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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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Years ago, I bought a new Dell computer, which came with a monitor, keyboard, and Harmon/Kardon speakers &sub.  I wasn’t impressed with the sound of the speakers at first, but they gradually sounded better.  However, the CPU had some kind of problem, which caused it to overheat and run badly.

 

When I contacted Dell, they told me to put everything back in its box and return the whole kit to them, while they sent me a replacement.  The replacement arrived before I sent back the defective computer, which was good, because I was able to see how all the pieces should be packed.

 

To get to the point, when I plugged in the new speakers, they sounded as bad as the original ones had when first plugged in, and over a month or so, they gradually sounded better and better.  If the suspensions of those tiny speakers take time to break in, it certainly makes sense that newly assembled, never run, hi-fi speakers could also need some break-in time.  This is not voodoo or snake oil.  It’s simple mechanical sense, and also applies to phono cartridges.  In my experience, Shure N97 styli take about 25 album sides of play before they start to sound their best.  This was noted while carefully checking the sound every three LP sides or so.  At first, bass guitar lines sounded like someone slapping a sheet of cardboard, but soon, the sound became more natural and pleasant to listen to.

 

Your experience may be different, but that’s what I’ve seen and heard.

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1 hour ago, glens said:

Why, are you needing the sound to improve?

I am guessing they will write , "because it can "

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The idea that wires need break in is a far cry from the idea that a component that is mechanical needs break in.  A loudspeaker driver is made out of materials that move, have compliance/flex etc.  These sorts of things change once used until they get to the point where change is minimal over time.  Thinking otherwise is just plain dumb.  

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True, moving things will "bed in" to varying degrees, and/or become more compliant.  In terms of loudspeakers (& phono carts) I'm of the opinion that acclimatization of the listener is as large, if not larger, a part of it.

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5 hours ago, Kidd said:

I am guessing they will write , "because it can "

You and ODS should start your own audio club. Two minds with but a single thought.......

 

I don't need to read about something to make it real. Unlike you, I trust my own judgement.

 

Shakey

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1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

You and ODS should start your own audio club. Two minds with but a single thought.......

 

I don't need to read about something to make it real. Unlike you, I trust my own judgement.

 

Shakey

 

Second only to PWK himself, isn't Richard Crites another esteemed speaker guru that many on this site look up to?  Here are his thoughts on Break-in:  From the FAQ section of his website:

 

Q:  How about break in time for drivers or new driver diaphragms?

A:  Yes, and depends on the size of the driver.  Tweeter diaphragm probably break-in at a matter of seconds.  They are very low mass and move very little, so any break in would happen almost instantly.  Probably happened when the factory tested the diaphragm after manufacture.  Midrange are a bit bigger and have a bit more mass.  Break-in is probably on the order of minutes with these.  Woofers would take the longest.  I think that break-in on a 12 to 15 inch woofer would be less than an hour played at pretty good volume using music with a lot of low frequency con

 

Q:  But my speakers sound so bright after putting in the new caps that I have to hope they change with break-in.  In fact I am pretty sure they are getting better as I listen longer.  They must be changing.

A:   .. The fact that you think they are changing now is because you are getting used to them sounding like they should.  The break in is occurring but it is inside your head instead of inside the speakers.

 

Q:  How about break in time for wires and interconnect cables?

A:  None

 

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Okay, here's something that will show how gullible at least one manufacturer thinks audiophile customers may be.  I thought of posting this in a new thread, but it fits perfectly right here.

 

According to this company, cables of all kinds not only need to be broken in, which happens more quickly and effectively with his device, the Cable Cooker, but the break-in is not permanent and needs to be redone two or three times a year.  Also, phono cables carry so little current, due to the very low output of phono cartridges, that they can never truly break in with normal use alone.  Luckily, the Cable Cooker is available to address this previously unknown problem.

 

In case it's not clear from what I typed above, I am not a believer in this product.  Hmm, I just noticed that although the product's family name is audiodharma, the URL is audioharma.  Could that be a Freudian slip, acknowledging that the device does more harm than good?

 

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0404/audioharma.htm

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20 hours ago, Kidd said:

Okay , here 's what we need to do , get 2 pairs of Forte 3s  , one with many hours and the other new and compare the sounds with the A&B  switch 

Blind test 

I'm guessing no one will see/hear  a difference 

 

Or take a new pair out of the box, play one speaker overnight, then the next day play both using a mono recording and use your balance control to alternate b/w the speakers.  Be sure to set them right beside each other or you'll be comparing L vs. R room acoustics.

 

I've done this very thing with several speakers and could not hear one iota of difference.

