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I use studio monitors all the time

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
Sounds so good through my old Adam AX7 monitors. Translates really well for the stage, too. Couldn’t imagine using headphones. Sounds like work that way.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
I dabbled in hi-fi stereo for several years (on the lower end of price), but in that world there are people who swear they can "hear" quality speaker cables (some going for $5,000+). One guy at a stereo store told me that the *biggest* improvement in a stereo system can be had by replacing the power cable to the amplifier. And speaker break-in is definitely part of the lore.

To my knowledge there has never been any scientific measurement nor any definitive subjective testing that shows audible effects of cables or speaker break-in or other mythical effects.



Yes, I do think we tend to adapt to the tone (system + speakers + room etc) and effectively normalize to whatever system, although there are certainly differences readily apparent when we switch to something else or A/B.

Regarding guitar tone, I've had days when my guitar tone (Axe or otherwise) sounds joyously magical and other days when the same setup sounds just meh. Subjectivity is also a big part of what we hear and enjoy.
I can say from experience at least guitar speakers do get better with age.
 

Mohi

Inspired
I have read that monitors also need kind of "breaking", but dunno if it is only the typical Internet pseudo science ...

I use mine ( humble Samson Resolv A8) and am quite happy but specially mid range is not as good as when I listen to it thru my BeyerDynamic headphones. I suspect it has to do with the acoustic treatment of the room (or the lack of it), bass being sometimes too prominent.

Or maybe I need better monitors :)
 
I've played my Spirit Folios for years (10+), like .. pretty much every day ... and ended up retiring them without any perceivable damage.

Speakers are durable as hell, as long as you play them within their designed limits.
 

NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
I don't have definitive information on that either way, but I've never seen any evidence that was sufficient to convince me that speaker break-in is real.

Here's what it would take to convince me... a double-blind test with a dozen identical speakers: half of them brand-new, and half of them with 1000 hours of "break-in." And a dozen test subjects. Speakers would be played randomly, multiple times, in identical or near-identical locations in the room. The test subjects would then have to say which speakers were broken in and which ones were brand-new.

I totally agree. Maybe a paper or foam suspension ring becomes more flexible (or stiff if foam) over time but I don't believe that's what speaker designers have in mind when designing.
 

Kent

Inspired
Speakers are made to be used, not abused so as long as you are not pushing them to or beyond absolute capacity I don't think you have anything to worry about. Speakers also have a break in time so they definitely improve through useage during that period.

This is a myth. I can't think of a single large-scale manufacturer of loudspeakers that designs, calibrates, and specifies their speakers after a burn-in period. There are no given specifications given for "Pre-burn in" and "Post-burn in".

There is minimal change. We get used to it and call that change 'better', even when we can't accurately define what has changed beyond the use of vague fuzzy words like 'tighter', 'warm', 'looser', etc.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
Adam seems to feel it takes a few days. From the A7 manual:

1 Important Information for set up
After having unpacked your loudspeaker, please allow the system to acclimate to the temperature of the room. Please do not connect the speaker for approximately an hour.
We recommend using high quality cables to guarantee optimal performance. It is important to ensure the speakers stand firmly on a solid ground!
We recommend not to damage the package and to retain it. The original packaging is the best guarantee for safe transportation (see 6., p. 12).
Please note that the loudspeakers will need a few days to achieve optimum sonic performance
 

JoKeR III

Power User
Adam seems to feel it takes a few days. From the A7 manual:

1 Important Information for set up
After having unpacked your loudspeaker, please allow the system to acclimate to the temperature of the room. Please do not connect the speaker for approximately an hour.
We recommend using high quality cables to guarantee optimal performance. It is important to ensure the speakers stand firmly on a solid ground!
We recommend not to damage the package and to retain it. The original packaging is the best guarantee for safe transportation (see 6., p. 12).
Please note that the loudspeakers will need a few days to achieve optimum sonic performance
Yeah, but that's reality. Anything on the internet spoken by experts supercedes reality.
 

Ugly Bunny

Experienced
I dabbled in hi-fi stereo for several years (on the lower end of price), but in that world there are people who swear they can "hear" quality speaker cables (some going for $5,000+). One guy at a stereo store told me that the *biggest* improvement in a stereo system can be had by replacing the power cable to the amplifier. And speaker break-in is definitely part of the lore.

