Break in period for subs


RBarlow

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What are the break in periods for subs say 12 inch 1000watt rms?
OK nevermind I just researched old threads and found one from 2018 that pretty much summed up exactly what I thought so no need reply on this when I get to my regular computer not my phone il figure out how to remove it all together thank you
 

Clifff150

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What did you find? I honestly don’t do much of a break in but can see why others do
 

Popwarhomie

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I have always broken in my brand new subs just by not going full tilt for a couple weeks to let the spiders loosen up. Only time I ever ripped a spider was on an HDC3 10 that I did not break in.
 
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Clifff150

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My problem is I don’t drive my personal vehicles too often so a “break in” would take me so damn long and that ain’t happening haha.
 

Buck

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Some subs are so soft, it really doesn't matter.

Some subs like DD, some of these bigger box woofers, they have quite a break in process, and they get significantly louder over time. Example wise, the DD 9500's sometimes take a month or two of daily usage to actually break in. It's quite a massive difference.

So, some woofers it's very important to break in. If you don't, you can over-stress glued parts and the spider material itself. You can rip the spider, you can cause parts to become un-glued from their locations, like where the spider attaches to the spider landing on the basket. If that spider is super stiff and the sub has a strong motor, and you give it a ton of power, the spider stiffness can actually make the spider pull right off the basket. Like I say, it depends on the woofer.

Box design really helps the woofer to control itself. If your box allows your woofer to load well, you can generally be a little harder on it, because the box is controlling the cone movement, so it doesn't over-travel (xmax/xmech wise) before it softens up.
 
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hispls

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Some subs are so soft, it really doesn't matter.

Some subs like DD, some of these bigger box woofers, they have quite a break in process, and they get significantly louder over time. Example wise, the DD 9500's sometimes take a month or two of daily usage to actually break in. It's quite a massive difference.

So, some woofers it's very important to break in. If you don't, you can over-stress glued parts and the spider material itself. You can rip the spider, you can cause parts to become un-glued from their locations, like where the spider attaches to the spider landing on the basket. If that spider is super stiff and the sub has a strong motor, and you give it a ton of power, the spider stiffness can actually make the spider pull right off the basket. Like I say, it depends on the woofer.

Box design really helps the woofer to control itself. If your box allows your woofer to load well, you can generally be a little harder on it, because the box is controlling the cone movement, so it doesn't over-travel (xmax/xmech wise) before it softens up.
Bullshit all around. If your subs are breaking it's because they were poorly built and/or you over-powered them and not because you didn't perform some magic ritual.

The most dramatic shift in TS parameters on those super stiff suspensions happens in under an hour play time and then is very gradual eventually staying about the same. Shifts may or may not be favorable for gaining 10ths and they should prove to be well under 1dB (inaudible!). You're not gaining a deeb from 10-15% shift in Fs, Qts or Vas.

PM me and I can pass you some TS parameter data from some subs I built a few years ago, whenever I get my new parts in I can pull specs again before I scrap those softparts.
 
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Buck

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Bullshit all around. If your subs are breaking it's because they were poorly built and/or you over-powered them and not because you didn't perform some magic ritual.

The most dramatic shift in TS parameters on those super stiff suspensions happens in under an hour play time and then is very gradual eventually staying about the same. Shifts may or may not be favorable for gaining 10ths and they should prove to be well under 1dB (inaudible!). You're not gaining a deeb from 10-15% shift in Fs, Qts or Vas.

PM me and I can pass you some TS parameter data from some subs I built a few years ago, whenever I get my new parts in I can pull specs again before I scrap those softparts.
That's a pretty harsh way to talk about subwoofers to people. Glad you personality is shining through.

That's not BS man. I've literally worked for a DD dealer, heard it many times. These subs play music better over time. Some subs do have a break in time. It's not a magic ritual you d*ckhead, don't be like that.

So please, if you would, contact the company that held the world record for years and tell them that they are wrong about breaking in their own subwoofers:

 

Buck

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Bullshit all around. If your subs are breaking it's because they were poorly built and/or you over-powered them and not because you didn't perform some magic ritual.

