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Break-In Time for Subs

 

Bronze Member
Username: Shivvyman

Post Number: 28
Registered: Dec-04
I'm just curious as to how everybody has broken in their subs and what they believe the best method might be. How long did you guys wait before you finally gave it some decent power.

I just got my 12" Infinitay Kappa Perfects. Right now I'm just running the sub (open air, not in box) off of a home receive with the radio running through it. I'm probably going to run a bass CD as soon as I get one burnt off. I'm hardly giving it any juice right now, maybe 20 watts at the most.

I've heard Kappas should be broken in for an extremely long period of time. I've read several posts about people blowing them within the first couple of days due to the fact they didn't break them in properly.

I'm thinking about running each sub 6 hours at a time for this low level of wattage. I'll probably crank it up a bit after that and run it for a short period of time. I imagine I'll just keep cycling it.

Anybody have a good proper way to do things?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Taylor17

Kopperl, Texas

Post Number: 31
Registered: Jan-05
Your way is good, but most people just go 20 hours befor turning them up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shivvyman

Post Number: 29
Registered: Dec-04
I'm guessing I'll probably run mine in 4-6 hour intervals till each sub has about 30 hours on it. Hopefully they will be good to go by then. Last thing I want is a blown sub.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Taylor17

Kopperl, Texas

Post Number: 38
Registered: Jan-05
Ya that's fine! You shouldn't have to wory:-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Symplestiles

Stockton, CA Usa

Post Number: 306
Registered: Aug-04
play the subs a little less or around half volume. if you play them too low it wont break them properly either. 30 hours is a great amount of time ot break them in, they will be good to go after that
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2952
Registered: May-04
You're using a more elaborate method, you'd be just as well off to put the subs in their proper enclosure, and just listen to music for around 20-40 hours, and gradually break them in. Keep the amp at a reasonable volume level and avoid clipping.
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 423
Registered: Sep-04
"breaking in your subs" is a lame excuse that salesman' use. you dont need to break in your subs, who ever says that you do is mistaken.
"burning in" your components and interconnects is a different story, but that's an sq type of thing:-)

 

Bronze Member
Username: Zepp

Post Number: 30
Registered: Dec-04
i could be mistaken, but doesnt breaking in yeild better sq results? it loosens up the components giving you a tighter, more controlled response?

or is this a big load of crap :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2956
Registered: May-04
The manufacturers are usually the ones that recommend it, I know my Dynaudios recommended a 120 hour break in period. A lot of it is to cover their a$$ just in case. The main reason I recommend it is because usually 99% of "break in" problems happen because when you're installing a sub, you're also installing an amp with it, so gains may not be set correctly, wires cut loose, and other little minor issues may be there, things that would damage the driver, especially at high volumes. I learned that at my shop having to replace subs and speakers because people were careless, so I usually recommend taking it easy so you make sure that the system setup is solid, nothing shorts out over bumps, stuff like that. Plus the suspension is tighter, and it changes the enclosure requirements, and effects the impedance curve of the driver to a certain extent. Just something I prefer to do really, I usually let the suspension loosen up then do my final evaluation and finish the setup (EQ, etc.)
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 424
Registered: Sep-04
hi jonathan,
i just got back from cancun. it was beautiful.
when we landed back in wisconsin there was over a foot of snow on the ground:-), lol
i'd say visiting and climbing the temples were the greatest part of the vacation.
it was also quite sobering to see how people lived in person outside of the main city.
i've always been aware of conditions they had to deal with but physically seeing them can give you another perspective, (and appreciation).
its funny how i can feel "proud" "and guilty" to be an american, all at the same time.
we truely are blessed to live in this country if you really sit down and think about it.
any who, just thought i'd say hi:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shivvyman

Post Number: 30
Registered: Dec-04
I don't think its a load of crap to 'break-in' subwoofers and speakers. All the components need time to loosen up and I believe you are asking for trouble if you fire your sub up immediately and expect maximum excursion. I could see a really rigid some not being ready to handle something like that right off the bat.

