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Warming up cabinets

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by semborg, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Okey soon I get my Yamha 2x10 and My father told me that he used to "Warm up" his Stereo speakers when they were totally new. Warming up means that he played music at a very low volume at the beginning, in 10 hours, then he increased the volume double for 5 hours.

    This to soften up your speakers.
    Is this a good Idea on my cab?
    Have you done this?
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I take it the cab has paper cone speakers? If so, don't play at full volume until you hear the tone change a little from the origional sound. It shouldn't take too long... definately not 10 hours. You can play it at a mid volume for now though. Usually you can hear the change in the sound.
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The technical term for this is 'breaking in'. Professional speaker builders usually apply a 30Hz sine wave at 10 volts or so for 24 hours; this loosens up the suspensions of the drivers so that they will work as well as is possible. But simply playing through the speaker will accomplish the same thing, it just takes a lot longer, as much as 100 to 200 hours. However, unlike an automobile you don't have to stay below 60 MPH for the first 500 miles. In fact, the louder you play the shorter the break in period.
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've found what bfm says to be be true here. no need to baby the new speakers, louder = shorter break in period.

    IME, most new speakers are a bit "stiff" sounding. depending upon the manufacturer, i've found some to be "stiffer" than others. since a huge chunk of drivers are made by one company (eminence) i'm guessing it has to be that either some manufacturers "break in" thier speakers more, and/or that some of the drivers are built to be "looser" from day #1

    a real eye(ear?) opener can be had by taking one of your favorite cabs down to a dealer when they have an identical one come in fresh out of the box. sometimes the difference can be mindblowing. i had this experience with one speaker in particular, and thought for sure they changed the driver or something. after being assured that diodnt happen i plugged in a used one and there was my sound again.
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Yeah my father told me I should never turn my amp above three in the house, it was bad for the speakers! Seemed to apply to my stereo too!!!!
  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Hmmm, seems like Dad was thinking only about his ears....

    A long, long, long time ago, I was at a friend's house and he was cranking up his brand new Fender Vibrolux Reverb. His mom complained about the volume. He told her that he needed to "blow the carbon out of the tubes"... She agreed that it was probably a good idea to do that (after all it worked for the car) and asked us not to take too long :D

    As for breaking in speakers, Acmes are the only ones that I've heard must be broken in slowly to avoid creasing the woofers.
  7. war-tech-flamethrower-200.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    holy disco inferno batman!!!
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The only warming up of my cabs is at gigs....pretty loud too :cool:
  10. orskard


    Mar 17, 2004
    i was told by some tech dudes that i should do this with my head phones when they where new.
  11. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    Which sounded better, the used one or the new one?


  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    to me, breaking in a cab means playing it at relatively low volumes first, then after a week or so, letting it loose with some real volume.

    eases the surrounds into shape, and doesnt over stress or crease the valuable cones.

    kinda like when you buy a new car, and are told to drive under 55 mph for the first hundred miles or so. would taking it out on a drag strip be better for the engine? i say no.

    no offense, billy,

    as a first and foremost guitar player, i've NEVER heard of "blowing carbon out of the tubes"... :eyebrow:

    but for guitar speakers, i do go for the "louder is better is faster" rule for breaking in speakers. and yet, sometimes, i wonder if this is best for it.

    hopefully Lyle C. and/or Bgavin'll pop in and shed some light on this subject.
  13. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    He was just bs'ing her so he could play loud, and needed a good excuse.
  14. The low frequency sine wave for 24 hours is the method of choice.

    The frequency is low enough so the driver is not obnoxious sounding for break-in time. The voltage is sufficient to excurse the driver to Xmax without damaging it. This method exercises the surround and spider to their normal limits without undue stress.

    Do the break-in at room temperature, not out in the cold.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
  16. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Bgavin...any suggestions on a particular frequency (or range). Wouldn't doing this create a huge amount of heat in the voice coils?
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the used one..........just a little less "stiff". however, super used speakers can sound like crap too. i recall getting all the drivers in an old goliath 1 reconed and noticing quite an improvement. however, that cabinet had had the heck played out of it for years.
  18. Sparkie


    Nov 15, 2004
    I used to work at Mission Amps with Bruce Collins. He broke in every speaker before delivering the amp combo to a customer. We used the low voltage sin wave method and let the speaker vibrate over night. It made a very audible difference IMO.

  19. The frequency isn't really important. The point is excursing the cone to Xmax. Low frequencies make it easier to see the movement, and make it less audible.

    Power = E^2 / R
    10 volts at 8 ohms is 12.5 watts... hardly anything for the coil.