The most dramatic shift in TS parameters on those super stiff suspensions happens in under an hour play time and then is very gradual eventually staying about the same. Shifts may or may not be favorable for gaining 10ths and they should prove to be well under 1dB (inaudible!). You're not gaining a deeb from 10-15% shift in Fs, Qts or Vas.

PM me and I can pass you some TS parameter data from some subs I built a few years ago, whenever I get my new parts in I can pull specs again before I scrap those softparts.
Where did I say anything about changing t/s parameters? It would help if you replied to what I actually typed, before basically insulting my intelligence.
 

Buck

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Here I'll take a jab at you if you want it:

Your fart box tunings are so high that you don't even need to break a woofer in because you're playing high notes like any prefab can do.
 

Buck

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We can discuss this topic like this or we can discuss facts. My statement was not about t/s parameters. I've never measured any subs before and after t/s parameters, personally. T/s are relative, you can spot a woofer with no break in time, but the t/s can still show the character of the woofer, regardless. I've only designed 1000 boxes, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm just pulling this out of my ass completely.

You aren't going to sit here and tell me break in time doesn't make many a sub play music better. That would be like saying grass isn't green.

I'll say it the normal non-hateful way: maybe you don't tune low enough to notice the difference. When a woofer breaks in, it plays lows better. Those of us who like lows, we really notice when a woofer breaks in, because over time, your subs will just play lower and lower.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you aren't the type that goes around playing 25 hz on the streets, are you?
 
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Buck

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Because what happens is that people who aren't familiar with audio get their subs, and they try to beat the crap out of them immediately across a wide bandwidth. I've seen people blow subs from not letting them break in. I don't remember all facts of every system that did that, but a lot of times it's higher powered woofers that are really stiff. If you get a brand new woofer, especially a high powered one, and you immediately go try to drop below 30 hz on full tilt, that usually results in problems. That's one way we would try to keep inexperienced people from blowing their subs; you set the subsonic artificially high, and get them to come back in a few weeks or so and you can drop down that subsonic to where it ultimately should be.

Woofers can blow because the coil isn't moving enough to cool itself inside of the motor. So, when your woofer is really stiff, it basically doesn't move enough on the low notes, and that causes excessive heat buildup in the coil. Coil movement is essential to cooling, in specific situations. If the woofer was broken in, say in a box for it, the excursion on xxxx amount of watts will tend to be much greater as the woofer breaks in, especially on the low notes. Without that movement, the coil heats up a ton, unnecessarily and dangerously so, in some cases. But there's a ton of factors to that, it's very hard to blame any system failure specifically on one item; audio is complicated, many things can cause issues.

You've gotta let some of these woofers stretch out themselves, before you go super hard on them. I've just seen it happen like a playbook. You know when a customer is going to blow a new sub, you can just see it in their eyes that they are not going to listen about your advice about break in. We've had people literally come back an hour or two later with blown subs lol. These were good systems, good electrical, good boxes, good signal, etc. Maybe their songs were bad quality, but it probably had more to do with the volume knob.
 

metalheadjoe

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Because what happens is that people who aren't familiar with audio get their subs, and they try to beat the crap out of them immediately across a wide bandwidth. I've seen people blow subs from not letting them break in. I don't remember all facts of every system that did that, but a lot of times it's higher powered woofers that are really stiff. If you get a brand new woofer, especially a high powered one, and you immediately go try to drop below 30 hz on full tilt, that usually results in problems. That's one way we would try to keep inexperienced people from blowing their subs; you set the subsonic artificially high, and get them to come back in a few weeks or so and you can drop down that subsonic to where it ultimately should be.

Woofers can blow because the coil isn't moving enough to cool itself inside of the motor. So, when your woofer is really stiff, it basically doesn't move enough on the low notes, and that causes excessive heat buildup in the coil. Coil movement is essential to cooling, in specific situations. If the woofer was broken in, say in a box for it, the excursion on xxxx amount of watts will tend to be much greater as the woofer breaks in, especially on the low notes. Without that movement, the coil heats up a ton, unnecessarily and dangerously so, in some cases. But there's a ton of factors to that, it's very hard to blame any system failure specifically on one item; audio is complicated, many things can cause issues.