To my knowledge there has never been any scientific measurement nor any definitive subjective testing that shows audible effects of cables or speaker break-in or other mythical effects.
I get it. I have an Analysis+ guitar cable that cost around $150. I sat in the music store and auditioned it and A/B'd it side by side with a regular (probably DiMarzio) cable for about an hour. There was a clear difference. Not Earth-shattering, but noticeable. Later (different day) I tried out some of their power cables; I also noticed a difference not only between the two fancy A+ power cables, but between them and a standard power cable.

Oh boy, though, did I get eaten alive on TGP when I made a thread about it! Snake oil! Confirmation bias! etc. Then one dude claimed the only thing that has any effect on guitar tone in a guitar cable is capacitance. Perhaps, but no matter what the theory behind it all is/way, I absolutely noticed a difference. I got the cable for free, so I wasn't trying to justify a purchase. And I'm sure a few on here will immediately rush to that "reply" button to tell me how it's all in my head and I'm wrong - and that's perfectly fine.

Interesting discussion about speaker break in. I got a Vox AC30 a couple years ago with AlNiCo blues; I read that you're supposed to break the speakers in, so I rented a rehearsal space for a couple hours and played it at full volume for 2 hours. Did it break the speakers in? WHo knows. But it cost $50 lol!
 

count_chocolat

Experienced
Sounds so good through my old Adam AX7 monitors. Translates really well for the stage, too. Couldn’t imagine using headphones. Sounds like work that way.
Same here.... Time to time I think of changing to the newer A7x, but then reason sets it. I find it amazing how good they represent what my rig will sound like on a full PA at a gig.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
Do you think there could be adverse affects on my monitors for the continual jamming through them? Basically am I going to lower the lifespan by alway using them as my main output?

Studio monitors are intended to be used for prolonged periods of time at relatively high volume, so jamming, even if done often, shouldn’t be detrimental at all. I’ve never seen or heard about speakers in monitors failing from frequent use.

In reality, however, I think since most monitors are moving to class D amplifiers and switching power supplies the circuitry is somewhat prone to failure and difficult to repair.

Most circuit breakdowns I personally had were due to failing capacitors that in turn lead to failing ICs or other problems. But I can’t recall a single case where the device was playing and then stopped. I think every time it was while switching it on. Not that I can claim that my experience is statistically significant or in any way authoritative though.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
I think the most common issue in using studio monitors is blown tweeters. I’ve changed a couple, it’s really not a big deal and for the most part, a cheap fix.
 

Shaw

Inspired
Quick question for all of you.

What is your main output - studio monitors, headphones...

Do you think there could be adverse affects on my monitors for the continual jamming through them? Basically am I going to lower the lifespan by alway using them as my main output?
Good quality speakers will outlast you. Enjoy them.
 

yeky83

Power User
Last edited:

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
We witnessed speaker break-in first-hand when shooting IRs. We bought a brand-new 5150 III cabinet. Went to shoot some IRs and they sounded terrible. So I put the synth block on and ran the speaker for several hours while we were doing other stuff. Came back and shot some IRs and they were much better sounding.
 

chris

Legend!
Break-in is definitely real with guitar speakers. The surround is stiff when new due to the doping.

I don’t think monitors and hifi speakers exhibit any significant break-in.
i share this experience. i think most people apply "break-in" as a blanket statement to everything without knowing for sure.
 

James Nash

Inspired
I get it. I have an Analysis+ guitar cable that cost around $150. I sat in the music store and auditioned it and A/B'd it side by side with a regular (probably DiMarzio) cable for about an hour. There was a clear difference. Not Earth-shattering, but noticeable. Later (different day) I tried out some of their power cables; I also noticed a difference not only between the two fancy A+ power cables, but between them and a standard power cable.

I can't comment on power and speaker cables -- I've always been skeptical and haven't taken the time to compare.

But guitar cables -- absolutely! With a high-impedance passive source, the cable plays a significant role. I think most players will hear a difference between brands (and lengths) of guitar cable, especially if they use lower output single coils.
 
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