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New speakers: Breaking-in//warming up period

RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
I've been upgrading the sound system in my home, component by component, for the last few months. At this point the only thing remaining is rear surround, having recently purchased the center and front speakers I had wanted.

Where the question comes in is that the center channel that I purchased, a rather nice one, had a very odd sound at the high end in higher volumes initially out of the box. Not quite the sound of a blown speaker, but definitely a sound that shouldn't be there. I am considering returning it, however I have noticed that it seems to be occurring less frequently than before.

This got me wondering if higher quality speakers might need to 'warm up' like a car engine or a high-end television, or if it was just wishful thinking/getting used to it on my part. I'd rather not return the thing, but I'm concerned that I'm just making a leap in my head as I continue using it in order to prevent me having to do so.

I didn't notice similar behavior on any of the other components I've purchased, which lends credence to the idea that its all bullshit and I'm just looking for reasons to not switch it out for a different piece.

So, speakers needed to warm themselves up. Credible and possible, or idiotic and implausible?

Raynaga on


  • kpeezykpeezy Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Tons of people believe that speakers have a "burn in" period. It's debated, but there are many people that agree with what you heard.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I've heard from hi-fi retailers that there's a break-in period for speakers, though I always got the impression that as the speakers "break-in" they will sound better (sweeter highs, tighter bass, crisper crispy things) and not that non-broken-in speakers might have sound artifacts that go away with repeated use. I haven't listened to enough installations over time to form an opinion as to whether or not that's BS.

    Can you reliably replicate the sound artifacts? Play source material though it you think is likely to cause the issue.

    If I'm noticing a replicable artifact I will switch the speaker with another speaker (easily done at the receiver) to verify it's not the source. Once I'm sure it's not the source then I test the speaker wire: detach and reattach the wire both at the speaker binding posts and at the receiver (this is usually sufficient to resolve "scratchiness"); if it persists I will cut and re-attach the connections between the wire and the connectors (both at the speaker binding posts and at the receiver). If it remains then the speaker is likely damaged.

    If you are at all not confident in the speaker, just return it.

    Djeet on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I would return it for the pure piece of mind. Are all of the speakers from the same company, bought at a similar time?

    Improvolone on
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  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Physically switch the speaker hookups around and make sure it isn't a problem with the amp. I recently discovered that the one speaker selection on my stereo has a blown right channel, and that no matter what speaker goes there, it will hiss and pop for the first 30 minutes music is playing.

    archonwarp on
  • RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    First, thanks for the replies/info.

    All but the rear speakers are now of the same company and series. Those are the last component to be upgraded. I've been leaving some sound running through the center channel (the one in question) over-night and then cranking the volume on it the following day ever since the OP to look for the weirdness.

    At this point the artifact is almost completely gone. I'm still not sure if you could definitively say that a break-in period exists across the board, but in this particular instance it seems to have been the case.

    The reason I was hoping I wouldn't have to return it is that it is being replaced with a new model by its manufacturer at the end of the year, which means I was able to nab it at a drastically reduced cost that I may not be able to replicate if they don't have any more available. From what I can tell by looking at the spec sheets, the difference with the new model amounts to the color of its plastic.

    Raynaga on
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