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  • SPEAKER BREAK IN???

    Hello,
    I don't want to ruffle anymore feathers here so I will say this as politely as possible, I don't believe in "speaker break in", I'm not saying that it is a myth but rather one's perception to the sound of a new speaker must be acclamated to. I've been informed that ARX speakers will sound their best after a couple dozen hours of usage, I'll go along with that. Is there a preferred method to getting the approx. twenty four hours needed for them to open up so to say without listening or being there. I would like to do some critical listening as soon as possible. All suggestions are openly welcomed. Thank you all for this time as I will soon be a proud owner of the A5 and A1b. Please: no offense intended with my belief or should I say non belief in loudspeaker break in.
    Cheers Jeff

  • #2
    Just a few hours of normal listening is all thats needed. Some of the speakers T/S parameters do change slightly from never being played to after a few hours.

    If I remember right the F and the QTS changes slightly after use. This is mostly the midrange and bass drivers. There are some manufactuers that test their speaker before they leave the factory or office and there are others like Arx that don't demo each speaker as they leave.

    I can say that the bass from the A2s sounded horrible at first but after maybe 3 hours or so it started to get better. There was a post on AVS just a few days ago about this subject.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jeff, yes, in my opinion/experience you will need to break them in. Here's a couple of posts that talk about the break-in/experience with Arx:

      http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum...peakers-Review

      http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum...e-A1-(break-in)

      Here's a quote from the review:

      "BREAK-IN:
      There was documentation on the "Break In". All I can say is that they were not kidding. At first, the speakers sounded so puny that I was really disappointed. If I did not read about the break-in process, I would have returned them immediately. I let the speakers run on radio while I was at work. After about 20 to 30 hrs of use, slowly the speakers started to sound better and I started to like them."

      I had a similar experience with my A1s and A2 when I first hooked them up. It may also have to do with my settings but I was disappointed when I just did the straight switch from the old to the new Arx speakers. After about a week of on and off listening, I noticed that the sound improved (mostly the bass). I also played around with the settings based on suggestions from good folks on this forum (as I said it could've been the settings as well). When I read the review above, especially the quote, I said to myself "man, I wish somebody told me about this" and I guess that's why I'm passing this on.

      The Arx speakers are a league of their own and I definitely needed to adjust my AVR settings, for example, changing the cross-over frequency from 80 Hz down to 50 Hz. I even ran them full range at one point. Whenever, I changed the setting, I still felt that the Arx speakers have more potential/overhead than my prior speakers. I also played around with placement and the port tuning (with the foam insert or without/bass reflex configuration). I preferred the bass-reflex. After making all the adjustments and the break-in, I was able to get that "full" sound out of them. They are really transparent and to quote Buford, the planar magnetic tweeter is "buttery smooth."

      Hope this helps. And may be you can post your impression when you get them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Break in is a real, audible, measurable phenomenon. We recommend it for Arx's very long throw woofers and for the entire speaker system.

        I suspect the subject gets on the wrong side of folks who think the industry is trying to sell them a fad or, as it's called, snake oil.

        All I can say is that the change in sound is not insignificant, and furthermore, the changes are consistently independently repeated falling into the same categories: A greatly enhanced bass depth and articulation; very improved openness; and a freedom from grain and distortion artifacts that's typically referred to as smoothness and musicality. Given that consistency, which I always hear myself and which I've never tried to correlate with anyone else's experiences other than to see them pass in dialog from time to time, there's something to break in. When you can measure 20% change in electro-mechanical parameters you know you've discovered something.

        Now that I've said that, watch Arx sales decline... ;)

        So set them up green out of the box, listen for a half hour, and then put a good couple dozen hours on them while not listening. Then come back and try them again. I'll be accused of leading you for saying this, but you'll very likely find them improved in those areas. It's just the step between sounding like speakers and sounding like something that lets you forget you're using speakers.

