1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What's the best way to break in speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by NicolasB, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    Finally taken my courage in both hands and ordered a pair of B&W Nautilus 803s. So the next question is, what's the best way to break them in? I vaguely recall reading somewhere (maybe in "What HiFi" :blush: ) that if you're too selective about what you play for the first couple of months you can end up with speakers that sound "broken in" at certain frequencies but not at others. I can't quite get my head around what could be happening mechanically to produce that effect, unless the signal is so selective that it only uses (say) mid-range driver and tweeter and never affects the bass driver. Can anyone confirm or deny that this is possible?

    If we assume for the moment that, for whatever reasons, it is preferable to use as wide a range of frequencies as possible, then that leads me on to thinking about white noise. If nothing else this is something which could probably be left running during the day while I'm out of the house without completely p*ssing off the neighbours. :) Can anyone suggest a good source of nice, even, broad-spectrum white noise, either CD/DVD-based, or perhaps as derived from the output of a PC sound card?

    And in general does anyone have any good hints about breaking in speakers in a way that minimises breaking-in time while maximising the life of the speaker?
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Not sure about minimising time, justdon't give them a good hammering to start with. I'm not usre what B&W recommend for a run in time but I do know that if you turn up the volume too loud on cold kevlar drive units you can cause them to break up.:(

    I suspect at least 100hrs is required, you could just leave them played on a lowish level with a varied music CD on.

    HTH.:)
     
  3. dts_boy

    dts_boy
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,515
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester suburbs...
    Ratings:
    +141
    you could always burn some pink noise onto cd and leav it on repeat, or if you need to, ask your dealer to leave them running in for you. i remember getting my m&k speakers and putting them on for the first time - i felt 100hrs was a lifetime, it took me a month of running in before they really started to sing:eek:
     
  4. Nobber22

    Nobber22
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,977
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +109
    Put a tuner onto Radio 1, 2 or 3 and leave the speakers running at a low volume all day and night for a week. Cover the speakers with a large duvet if they keep you awake at night. :) Make sure you don't actually listen to Radio 1 as the endless repeats of the same 4 tunes will drive you crackers.:mad:
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    Why pink noise rather than white?
     
  6. James45

    James45
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,844
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Taking Care of Business
    Ratings:
    +0
    because it's prettier!:D
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    :rolleyes:

    But less relaxing, I suspect. I'm rather fond of white noise. Sounds a bit like a stream or the sea....
     
  8. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Isn't white nosie just one frequency and pink a wide band frequency noise?

    Summit like that isn't it.:)
     
  9. Nobber22

    Nobber22
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,977
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +109
    Why not just run them in with what they are designed to play: music!
     
  10. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    White noise is called that by analogy with white light. What we perceive as white light consists of a mixture of all visible light frequencies from red through to violet. "White" noise is a mixture of all audible frequencies from sub-bass through to super-treble. Pink noise (I assume, I may be wrong) is similar, but with more low frequency components, in the same way as pink-coloured light includes all frequencies but with a bias towards the red end.
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    Because I want to make sure they are broken in evenly across the entire frequency spectrum, and by definition white noise includes all frequencies. (It's also very relaxing).
     
  12. Nobber22

    Nobber22
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,977
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +109
    So if I used my U2 collection to run in my new B&W's and then the following month put on some organ music with some really low bass and played it really loud, I could damage my now (I believe) run-in speakers?

    Does a surprise frequency that a speaker has never played before have the potential to damage it?
     
  13. James45

    James45
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,844
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Taking Care of Business
    Ratings:
    +0
    don't tell me... you've spent thousands on these things and you're going to sit there listening to the kind of noise you used to get when BBC didn't broadcast 24hrs a day!!:D
     
  14. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    No, of course not, but you don't break speakers in to protect them, you break them in so they sound better. As I said above I have read that it is possible for speakers to sound "broken in" (i.e. good) at some frequencies but still sound brand new (i.e. not so good) at others if they haven't played anything at those frequencies yet. So I'm concerned that I don't end up with a situation where (say) the extreme treble range never gets properly broken in at all, so that on the rare occasions when the signal actually reaches that register it always sounds bad and spoils the listening experience even when the speakers are twelve months old.
     
  15. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    One word: Ganzfeld.
     
