"Breaking in" Speakers? Also a question about speaker cable and care
Aug 21, 2002 at 2:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Ruahrc

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Well I took the plunge and ordered myself some new Promedia 5.1's. They should be coming in the mail in a few days, so while I twiddle my thumbs and wait, I had a couple questions... (like always)

1. I hear this business about not judging your speakers too critically until they have been "broken in"? How do you break them in, and is it necessary? I seem to remember it having something to do with "loosening" the driver cones a little by just playing music- so how long does it take for speakers to kind of "settle in"?

2. Cable. My speakers will come with 18-gague wire. I had read around that it was worth it to upgrade the cable to a higher quality brand (i.e. Monster Cable) and a lower gague for better sound quality. I visited my local BestBuy and saw some 16-gague (I think it was 16) Monster Cable on a spool. Is this worth it? What exactly will having a lower gague do as far as sound goes? Also, I heard that tinning the ends of the speaker wire improves the connectivity. Should I do this or will the solder only decrease the conductivity between the copper contacts?

Also what about the mini-mini cable that connects the 6 channels on my sound card to the subwoofer? Does Monster Cable make a high grade version of that cable, and is it worth it too?

3. Speaker care. My current speakers have served me well although I have neglected them a little bit. Not so for these new expensive things. What are some general common care procedures that I should be aware of? Things like dusting the driver cones, exterior, etc?

Thanks, I'm new at this so your patience is appreciated
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Ruahrc
 
Aug 21, 2002 at 3:46 AM Post #2 of 6

Budgie

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You do not need to do anything special to break your speakers in. It will happen during the normal listening process. If you want to speed it up, you can leave the speakers playing for a prolonged period of time, like when your at work or away from home. You would want to use a medium volume level to do this. I would not go to any extra effort. though. Just start using them. How long break in takes is hard to predict. I would not worry about wire etc. until you have lived with the speakers for awhile. Otherwise it will be tough to decide if the new wire made any difference or not. You probably won't notice much difference for the short length of wire you will probably be using. Same with the other cables. As to speaker care- no effort required. If they get dusty you can dust them with a damp cloth. The tweeter is the most fragile part as the dome will dent easily, so be carefull there. Otherwise, just don't listen to them loud enough to hear distortion. If the sound is clean and undistorted you are not too loud. if you hear fuzzy sound or poping noises, thats too loud.
Hope that helps!
 
Aug 21, 2002 at 3:49 AM Post #3 of 6

Budgie

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I don't think you will hear any differance if you tin the ends of the wire, but you could try it as an experiment.
 
Aug 21, 2002 at 8:31 AM Post #4 of 6

AssafL

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I usually run the woofers and midranges for 24 hours on low frequencies ~20Hz at half their maximum displacement. Then I build the speakers...

I also do that same excercise on pre-built loudspeakers, but you have to be careful not to exceed the maximum displacemnt (or you'll ruin the driver). Also, for a pre-built speaker (that has a tweeter) make sure your amplifier does not clip. Clipping creates a square shaped signal which has high frequency harmonics. If your amplifier clips, you'll send way too much power into your tweeter, which (on a 24hr stretch) may tweet itself to death...

That is why you should generally drive a lower power speaker with a higher power amplifier.
 
Aug 23, 2002 at 6:17 AM Post #5 of 6

Ruahrc

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Thanks for the info. What kind of differences should I hear as the speakers "break in"? Do they get crisper, or warmer, or what?

Ruahrc

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enjoying his finally high quality audio
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...next up is the digital decoder...
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Aug 23, 2002 at 6:22 PM Post #6 of 6

sil0nt

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tinning the ends of speaker cable can be counter productive. if the wire is copper or silver, then you are putting a less conductive material on them (solder).

if you are using very high gauge stranded copper or silver that frays easily, then a drop of solder on the tip will help them keep their shape. but, generally speaking, tinning does not improve connection.

if you have 5 way binding posts, then take the bare wire, bend it into a small U shape, and stick this into the small hole that is perpendicular to the post. then torque that screw on real tight. the tighter, the better. if it is loose, you get a poor connection and allow for quicker oxidation, which over time, decreases the quality of the connection even more.
 

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