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  • Speaker Break-In

    It's been a while since I had a pair of speakers in house for review that weren't broken-in (the earlier Magicos had come from a TAS reviewer and were already played in).

    The new S5 Mk. 2 arrived from Magico's factory in CA with about 48 hrs or so under their belt---not to mention the individual driver break-in time-- for Q/C assessment. Fresh out of the box--or more appropriately shipping crates--the S5s sounded pretty good. The new model's improved quietness, settling time, transparency and linearity from top to bottom was immediately apparent. Where the older speakers lost a little of the transparency magic and resolution as you moved into the midrange, the new model completes the picture (a combo of the new graphene drivers and the midrange enclosure originally used in the S3s).

    The speakers came mounted on casters so as to allow for "gross" room placement; at that point, the wheels are removed and then the "fine" tuning begins. In the end, the new speakers ended up close to where the earlier model S5s were located. While the new four point spiked base lower the speaker's COG and makes them more stable, moving around the new 220 pound speakers for fine tuning is much, much harder.

    So what did I hear? Probably one of the most significant changes that happened early on was dynamics, especially in the low end. Then the tweeter started to settle in. The slight illumination went away.

    But it was changes in the low frequencies that surprised me the most. Despite my positioning attempts, there was still a little lumpy feeling to the bass. Sometimes standup basses were just a little too full. A little too boomy. As if there was a bad room interaction. But I remained patient, continued to let the speaker burn-in and that patience was amply rewarded. At around 300 hours, it was like someone waved a magic wand over the speaker. All of a sudden, the bass started to sound far more linear. The boom and bloat went away, replaced by more quickness, responsiveness and detail. So the take home message is that one really needs to be patient and let their speaker completely break-in before attempting to fine tune the speaker's position. Something that probably applies to many speakers.

    Now I know some pooh-pooh equipment break-in (I believe burn-in is a both a physiological adaption and a physical equipment process). But even a recent experience with my VPI Vanquish continued to reinforce my belief in break-in. Here, all that I did when installing the new turntable was remount the direct drive/platter assembly into the newly set-up turntable. The tonearm wire was burned in on the audiodharma Cable Cooker. (the only reason I didn't burn everything from the cartridge pins to table RCA outputs was that wanted to use the table during the 48 hour burn-in time). So the only thing that wasn't burned in was the little section from where the armwand plugs into the junction box to the RCA outputs. And the connectors and solder. Alas, the new table sounded a bit bright and thin to me. Being the inveterate audiophile, that brightness worried me. So much that I even commented and complained to Mark and Andre about the issue and that the edginess was really bothering me. Then all of a sudden after about two weeks (around 50 hours or so of playing), that edginess disappeared and the table became much, much easier to listen to. So when I install the next arm, it's breaking in from the pin clips to the output or tonearm wire.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    My sentiment exactly.

    Our Seraphim needs about 200hrs to really show their capabilities.

    Enjoy!
    Hugh Nguyen
    ACA

    Comment


    • #3
      Our new flagship, the ZETA, has a fairly complex series implemented crossover and consequently takes a good (or bad depending on your temperament- )500 hours to finally settle in.
      CHEERS....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mrjazz View Post
        Our new flagship, the ZETA, has a fairly complex series implemented crossover and consequently takes a good (or bad depending on your temperament- )500 hours to finally settle in.
        CHEERS....
        Well since you brought it up. And as a designer Tom, what all exactly is breaking in and when? Obviously the spider, surround and caps. What else?
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Found this interesting piece on the net regarding speaker break-in.

          You’ve just bought yourself a beautiful new set of speakers, you hook them up to your amplifier, and then you are seized by doubt because the mid-range and low frequencies sound really lean and the bass seems muffled and hollow. Don’t panic! Your speakers are new and need to be broken in. But what exactly…
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, don't forget the crossover components.
            Hugh Nguyen
            ACA

            Comment


            • JCOConnell
              JCOConnell commented
              Editing a comment
              especially capacitors,but that would affect mostly the highs one would think

          • #7
            Originally posted by Hugh View Post
            Also, don't forget the crossover components.
            All the things you mentioned Myles + above.......the ZETA is the first time we have used a series based crossover and there are a lot of parts between the input terminals and the speaker voice coils and some of the parts that we use ( Mundorph Supreme Silver/Gold caps) are notorious for their lengthy burn in time. Having said that I have never expierenced such a lengthy burn in time before. Find attached pic of the crossover (the Mundorphs were not implemented at the time this pic was taken).