  16. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I usually stick on one of the more varied Sky Radio stations for a few days and moderate volume. Does the trick.

    S
     
  17. Nobber22

    Nobber22
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,977
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +109
    Thanks NicholasB - interesting post. Guess this could have a large impact on someone trying out DVD-A or SACD for the first time on their system too. :)
     
  18. juboy

    juboy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Same here. Sky Radio is far better than Radio 1 as the music isn't compressed to the same level (I'm referring to compressions applied BEFORE the transmission compression) so you get a wider frequency range and better quality sound.

    Plus they don't repeat the same A list songs 6 times a day (which is what eventually turned me off Radio 1) and you actually have a choice of listening to genres other than 'urban'.

    CD wise, I am led to understand that The Prodigy's 'Fat of the Land' CD contains about the widest frequency range on a mainstream music disc. Could be worth leaving that on repeat for a few days?
     
  19. MuFu

    MuFu
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,191
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    NW2, London
    Ratings:
    +4
    I just use them normally and go easy on the gain for about 30 hours.

    MuFu.

    P.S. Moloko's "Things To Make And Do" and "Reverence/Irreverence" by Faithless are also very acoutically diverse.
     
  20. Geoffrey Shrek

    Geoffrey Shrek
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0

    I would have thought this is exactly what you need :D
     
  21. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,804
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +520
    (sad smile) Of course hearing becomes less sensitive at a given frequency the more you're exposed to that frequency. You think maybe I should work on increasing my hearing loss in the parts of the spectrum where it's comparatively mild so as to get a flatter response curve? Maybe.
     
  22. AVMADMAN

    AVMADMAN
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    i read that if you place one speaker out of phase and one in phase facing each other quiet close together this can reduce the runing in time to about an hour...

    quoted from mordant short handbook
     
  23. bones`

    bones`
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,831
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Preston
    Ratings:
    +40
    Yes AVMADMAN that is true but I think it doesn't reduce the break in time rather gives the cones a good workout without the volume as one speaker is pushing the other pulling. :)
     
  24. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    Messages:
    671
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +5
    Vivante sell a test CD that contains setting-up/running-in material. I think it's called XLR by Reference Recordings (American) or something like that. I've got one at home but unfortunately I'm currently in the office.
     
  25. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    Pink or white noise will do just fine for breaking in speakers as will any of your favourite CD's left on repeat for a day or two!....one useful tip if you don't want to get too bored is to place the speakers facing each other,and wire them out of phase with each other.
    It won't shorten the breaking in period,but it will spare the boredom.
    B&W say their speakers take a relatively short breaking in time...don't believe it....most of the Nautilus dealers say a couple of weeks average use is required...I certainly found it with mine.:)
     
  26. karkus30

    karkus30
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    13,991
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,261
    Can hardly believe this thread, it mirrors the one on my motorcycle forum re-running in. All speakers require time to begin working properly, but just normal ordinary everyday music will do, nothing special, you wont damage them by using them at normal volumes.

    As the rest of the chaps have commented, wire out of phase and facing each other, overnight is sufficient for the speakers to mellow off.

    My speakers were pre run in by the manufacturer, he runs them in then ensures that they still sound matched. But he has got pitch perfect hearing, lucky sod.
     
  27. dts_boy

    dts_boy
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,515
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester suburbs...
    Ratings:
    +141
    NicolasB, if you're really worried about running in, give me for about a year say, and i will make sure that they are well run in:D
    BTW, not sure why pink noise, my dealer gave me a cd with some on it and said to leave it on repeat whilst i was out.
     
  28. MuFu

    MuFu
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,191
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    NW2, London
    Ratings:
    +4
    I disagree! Perfect pitch is a curse and I wouldn't wish it upon anybody. :D

    MuFu.
     
  29. karkus30

    karkus30
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    13,991
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,261
    You would'nt if your batteries for your guitar tuner went flat, now wheres that pitch pipe.....meddddddic.
     
  30. micb3rd

    micb3rd
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,047
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +67
    I have broken in a fair few speakers, I always use low levels of mostly CD playback for at least 24 hours of play time, within this 24 hours I do turn them up a bit occassionaly but not too much.

    I never wire the speaker out of phase because if you are going to leave your speakers breaking in you do not actually know at what volume level they are at when they are out of phase, as an extreme case you could be clipping them to death and not know about it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...