Interpretation of mechanical tests on block-in-matrix rocks (bimrocks) is difficult and often open to dispute as, with deformation, the interactions between blocks, matrix and pores are complex, reflecting the influence of their different shape, size, strength and stiffness. The acoustic emission (AE) technique can be used to record an ultrasound pulse emitted by a defect within the sample at the moment of its occurrence. Typically several deformations occur, such as crack closure, crack initiation or permanent crack damage, but they may be difficult to visualize with a fault breccia. Consequently, with fault breccia it is advisable to focus on the primary stage of deformation where the acoustic emission response may be traced to properties of the breccia, such as block proportions. The paper shows that the different geometrical properties, particularly the volumetric block proportions, are reflected by stress concentrations which in turn trigger specific AE signatures.