Breaking in a speaker.

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Crooner, May 10, 2013.

  1. Crooner

    Crooner Friend of Fred

    Apr 15, 2009
    Boston
    I've read on the 'net that sometimes players will break in a speaker in a new amp by using a looper pedal or connecting an ipod or something similar with a recording of either guitar or music until the speaker gets some burn in.

    Has anyone done this and does it work? I figured it seems like a decent idea if you want to get a new amp broken in fast.
     
  2. DRock

    DRock Gretschie

    110
    Aug 3, 2012
    Atlanta
    Yes, it works nicely. I had a looper assist in breaking in my AC30 speakers. My only concern was running the circuit continuously and overheating the amp. So I limited the exposure to a few hours at a time.

    I have done the same with headphones, just letting them run for a day until they sound better.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Crooner

    Crooner Friend of Fred

    Apr 15, 2009
    Boston
    Excellent. Good to know. Thanks.
     
  4. damacleod

    damacleod Gretschie

    349
    Jan 19, 2012
    Wirral, UK
    I've done it with a new pair of 10" Eminence Legends in a home built 5w valve amp. Recorded some guitar in Reaper. Put it on repeat and plugged the soundcard into the amp. To be frank, after 50-60 hours over three weeks they didn't sound any different and after more than two years still sound the same to my ears. YMMV!
     
  5. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    London...ish
  6. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    I wouldn't do febreeze... it COATS the speaker, doesn't break it in...

    I use a method Ted Weber told me he used... hook up a bass-heavy music source (or a tone generator if you have one), turn up the bass on the amp, turn up the volume until you can see the cone visibly moving. WHILE playing the music thru it, brush around the surround with acetone, do it every 15min or so, for a couple hours. Enough to wet the cone, but not enough to drip or run. I do 2 albums' worth of my wife's Justin Timberlake... the only thump-thump music we own... and brush the surround every 2-3 songs. I've done several speakers with this method, works great.

    I'm guessing the acetone speeds up the process.... by softening the paper surround so it moves more... and especially if the speaker is doped, as doped surrounds are stiffer. So you could do it w/o the acetone, but it'll take quite a bit longer.
     
  7. rbattle

    rbattle Gretschie

    282
    Feb 10, 2013
    Burke, Virginia
    I wonder if the break in process happens so slowly that most of us simply don't hear the difference over time. I have a pair of Weber Chicago 12s in an AB-763 Pro Reverb. Weber said they would start out sounding dark and get better. They sounded great right off the bat and I didn't understand what they were talking about.

    I just got a pair of Celestion G12-M Creambacks in a Port City Wave cab this week. They are very even sounding and although they don't have the shimmer or chime of a Blue or Gold I pair the Port City cab with the Mesa Black Shadow (G-12 80 I think) in the Lone Star Special (EL-84) combo and the sound is pretty good.

    Maybe if I could hear a dramatic before and after I would understand this better.
     
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    It's not complicated... when new, a speaker is "Stiff". It has been "moving" for hours with guitar (or whatever) being played through it, especially at high volumes. take a piece of cardboard... bend it back and forth a bunch of times, and what happens? It gets looser... easier to bend. The speaker becomes easier for the voice coil to move, and that affects the bandwidth and tone. Taken to the extreme (a really old speaker that has been played to death), a speaker can also be TOO loose, not responsive enough, and be "dead" sounding. That's when some people recone a vintage speaker. Of course, at that point it's not actually a vintage speaker anymore.
     
  9. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Dont use Febreze if you dont want the coating and fragrance but there's already a coating involved with the doping.. btw.. acetone only if you want to remove some of the doping which is ridiculous if this is a weber because you can choose light doping, or heavier doping or pre rola doping treatment. :) I'm tellin ya, and you can search it on this forum for my step by step method.. use a 1:4 ratio of ammonia based window cleaner and water or denatured alcohol and water (the later has no residual). Spritz the cone with the cap covered.. let it saturate in (do NOT soak or "Wet" the speaker cone) and dont touch the cone once its saturated you'll deform the surface. let it dry, let it DRY!! then do it again.. this will loosen the fibers for a more broken in feel and remove some of the harshness that other wise would take over a yr of hard playing. I trust this method and just did it to a $200 celestion gold that was so damn-barky when I first installed it into my deluxe reverb. Solved the problem and now two months later it is such a tasty tone cone! I didnt have to do this to my scumnico because you can pay them to do the transformer vibration deal.. ps. light doping means ghost notes at higher fretting positions on your neck. I had a blue dog with light doping and I acetoned the doping and that thing sounded haunted above the 7th fret. it would howl like a beat dog with my tophat super deluxe.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  10. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I've read the Febreze trick originates from Ted Weber. Don't know if it's true or not?
     
