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How do you break in a speaker?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Armchair Bronco, Feb 10, 2009.

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  1. TheDragonReborn

    TheDragonReborn Tele-Meister

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    LOLZ!!:lol: No, I didn't run their music all through it, at once...
    Otherwise I'd would be one HECK of a catfight!

    TDR
     
  2. nrps

    nrps Tele-Meister

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    How do you break in a speaker?

    One note at a time....
     
  3. brettf

    brettf TDPRI Member

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    ;)play bass through it, it'll loosen right up!
     
  4. BassMasterMkII

    BassMasterMkII TDPRI Member

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    I play jangly guitar at low and moderate volumes for a while. Then I take a fretless out at lower volumes and bust out a little "What is hip?" Does the trick everytime! After this, the bass really smooths out for guitar and the top gets polished.

    Pilates, Oakland style for speaker spiders. Patent Pending, of course.
     
  5. Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Tele-Holic

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    "Most people don't know squat about speakers."

    I think this thread has proved that without a shadow of a doubt.

    If you can't hear the benefits of a broken in speaker vs a new speaker right out of the box:
    1) you've obviously played for many years at volumes that were way too loud thereby losing any ability to hear.
    or

    2)you haven't played through your current speakers long enough to break them in to hear the difference.
     
  6. Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Tele-Holic

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    "No, bosstone, you can hear the difference and I can hear the difference, but there are many who cannot discern differences like this. To some it is a marked contrast, to others it is a mere nuance, and as this thread reveals there are those that cannot distinguish."

    I couldn't have said it better, Mr. Schwartz
     
  7. Gary in NJ

    Gary in NJ Tele-Meister

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    And there are those who drink the cool-aide.
     
  8. Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Tele-Holic

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    Then there are the deaf.
     
  9. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    I remembered looking at this thread recently when I found this on Celestion's site:

    How do I break in my speakers?
    Important Note! Before breaking it in it's advisable to "warm up" the speaker gently for a few minutes with low-level playing or background hum.
    Break in a speaker with a fat, clean tone: turn up the power amp volume to full, and control the level with the preamp gain. Use a level that will be quite loud, but not painful in a normal size room.
    Have the bass and mid up full, and the treble at least half. On your guitar, use the middle pick up position (if your guitar has more than one pick up) and play for 10-15 minutes using lots of open chords, and chunky percussive playing. This will get the cone moving, and should excite all the cone modes and get everything to settle in nicely. The speaker will continue to mature over the years, but this will get it 95% of the way to tonal perfection in the shortest time.
     
  10. bosstone

    bosstone Tele-Afflicted

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    10-15 minutes just isn't going to get it done. I don't care what they say.
     
  11. telebluesrocker

    telebluesrocker TDPRI Member

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    JUST PLAY IT!
     
  12. bosstone

    bosstone Tele-Afflicted

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    Yah, but, that just doesn't work for those who know the difference between a new and a broken in speaker and can can only get in 10 or less hours or play a week or can't crank to sufficient levels to make much difference quickly enough. I realize not many have actually had the opportunity or taken the time to hear new vs. broken speakers side to know the difference. It doesn't take any "golden ear" or "dog ear" person to immediately perceive the difference. I is very obvious. If you can't hear the difference, you have much bigger problems.
     
  13. lostpick

    lostpick Tele-Afflicted

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    IPod Into SS amp connected to speaker playing
    Ramones, then drop D drone rock in increasing volume
    Increments every 3 hrs for a 24 hr period is how I would
    Do it...I have 4 of those 8 ohm AC30 wharfies I bought
    On CL last year...believe me... They need breaking in...
    I have one out of four that is ready, the other three
    Are getting the ramones marathon I am not waiting
    Like I did for number one ....
     
  14. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

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    As I read through these posts, I am using the fast method breaking in a new 10" Weber I just installed in my old silverface Princeton Reverb via a Vibro Champ XD with the sounds of Eric Clapton's "Complete Clapton" on shuffle mode trough a Sony S2 portable CD player.

    For me this is not waisting much time, I'm enjoying the music loud (just before speaker clipping) with my cabinet covered up (isolated).