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20 hours ago, Kidd said:

Okay , here 's what we need to do , get 2 pairs of Forte 3s  , one with many hours and the other new and compare the sounds with the A&B  switch 

Blind test 

I'm guessing no one will see/hear  a difference 

 

By this point, it should be clear that some people will hear a difference.  And I'm not guessing about that.

 

In any case, there seems to be a big difference in how one party perceives the other.  There's little or no commenting on the persons who hear no difference between never played components and well used components.  However, those who do claim to hear a difference, often based on a number of listening experiences with a number of different types of gear, are characterized as unscientific, gullible, solipsistic, subjective to the point of being deluded, and more.

 

Can we possibly agree that not everyone hears the same things when listening to sound systems and leave it at that?  

 

I should mention that although speaker and cartridge break-in is something that I've heard numerous times, with a variety of gear, cable break-in sounds as ridiculous to me as every kind of break-in of audio gear sounds to some of us here.  That said, people who think their new cables don't sound good out of the box, and wait for a while before they form any kind of judgement about them, aren't hurting anyone, so I'm not going to mock or insult them.  People sometimes feel that their car rides or runs better after it comes out of the car wash.  Sure, that's a ridiculous idea, but who cares?  It's not like any serious life decisions will be based on trivial ideas like these.

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1 hour ago, ODS123 said:

 

 

Second only to PWK himself, isn't Richard Crites another esteemed speaker guru that many on this site look up to?  Here are his thoughts on Break-in:  From the FAQ section of his website:

 

Q:  How about break in time for drivers or new driver diaphragms?

A:  Yes, and depends on the size of the driver.  Tweeter diaphragm probably break-in at a matter of seconds.  They are very low mass and move very little, so any break in would happen almost instantly.  Probably happened when the factory tested the diaphragm after manufacture.  Midrange are a bit bigger and have a bit more mass.  Break-in is probably on the order of minutes with these.  Woofers would take the longest.  I think that break-in on a 12 to 15 inch woofer would be less than an hour played at pretty good volume using music with a lot of low frequency con

 

Q:  But my speakers sound so bright after putting in the new caps that I have to hope they change with break-in.  In fact I am pretty sure they are getting better as I listen longer.  They must be changing.

A:   .. The fact that you think they are changing now is because you are getting used to them sounding like they should.  The break in is occurring but it is inside your head instead of inside the speakers.

 

Q:  How about break in time for wires and interconnect cables?

A:  None

 

 

 

What you fail to understand is that I don't need an electrical engineer to tell me what I hear. They can stick to designing the equipment, and I'll do the job of listening to it. Works just fine for me, thank you very much.

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

 

Or take a new pair out of the box, play one speaker overnight, then the next day play both using a mono recording and use your balance control to alternate b/w the speakers.  Be sure to set them right beside each other or you'll be comparing L vs. R room acoustics.

 

I've done this very thing with several speakers and could not hear one iota of difference.

 

Just because you don't hear anything does not mean there is no difference, somebody who cannot hear a difference from one piece of gear from another may not hear obvious changes from a driver that is new to one that is broken in.

 

Take measurements if you can't hear the difference, that will tell you what you want to know.

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Take measurements if you can't hear the difference, that will tell you what you want to know.

 

 

Herein lies the problem. They really don't want to know anything beyond what they already "know".

 

 

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people will generally accept facts as truths only if the facts agree with what they already believe - Andy Rooney 

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I may never change any aspects of my equipment yet it always sounds somewhat different day-to-day.  I'm talking the same sort of differences one often hears described by maybe going from 14-ga. speaker wire to 10-ga., or mechanically isolating their pre-amp, ad nauseum.  So my practical experience, off and on over the course of 4 decades, tells me that in all likelihood such changes that wrought an improvement one day would yield another improvement when undone a few days later.

 

Except for the very real enjoyment derived by those with a tinkering bent, it's otherwise mostly a waste of time and money in my opinion.  And I'm one who generally enjoys (albeit moreso in days gone by) tinkering, so it's not a viewpoint expressed by a complete naysayer.

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1 hour ago, glens said:

So my practical experience, off and on over the course of 4 decades, tells me that in all likelihood such changes that wrought an improvement one day would yield another improvement when undone a few days later.

 

An interesting perspective.  And I agree.  I believe head/ sinus congestion, hearing fatigue (..eg., if one just spent the day at a loud sporting event), the coming and going of headaches, and of course mood all affect what we hear day to day.  

 

AND, the excitement of plugging in a new component, cable, or tweak... can certainly affect what we hear.  

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4 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

 

Herein lies the problem. They really don't want to know anything beyond what they already "know".

 

 

Says the guy who eschews validation testing lest the results conflict with his beliefs.  Pot, meet kettle. 

