I'm the Ulysses owner that Lou's original post was referring to.
Here's my experience...
I had recently acquired some Ulysses demos from a dealer, thru an add on Audiogon. I had put approx. 40 hours on the Ulysses under normal listening conditions, with typical fare of jazz, classical and indie/progressive rock. The speakers sounded really uninvolving initially and I was worried I had made a big mistake purchasing the Ulysses without the benefit of an audition. They did manage to open up quite a bit after the first 20 hours, but still not to the point that I felt I had a pair of "keepers" on my hands. I was not a happy camper. I missed the involving midrange and emotional connection I had with my previous Harbeth M-40.1's, and I regretted having sold them.
A fellow audio acquaintance that I know from Audiogon that had pushed me to try the Ulysses insisted that something had to be wrong. He insisted that the speakers probably needed to be properly broken in... something I had never done with my previous speakers.
I followed the following break-in protocol:
- Place the speakers so the drivers of each speaker are facing each other at approximately .25" separation.
- Invert the polarity of one of the speakers by reversing the speaker cables on the speaker end only
- Change your preamp to run in mono configuration, or if your preamp does not have mono capability, buy a "Y" interconnect splitter from Radio Shack (about $5) to get a mono signal from your cdp
- Play the speakers loud enough to get the woofers visibly jumping around, but not so loud that they are bottoming out or clipping.
- Use track 20 on Stereophile's Test CD#3 and set your CDP to repeat the track over and over
- I covered the speakers with heavy blankets and surrounded them with acoustic panels (all sides and on top) to muffle the sound and maintain the sanity of others in your household.
- I did this for approx. 170 hours. I would have gone another 100 hours, but my wife was fed up with the noise.
This process was a pain in the butt, but I now have beautiful sounding speakers and I no longer pine for my old Harbeth's. I don't think all speakers necessarily need this kind of aggressive break-in process, but my experience with the Daedalus Ulysses makes me think Daedalus owners could benefit greatly from following an aggressive break in protocol similar to what I described above. The improvement in my Ulysses after following this protocol has been dramatic.
Amp: VAC Renaissance 70/70 Signature
Preamp: Aesthetix Calypso Signature
CDP: Audio Aero Capitol 24/192