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Breaking in drivers

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oren View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 March 2020 at 9:16pm
Getting a new 18 driver tommorow,  how should i break it in ? It was a spare someone's had for years and havent  used , if its old will it need special attention  ? Is it nessesary to break it in beforehand? Its going inside a horn so i dont want to strain it first use . Cheers guy hope everyone is well and good
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Elliot Thompson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2020 at 11:13pm
If it is an old driver that was being used prior to being put to the side, chances are it is already broken in. Checking how flexible (how easily) the cone moves is a good indication if the driver is broken in or not. If the driver is not broken in, whacking your loudspeaker for 30 minutes playing your favourite tracks will do the job.

If you are more adventurous, you could dump 8 Hz (or lower) into the loudspeaker and give it enough power to attain a good amount of cone movement. However, you will need monitor the loudspeaker periodically for you run a high risk of burning up the voice coil.  

The second option will have the loudspeaker broken in (or burned up) within 3 minutes.

Best Regards,


Elliot Thompson
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oren View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 10:16am
Thanks elliot ,  should i mount the driver into the cab prior or do it in free air?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonB67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 11:05am
Personally I'd just stick it in the box and be sensible to start with.

Can't see commercial manufacturers having rooms full of drivers they're breaking in. 

Anyone got any objective proof its worth doing anything more than than what I've suggested above?

Edit: clarity


Edited by JonB67 - 27 March 2020 at 3:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 11:27am
I thought breaking them in was only really relevant if you are designing and need the TS to be close to a driver at a broken in stage for ideal measurements. Or you’ve got a massive sound clash going on with brand new drivers and are going to spank them from the get go. 

As with buying a new car or get a recon engine, you just don’t give it loads of welly for a short time. 
blah blah blah blah blah......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 11:43am
I have been in this business since 1971 and must have loaded thousands of drivers in that time and have never run or broken one in.
Brand new drivers straight out of their cardboard boxes loaded into cabinets and out on tour straight away with some of the loudest bands on the planet but used properly with good limiters to avoid idiots blowing them---I bet I could count on two hands the quantity of drivers that have been blown since then
SO NO YOU DO NOT NEED TO BREAK THEM IN !!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ceharden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 12:30pm
In my experience brand new drivers do need a little running to achieve their intended performance.  You'll see notes on driver datasheets that the TS parameters were measured after a 'preconditioning' period.  The sensitivity etc will improve after they've been run at a reasonable level for a bit.

However, as mentioned above, there is no requirement to do any special procedures.  Just use the drivers in the cabs and the 'breaking in' will happen as part of normal usage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote concept-10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by Elliot Thompson Elliot Thompson wrote:

If it is an old driver that was being used prior to being put to the side, chances are it is already broken in. Checking how flexible (how easily) the cone moves is a good indication if the driver is broken in or not. If the driver is not broken in, whacking your loudspeaker for 30 minutes playing your favourite tracks will do the job.

If you are more adventurous, you could dump 8 Hz (or lower) into the loudspeaker and give it enough power to attain a good amount of cone movement. However, you will need monitor the loudspeaker periodically for you run a high risk of burning up the voice coil.  

The second option will have the loudspeaker broken in (or burned up) within 3 minutes.

Best Regards,



Pushing the cone up and down to see how flexible it is will tell you nothing unless you have a brand new one to compare it to, putting 8hz through a driver that may well have been used hard previously could be a disaster for an old voice coil, put it in the box and let it play, simple.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 1:16pm
Originally posted by oren oren wrote:

Thanks elliot ,  should i mount the driver into the cab prior or do it in free air?

The driver will loosen up in Free Air faster as it has no restrictions sitting in a box, whereas it will take longer sitting in a box. So you have a choice on what is more convenient for you. Play some of your most popular bass tunes through your box at high SPL for around 30 minutes and enjoy or, feed the driver a sine wave signal for around 3 minutes or so.

There is really no right or wrong way to break in a driver, it is more about how much free time you have at your disposal.

Best Regards,

 
Elliot Thompson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 1:25pm
Originally posted by monkeypuzzle monkeypuzzle wrote:

I thought breaking them in was only really relevant if you are designing and need the TS to be close to a driver at a broken in stage for ideal measurements. Or you’ve got a massive sound clash going on with brand new drivers and are going to spank them from the get go. 

As with buying a new car or get a recon engine, you just don’t give it loads of welly for a short time. 


Breaking in a loudspeaker loosens up the suspension which, reduces the fs. It is not unusual to have a well loosened woofer shift 10 Hz downwards when comparing to it's published specifications at times. Some manufactures take the shift into consideration when advertising their TS Parameters whereas, others do not.

Once the suspension is loose, it cannot revert back unless you recone the loudspeaker.

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Elliot Thompson
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Elliot Thompson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 1:47pm
Originally posted by concept-10 concept-10 wrote:

Pushing the cone up and down to see how flexible it is will tell you nothing unless you have a brand new one to compare it to, putting 8hz through a driver that may well have been used hard previously could be a disaster for an old voice coil, put it in the box and let it play, simple.
 


It is very rare to find an old used driver that has not been thoroughly broken in. The driver could sit on the shelf for decades and it will not revert back to it's brand new in a box form. How much experience one has with new versus used old drivers will play a factor. Gauging the suspension's flexibility by merely pushing on the cone would not be difficult to decipher for the experienced user.

Bear in mind not everyone wants to go through the process of blasting the loudspeaker until it is broken in. This is where feeding a sine wave signal to the loudspeaker comes into play. It offers the same results with the least amount of noise and a faster turn around time. Once you go below 10 Hz, the loudspeaker offers very little sound.  The Loudspeaker will however offer enough piston movement to loosen up the suspension.

Best Regards,


Elliot Thompson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timebomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2020 at 2:00pm
It can make quite a big difference with some drivers, with some drivers the difference is small.  I measures TS parameters during brake in when i was testing some drivers the other week.  I used a 20Hz sine wave, 9dB crest factor, driven until about +/-8mm excursion.  As you can see FS reduces to a point then stabilises. 

18DS115 
New FS= 48.45Hz
30 min run in 10 min cool down fs=45.76Hz
1h run in 10 min cool down FS=45.09Hz
1.5h run in 10 min cool down FS=43.07Hz
2H run in 10 min cool down fs=43.07Hz

18XL2000
New FS= 33.65
30 min run in 1-0 min cool down fs=31.63
1h run in 10 min cool down FS=31.63Hz

James Secker          facebook.com/soundgearuk
James@soundgear.co.uk               www.soundgear.co.uk
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