5 hours ago, Islander said:

 However, those who do claim to hear a difference, often based on a number of listening experiences with a number of different types of gear, are characterized as unscientific, gullible, solipsistic, subjective to the point of being deluded, and more.

 

Those are testable claims, and the onus is on those claiming such things to support them.  They never actually do, but they are quite predictable in their responses defending their beliefs, often with stubborn ferocity. 

 

Feynman said the easiest person to fool is oneself. He was right, and all the golden ears posting here are proof of that.  

 

I think it's Shakey, Tiz, and Dave who should start their own forum, where they can bask in the warmth of validation from fellow golden ears, free from the unwelcome intrusion of rationalism, and more concerned with happy fun shopping time, as they share anecdotes from their respective "buy and try" primrose paths of blind consumerism. 

 

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14 hours ago, Tizman said:

The idea that wires need break in is a far cry from the idea that a component that is mechanical needs break in.  A loudspeaker driver is made out of materials that move, have compliance/flex etc.  

 

Yes, this is true.  ..But the surround material is chosen for it's imparting minimal drag on the cone.  And the motor magnet is chosen for it's ability to overpower whatever drag is caused by the surround.  This is what a speaker does...  

 

And why would a speaker company allow a $15,000 speaker leave it's factory TRULY believing it won't sound it's best for 200-250 hours (i.e., The Totem Wind)??  ..Why would they risk the speaker being set up in a dealer's demo room then comparing unfavorably to whatever ALL BECAUSE they didn't find a way to break their drivers in before mounting them in the cabinet??  If they REALLY believed in break-in and it helped avoid unfavorable demos, I do believe they'd find a way to do this before packing / shipping.

 

..A few minutes of break-in is plausible.  ..But 250 hours?  It's incredible that they very first spec they list  is break-in hours.

 

It's almost like they're saying, please listen to these for a full 250 hours before calling your dealer to say 'I'd like to return these - I've been listening to them for a few hours and I'm not really feelin' it."

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 1.43.00 PM.png

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16 minutes ago, Ski Bum said:

Says the guy who eschews validation testing lest the results conflict with his beliefs.  Pot, meet kettle. 

Those are testable claims, and the onus is on those claiming such things to support them.  They never actually do, but they are quite predictable in their responses defending their beliefs, often with stubborn ferocity. 

 

Feynman said the easiest person to fool is oneself. He was right, and all the golden ears posting here are proof of that.  

 

I think it's Shakey, Tiz, and Dave who should start their own forum, where they can bask in the warmth of validation from fellow golden ears, free from the unwelcome intrusion of rationalism, and more concerned with happy fun shopping time, as they share anecdotes from their respective "buy and try" primrose paths of blind consumerism. 

 

 

Whatever happened to the premise of listening and deciding for yourself? Do you need an oscilloscope and tone generator to tell  you whether or not you like an amplifier? How about just hooking it up and listening to some music?

 

I don't need your validation, or that of any "golden ear". I buy what I like. And when I want to try something different, I buy that too. So if I'm not nose deep in scientific measurements I am practicing "blind consumerism"?

 

BTW, if all you guys really care about is specs, you would never end up with Klipsch speakers in the first place. Sensitivity aside, there are plenty of other contenders that "measure" better. Did you actually listen and buy what sounded best to you, measurements be damned? Or are you a hypocrite?

 

Shakey

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Neither, in my case.  I decided I liked the ideas Klipsch Heritage embody.  I knew from first-hand experience in my youth that they didn't sound the best (to me then).  But I've come to the realization that what sounds good is what you're used to or what you want to sound good.  I absolutely love the Forte III.  I bought them without audition.  More so now I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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52 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

 

Yes, this is true.  ..But the surround material is chosen for it's imparting minimal drag on the cone.  And the motor magnet is chosen for it's ability to overpower whatever drag is caused by the surround.  This is what a speaker does...  

 

And why would a speaker company allow a $15,000 speaker leave it's factory TRULY believing it won't sound it's best for 200-250 hours (i.e., The Totem Wind)??  ..Why would they risk the speaker being set up in a dealer's demo room then comparing unfavorably to whatever ALL BECAUSE they didn't find a way to break their drivers in before mounting them in the cabinet??  If they REALLY believed in break-in and it helped avoid unfavorable demos, I do believe they'd find a way to do this before packing / shipping.

Same reason a $20 driver won't sound its best until its broken in. They are new and not broken in.

 

Quote

 

..A few minute of break-in is plausible.  ..But 250 hours?  It's incredible that they very first spec they list  is break-in hours.

 

It's almost like they're saying, "Please listen to this for 250 hours before calling us to say you're not really feelin' it... "

 

 

 

 

 

Break in time varies from driver to driver. 

 

Who better to know how long one of these drivers in the design takes to break in than the ones who have been testing them ?

 

 

 

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