You've gotta let some of these woofers stretch out themselves, before you go super hard on them. I've just seen it happen like a playbook. You know when a customer is going to blow a new sub, you can just see it in their eyes that they are not going to listen about your advice about break in. We've had people literally come back an hour or two later with blown subs lol. These were good systems, good electrical, good boxes, good signal, etc. Maybe their songs were bad quality, but it probably had more to do with the volume knob.
Why couldn't parts be manufactured in a way that doesn't require breakin? Why don't manufacturers break in drivers/parts before sending them out the door? Sounds like that would eliminate a lot of warranty claims and improve their reputation.
 
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Buck

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Why couldn't parts be manufactured in a way that doesn't require breakin? Why don't manufacturers break in drivers/parts before sending them out the door? Sounds like that would eliminate a lot of warranty claims and improve their reputation.
I do believe some companies do break in their subs some. I'm not here to make a claim about how long it takes to break in a sub. I'm just sharing what I've heard with my own ears.

I want to be clear, I'm not an SPL guy. I'm not looking at sub break in from an SPL perspective. I'm looking at breaking in a sub for people who want to play music, specifically heavy bass music, and that's how I approach my advice or thoughts or whatever on this subject.

Some subs are just inherently soft and don't really need a break in. Lower powered woofers are sometimes the best example of this.

I think the main reason is durability. Good companies make woofers that are built to last. If a woofer is already loose as its inherent design, then it might degrade too quickly over time and have poor performance.

I know there's gotta be people on here that have seen a really old sub that sags? You know, like a 10-15 year old sub that's really old and been played a lot. I've seen old woofers where they aren't centered on the coil anymore, from an in and out perspective. The sub is so old that the coil just sits way down in the motor (with the sub facing up). I think one of the subs I saw like that was an ancient type r or type s.

If break in time isn't a thing, then how is it possible for woofers to start sagging over time? Does anyone think a coil sitting like .5" further into the motor while resting doesn't affect the playing capabilities of that sub?
 
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Buck

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I mean saying a spider that vibrates in and out somewhere between 20-80 times per second for it's entire usage, saying that spider doesn't stretch out from that over time is just illogical. Spiders are fundamentally flexible and that flexibility will change over time, even just from age and normal usage.

If break in time isn't a thing, then how would you like a recycled spider out of a 10 year old woofer instead of a new one?
 

Kickstand

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I have had my share of DD subs
Nothing as crazy as the 9500's but still
I have always broken them in and then slowly brought them up to full power
4-6 weeks before I turned my amp up to where it should be and even then I was slow to crank it up and only in short bursts for a while
Even now I just put that 3510 back in and I still gave it a break in period. Not as long, only a couple weeks to "warm it back up"
Out of the 5-6 subs I have had from them I have never once smelled them burning

I wish I would have know about the whole break in thing back in the day
Would have saved me a lot of $$$
 

hispls

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So please, if you would, contact the company that held the world record for years and tell them that they are wrong about breaking in their own subwoofers:
No need to contact them. If they had any objective data to back this up they would have it there in their writeup. IMO that whole thing is just a bunch of pseudo science designed to first cover their arse if someone destroys a sub right out the gate and second to try to get people to start off cautious with their new product and feel out its limits. I'm not so convinced by marketing hype especially when it flies in the face of many years of my own experience/observation.

The ability of humans to remember sound and sound intensity is extremely poor, this is well documented. There's no way you're hopping in the car one morning after completing your """break in""" ritual and saying with confidence "Oh wow, this sounds way better and deeper than it did a couple weeks ago".

I defy anybody to show me some actual evidence of this phenomenon. For example 4 identical subs side by side in identical enclosures on identical power, two fresh out the box and the other two having undergone some magic ritual then roll power up until they all break to determine which if either survive more power. Or before and after RTA graphs or SPL measurements of subs after various periods of any magic ritual you feel is going to make an audible difference. Even IF DD has some top secret unicorn tears they use in their soft parts that aren't used in the Sundown and Nuway ultra stiff spider packs I've used that somehow MUST be stretched out a bit before they function without failure, shame on them for not just building a machine that bends them up a bit before assembly. You can buy even the stiffest ones on the market and soften them up noticeably in just a few minutes by just working them back and forth with your hands.

