How much burn-in for Soliloquy 5.3s


I recently purchased a demo pair of Soliloquy 5.3s, which I figured might have enough hours on them (dealer said he thought they had about 50 hrs) to sound reasonably good out of the box. Wrong! They sound absolutely horrible; very compressed, bass muddy and distant, treble subdued to the point of being almost not existant. At one point I actually thought the tweeter was nonfunctional since I could barely hear any extension at all. I hope I didn't make a big mistake. Anyway, I am hoping that folks out there with experience with these might be able shed some light (sound!) on what I can expect.
Hmm. I own the Soliloquy 5.3s and really think they are wonderful. I auditioned many brands including Magnepan, Linn, Dynaudio etc and picked these actually based on my setup.

50 hours is a very low period of time. Try 500 and you are in range.

AS far as bass, you are correct that the driver simply cannot move fast enough ( drivers I should say) until they break in because everything such as the rubber stops are packed in so tight. They naturally adjust to music as you play though- which is a good thing.

I played a gentle ocean CD at low volume for 24 hours right off the bat and that made a difference right off. As far as the tweeter issue... hmmm... I simply didn't appreciate anything inline with your decription, so I cant help there. I have the 5.3s, and not the 5.3is FWIW. Although mine were built in February 2004, the cabinets are from 2003 no doubt, and I know I dont have the newer tweeters that are in the 5.3i which are totally different it seems.

Well, hope that helps a bit.
I purchased Soliloquy 6.2's new, and can tell you they sounded absolutely horrible for at least the first 250 hours - bass bloat and muddy, indefined image, etc. I think it took a good 450-500 hours to sound 80% and about 600-700 to fully break in. Keep music running through them 24 hours a day, even if that means it has to play very quiet at night, it helps to keep the drivers moving and still signal going through the crossover...

After the break in the 6.2's sounded MUCH MUCH better than new out of the box. Hang in there and keep us posted.
Absolutely agree with comments so far. I have a pair of 5.3's that I got with about 200 hrs on them by the estimate of the previous owner who is a friend. They sounded like they were really holding back and very compressed. So much so that I was thinking I'd made a mistake for the first couple of weeks I had them. Then gradually they started to sound better and better. I'd say the 500 hr mark is a good estimate where they've plateaued. As said, be patient, and keep the music playing as much as possible. It is worth the wait. These are great speakers with plenty of range and clarity and a very natural presentation. Soundstage is very impressive as well. I think a whole lot of people give up on them early as I see ads for newish examples quite frequently. Stick it out!

Cody, I have the 6.5s and they also took forever to breakin. After an extended breakin, I still thought that they were a little lacking in treble extension. I was using Kimber 8TC biwired at the time. I called the owner of Soliloquy and he suggested that I change the speaker cable to something other than the 8TC. He said that the Kimber cables did not interact well with his speakers. He mentioned that the internal wiring of the Soliloquy's were Analysis Plus. I changed to a shotgun pair of Oval 12's and they now sound wonderful. Give Soliloquy a call if after a long breakin you are not satisfied. He is very knowledgable and helpful. Jim
I would agree partially with everyone here.
However i would go one step further,, and say even longer than 500 ;-(
I left them on for days and days and days,, well, you get the picture.
There really is no reason for this,, i got tired of them hurting my ears, so i bought a pair of Nautilus 804's

Well,, wouldnt you know it, i shelved them when the N804's arrived,, several months later my friend wanted to hear them,, they werent impressive still,, but as we sat in the other room with them playing,, we noticed, "wow those sound really good in the other room"
I dont know how or when or what, but somehow they finally broke in.
I would say they are worth the wait,, after you have waited,,,,

I noticed upper moderate volume levels accellerated their break in.

Good luck.
Also I'm not sure if your speakers have the newer drivers. Towards the end there before coming out with the 5.3i, Soliloquy were selling a whole bunch of Frankenstein 5.3's when they ran out of some of the 5.3 components. These 5.3's have the metallic 5.3i drivers in them which are unmistakable by their metalic 'O' in each driver (see the site with the new speakers). I have no idea whether those drivers require more, less or the same time for break-in. You may phone Soliloquy for such advice. I would imagine they'd be different being entirely different drivers altogether. The crossovers have changed too in the newer model, and I don't know if they were using those in the Frankenstein versions. If your drivers are all black they are the older (original) 5.3 drivers.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I will definitely stick it out and report back to all with impressions. I do in fact have the old drivers since the date stamp on the back of the speakers is 1999. Kind of wierd that a pair of 5.3s manufactured in 1999 sat on a show room floor all this time!

I would also be interested in people's opinion on the new "i" series and how they compare.
Oh, by the way, I would also be interested in knowing what interconnects and speaker cables folks are using. I swithed out Kimber Silver streaks that were used on my Musical Fidelity A3cr amp/pream and Musical Hall Maverick for Signal Cables (a cheaper alternative). I currently am using Kimber 8TC/4TC biwire but based on Jimd's reponse may switch that out as well.

Cody, I got the 6.3's last September. I've got a tuner and had them going for 4 weeks 24/7. It took longer than that for the sound to really fill out. I use Purist Musaeus Shotgun BiWire for my speaker cables. They work very well in my system.
I had the 5.3's, and now have the 6.2's. Patience, patience, and more patience. They will surprise you when they finally break in (about 500 hours). It will certainly be worth the wait.
I use AU24's and like them fine with the Wright Mono 10's I'm using. I think that interface may be dependent also on your amp for synergy.

