tested individually?

While this may not be an acoustics problem, it sure ain't gonna be cured by break in.

Kal
That just reminded me....I used to run off the 4ohm taps on the Dodds, now they are on the 8ohm...hmmmm, could that kill my lowest two octaves?
1markr (System | Threads | Answers)
No.

Mark, try the Andras one at a time before you do anything else. Be certain the problem presents itself in one, or the other, or both.

If it's in both, then connecting your CDP directly to the Dodds is a good troubleshooting test.

If the problem is on one or the other, then try swapping the L&R interconnects from your preamp to the Dodds to flip-flop the channels (in other words leave the ICs connected correctly at the preamp, but plug the left IC into the right Dodd and vice versa). If the problem switches from one speaker to the other, then you know the amp is the issue. If the problem does not flip-flop, then restore the ICs. Then, do the same flip-flopping of ICs from your source to the preamp. If the problem does not switch from one speaker to the other, then you know the problem is with the preamp and not with the source. If the problem does flip flop from one speaker to the other, then you know it's your source.

The VR-1 go into the 50s, maybe into the 40s if I'm not mistaken. Since you mentioned your problem starts at 63Hz, then these will work.
Thanks Grant..all good points. Will do more troubleshooting tonight, and will post results later.
I re-read my previous post and it requires some revision. Sorry, Mark.
...try swapping the L&R interconnects from your preamp to the Dodds to flip-flop the channels (in other words leave the ICs connected correctly at the preamp, but plug the left IC into the right Dodd and vice versa). If the problem switches from one speaker to the other, then you know the amp is the issue.
This should read, "then you know the amp is NOT the issue, and the problem is upstream."

If the problem does not flip-flop, then restore the ICs.
In this scenario, the amp IS the issue.

BTW, I know this is a frustrating problem and finding the answer is equally frustrating, but the problem and the solution will be found!
It really sounds like you are sitting in a bass null, have you used the rives calculators? Have you moved around the room with the sound pressure meter.

The Rat Shack meter is not accurate at 20hz also, so I assume you are using the Rives Test disk to help compensate?
I have had similar problems, and room placement and treatment was the answer.

I would move the speakers forward or back into the room by a couple of feet.
Have you considered that just the bass drivers, or just one of the bass drivers is out of phase. I've had that before from a 'high end manufacturer' and couldn't find the problem myself and had to send it back for repairs. I'd contact Eggleston and ask them for help- isn't that why we pay the big bucks?
try the ayre burnin disc for components,gets those surrounds movin!
The traditional way to break in a peaker is to play a fequency sweep or noise or a radio station with the speakers facing each other and cover them with a blanket and crank it. Do that for a couple of days. If you think I am kiddig look at reviewers techniqies . I disagree with these others some speakers need pretty high volumes to sound good. If you don't like the sound at 80-85 db,you may be proud but they are not for you.
Also I think the Classe I own a 25 aroe are your budget sound awful.
I agree that it sounds like one of the bass drivers may be wired out of phase. Testing a single speaker at a time will instantly tell you if this is the case.
Any update?