When you buy a new car do you immediately take it to the tracks and see how fast the 0-60 time is? Obviously, you can do this, but its not recommended. For example, almost all well maintained cars will have better performance times after 40,000 miles when compared with the original times after a couple hundred miles.

All I'm saying is some products require a little more care. No doubt, the whole 'break-in' time is also a ploy used by manufacturers to protect their products, but I also believe there is some truth to this matter.

I don't have the box yet so I'll be running them open air. I'm just not taking any chances. I'm sure I might be underpowering them to a good extent, but I'll gradually increase the wattage after each interval. I created a little bass test cd tonight. I'll probably just run that on repeat off of my cd player thats hooked up to my receiver. Right now its just running off the radio. Its surprising that you can actually hear the vocals. It almost sounds like a muffeled mid range speaker. I'll be glad to throw in the CD tomarrow and have it play at almost strictly low frequencies.
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 426
Registered: Sep-04
my subs go straight from the crate to the encloser and burp them at full excursion 160db+
there is no such thing as "breaking in" a sub.
breaking in an engine and drivetrain is a completly different animal, your dealing with bearings creating wear patterns along with rings setting and many other factors that go along with moving metal parts.
but as far as a woofer?, well it only has a damper that will at best get a little softer from being stretched over n over.
if your concerned about breaking your woofer by not "breaking it in" that this is foolish.
however if your concerned with sq than a "burn in" cd is something you should look into for your subs and entire system. certain frequencies, tones, and harmonics will "burn in" "paths" for electrons to flow more efficiently. i'm not really heavy into this so i'll have to ask a good friend of mine who is a purist. he'll be able give me some more info and drop some names of burn in type cd/albums for you to buy. or just "search" the topic in google
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 427
Registered: Sep-04
hey!!! that post # was 426
thats a good number:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Fordpwr

Los angeles, Ca Usa

Post Number: 97
Registered: Dec-04
one question for you zacdavis, whats does "burning components" mean?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Fordpwr

Los angeles, Ca Usa

Post Number: 98
Registered: Dec-04
?????????????
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 429
Registered: Sep-04
Any cable's conductors consist of many groups of atoms, clustered in crystals or atom clusters. The borders between these crystals or clusters are critical zones where electron movements are hindered when the condition of these boundaries is getting worse. This worsening takes place e.g. when your loudspeaker cable is moved every day and/or chemical activity is around - latter amplified by higher humidity levels, elevated temperatures and air pollution. Also imperfections in the cable insulation can trigger conductivity changes.
Burning-in is the effect that, despite any affected crystal borders, the sound quality improves again thanks to electron movement through conducting zones like so-called electron tunnels. But... when you move a cable again, those tunnels are "broken" and you then have to start again by playing your music.
You may wonder why (especially) on Sunday evening the music sounds so good again, this after a week with plenty of sound problems. Your cables finally are burned-in. But as soon as the killing Hoover (vacuum cleaning) hour on Monday morning comes and the over-active cleaning lady messes about with your cables, the problem returns: your cables are "burned-out" again, remaining that way until the following Sunday...



that is a quote, there is similar affects on all equipment that pass energy, incuding woofers, it gets much more detailed than that quote, i dont have time to search for it nor can i explain it in detail because if i'm not 100% certain of how somethin works, i'd rather not be the one to explain it.
when Dan comes over next time i'll ask him about some of his "burn in albums", he's really into this stuff, he has an all analog stereo system that will blow you away, the depth and warmth is more than just good re-representation of good recordings. being a purist, a studio engineer, and english teacher, he'll be put this topic into words that we all will be able to appreciate.
the last time i saw him was before i went to world finals and he gave me this little container, it is SilClear. it is a contact enhancer that contain tiny silver platelets that are suspended in an organic oil like substance. at any rate this enhancer is rubbed sparingly to the contact points of interconnects and it fills in the "swiss cheese holes" (gaps) with the silver and apparently improving sound quality by a surprising amount.
i explained to him that i run spl set up and it prolly would only make minimal if any difference. but he insisted so i did, i think i gained .1db not bad, i cant wait to use it in my home system.
any who...
l8r max
 

