Uh, play music?
12 responses Add your response
Play music, as Cruz123 says. Gently for the first 100 hours. Then with more dynamic, full range and complex music thereafter. Plan on 300-400 hours for a full range speaker with high quality drivers. If you play vinyl, don't expect that playing CDs on repeat will fully complete the process -- I always find that there's more to come once I start playing LPs.
I agree with Cruz123 and Rushton. I just recently broke in 2 pair of speakers (dynaudio c1's - first pair had a cabinet defect). I used a break in cd by granite audio which did not speed up the process. Sounded good right out of the box then at between 50 and 100 hrs they sounded absolutely horrible, but then it only got better until 400 hrs and now they sound GREAT. The break in cd did prolong the time frame in which they sounded horrible. Dynaudio recommends 300 hrs but I found 400 hrs to be the magic # of hours. I did play them 24/7 and all different levels. Some will say use recordings with a lot of bass to help break in the woofer. I have also read where some will face the speakers toward each other and wire them out of phase. That will lower the volume but make sure you listen to them forward facing to hear the loudest volume then NEVER exceed that level. Makes sense but read that after the second set were broken in.
Surrounds and spiders "break-in", Crossover caps "burn-in" and the better the caps- the longer they take. I've got an old receiver that I hook up to my system(tape out to a line level system input) for burning in components/cables/interconnects. I just tune the FM to a local rap station, face the speakers toward one another(one out of phase) and let 'er rip. After hearing that crap in the background for a few hours, ANYTHING I play sounds better!!
"Sounded good right out of the box then at between 50 and 100 hrs they sounded absolutely horrible, but then it only got better until 400 hrs and now they sound GREAT."
Speaker break-in is all in your head. Now how can a speaker sound good and then turn horrible and then back to good again? Sounds like voodoo to me.
You can make things easier on your ears, and sound relatively lower in volume, by switching the leads on one speaker so they are reversed from the other (i.e. reversing the polarity on one). Then you turn and face the speakers at one another, keeping them about a foot apart.
Basically this results in a huge null effect between the 2 speakers. One driver is going in while the other is going out. You can play them pretty loud and they won't drive your neighbor's batty.
I buy a pair of speakers from a local hifi salon. I get them home, and plug them in, blah. Dissapointed in their performance I call the dealer and try to arrange for a return- but wait!!! It turns out that my new speakers just need to break in! They will sound fine after 250 hrs/ the expiration of my return window!
Thank god I didnt return them because after a couple hundred hours they really opened up! The bass became rock solid, the midrange lost its nasal sound and the tweeters smoothed out.
How does this work you ask? It has to do with electronic components breaking in (they measure the same before and after, but ignore that) and has nothing to do with human nature and our ears simply getting used to something new.
The other great thing is that all speakers break in- they sound markedly different after hours and hours of play- but miraculously, these differences are never for the worse. Only better.
Now we have also learned in this thread that these changes are source dependant! So make sure each source gets a couple hundred hours as the elecronic components and drivers can easily differentiate between sources- even if they output the same voltage! This is not evidence of how crazy this whole premise is!
The moral is that unmeasurable changes take place in parts that have closely matched tolerances. These changes are always for the better- never for the worse and human nature has nothing to do with these differences. Very much like how fluctuations in dirty AC power can make a system sound far worse than it did the day before.
Nothing to do with the fact that you had 10 cups of coffee, flew on an airplane or simply had a bad day.