  11. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Maybe it's just me but I think it's more fun to break a speaker in by playing the hell out of it.
    I hear more of a difference on a rainy day.
    When it's damp - that's my favorite time to record guitar parts.
     
  12. Crooner

    Crooner Friend of Fred

    Apr 15, 2009
    Boston
    As Mr. Carson would say, that Fabreeze trick is "wild wacky stuff."
     
  13. gigatron

    gigatron Country Gent

    Age:
    66
    Oct 9, 2008
    Slovenia
    I break in my speakers by sacrificing a chicken at the crossroads under a full moon.
     
  14. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Gretschie

    130
    Feb 20, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Really? In my experience, a black rooster and a white hen works very well. Dead black cat in the graveyard @ midnight is good, too - or was that for warts...?
     
  15. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Ask one of our resident Electrical Engineers, Michiel ...he had a celestion gold like me, and was not happy on the fresh install. Febreze or window cleaner..I dont remember but he did it and it solved the problem.

    Brian Gerhard, owner and builder of Tophat amps will gladly remind anyone using alnico speakers that there is a full yr of playing needed to break in a blue. A FULL YEAR.. who wants to wait that long? I will confess to you I scream at baked potatoes in the microwave to hurry up. Its easier just to buy a used speaker if you cant find what youre looking for but if not.. febrizeeee
     
  16. 54club

    54club Synchromatic

    525
    Mar 31, 2011
    Kelseyville, CA
    My method is the same as I use for acoustic guitars: I just play 'em a lot. Why go to any trouble to avoid playing? Some people!
     
  17. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    that comment is somewhat bizarre (not being nasty in saying this).. I mean if you have one amp and one guitar that you play through and many people here just come home after work and have a chance to play for an hour a day if they are lucky to spend that kind of time with their rig, its going to sound mediocre for a loooong and uninspirational time period...

    I play guitar every day as well rehearse all evening once a week and perform once a week. I'm using several different amps and or swapping cabs in weekly rotations depending on what I'm playing so its literally ridiculous to assume that a new speaker is going to break in soon enough for me to enjoy it.

    Plus who wants to hammer at one rock an entire year to finally get to something sculpted. I want to jackhammer that sum'byatch into submission quick.
     
  18. 54club

    54club Synchromatic

    525
    Mar 31, 2011
    Kelseyville, CA
    Mediocre? For a year? I don't buy that!

    I'm not being nasty either but I can't help but find your comment bizarre.

    I have been playing guitar since 1958 or '59. Over the years I've bought quite a few new amps and guitars. I've put in new speakers or had my old ones reconed quite a few times and they start off sounding pretty damned good, certainly better than the worn out ones they replaced. If they were mediocre sounding speakers, or needing "a full year" of break in just to "sound decent", I wouldn't be buying 'em in the first place. If they sound a little better after being "broken in", I haven't really noticed since it happened over time. Maybe if I did it mechanically, I'd have noticed a difference but probably not. Maybe I've just got a "tin ear" but I doubt that as well.

    Not too long ago I changed the output tubes on my Twin Reverb from some old stock RCAs to some GEs. I was told by some "tube gurus" that the amp wouldn't sound nearly as good. I think the amp actually sounds better now. IMO a lot of this nonsense about the finer points of tone is purely psychological and driven by folks who spend more time writing about or reading about tone on one forum or another than actually creating or experiencing it by playing their instruments. While I have my preferences for amps and speakers, I find I can get acceptable tone from nearly any amp that has adequate power and is functioning correctly.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  19. gigatron

    gigatron Country Gent

    Age:
    66
    Oct 9, 2008
    Slovenia
    For fast results, a bucket of KFC works fine.
     
  20. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    London...ish
    Neodymium speakers take a millenium to break in. I have several amps, so this particular Neo speaker equipped amp only got an hour or so a week. I had it for 18 months, and with an hour a week, it was still very 'in your face'.

    I thought about doing the Febreze trick, but hate the smell of the stuff.

    Traded it. Shame, i should have kept it, and swapped out the speakers.

    Marlin
     
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