I am using Signal Cable bi-wires (probably will switch to their new line of silver), Quicksilver IC's, driven by Quicksilver Mini Mono's. Still breaking in, but every few days gets better. Wonderful speakers. Positioning is also very important with Soliloquy's. Most people suggest at least 2-3' off of the back wall, and with a slight toe-in.

hehe. Jax2's post above got me interested since my speakers were bought and stamped between 2/16/2004 and 2/25/2004 or so.

I have Frankenstein's! My drivers are the new ones in the picture. I did look at some pics of the older 5.3s and sure enough, Jax2 is right that the drivers used to be all-black without the silver metal ring structure like the new ones in the picture.

There is an audiogon add with a guy selling maple Frankenstein's built in March so I guess several of the 5.3 cabinets from 2003 were mated with the new guts of 2004. My cabinets are English Cherry which I love but aren't available for the regular "i" models.

Whatever the answer is, I really enjoy the speakers immensely and thats what counts. Looks like all my drivers in all 5 speakers are the new ones BTW, and they sound quite matched. I do see my instruction manual says 5.3i, c-3i and sat5i, so perhaps thats that.

To Cody the cat- I guess I can't compare so well to the 1999 models you have, but while the bass break in time is quite lengthy I think, your description of the treble/tweeter raises my eyebrow a bit. It just doesn't sound right. Might compare to another Soliloquy 5.3 set and see. Check adds, stores, friends, perhaps call Soliloquy and ask where you can hear some in your area. And try that Gentle ocean CD at low volume for 24 hours-- worked well for me.
Yes, the story was that Soliloquy ran out of drivers, but still had some of the older cabinets with squared off corners (non-i). So for those remainders and some of the B-stocks offered by them and their dealers (Underwood amongh others) they combined the older cabinets with the guts from the new i version. I would assume the crossover is also the newer version, but one would have to confirm that with Soliloquy. The new cabinets have rounded corners, and are made from slightly thicker MDF materials (I believe they are 1.25 inch as oppsed to 1 inch). Don't know if this was a line being fed to a friend of mine who got one of those Frankenstein versions, but he actually phoned Soliloquy to get the scoop from them after receiving it. They told him the squared off version of the cabinets were actually more difficult and expensive to build. I'd find that difficult to believe, but I'm no woodworker either. Obviously they believe their new drivers and crossover to be superior in some ways to the older stuff. I have not done an A/B with my friend, but may try it some day. Great speakers either way!

Cody, I got the 6.3's last September. I've got a tuner and had them going for 4 weeks 24/7. It took longer than that for the sound to really fill out. I use Purist Musaeus Shotgun BiWire for my speaker cables. They work very well in my system.
Cody, I believe that David Berman the owner of Soliloquy recommended Analysis Plus products because of the synergy generated with the internal wiring of his speakers being Analysis Plus. I switched my speaker cables to AP as well as my interconnects. I am now using AP Solo Crystal interconnects instead of my Nordost Red Dawns. They just sounded better with my speakers. David Berman also said that I should try Analysis Plus Silver Oval speaker cable for the Tweeter and Mids. He likes silver for the tweeter and mids and copper cables for the bass. Jim
JimD- Is that for the new "i" models or the older ones that Cody has?

I believe that the wiring used has changed, but I am not sure.
Rysa4, The model that Cody has were manufactured in 1999. I believe that they have Analysis Plus internal wiring. I'm not sure if Soliloquy has changed the internal wiring on their newest "i" models. Jim
I believe that Soliloquy used to put StraightWire cables inside of their boxes. Only recently did they change over to AP.
I recently found out (through that Soliloquy installed a bad bacth of crossovers in their speakers some years ago and was wondering: 1) if anybody else heard the same thing, 2) if so, what year(s) did these duds get released, and 3) did the bad crossovers have something to do with low and high pass on the crossover????

Also, when connecting for biwiring does the low freq. cable connect to the upper or lower binding posts. The posts are not marked and the tweeter is situated beneath the bass drivers.
Cody- Call Soliloquy and just give them the serial numbers of your speakers and express your concerns. They are honest good folk and will assist you. While there are some discussions about brightness etc of the speaker, these are detail personal prefernce discussions at best-- your situation sounds different to me.
I managed to log about another 150 hrs (beyond the 50 the dealer said were on them) on my Soliloquy 5.3s. The sound has improved significantly; treble sweetly extended, the bass deep and firm, and with alot more air between the instruments. They are most impressive when the volume control on my 150 w Musical Fidelity A3cr preamp is cranked to about the 10:00 o'clock position. Man those mid drivers are pumping and the bass is phenomenal for such a small floorstander. With another 150 hours I am anticipating alot more mid level resolution. By the way, I just purchased a pair of Analysis Plus Oval 12 biwires to see how this configuration sounds. I hope it will help to open up the sound and improve inner detail, particularly in the mid range. I will keep my Kimber 8TC/4TC biwire just in case.

Thanks again for your urging to perservere with these speakers - it was worth it. I must say, though, that I do miss my PBN Montana SP IIs and can not help comparing them. Admittedly the Montanas cost $1500 more than the Sol 5.3s, but in the end the Sols may be a contender.
Keep going, Cody the Cat. At 200 hours, you are probably past the point of thinking you made a mistake. But it's not until 3-400 that you will begin to hear the magic of those speakers. If there is anything unbalanced or unsettled to the sound, rest assured that they are not close to being broken in. And while bi-wiring the Soliloquy's improves the sound IMO, the break in period is even more harsh than with a single wire. Enjoy!
Cody, I have a pair of 6.2's that took at least 250 hours to sound good. Fed them white noise all day long while I was at work for weeks. Well worth the effort, though! I have had them for 8 months now & they still get better. Hang in there!