You think your speakers suck? Break them in first!!!

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by 5F6-A, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    Interesting; that the last paragraph on Celestion's webpage is exactly the method I've been using to get "familiar" with my Orange Micro Dark and Orange's PPC108 mini cabinet (closed back). Their larger cabs use Voice Of The World speakers. I don't know the brand in the 8" cab though. The speaker when new (90 days ago) sounded very good, but using Celestion's break in procedure, I can't really determine as yet, if an improved tone has taken place. What I expect and hope will happen is that through more playing, the highs will get even smoother than they were when new.

    Classicplayer
     
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  2. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    While many myths abound in relation to music gear,it all comes down to the owner/operator....if one doesnt hear the break-in differences of speakers,well,then its all myth....However,after playing for so long and so many different combos/amps/cabs,I for one suscribe fully to the break-in of speakers.

    Thats the beauty of music gear,ya know? What works for me may not for you and vice versa....and there is really no reason to say my way/your way is the right way....I just know and understand what works for me.
     
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  3. Mindfrigg

    Mindfrigg Senior Member

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    'Infant mortality ' as it relates to technology is an acknowledged phenomenon regarding many elements. Including solder joints, power supplies, and mechanical fixings. Failure rate vs time. One of the things suggested in the subwoofer discussion I posted refers to the longevity of a speaker when burned in. Something that applies to those other components as well.
    As far as a perception of tone, I don't think that relating more reliable performance to a possible improvement in tone in some instances is too much of a stretch.
    I think that reliability is probably the primary reason for breaking in speakers...tone being secondary and subjective.

    I have experienced some speakers benefitting (seemingly) from use over time sonically. Also some speakers seem to pretty much sound the same from the get go. I really don't see how being prudent and breaking in a speaker can be problematic in any sense any way, whatever your 'opinion' on the subject is. Because lacking verifiable proof that's all it is.

    Meh.

    That being said I don't think I'll be plugging any speakers into an ac outlet any time soon. :wow:
     
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  4. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Of course there's nothing "problematic" with breaking in your speakers, the problem for me is that such unproven procedures are taken as gospel truth by many. By all means, do your own tests and try to document it.
    I must admit that it irks me a lot more when folks start talking about acoustic guitars opening up due to loosening of glue joints, changes in the molecular structure of the wood (from playing???) than the "speaker break in: fact or fiction" discussion but in the end it just boils down to an excuse or poor salespitch:" I know it doesn't sound great......yet, just wait until_____"
    IMO if it doesn't sound good when new it won't improve over time either. Things age and wear out and that's hardly ever for the better, electric components, speaker cones, guitar tops.....
    There are of course physical changes from aging that can benefit tone, wood drying out over decades (or artificially like the Martin VTS) does indeed make old stringed instruments sound different, many times better, airy and focused but it's not due to having been played much. However, that which benefits tone in acoustic instruments (drying of wood) is usually not a good thing for speaker cones.
     
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  5. Mindfrigg

    Mindfrigg Senior Member

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    I agree in a lot of instances. As you know I don't subscribe to many of the myths regarding '50s electric instruments vs later decades.

    The recommendations of speaker manufacturers regarding a breakin method is somewhat compelling though. Although I do acknowledge that they are simply covering their asses in a lot of cases. Don't want some yahoo cranking their spanking new amp to 11 and blowing some mighty windmill chords through some new speakers, then blaming them for failure. Also as you say, the idea that "you don't like 'em? Oh give it time" can be self serving.

    I'm somewhere in the middle as far as speaker breakin. Since music creation relies heavily on a sense that varies from person to person, it's hard to say when someone else is detecting something I'm not, and vice versa. So I err on the side of caution most of the time.

    I do get your meaning though.
     
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  6. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    When did speaker manufacturers start recommending breakin methods? Me thinks it was after this concept went viral on the web.
    Guitar companies touting the benefits of hide glue can sound compelling as well, same idea, apearing "in-step" with consumer concerns equals great marketing.
    Again, speakers are broken in, at the factory. And yes, bad things can happen when brand new gear is suddenly exposed to operating at the outer edges of it's operating range. there's a reason they burn in certain components at the factory when failure is cost prohibitive (CRT televisions come to mind). Manufacturing has always been about reducing failure under warranty so if an item needs burn in/ break in I believe that the manufacturer will take care of it.
     
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  7. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Right,right......this a great thread. The different opinions and such make for great reading and thought.....
     
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  8. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    This I have no idea about,however,the " break-in " of a speaker goes back to '78-'79 for me....I was fortunate in that I had plenty of older guys that I jammed with.
     
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  9. Mindfrigg

    Mindfrigg Senior Member

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    I think I recall the 'break-in' philosophy appearing in the mid '70s, at least as far as my awareness. Turntable cartridges I think at first. And that sort of spilled over into the rest of the system in the consumer consciousness.
    I do think it's likely that mechanical components of all sorts benefit to some degree from being used. I think it's possible for some woofers too, even though they are mechanically simple.

