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Breaking in subs

Printed From: the12volt.com
Forum Name: Car Audio
Forum Discription: Car Stereos, Amplifiers, Crossovers, Processors, Speakers, Subwoofers, etc.
URL: https://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?tid=73120
Printed Date: July 23, 2021 at 10:11 AM


Topic: Breaking in subs

Posted By: t-roy81
Subject: Breaking in subs
Date Posted: February 19, 2006 at 10:37 AM

this is sort of a stupid question i think, but is there a break in time on subwoofers?

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Oh Man Theres Troy



Replies:

Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: February 19, 2006 at 11:40 AM
Most speakers (not just subwoofers) sound better after a couple hundred hours of use.  So yes, there is.  Is there a special procedure you should follow?  Not for car audio speakers, no, although I usually recommend running them at no more than 1/2 power for the first few days just to be safe.

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Posted By: arrow12
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 12:57 AM
Like DYohn said... run them at lower power in the first few days.  If you blast any speaker in the first few days you run a risk of injuring the speaker.

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That's my opinion. Take it, leave it, or correct me.




Posted By: haemphyst
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 4:00 AM
arrow12 wrote:

If you blast any speaker in the first few days you run a risk of injuring the speaker.

How? I have heard this MANY times, but nowbody has ever told me how. I personally don't believe that you will hurt it, and neither do the engineers I know. WFO from the minute I get it... Never blown a speaker yet.

Yes, a break-in period CAN change the sound, but to not break on in? Not an issue, AFAIAC.

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It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."




Posted By: darthness
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 9:04 AM
break-in DOES change the sound..... the parts of a speaker are stiff when you get it. i do belive that you can damage the speaker, but i would like to know why/how.




Posted By: arrow12
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 10:13 AM
I've known a few people who have damaged speakers by blasting them the first few hours.  I know someone who screwed up an Alpine Type X in the first few hours because it is such a stiff speaker right out of the box.  It may have nothing to do with breaking in, but I hope my friends don't have that bad of luck.

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That's my opinion. Take it, leave it, or correct me.




Posted By: Steven Kephart
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 10:26 PM

haemphyst wrote:

arrow12 wrote:

If you blast any speaker in the first few days you run a risk of injuring the speaker.

How? I have heard this MANY times, but nowbody has ever told me how. I personally don't believe that you will hurt it, and neither do the engineers I know. WFO from the minute I get it... Never blown a speaker yet.

Yes, a break-in period CAN change the sound, but to not break on in? Not an issue, AFAIAC.

It's mainly to prevent mistakes.  Let's say someone wires up a new subwoofer with a lower impedance to his amplifier and runs it full bore without adjusting the gains, bass boost, subwoofer volume control, ect.  Running it at half volume at first will prevent any damage something like this may cause.





Posted By: SAMT18
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 11:07 PM
I think subs definitely need to be broken in.  I can say that from my own experiences.  I blew three Crossfire 15" BMF's within the first couple of weeks that I got them.  The guys at the audio shop couldn't really figure out what was going on.  I got them replaced but took it easy on them in the beginning instead of throwing them in and blasting them immediately.  I have had the same two subs now for atleast six months and have had no problems whatsoever.  I'm convinced that not breaking the first three in is why they blew.




Posted By: coppellstereo
Date Posted: February 20, 2006 at 11:32 PM
it is like the muscles in your body.  You dont go run a marathon without stretching, you would over-exert and pull something!  Think of the speaker the same way

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Posted By: willdkartunes
Date Posted: February 21, 2006 at 12:02 AM
Great analogy by coppellstereo. Its definitely a good idea to break in speakers (especially subs) before you go blasting the volume. I've heard a lot of subwoofers get much better in time by breaking them in. Midbass and other coaxial speakers are no exception. Of course the type of speaker has a lot to do with this, but it is generally good to not go over half volume for the first couple of days regardless of brand or speaker size.




Posted By: Fastlearner
Date Posted: February 21, 2006 at 3:11 PM
I believe in the break in period. But isn't it that speaker should be tuned(when using an amp) at 75% volume. Usually we tune right when we install. No does this mean we should install the equiptment and then have them come back in a week or two to have it tuned.




Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: February 21, 2006 at 10:59 PM
Speakers need to be broken in because it makes them sound better.  They do NOT need to be broken in to prevent damaging them.

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Posted By: torquehead
Date Posted: February 21, 2006 at 11:19 PM

WTF....never heard of this.  Is there any substantiating documentation from any manufacturer pertaining to this?  I couldnt find any.  The rubber surround is plenty flexible, as it should be.  The "spider" aka...the fiber mesh below the cone that keeps the small end of the cone/voice coil symmetrically aligned with the pole piece/magnet section is supposed to be stiff as long as possible, preventing the voice coil to contact the pole and magnet.  The voice coil should keep its resistance/impedance consistantly throughout its life (or until severe heat has taken place).  As far as the cone breaking in, the cone should be as rigid as possible as well, preventing distortion.  Wimpy cones do warp under large power especially in a sealed box, causing bad distortion.  What possibly needs broken in?  My research does not uphold this break in theory.

