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  • Breaking in a loudspeaker

    We get asked a lot how to break in a new speaker. While there's no absolute best way or finite length of break-in time, here's a method I've found to work well.

    1. With a flat-faced speaker like the Chanes, place two stereo speakers face to face, grilles on, as close as possible. Stopper the ports - we include foam plugs for this.
    2. Connect an amplifier to both speakers but wire one speaker in reverse polarity.
    3. Connect the amp's inputs to a suitable signal source such as a smartphone.
    4. Using a free app - I have RadonSoft's signal generator for Android - set the source to pink noise and adjust the amp's volume for about 3/16" of woofer cone travel. This is a moderate volume level.


    With the speakers wired out of phase with one another and their grilles touching, and with the ports stopped, very little noise will be generated for the levels involved. Let them play as long as you like.

    There are three areas in a Chane speaker, at least, that need to be conditioned. The first is the fabric rear surround on the long-travel SplitGap mid-woofers. The second is the treated paper mid-woofer cone. The last is the planar tweeter, which unlike a dome, doesn't have a supple half-roll edge suspension and likes a little stretching.

    Other speakers using homogeneous cone materials like plastic or metal, and smaller, more mechanically-active dome tweeters may not benefit as much, if at all. But the Chanes should be conditioned a fair amount, and we've identified these three areas as the places we have to address. Two involve organic materials and one is mechanical. Users of very energetic full range drivers with light paper cones generally report break-in times in the dozens of hours. The paper fibers have to be worked in to a stable state.

    That's how I've done it. Any reasonable variation on this method is fine too.

  • #2
    Hi Jon,

    Very informative post! Any apps you'd recommend for iphone?

    I'm getting all my ducks in a row as I await my A5's and the A2 this week! :biglaugh:

    Cheers,

    YC

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jon Lane View Post
      We get asked a lot how to break in a new speaker. While there's no absolute best way or finite length of break-in time, here's a method I've found to work well.

      1. With a flat-faced speaker like the Chanes, place two stereo speakers face to face, grilles on, as close as possible. Stopper the ports - we include foam plugs for this.
      2. Connect an amplifier to both speakers but wire one speaker in reverse polarity.
      3. Connect the amp's inputs to a suitable signal source such as a smartphone.
      4. Using a free app - I have RadonSoft's signal generator for Android - set the source to pink noise and adjust the amp's volume for about 3/16" of woofer cone travel. This is a moderate volume level.


      With the speakers wired out of phase with one another and their grilles touching, and with the ports stopped, very little noise will be generated for the levels involved. Let them play as long as you like.

      There are three areas in a Chane speaker, at least, that need to be conditioned. The first is the fabric rear surround on the long-travel SplitGap mid-woofers. The second is the treated paper mid-woofer cone. The last is the planar tweeter, which unlike a dome, doesn't have a supple half-roll edge suspension and likes a little stretching.

      Other speakers using homogeneous cone materials like plastic or metal, and smaller, more mechanically-active dome tweeters may not benefit as much, if at all. But the Chanes should be conditioned a fair amount, and we've identified these three areas as the places we have to address. Two involve organic materials and one is mechanical. Users of very energetic full range drivers with light paper cones generally report break-in times in the dozens of hours. The paper fibers have to be worked in to a stable state.

      That's how I've done it. Any reasonable variation on this method is fine too.
      Hello again Jon,

      I finally received my A5's and A2.4! I tried the method above using ATG Lite (Audio Tone Generator for iphone). I don't see the woofers moving at all with pink noise. Am I doing something wrong?

      Thanks!

      YC

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by YC1984 View Post
        I tried the method above using ATG Lite (Audio Tone Generator for iphone). I don't see the woofers moving at all with pink noise. Am I doing something wrong?
        Check if there's any filtering that's removing the bass - a highpass crossover, for example. If you're sure the signal is broadband, then turn up the volume until you see the woofer cones moving.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just checked and it still doesn't work. Will try another app!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jon Lane View Post
            Check if there's any filtering that's removing the bass - a highpass crossover, for example. If you're sure the signal is broadband, then turn up the volume until you see the woofer cones moving.
            I tried Audio Function Generator by Thomas Gruber for iphone and it works like a charm! So PUMPED to get these fully broken in!

            YC

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            • #7
              If I'm lazy and do nothing, will speakers eventually break in on their own, simply from using them? Or is there something special about using pink noise and/or compressing the time frame?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Unsquish View Post
                ?
                Speakers will eventually break in without any special procedures. The materials need physical movement for break in to occur, so lower driver output will cause break in to take longer to finish.
                If you like the sound right out of the box, then you may not care to do a special break in. Personally I didn't like the sound before break in, there was an 'out-of-phase' sound like the drivers weren't working together (I've been through quite a few different speakers and these have been the first that I can say there was a definite change, especially more so with the bigger A5s than the smaller A1s).

                The method mentioned earlier is the quickest but it's not convenient if you want to listen to them. If you want to listen to them, then go ahead and set them up properly for listening, then when you are out of your house running errands turn on some loud bass heavy audio (something that physically moves the drivers).

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll second gdstupak. (Incidentally, the response plot of the A1.4 on the main site shows a broken in tweeter. The A2.4 plot shows a brand new speaker with a new tweeter right off the line, unplayed. You can see the difference. A little of that dip is just how the MTM A2.4 acts, but about half if it plus the differences above about 5kHz are how the tweeter acts before and after a fair amount of use...)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, I downloaded Audio Function Generator to an old iPad and fired it up. That out-of-phase thing is crazy when you push the speakers together. So cool.

                    I feel like a member of a secret club now ;):cool:

                    Thanks all!
                    Patrick

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