    I am also breaking in a Jensen C12Q in my 5e3 clone which I do the traditional play through method about 6 hours every week at loud volumes for the past 5 months. Although a little slower, the speaker sounded great out of the box with a tight bottom and clear top end. So, for this one I'm in no rush. Plus from what I understand it will take a very long time for this one to break in. Some say these Italian Jensens are not that great. But I disagree, they really sound great through a 5e3 clone with deluxe reverb trannys and mods: they get the tweed breakup, smooth sustain, slow decay, and the bottom holds up tighter when driven.
     
  15. phillip lee

    phillip lee TDPRI Member

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    If I purchased a new alnico Blue I would want to experience the whole gamut. Imagine a new amp with one of these speakers back in the day, it would just get better and better.No way am I gonna take a chance on ruining such a precious expensive speaker. The low wattage rating insures it won't take long to break in playing the fool out of it.
    Now a 100 watt rated speaker with a 15 watt power amp? Yeah, these techniques may be helpful.
     
  16. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Just play it! What you're proposing is like putting a car on a set of stationary rollers until the engine is broken in! The ONLY way to get it to respond the way you want it to is to break it in properly.
     
  17. 5wattphil

    5wattphil TDPRI Member

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    OP 2/9/09
    I'm guessing that that speaker is broken in by now.
    :)
     
  18. tuccisbabe

    tuccisbabe TDPRI Member

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    I've recently started to experiment with speakers, configurations, and all that mess to play around with my sound (whatever THAT is). I like making noise and I'm not all that picky... however, I have a variety of nice amps (and have bought and sold a TON of gear over the years) and I think I know what a good amp sounds like. I'm not deaf yet and I think my playing is starting to improve enough that I might be able to justify having some good amps and speakers.

    The thing that bought me here is a Fender Super Six that I bought... geez... four years ago. Before that, it was owned by a fiddle player (yeah... playing a 100W Twin with six 10" speakers!!!). He had it loaded with Jensen C10Q reissues and I've been playing it that way since. So, I figure it's already had 5 years-or-so of light to moderate play time on the speakers. I'd call that a pretty good break-in period.

    However, after reading up on the Ted Weber/Uncle Spot C10Q break-in fix, I decided to try it out. I followed Uncle Spot's method, with adding 5 to 10 minutes on the AC between acetone applications. I started off with over an hour on the transformer. It made an amazing difference. The speakers started out OK (I don't know any better), but they really opened up, giving a deeper, louder and more smooth tone.

    One thing that happened that I found interesting after a couple speakers:
    I set my meter up with the speaker, just as Uncle Spot posts with his photos. The initial reading for each speaker was around 9.1 volts. After a couple acetone applications, that quickly increased to 9.5–9.7 volts. After several applications, it would peak at around 9.8–9.9 volts and then stabilize there. I could block the beam of the speaker with my hand about 4 inches away from the cone and watch the meter drop as I was inhibiting the cone from vibrating freely. With the last four speakers, I just used the acetone applications and ran the AC until the voltage reading on my meter stabilized. I figured the cone and spider were resisting less and had loosened up pretty much as good as it was going to get with this method.

    Of course, the acetone method, as others have mentioned, is not good for any old speaker. I read that it could pretty well ruin a doped speaker. I'm just grateful to find info on making my C10Q speakers sound better.

    I'm going to try running some other newer speakers on the AC and see how they do.
     
  19. tuccisbabe

    tuccisbabe TDPRI Member

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    And thanks to everybody who has shared their info here on the board. I've dropped in to read up on things in the past.
     
  20. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    When you are playing your guitar, you are not doing it to break in the speaker. I'm assuming here of course, that the reason that you play the guitar in the first place is not to break in speakers, but because you like to play the guitar, and you want to continue getting better at it. If that is the case, if you are playing an unbroken-in speaker, you aren't really playing to break it in, you are playing simply to play, and the break in is a by-product of the primary directive: to play the bloody guitar! If you sit there for 8 hours and jam, I doubt you will notice the difference in sound. Just play it, and know that the breaking in is taking place, and it will continue to break in for the next 30-40 years.:eek:
     
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