a question about break-in is best answered by the esperience of the speaker owner.
6 responses Add your response
Keep in mind not only are you breaking in the drivers themselves but also the crossover components and wiring. Generally speaking you will hear a top to bottom difference in sound quality. Bass usually will have more extension, but will be less damped, less lean sounding. Midrange will generally sound more natural, smoother, richer. Same with the high frequecys as well.
Keep in mind and this is something most people dont realize in every case you will have to reposition your speakers because of these changes. I usually dont do my final setup for several weeks till I know the speakers have settled in.
A few months ago I bought a pair of brand new Avalon Eidolon Vision speakers for a, oh... mere, USD$25,000 here in Shanghai. I got my wife very excited about these speakers because I told her how incredible they sounded when I heard them at audio shows and at the dealer in Hong Kong. Sure enough when I set it up, powered it up (with Krell KCT and Evolution 400 monoblocks, and KPS28C, and Audioquest Sky and Everest cables), and listened for the first time, both my and my wife's jaws dropped...because we couldn't believe how aweful they sounded... The highs were very muted, mids didn't project a soundstage, and lows weren't lows, and overall, very little dynamics... My wife looked at me in amazement and said, "so these are the great speakers that you've been raving about?", as she surely thought I was nuts for paying so much for such aweful sound.... Honestly, that was really how terrible they sounded...
Incredibly, the sound from these speakers changed significantly within the first 50 hours....the highs became much more extended and resonant, soundstage started to come through. My wife also noticed the change in disbelief.
After about 100 hours of listening, these speakers started to sound pretty amazing, like what I heard before which was the reason I paid so much for them and bought them...very open, spacious, incredibly transparent with beautiful highs and low...
I am now three months into my speakers, and at least 200 hours have been put in, these Eidolon Visions really sound like music heaven!!!!! I wife also thought so and she has since forgiven me...
Well, that was my experience. They were my first very high end brand new speaker purchase. Previously I bought all second hand, high end speakers so I didn't really experience this speaker break phenomenon, and didn't really believed there was such a thing!... Hope that help!
When I bought my brand new Dynaudio C1's they sounded really good right out of the box. BUT about 100 hrs. into the break-in they sounded horrible. Lack of bass - mid's got extremely forward and the highs pretty much disappeared. I wanted to cry but said to myself they have got to get better. Anyhow within 50 more hours everything started to fall into place and I felt a lot better about my purchase. In the end it did take a good 350 hrs before mine sounded as good as they get. I wasn't happy with the finish on the cabinets and as soon as they were broken in my replacement pair arrived. Much nicer cabinets but the break-in again. Not sure why but the second pair sounded horrible after 150 hrs but in the end took about 400 hrs to but right. I'm done breaking in speakers for a long long time.