Where did I say anything about changing t/s parameters?
You did not, but ironically the DD writeup you linked did and for some reason they only even mentioned Fs. If you claim some audible change happens at some point, posting before and after TS parameters would be useful data in backing up this claim.

Or is there some more subtle pixie dust they put in those softparts that will make them break prematurely or sound audibly different after some ritual is performed that cannot be measured via TS specs?

Your fart box tunings are so high that you don't even need to break a woofer in because you're playing high notes like any prefab can do.
The double irony here is that I typically build to "DD Box" volume and port ratios.

I've never measured any subs before and after t/s parameters, personally. T/s are relative, you can spot a woofer with no break in time, but the t/s can still show the character of the woofer, regardless.
So do TS parameters not matter at all in box design? If you expect some audible change in output after some period of time or some ritual is performed how do you account for this change when designing a box if any of this change is likely to make an audible difference?

You aren't going to sit here and tell me break in time doesn't make many a sub play music better.
Define "better" and then provide some objective data to back up this claim.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you aren't the type that goes around playing 25 hz on the streets, are you?
No, nor are DD subs (particularly up to a generation or two ago) the type of subs which really excel for that application in the first place. Now that you've moved the goalpost to """"break in""" only makes an audible difference at 25hz provide some data to back this up. What ritual does Jacob suggest for """break in""" on his X series?

I've seen people blow subs from not letting them break in.
How on Earth can you determine that what they did to break them the first time wouldn't have happened regardless of any ritual you performed with those same woofers before they were abused? How did you determine that the failure wasn't either legitimate manufacturer defect or outright abuse?

So, when your woofer is really stiff, it basically doesn't move enough on the low notes, and that causes excessive heat buildup in the coil.
Can you quantify how much more movement you will get after precisely what ritual is performed that will make such a dramatic difference in thermal power handling? I've worked in the business and seen the same chucklefucks break speakers within minutes of leaving, even after watching them pull across the street, go into the trunk, and crank the "volume knob" on the amps up to max. Stupid people doing stupid shit doesn't mean that happened because they didn't follow some secret ritual, it's because they're bone-heads who have no concept that equipment has limits. Some learn their lesson and use equipment within tolerance afterwards and some do not.

How does this theory account for mechanical failures? Should someone who has """broken in""" their sub be more concerned about over excursion after they have stretched out the suspension some? By how much will this change effect power handling as far as mechanically breaking things at low frequencies if we rely on the stiff suspension to control the cone below tuning?

If break in time isn't a thing, then how is it possible for woofers to start sagging over time?
Post pics of a 20 year old DD sub with spider sagging. The further you try to move the goalposts here arguing with yourself the more you're disproving your own case. The type of driver that is going to sag in 20 years is going to be extremely soft to begin with and will probably change parameters the least from brand new to end of life while the drivers that are built extremely stiff and will stay stiff forever are the ones that openly suggest these special juju rituals.

About 8 or 9 years ago I measured TS parameters of an old Clarion 32" that a friend owns and the TS parameters were within 2-3% identical to published specs from the early 90s. There is also some good data to be found online of full range bookshelf type drivers being measured over a period of several years.

Spiders are fundamentally flexible and that flexibility will change over time,
Nobody has denied this. The question is by how much, over how much time, and at any point will it make either an audible difference or a significant difference in either thermal or mechanical power handling. I originally even offered to share real objective data on measured specs of woofers to help have a serious discussion on the subject and you attacked the very idea before going on to write a page full of conjecture and anecdotal evidence of a bunch of ignorant hoodrats who blow shit up.

Finally, why is it that I can build extremely stiff suspension subs that I can beat on full power within an hour of assembly and DD can't build one that won't fail without some 12-24 hour ritual being performed over it?
 
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LsGuy

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For me, I just go by manufacturer recommendations, that way I'm covered in case of a warranty claim. Most recent subs I installed were JL's, and JL says no break-in required, so I didn't perform one.
 
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