For the equipped members: Check this out: Set up a speaker(sub)/amp/signal-tone generator, and an adjustable strobe.  Use a bright crayon and mark the cone 5 times starting at the inner part of the cone going out creating a star-like marking.  Set the Generator to a low input signal and crank it!!!  Initiate the strobe and adjust the frequency to match the sub.  Ive done this in lab tests and you should see the "High Quality" crap I've seen!!!!

For the un-equipped members:  Even when specified subs are installed in the correct sealed enlcosure, the cone is stressed, sometimes warped due to chamber pressure and general weakness.  This is visible becuase the marks show up in the same spot every time the movement of the cone and the flash of the strobe coincide.  But, the marks are very wavy when looked at an angle.

Sorry, I work in a laboratory with alot of time to spare.  Have fun and crank it!





Posted By: customsuburb
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 5:14 PM

I doubt any of the speakers/subs blew in the above cases because they weren't broken in. It definitely sounds like a user error (IE: didn't take the time to set the gain correctly, cranked the bass boost, a leaky/mis tuned sub box, etc.).





Posted By: T.Hill
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 5:57 PM
I asked my local speaker repair guy about the break-in question and he said it was crap. He said if you needed to break a speaker in to get it loose and ready then it would keep getting more loose until it was worthless. Only difference i've ever seen was in the winter time when the subs are cold. This guy has been repairing speakers since the 8-track and 2 6x9's days. That doesn't make him right though, just thought I'd throw in what he said.

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Pioneer DEH-P980BT, Zapco DCREF1000.4,Pioneer TS-C520PRS, Adire Extremis, MTX TA91002, TC Sounds TC-3000 15"




Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 6:39 PM
You folks may be misinterpreting what speaker break-in is all about.  It is not some magical thing that is necessary for the drivers to operate properly, it is simply a natural phenomenon that occurs in ALL loudspeakers whether you like it or not as they are used.  The soft parts become more compliant and the speaker operates better, moves more freely, sounds better, etc.  It is not a myth and it is not BS it is physics.  Period.

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Posted By: torquehead
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 8:24 PM

Well, after boring myself with internet research on this, Im only giving in half way because we got reputable big guy over here, and reputable big guy over there, one saying yes / other saying no.  For some its a belief, others its....something.  Even this Dick Pierce stated "I always wondered what is being broken-in the speakers or the listener's ears?" along with other lengthy explainations.  So, I am going to be good enough to admit, since "Physics" was mentioned, that everything in such case is involved.  This gives me another project to introduce to the lab in two weeks, so i can see for myself being that I dont believe in magic or phenomena, just the facts.  I still havent been able to find a manufacturer that implements this into any documentation.  Does anyone have a lead?

Have fun, keep it cranked!





Posted By: stevdart
Date Posted: February 22, 2006 at 9:51 PM

Here's a procedure I learned that is fairly simple to use to break in a woofer.  If you are installing your own woofers, be it for car or home use, and have found this thread because you're the type who wants to go about the installation systematically, covering all bases, then this procedure is for you:

You need a test tone CD (here is a download) with a 10 minute track of the tone that corresponds with the Fs of the woofer.  You need to be able to hang the woofer up in mid air, through one of the mounting holes in the frame, letting it hang freely.  There should be no walls close to the woofer, and the woofer certainly shouldn't be laying on the table on its magnet (as you often see in videos).  The nearby table or wall acts to compress the air behind the cone so avoid those types of disturbances.

The idea is to play the sine wave tone through the woofer at resonant frequency in free air.  A very slight amount of power will enable the woofer to move at full excursion.  You have to first find out what the Xmax is so that you can look at the excursion and gauge (by eye) the approximate excursion you're putting the woofer through.  A subwoofer with a one-way excursion of 12 mm would look like its moving about an inch as the voice coil moves back and forth.  You'll note that you are allowing only a few watts of power to reach full Xmax, so be careful with the volume control.

If you're working with a car subwoofer, you can prop the trunk lid and hang it from that.  If you're working with a home sub, you can hang it from the ceiling of the room near the amplifier.  Play the tone at Fs, watch the cone movement while adjusting volume, and let it flap and whirrr for the 10 minute period.  It will sound more like a fan than a subwoofer.  Allow 10 minutes cooling time, then run it again a few sets.  Your woofer is now broken in.

There is only a small percentage of DIYers who will go through this procedure.  They are the ones who make sure they have a test tone CD for setting gains, who make sure they damped all the sheet metal while the car is torn apart, who made sure they grinded all the paint off the metal before securing the ground wire.  This is just another of the steps to ensuring that when you are ready to debut the system, it will sound the way you had hoped it would.



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Build the box so that it performs well in the worst case scenario and, in return, it will reward you at all times.




Posted By: rottenbelly
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 8:32 AM
torquehead ,kickers says to break in speakers in there manuals.