            Comment


            • #8
              That why I used the cable cooker to break-in the Dueland caps that Charlie used in his/my tape preamp. All you need to do is hook the caps up as you would a speaker cable. And let them burn in for a couple of days.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Speaker break in for drivers is a long established fact. A number of years back Danny Richie from GR Research published the complex impedance curves of some drivers from new out of the box to a stable end point. The spiders and surrounds likely contributed the most as the higher mechanical resistance of the new drivers would make it more difficult to follow the signal, think hysteresis curve. One unexpected result was that left idle for an extended time, the drivers characteristics would migrate back towards (but not reach) their as new condition. The longer the driers were used the less the migration.

                With some of the more exotic drivers it must be extremely time consuming to determine the "broken in" characteristics of drivers and crossover components to determine the sonic end point of a finished product. Maybe leave drivers in a soundproof room and drive the heck out of it them for a month, likewise cook crossover components for a month.

                This makes me wonder if the published technical information, including the graphical representations reflect a new driver or a broken in driver. If it's only a fresh driver it's gotta be a pain in the butt for a designer to select drivers based on incomplete information from the supplier.

                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Same goes for capacitors.

                • Rust
                  Rust commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Capacitors would be included under crossover components. Inductors also change over time although not to the same degree as caps. In industrial applications I have seen very large inductors no longer meet specs as the core laminations aged. Admittedly it took 40 plus years and they were VERY large inductors.

              • #10
                I have found every time I add or change something,it takes time to settle in. Not sure if it is impedance changes or new materials wearing in. Speakers and the Conrad Johnson CT5 have been the longest.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Gusf View Post
                  I have found every time I add or change something,it takes time to settle in. Not sure if it is impedance changes or new materials wearing in. Speakers and the Conrad Johnson CT5 have been the longest.
                  I find every time you move a cable around, it takes roughly 24 hrs to sound right again. You lose a little transparency, resolution and focus.

                  Of course cartridges are another component that takes time to break in. Then there's just warm up time day. How long does everyone's cartridge take to settle in on a daily basis.

                  Then there's electronic warm up time. My cj amp and preamp take roughly 45 mins to equilibrate. The biggest change is the appearance of a harmonic envelope around instruments as well as a recording's spaciousness. Shut the amp or preamp off for even a minute and you have to start all over again.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment


                  • Gusf
                    Gusf commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I leave my amp on all the time. It is solid state and I find they perform better that way. When I was running tubes,as you I find they sounded best after 45 mins to an hour. My cartridge took a good 3 Months to open up. Infact when it was damaged and I replaced it, I experience the same result. For me it is when the inner detail sounds relaxed and you can appreciate the spaciousness of the music. I begin to relax when I listen. Not sure why that is. I have been effected that way since I can remember.

                  • MylesBAstor
                    MylesBAstor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I should have added that I've had amps that took three to five hours to stabilize. Those were the old VAC Rennaissance 30/30 and an Audionote amp whose name is long forgotten. Both had interstate coupling transformers in common.

                • #12
                  Yes , I have noticed how good my system isound at the end of the day. Wait that might be the wine😉

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Gusf View Post
                    Yes , I have noticed how good my system isound at the end of the day. Wait that might be the wine😉
                    Ugghhh....that glass of wine. Just loosened up the bottle top instead of the dropper on that $45 bottle of Lyra SPT and poured the bottle out.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                    Comment


                    • Gusf
                      Gusf commented
                      Editing a comment
                      In times like this one must reach for another!

                    • MylesBAstor
                      MylesBAstor commented
                      Editing a comment
                      ❤️

                  • #14
                    I really like to let my system run for two hours using the music server on "play all" before I sit down to listen. Sure, it sounds 'good' when it is cold, but it damn sure sounds better after it has been operating playing music for several hours. Vacuum tubes of course.
                    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by mep View Post
                      I really like to let my system run for two hours using the music server on "play all" before I sit down to listen. Sure, it sounds 'good' when it is cold, but it damn sure sounds better after it has been operating playing music for several hours. Vacuum tubes of course.
                      I don't think it's any different for solid-state. I always left the Audia Flight amps on. Course your electrical bill may go up and considering Con Ed here has one of the highest rates in the nation....

                      Funny thing though. On the few occasion where my tube based phono or preamplifier were accidentally left on over night, I swear the gear sounded better. So tubes might need an even longer warm up but I'm not about to their life span.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment

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