        Comment


        • #5
          I used to compete in car stereo pretty heavily. I have watched subs get louder and louder on an spl sensor after rebuilding them. Ive never cared much about the technicality of it all. It just seems it takes movement to loosen up the suspension.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jon Lane
            Break in is a real, audible, measurable phenomenon. We recommend it for Arx's very long throw woofers and for the entire speaker system.

            I suspect the subject gets on the wrong side of folks who think the industry is trying to sell them a fad or, as it's called, snake oil.

            All I can say is that the change in sound is not insignificant, and furthermore, the changes are consistently independently repeated falling into the same categories: A greatly enhanced bass depth and articulation; very improved openness; and a freedom from grain and distortion artifacts that's typically referred to as smoothness and musicality. Given that consistency, which I always hear myself and which I've never tried to correlate with anyone else's experiences other than to see them pass in dialog from time to time, there's something to break in. When you can measure 20% change in electro-mechanical parameters you know you've discovered something.

            Now that I've said that, watch Arx sales decline... ;)

            So set them up green out of the box, listen for a half hour, and then put a good couple dozen hours on them while not listening. Then come back and try them again. I'll be accused of leading you for saying this, but you'll very likely find them improved in those areas. It's just the step between sounding like speakers and sounding like something that lets you forget you're using speakers.
            Jon,
            I know snake oil when I can smell it! What you're saying is far from that, to measure a 20% change in electro-mech. parameters after a few dozen hours of usage is the measured documentation that I was waiting to see and hear, if anything, that kind of up-frontness for lack of a better word would cause in my feeble brain the desire to to persue that truth rather than steer me away from ARX. I would never accuse you of leading me but rather navigating in the right direction. I purchased my A5 and A1b on blind faith, all you're doing is helping me to see that, and from Faith comes Hope and then the ultimate reward Love. Is that not the goal of anyone intersted in audio and sound reproduction to forget they have a mechanical device providing this elusive self indulging pleasure, and then to share this with my dearest SO who has no knowledge of how this pleasure is conveyed but is able to get immersed in this with me. That is priceless. Another thing with ARX, (the price), I can tell her what it cost without fear of cardiac arrest and sleeping on the couch. Thanks Jon and to all who played a role in my decision to become a part of this wonderful group, I do literally feel at home. I came to understand in my life time that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is futile, so I will take your lead Jon and do something different and "break these speakers in" and give them the room they need to breathe, impressions forthcoming. Thank you again my friend, as you said, "Im glad you hung around" me too.
            Best Regards, Jeffrey Nordi

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jon Lane
              Break in is a real, audible, measurable phenomenon. We recommend it for Arx's very long throw woofers and for the entire speaker system.

              I suspect the subject gets on the wrong side of folks who think the industry is trying to sell them a fad or, as it's called, snake oil.

              All I can say is that the change in sound is not insignificant, and furthermore, the changes are consistently independently repeated falling into the same categories: A greatly enhanced bass depth and articulation; very improved openness; and a freedom from grain and distortion artifacts that's typically referred to as smoothness and musicality. Given that consistency, which I always hear myself and which I've never tried to correlate with anyone else's experiences other than to see them pass in dialog from time to time, there's something to break in. When you can measure 20% change in electro-mechanical parameters you know you've discovered something.

              Now that I've said that, watch Arx sales decline... ;)

              So set them up green out of the box, listen for a half hour, and then put a good couple dozen hours on them while not listening. Then come back and try them again. I'll be accused of leading you for saying this, but you'll very likely find them improved in those areas. It's just the step between sounding like speakers and sounding like something that lets you forget you're using speakers.
              Jon, you and I have spoken about this numerous times over the phone.

              We both agree that break-in for the Arx has little effect on the character of the final sound in as much as HOW the break-in is performed......but more simply related to the fact that the drivers just need some on-time to loosen up.

              For the record, neither Jon nor I subscribe to the notion that one can change the "final sound" of a speaker cabinet by a specific, and often esoteric method of a 'break-in procedure' wherein somebody must play certain tones at certain levels for certain lengths of time....and then balance dominoes on top of the right cabinet...but only the right one. ;)

              Haha. Jon, you and I have had our laughs on this, to be sure.

