Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: is speaker break-in real?

Can't say I'm surprised. Different speakers have different reactions to break-in. Plus, break-in is not a unique state, but drifts over time, and in response to the severity of the break-in regimen. The manufacturer, for example, probably uses a single break-in regimen for all samples of a given product, and this may or may not (usually the latter) approximate how the end user will exercise the product.

The governing PDE's for creep are usually first order, so the solution is exponential with a characteristic time constant. However, creep in a loudspeaker responds to more than one mechanism, so there are usually at least two significant time constants at play. Even more complex, there is a measure of recovery in mechanical properties after exercise, so "break-in" per se isn't a monotonic, deterministic progression, but rather a "two steps forward, one step back" kind of phenomenon.

There are also very long-term changes that take years to come to light, such as very slow, but relatively steady, continued cross-linking of bonds in synthetic rubbers. I have a Focal driver from the 1980's that, back in the day, had a soft surround made from a synthetic rubber (I'm guessing NBR or SBR, not sure.) Today, the surround is as stiff and as brittle as glass; indeed, sections of the surround have broken off in response to mild finger pressure.

The topic of speaker break-in is huge and generally a headache for manufacturers...


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  • RE: is speaker break-in real? - mapirc 21:03:54 06/28/17 (0)


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