Bronze Member
Username: Fordpwr

Los angeles, Ca Usa

Post Number: 99
Registered: Dec-04
thanks zac d. and i'm taking your word about subs not needing that long of break in time if any. I'm cranking my sub later on today after of 4 days of mid level listening. I have that silclear your talking about but i've only used it on my 65 mustang's electronic ignition system. one question: did you use it throught out your car audio system(amps.power,ground,etc.)or just your speaker connections?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Fordpwr

Los angeles, Ca Usa

Post Number: 100
Registered: Dec-04
by the way.I'm the guy who replaced that weak 15" mtx 9500 with my new 15" x.x.x.. when i bought my mtx I had no idea about breaking subs in and all that.I put the sub in a box and fired it up all the way.This was about 2 1/2 months ago.To this day, is still working fine.however, I'm still being a little cautious with the x.x.x.
 

Silver Member
Username: Zacdavis~

Post Number: 432
Registered: Sep-04
hi max, i used small amounts on my signal interconnects. but be carefull not to smear it across the leads that are in close proximity with one another, the silclear itself can create an electrical bridge between the two points causing a short, lol. its really cool stuff.
eventually i used it on all of my terminations.
but to answer your q again i'd say that the rca's should be the first to be treated, l8r bro
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 7247
Registered: Dec-03
the break in perod for the speakers gives time for the "new" materials in the spider and such to loosen up. They're stiffer when they're brand new, and a speaker will change it's response as it breaks in. This has been discussed for years in the home audio world but far less so in mobile audio really. After a sub has had time to loosen up it'll generally have a slightly higher output, though probably not an audible difference, and the sound will change a bit. Anybody who's had subs from the time they came out of the box should be able to agree that they sound considerably different the first time ya hear them, than they do after you've had them in use for a couple of weeks.
burn-in periods vary based on several factors for cables, and components. Things like the amount of voltage and current pumped through a device will affect how long it takes to properly 'seat' all the parts. That's one reason I stick to my old amplifiers and signal processors. They're all well worn in and I don't have to concern myself with alterations in response as they settle in as I would if they were brand new out of the box.
As for longevity, I don't know that anybody could or has proven or disproven the advantages of a break in period for speakers, but I feel it's always good to take it easy and do things in moderation. I feel at least theoretically I'd rather make sure new speakers have the coils seated linearly and that the new materials like the spider loosen up evenly so they don't cause any non-linear travel at high excursion. I mean it's not like it costs me anything to take it easy at first anyway so what's the harm?

just my two cents.
 

Silver Member
Username: Fordpwr

Los angeles, Ca Usa

Post Number: 102
Registered: Dec-04
thanks everyone.After of about 4 days of mid level power to my sub, I decide to take zac d.'s advice and really let my sub loose and I tell you what,It(15" x.x.x.) fuck3n ROCKS!!!!I'm pretty sure most of you might remember a while back asking for help on chosing a sub that would stand up to the uuuuuu-woooow 13w7, well, we(brother in law and me)played them side by side and WOW!!!We both agreed that the x.x.x. is a better sub overall especially for $465!!!!!!!It played noticibly louder and the bass was much more detailed,smooth and deeper than the w7.His w7 is now for sale,$ 700, shipped, in a ported box.If you live in california,we'll deliver.This is by far the best sub I've had:-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Hydro

Orlando, Florida

Post Number: 185
Registered: Dec-03
Hey Zac and Glasswolf Ive been really interested in building my own subwoofer.Do you know where I could get all the materials and hardware to make them(Surround,Dustcap,Cone,Voice Coil,Magnet,Tinsel Leads,Pole Piece,Stamped Frame etc.)I know bigger voice coils can dissipate more heat that smaller ones so I want a 3" Voice Coil.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 7271
Registered: Dec-03
Glad it worked out for ya Max. I like my two 12" ones myself. I figured that fifteen would serve ya well.

as for speaker parts, I had some links. I'll have to dig around for them.
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