m, we seem to come from different schools of thought on some of the above.
While there may be a difference in opinion with respect to speaker break-in and the difference in sound, it is almost never advised to take any speaker off the shelf and play it at full volume...at least I've never seen a manufacturer recommend this. Not only the suspension/surround but the spider and voice coil need to be properly broken in, in the case of the latter the build up of heat and subsequent dispersion. I've seen coils let loose already because of improper break in.
This is interesting. How do you know it was from improper break in and not a faulty winding? I'm not sure you would have an accurate way of testing this? While I can't say that I've read every manufacturers reasons for break in I can say that I haven't read one that recommended it to reduce the chance of driver failure. In fact a few of them recommend breaking in a speaker by playing them at moderate to high volume. By and large the reasoning is to loosen up suspension components to get a better sound. It may be a different school of thought but it's much like opinions on breaking in an engine. Some builders say go balls to the wall with a hard break in and others say drive for 1000km. I can tell you I've seen hundreds
of speakers from home audio to pro audio beaten on from the moment they were wired up without failures. I've also seen speakers with 100's of hours of playtime decide to let go. I have a 21" subwoofer here that sat for a few years and had the spider delaminate without ever having a watt of power put through it. I re-glued the spider and dropped it into a sub enclosure...rolled it outside and ran 1500W to it for a few hours at my wedding and it worked beautifully. We would have to agree to disagree on this one I suppose as we could go on forever about who's way is right and who's way is wrong. I've spent the better part of 20 years building/designing/installing/selling audio in one capacity or another. I can only go by my experience much like you can only go with yours.
Cheap RCA connectors are cheap for a reason. While there may be no audible difference in sound at first, I have enough experience to know that the construction of these cheap cables and wire is one such that they break/short much more easily, corrode rather quickly and the insulation gets either brittle or melts. So sure, go ahead and tell the guys doing your custom $5000+ sound system install to use cheap $1 cables...It's be fun seeing you pull up the floor carpeting and ton of other stuff the wire is routed over, under, around and through to replace it in short time.
See I was reading your recommendation of wire to do with speaker and power cables with all their respective terminals. RCA's I wouldn't skimp on. I've made it work in customer's cars but it's not something I advocate whatsoever. Now there is a catch to that. I don't recommend top of the line RCA's either. A good quality set doesn't have to cost a ton of money. A well built shielded cable can cost you $50 and will work just as well as a $200 octosheild-flux normalized-harmonically balanced-certified gay RCA cable. Believe it or not a few years ago guys were using cat5 cable as an interconnect...with 0 hum. I twisted some 22awg copper wire once for interest of trying it. Zero noise. I still went with a good set of RCA's in my own car...my ex's car ran the twisted experiment wire for a couple of years with no problems. Again, I wouldn't recommend it...but I don't buy the 100's of dollar wire either.
As a general rule of thumb yes, the power requirements for any speaker should be at least matched or be a little less than what your amp puts out, but my point was to not overpower the drivers to the point of easily blowing them. The level of audio that I am referring to is for the more reputable manufacturers who actually put the true ratings on their amplifiers. For e.g. I had no problem paying $300 a couple years ago for a PPI amp that was rated 60W x 4 nom., or for ID speakers that are rated at 125watts max.
I should had my reply to that under the "DO" area. Either way...you could wire up a 250WRMS amp to a 15W speaker and it won't blow if it's set correctly. Of course you won't be using the amplifier to its potential and it would largely be a waste of money. Really the issue is distortion so we could just say set your amps so that they don't distort if they're underpowered and set your amps so that they don't overdrive if they're overpowered. I'm pretty sure we're thinking the same thing and just expressing it differently.