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rottenbellys 05 crew cab colorado.Pioneer dehp 880prs, kenwood excelon in all 4 doors. Bazooka 500 mono Jl 10w3 in coustom center console box.




Posted By: torquehead
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 8:42 PM

Kicker? Cool, Ill check it guys!  I put in my lab order today for a sample, the equipment is already set up.  Im gonna put myself to the test....uh, as well as the speaker. 





Posted By: audioxtacy916
Date Posted: February 23, 2006 at 10:46 PM

t-roy81 wrote:

this is sort of a stupid question i think, but is there a break in time on subwoofers?

Its all depending on the sub manufacturer, a couple lines i'm familiar with require a 2-hour of constant playing time to break them in. But this is only for the mid-range subs...comp sub require a bit longer of playing time...Now, it says require but this is only to achieve maximum potential of the speaker.





Posted By: Poormanq45
Date Posted: April 04, 2006 at 10:59 AM

Going to throw in my $0.02.

What ever "breaking in" is done to the speaker/driver has a far LESS effect on the sound as does the breaking in of your ear to the new speaker.

By this I mean that over time you become accustomed to the sound of a particular speaker.

This effect if much greater then what *might* accure by "breaking in" a driver.

Ok.  Lets say that breaking a driver in does really have an affect.  Where are the white papers?  Oh wait, not white papers, those are theoretical.  Where is the PROOF? 

You should be able to test a speaker's compliance before and after break in.  Test its frequency response...etc...

This is a matter that can be put to rest for EVER if some proof is provided.



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Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: April 04, 2006 at 12:12 PM
Here's the bottom line:  No speaker "requires" break-in to prevent some sort of damage.  All speakers potentially operate better and can sound better after they are "broken-in."  Period.  The proof is in the ears of the listener and the effect is different for every speaker.  Every speaker is different and reacts to operation differently.  The most common effect of break-in is a lowered fs.  Some manufacturers recommend a break-in period because their experience shows that their speakers sound better if it is done.  Others don't.  Simple.

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Posted By: 150dbs
Date Posted: April 12, 2006 at 5:03 PM
Ok, In all my years of Installing , I have never heard of a break in period... customer comes to me and states, I want my car to hit  like this or pound like that... I show him several options... I install the speakers highs lows mid range subs or what not. what ever he/she is here for.. Then having all my wires run I install the amps... then I tune all the amps for peak output with max radio volumn.. with out speaker distortion, popping, or engine feedbacks making sure max grounds set for stereo and amps... number one problem is after something is installed , people must see what all these dials on radios and amps do.. So what do they do.. hmmm wonder why this gain is not turned all the way up, wow it says my amp is 1/2 ohm stable, why isnt my amp bridged not even concidering what ohm rating the subs are or the configuration is setup for.... Then the phone call, I smelt something burning , and my amp is cutting out or clipping, no I notice my amps is running very hot.... or my one speaker is popping or resonating without and sound just jumps up and down in the speaker basket.... there are certain instances where certain subs will perform well above expectations, few companies out there have an affordable line that does so.. so Dont confuse 1000a max with rms.. know your speaker and or systems limits and If you want stuff to last run it within its limits, dont need to set world records unless you can afford it!!!!




Posted By: stevdart
Date Posted: April 12, 2006 at 5:13 PM

150dbs wrote:

Ok, In all my years of Installing , I have never heard of a break in period...

Welcome to the forum.  You should learn quite a few more things here, as well.  posted_image



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Build the box so that it performs well in the worst case scenario and, in return, it will reward you at all times.




Posted By: torquehead
Date Posted: April 12, 2006 at 9:19 PM

I havent followed this posted subject for some time...purposely.  Im confused why its still rolling, being as ____as it is.  Of all things to pay attention to...that actually mean something...for what little the results give, why a break in period is of anyone's concern?!  I even gave it a benefit of the doubt....wasted money on a speaker someone mentioned earlier in this post since the instructions make an alleged statement of break-in (ill give thanks for the refering person, by the way)...after hours in the lab, I used a spectrum analyser among other equipment required inside our dB chamber while abiding the rules of the speaker's literature.  When I was talked into being neutral to the "break-in" method, I though."Im going to tackle this so Ill personally be satisfied while leaving everyone else alone."  Well, I kinda got irritated at the results, gave the speaker to the first employee that crossed my path and told them to leave me be.  I hope someone with lab access other than someone involved with a manufacturer or affiliate will takle this other than me.  If you do....No, nevermind, dont involve me.

A car, motorcycle?  SURE, break it in because theres binding / moving metallic parts that actually require lubrication via oil pressure and such that is filtered during the process....therefore it actually has a reasonable break-in process to follow.

A speaker should NOT have frictional drag of any part other than the material resistivity of the surround and VC mesh.  At least you hope your speaker doesnt, if so, return it!

Im going to ignore this post for as long as I can...again...and come back later to see how long a dead horse can be beaten........

Peace....I guess






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