              Folks, it's just a matter of getting some heat in the voicecoils/motors, and some movement in the suspension of the midwoofers to get them loose. No snake oil or special potions to consume while doing so.

              I have noticed a very noticeable difference in the dynamics of the bass, as well as simply hearing more resolution wide-band, after getting about 20-25 hours on the A5's.

              Watch TV with them. Let the kids watch their movies with them. Let the wife/GF watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix with them. Just get some hours on them.

              They wont' sound bad to start....hell no. But they get even better with some hours on them. Watch and see....or...well...listen. :D

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll add that, if any of you have doubts about their sound changing.....go to the Arx A3 Excursion thread here:

                http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/showthread.php?1384-ARX-A3-Excursion-videos-in-HD


                Excursion 1:
                http://vimeo.com/20716328

                Excursion 2:
                http://vimeo.com/20716636


                I'll guarantee that few of you have come into contact with midwoofers that have this level of linear excursion. Drivers that have this much travel need to loosen-up. Much like an Olympic sprinter doesn't just walk onto the track and start breaking records. They need some time to "get in the mood".

                Most midwoofers simply don't come close to this level of linear excursion....hell show me a 5.25" driver with 4.5-5mm of true one-way linear excursion (that doesn't use and XBL2/Splitgap motor) and I'll probably be looking at a damn decent piece....and I'm sure not inexpensive, either.

                These drivers rocked and rolled in the A3 at these levels for several hours with no signs of power compression. NONE. No shaving of the peaks...no limited dynamics....they sounded just as full at this level as they did at half this volume. My ears were ringing afterward, such was the volume level (think college party spl's).

                I said all that to say that, these are not 'normal' midwoofers.....so make sure and give them a little extra time for break-in (just hours, folks) and they will reward you with notable increases in SQ.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jnordi
                  Hello,
                  I don't want to ruffle anymore feathers here so I will say this as politely as possible, I don't believe in "speaker break in", I'm not saying that it is a myth but rather one's perception to the sound of a new speaker must be acclamated to. I've been informed that ARX speakers will sound their best after a couple dozen hours of usage, I'll go along with that. Is there a preferred method to getting the approx. twenty four hours needed for them to open up so to say without listening or being there. I would like to do some critical listening as soon as possible. All suggestions are openly welcomed. Thank you all for this time as I will soon be a proud owner of the A5 and A1b. Please: no offense intended with my belief or should I say non belief in loudspeaker break in.
                  Cheers Jeff
                  Jeff, just make sure and get some bass into them at some decent volume levels. You need to see the midwoofer cones moving. Nothing abusive...but have some fun. :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Because people will be listening to ARX speakers for the first time fresh out-of-the-box, they might not know that break-in is required. A number of posters have said they were disappointed in their ARX speakers at first. Then they changed their minds after a break-in period.

                    It might be a good idea to include a note about this in with the speakers. If nowhere else is convenient, maybe the note can be added to the packing slip. Just a suggestion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BufordTJustice
                      Jeff, just make sure and get some bass into them at some decent volume levels. You need to see the midwoofer cones moving. Nothing abusive...but have some fun. :D
                      Thanks Collin, I do indeed intend to have some fun, thanks for all your support during my brief time here at TAI and with your wealth of info, honesty and hands on experience really helped make the decision to get the A5 and A1b's. I have a link here that I refer to many times concerning the Break In, fact or fiction, I do not think it is relevent with the ARX but I thought it may shed some light on this subject, I feel better already with your comment that the speakers are not going to sound like crap out of the box but with some time I will come to really appreciate their SQ, Thanks again my friend. Please no feather ruffling intended, for real...
                      Jeff Nordi

                      http://www.audioholics.com/education...act-or-fiction

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jnordi
                        Thanks Collin, I do indeed intend to have some fun, thanks for all your support during my brief time here at TAI and with your wealth of info, honesty and hands on experience really helped make the decision to get the A5 and A1b's. I have a link here that I refer to many times concerning the Break In, fact or fiction, I do not think it is relevent with the ARX but I thought it may shed some light on this subject, I feel better already with your comment that the speakers are not going to sound like crap out of the box but with some time I will come to really appreciate their SQ, Thanks again my friend. Please no feather ruffling intended, for real...
                        Jeff Nordi