    As far as hide glue, I'm of the opinion that it could make some sonic difference in some instances. In my experience the crystalline properties of at least older cured hide glue is different than aliphatic resin which is more plastic. Just an opinion based on observation though. Can't prove it.

    But I think we both agree that buying ideas wholesale from any source without referencing your own experiences is not a good way to go. But sans experience, it's pretty much what you have to do in a lot of cases.
     
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  10. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Components that needed it were always burnt in, broken in, etc. OR, as is the case with engines, the manufacturer would explicitly state that for the first 1000 miles or so the owner should follow the break in guidelines. The audiophile community may have embraced certain hypothetical stuff early on but they are prone to believing ANYTHING that can't be proven, the list of examples is too long to post. Just try to discuss digital audio, the pros and cons of higher samplerates, the "missing" parts of digital signals vs analog", how the sound of vinyl has more depth, clarity, spaciousness, blah blah blah.
    This is fertile ground for hucksters and con-men and the only defense is common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism.
    For example, why would the minuscule amount of hideglue vs regular glue used in guitar construction matter at all? Wayne Henderson uses the regular stuff and is on record (among other top builders) stating that in his opinion it's driven by marketing, and that's talking about acoustic instruments, imagine how minimal the effect may be with solidbody guitars.
    It's like discussing the skin effect in cables, yes it's real but it doesn't come into play at audio frequencies, so when someone makes a claim about some newfound "holy grail" i remain skeptical, higher samplerates for example, listen to the experts who will tell you that the differences in sound are mostly a result of higher rate clocking being less accurate and all kinds of garbage spilling into the audio range's upper end. Or take the tone rite nonsense, how come that the "optimum frequency", specifically designed for guitar vibration happens to equal the AC line frequency (60Hz states side, 50Hz in Europe).
    The arguments and evidence brought forth by supporters is always the same, anecdotal and unverifiable. Good for anyone satisfied with that kind of evidence, it's just not for me I guess, especially when it comes to technologies that are so thoroughly understood that some newfound piece of wisdom must be suspect. As I've said before, it's like it's 2016 and someone claims they have improved the razorblade.
     
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  11. Mindfrigg

    Mindfrigg Senior Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with exposing people to possibilities. But adhering dogmatically to heretofore unprovable things is not only irritating it's a disservice, for sure.

    In just about any subject you're going to have advocates of conflicting views. My experiences aren't necessarily your experiences. And some folks are just not very convincing even though their conviction might be correct.

    Even in a logical argument, many times an unknown is missing. And unfortunately we often get invested in one side of an argument or another. Which also doesn't help further discussion.
    I'm convinced of some things simply because of it's efficacy in allowing me to move forward. I haven't the resources or time often to prove things sufficiently. So I have to go with what seems most likely to me.
     
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  12. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    In any case, I'm very happy to let you know that the cab with the Celestion A-type and the Tayden Greenback sounds heavenly!! Celestion has hit jackpot with this speaker. I love it. I played a VOX AC30 with Creambacks right aftyer and the tone was anaemic and scratchy by comparison.







    (....maybe those Creambacks require some extra breaking in!!! :naughty: )
     
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  13. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    See...now I want an A-type to try out....Geez man,you are such a bad influence:cool: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

    And I would sure like to hear that cab,brother!
     
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  14. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Will try my best to accommodate you, sir. I was worried about the tone of the A-type in a closed back cab (so far I only had listened to to it in combos or open back cabs) but there was no need to worry. In fact, I'm over the moon about how good it sounds in closed back cabs too.
     
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  15. jwinger

    jwinger Senior Member

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    With respect, that's a classical argument from ignorance - just because you haven't experienced something doesn't mean it isn't true. Sure, it varies speaker to speaker, but I've had a speaker change night and day, and also noticed a new guitar open up subtly. The changes are real and you'll know it when you hear it!
     
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  16. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Scored a WGS Blackhawk last night for a damn good price....tone report and pics will be coming soon:naughty:
     
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  17. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    He hey!!
     
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  18. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I was just dickin' around on the 'Bay last night,it caught my eye......damn good price for an Alnico. Ive been on quite a deal jag,lately. Better quit while Im ahead:laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:


    Heres the listinghttp://www.ebay.com/itm/322023879514?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT:

    EDIT: Sheesh,that link didnt work out the way I planned....oh well,be getting pics up as soon as it arrives.
     
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  19. RangerJay

    RangerJay Glam Bastard Premium Member

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    I'm a firm believer in speaker break in. I had a custom cab built around 1999 with Webers in it. It took a long, long time to break those speakers in. It was very "hard" sounding until they finally settled down. Now, they are warm and musical.

    I just picked up an EVH 2X12 that was a floor model. Buying the one off the floor saves me a lot of time. Sounds great with the Orange AD30 I have sitting on it. Still needs more playing time, but the grunt work is done.
     
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  20. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    One pic before installation....
     

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