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cogitech 15th December 2012 01:24 AM

Break-in is Real
No, I didn't measure anything. If you are looking for some revelation of an empirical nature, move along.

However, I am convinced, beyond any doubt whatsoever.

I have been running stock EL70 drivers in my "Castle" microTowers for well over a year. I remember when I first got the drivers installed in the cabinets that I was horrified. Talk about harsh - and the bass was nowhere to be found...

I panicked and posted here. "Don't worry", I was told "...they need a few hundred hours."

Indeed, they did. Over the next 500 hours or so, they improved dramatically. Then, incrementally, until they settled in to a glorious state of audio nirvana. No longer did I need any EQ, and the bass dial on my amp could be set to zero.

I recently became uneasy about the fact that EL70 drivers are getting hard to come by, so I decided to order 4 EL70eN from Dave (as "backups"). Of course, as soon as I got them I swapped the new ones into the cabinets!

I didn't anticipate what happened next. Granted, Dave clocked "200-500 hours at low level before the treatment" on the drivers, but I was pretty shocked to hear that my bass was gone. Well, not completely, but so much so that I actually need to turn on my sub now. They are not "harsh" like virgin EL70 can be, but they are not anything like "slightly abused" EL70s, either.

Don't get me wrong, the EL70eN look fantastic, they are matched, and I can already tell that the top end is more coherent and controlled. There is no hint of regret in this post and I am very happy with my purchase. Once they are appropriately loosened up they will no doubt provide what I was accustomed to, and more.

The point is; I have absolutely no doubt at all that "break-in" is very real. Perhaps it is more obvious with these drivers specifically. I don't know, but it is just so obvious.

Anecdotal? Yes. But true nonetheless.

Now, for some Rage Against the Machine at 30 watts!

Pano 15th December 2012 01:33 AM

The problem, of course, is that we can't hear what you heard. That's why measurements are so handy. FR, T/S and distortion measurements from before and after break-in would go a long, long way in helping your argument.

Short of that, you'd need 2 sets that sound the same at the beginning, then break in one and not the other to compare them. Without something like that, you'll get lots of nay-sayers.

(disclosure, I believe in driver break-in too)

zman01 15th December 2012 01:37 AM


Great suggestion by Pano, if possible please get some measurements done. (another break-in believer :))

TonyTecson 15th December 2012 01:38 AM

of course, who can argue that you did not hear what you heard? that is your reality but it doesn't mean that it has to be mine too....;)

Cal Weldon 15th December 2012 02:06 AM

Acclimation is bigger than driver break-in. If you think otherwise, you haven't built many speakers. :)

Bob Brines 15th December 2012 02:25 AM

The only way to demonstrate the effects of break-in is to A/B two pairs of speakers -- one with 500hr old drivers, one with new drivers.


tuxedocivic 15th December 2012 02:36 AM

Although I'm not a big break in believer, isn't that somewhat what the OP did? I'm sure he didn't have any preconceptions that it was going to sound bassless. Not a perfect AB, but not bad.

planet10 15th December 2012 02:52 AM


Originally Posted by Pano (
... you'd need 2 sets that sound the same at the beginning, then break in one and not the other to compare them.

Been there done that. Only a 100 hrs of breakin. RS40-1197 in BD Pipes.

Break-in is very real.


Bob Brines 15th December 2012 02:55 AM

Not really. There is no way you can remember the sound of a speaker days-weeks ago. This is particularly true if he has been listening to the same speakers all that time. The OP's report would have more credibility if another speaker was used as a reference before/after. Still, a single individual switching components is not a very good test. I know this from personal experience.


Bob Brines 15th December 2012 02:58 AM

Post got separated from the one I was answering.

Yes, I agree with Dave when you actually have the before and after available. My personal experience is that bass does not come in. It either there or not in the first hour. The real benefits of break-in are higher up.


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