                        http://www.audioholics.com/education...act-or-fiction
                        That is a great article. I'm a regular reader of the Audioholics Blog and I have read that before.

                        It's a great write-up on std driver designs. But, if you notice, it does not touch on high excursion (a phrase that gets thrown around a LOT these days) midwoofer and woofers. High excursion bass drivers, which have high compliance suspension systems, are naturally going to have more material involved in suspending the driver cone. Between this, and the crossover components being as-yet untouched by electrical current aside from a short and simple function test post manufacturing, I think you can see where the extremely high compliance suspension components used in the Arx driver will abide by a slightly different set of rules.

                        However, even using standard driver designs as mentioned in the article, you can see that the fs frequency is always found to be lower after a break-in. This, quite literally, lowers the tuning frequency of the driver itself due to the electro-mechanical changes that happened during the break in. Take this change, however incremental, and spread it over three Arx splitgap/XBL2 midwoofers......and you can see how small changes can add up to observable differences to the listener in a high compliance design.

                        He tested two drivers of standard voicecoil gap design, and the referred to pro-audio drivers at the end (which are all going to have lower excursion than an equivalent diameter home or car audio bass driver).

                        I would wager that the 4.5" midrange he tested had an Xmax (one way suspension travel within linear limits of the voicecoil gap) of of less than 5mm....and probably closer to 1.5 or 2mm if it is a true midrange design and "midrange" which simply has a lighter cone on a woofer's motor assembly. The Arx midwoofer has 9-11mm of clean one way Xmax.....so between 3 and 5 times as much excursion as an 'average' 4.5" midrange. In my mind, that makes comparing his test to an Arx midwoofer (or any other high Xmax design, like TC sounds LMS motors where they vary the coil windings along the length of the VC, etc.) an apples to oranges proposition.

                        There's my $.02 on that.

                        The paragraph about bass drivers being the ones most affected during break in is 100% accurate IMHO. What the article doesn't touch on is that any changes to the suspension compliance of a driver will also have a direct effect on it's efficiency. If you decrease the resistance on a driver throughout its stroke, you will increase its sensitivity. So, a decrease in suspension resistance of any amount will have a positive effect not only on stroke, but also on overall driver sensitivity......causing the driver to appear louder than it was (because it is).

                        B&W has written a few whitepapers on driver suspensions....so has JBL. This is why both of them are so picky with drivers and suspension materials in their top-of-line products...often moving to esoteric materials in an effort to minimize the changes we are discussing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Collin, thus my comment that the AH article had no relevance to the ARX line of high excusion drivers, I just didn't feel like writing everything you posted because I knew you would my friend.
                          Cheers Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jnordi
                            Collin, thus my comment that the AH article had no relevance to the ARX line of high excusion drivers, I just didn't feel like writing everything you posted because I knew you would my friend.
                            Cheers Jeff
                            We're on the same page, sir. :)

                            I don't want to give the impression that I'm discounting the article as anything but a quality piece. It just doesn't apply here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How much excursion?

                              I'm breaking in my new A1bs that arrived Saturday. I have them hooked up as main speakers until the A5s arrive later today. After a few days of moderate to low volume I cranked them up today. I took the grill off one speaker to see how much the splitgap midwoofer moves. There was no visible movement, although there was plenty of sound.

                              After seeing Buford's video, I was expecting to see some real speaker excursion. How much visible excursion should I expect from the A1b? How about the A5? Is this a good way to judge if an ARX speaker is broken in?

                              Comment

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