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Breaking in new speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jcburn, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. I have read bits and pieces about this - what's peoples opinions?
    My reason for asking is that I have bought an Ashdown 610 cab new. It's seen minimal rehearsal (probably 10-20), maybe a handful of live gigs (8-10) and not much home use, not at loud levels anyway.
    Now when I start to push this cab it starts to fart and distort at a lower volume than I think it should - sure it's loud before it starts, but in my opinion a 4 ohm, 900 watt cab should be making my hair move before it distorts, but maybe I'm wrong.
    It is a fully sealed cab. Would this have less perceived volume than a ported cab?
    And could the speaker's need a little breaking in to perform a little more loudly without distorting?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What wattage head are you using? 900w is the amount of wattage it takes for the voice coils to blow. Most 610's can do 500-600w tops. Also, if you boost the crap out of your low end, you will get reduced overall volume because it takes more wattage to amplify lows.
  3. R Baer

    R Baer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    The drivers are plenty broken in by this point.
  4. Bass Unique

    Bass Unique

    Nov 3, 2011
    Hate to say it but Ashdown tend to use speaker with a very poor X-max (particularly in MAG range) so unless you use a very bright sound and dont boost your bass, then speakers will fart out because they are at their limits.

    Breaking in the speakers involves encouraging them to reach their X max under safe conditions to loosen up the spiders and surround which drops resonance slightly (various sweepign tones available for this). I would assume that over the period you have used it and have been pushing it, you have already reached the limit of break in and unfortunately, you may realise that you need a speaker with more X-max (or certainly not a sealed cab which would tend to keep the speaker close to X max throughout the low end and require more bass boost).

    Upgrade to a quality ported arrangement using good drivers (not sica)!

  5. Hey JimmyM - wouldn't mind a $ for every time you've answered my dumb questions!
    I'm using the ABM EVO III 575. I have the input set so that it only just hits the red as a maximum and can really only get the output volume to 12 o'clock safely. Admittedly this is with the "Shape" engaged that boosts 8db at 50Hz.
    It is loud, and at this stage the setup keeps up with 2 guitars and drums in a rock cover band, I guess I feel it should just be able to devastate and really, it just doesn't.
    I guess I am getting a little crapped as I've done the rounds with speakers over the last few years and dont really want to move this speaker on, plus I dont think I would get much for it and my wife is over me buying and selling at a loss.
    BTW - thankyou to all for your input so far...
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Glue the "shape" button in the "off" position, and watch your speakers perform much better.
  7. Hey man - yeah I've tried to get a sound I like using the "flat" response but haven't quite nailed it yet. Maybe I should just persevere with it. I'm certainly gonna be stuck with this set up for a while. Maybe even add a bass friendly EQ pedal as I would like some different EQ points available than what is available on the ABM head.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Shouldn't -I- be getting the dollar? ;)

    If you want bass you can feel, for my money it lives at around 125hz, not 50.
  9. xxx666


    Jan 12, 2008
    Endorsing Artist G&L Guitars
    I use the same rig and its disgracefully loud! I've been asked by front of house guys to turn it down! I run it normally bypassing the eq - I only use it with some slight boost to the mids for some parts in songs. I stay away from the shape button.

    I find it strange you are having this issue - what bass / pedals etc are you using?
  10. Honesty man it's probably me. It hasn't been an issue at gigs or rehearsal, just when I am at home seeing just what sort of volume I can actually achieve I can't seem to get it past noon on the output volume before the distortion starts.
    About the only pedal I use is an EBS Multidrive, but I dont boost the signal at all with this pedal.
    Most of the gig's I'm playing dont have FOH support, but are small clubs so the amp and cab need to do all the work. Not looking for tons of low end either - I agree with JimmyM - I like my lows around 100-200 Hz, I have been experimenting cutting the 40 Hz dial a little to tighten the bottom end.
    The basses I use are modded - a Fender Prophecy II with SD 1/4 Pound P and J hooked up to the original active preamp (I always run it flat with equal blend between P and J), and a Fender Frank Bello sig with (at the moment) a single EMG Active P (the J is on the way!). The SD's do have a fair bit more output and bass/treble response than the EMG.
  11. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I've played that cab and i think it has plenty of solid low end. Definitely turn off that shape button and turn the amp up for better lows.
  12. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    IMO these loudspeakers are broken in.
    But the main problem will be the xmax (one other poster allready mentioned this).
    If it's not the amp, and you hear a farting sound it will be the loudspeakers adding audible distortion to the original signal. Some speakers have the tendency to exponentially increase the distortion after they hit xmax. When I build a cabinet I allways avoid using such drivers. The distortion should rise gradually IMO. There are "tricks" the manufacturer of a driver can use to achieve this but most of these drivers are not cheap....

    For now, just turn down the lowest octave on your amp, this saves amp power and it saves your loudspeaker.
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Power ratings have no relationship with output capability.
    Yes, by quite a goodly margin in the low end.
    Break in is pretty much complete after a few hours of playing.
    A light bulb should have lit over your head. The problem is likely the room. Google 'room modes'.
  14. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I agree with Jimmy about 125Hz being the bass you can feel. 50Hz is too low to boost unless you have a wall of speakers and tons of watts, IMO. Leave the shape thing alone. A more midsy tone will cut through better and sit better in a mix. You will also find that you like it.
  15. I'm boosing 100hz and 160hz on my Peavey Tour 700 and am finding that I get tons of punch and bass that you can feel through either of my cabs.
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Has NOTHING to do with 'break-in', which is very subtle, and happens quite quickly (i.e., 90% of break-in after the first hour or two of playing).

    Also, as stated in some posts above, the power rating of a cab has nothing to do with how much sound it will put our per watt or how loud it will get It only represents the input level at which you might do some voice coil damage.

    My guess is you have too much low end dialed into your tone.
  17. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    There seems a bit of confusing about how long it takes for speakers(woofers) to break in.
    Lets say that when a manufacturer has to measure the TSP's he needs the driver to be broken in (which means it's mechanical properties will enter a stable state where they will not change anymore). The manufacturer usually lets the driver run for 24 hours with pink noise or with e.g. a sinze wave of 15hz at a modest volume (not exeeding xmax).
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    To get final, exact, publishable measurements, makes sense (i.e, to get that last 1% of stability). For actual use, my experience with 'break-in' is with most production cabs with the typical low xmax specs, break-in is not at all noticable. With cabs that use drivers with more cone movement ability (e.g., the 3012 loaded cabs, the Acme's, the Bergantino's), there is a noticable difference after playing normally for an hour or so. After that, we are talking about VERY subtle increases in low end that would not be noticed by most at home, much less in a mix.

    Play the cab for an hour out of the box at moderate levels to loosen that surround a bit, then get 'er out on a gig.

    Absolutely no reason to do anything 'special' for break-in IMO and a lot of IME with a lot of new cabs!
  19. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    The break-in period has IMO not much to do with the xmax. But it's true that the period varies (a lot) between drivers.
    It's also true that the biggest change happens the first few hours. So, for us bassist a few hours will be enough, after that not much (audible) will happen.
  20. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Tell me you're not cranking it up in a relatively small room at home.
    That's a recipe for tone that sounds distorted.

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