You are here

Log in or register to post comments
gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
What works and what doesn't?

If you will indulge me some of your time, I would like to know what tweaks have worked in your systems and which ones haven't. I suppose we should define "tweak." Somewhat arbitrarily, I propose, "Any addition or change to your components not recommended by the manufacturer." Now, you all can expand this definition (or narrow it) as you see fit. I'll start.

Tweaks that have worked consistently, with a variety of software: Argent "Acoustic Lens" (3 of them, one center rear and one on the outside edge of each stereo speaker), "Optrix" CD treatment, Synergistic Research AC power cords (the originals from 8-10 years back, $250 each), Cinepro Professional "Power 20" line conditioner (a line balancer, with 12 outlets -- 4 digital and 8 analog), Audio Quest "Lapis X3" interconnects, Audio Quest "Argent" speaker wire, bi-wiring my speakers, the screw-down clamp made by Basis for my Basis turntable (replacing a simple weight, also made by Basis), and the VPI record vacuum (the $500 model).

Tweaks that have worked some of the time: Bedini CD de-magnetizer, Aesthetix "Benz" MC cartridge Demagnetizer, various footers (some cones, some rubber or rubber-like).

Tweaks that have never worked: Room Tunes (corner or side-wall), coins on speakers, various more expensive wires and cables, different cabinets, SID CD Damping Mat (a green vinyl disc you put on top of your CD before loading it into the player), Shakti Stones (or any other rocks or weights designed to sit on top of components).

There. What say you all?

Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Things that have worked: Weight on top of my monitors, about 2 lbs. This may not work with better quality cabinets and bracing, but it works on mine. Cleaning connections on cables and interconnects. Leaving my gear on 24/7 and my tuner at low volume when I'm not listening to something else. This is the best "tweak" with the highest sonic pay-off that I have found to date. Cable experimentation is another sonic pay-off with some subtle and some dramatic changes to be had. Along these same lines, component and cable burn-in time is another very obvious benefit that ranges from about 30 hours to well over 200 hours with no particular amount to any given component...it just happens.

Things that have not worked for me: Power conditioning. I've tried two and neither made a bit of difference except when used with my amplifier and then, the sonics were worse with the conditioner than without. I live in a rural area and may be blessed with clean power and really haven't formed any conclusions based on my very limited experience except to agree with the 'try before you buy' attitude with these things. Sorbothane vibration isolation hasn't worked for me, though spikes and weight do seem to work.

A couple of disturbing things that seem to work, though I'm being completely subjective and admit to being hard pressed to define the benefits is running a series of test tones (Stereophile Test CD 3) through my system that seems to quickly wake everything up and my genuine belief that high humidity levels seem to improve the sonics in my system. The only explanation that I can come up with for the humidty is in reducing the static electricity of the surroundings. As the humidity generally rises at night, this also coincides with when my system seems to sound best

kurtholz
kurtholz's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Oct 12 2006 - 4:00pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

I have tried many of the normal tweaks to even the snake oil type,the ones that work, some of the cd-dvd treatments work very well, you hear a very nice difference, of course cables can make a big difference, one of the best was installing 20 amp dedicated lines for my amps,

what hasnt work, for me at least, isolation devices,platforms of all types and brands,

burn in cd's

i do agree about system burn in, after about 200+ hours, you get very used to your set-up,and can hear more out of it

i'm sure there are more, but those are the one's that come to mind

good luck

Kurt

bobb
bobb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 5:59pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Shouldn't this go in the Tweaks n'Tips forum?

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Thanks, Monty, Kurtholz, and Bob. Monty and Kurtholz, I should have mentioned leaving the electronics on (and, Monty, passing signal) has worked very well for me, too. One of the positives of transistors -- you couldn't do this with tubes, and I love the sound of tubes. I didn't have any luck with the (more or less) conventional power conditioners, either, but, on the basis of Wes Phillips' review of the Cinepro a few years back, I decided to try the "line balancing" approach, and the improvements were obvious, although (as Wes mentioned) not dramatic. Just more transparency, more open, spread-out, and articulate sound.

I have a few "conditioning" CD's -- the Ayre, the Sheffield, the Reference, and the Densen. I should have mentioned them, because I do occasionally use them. I confess that I only use them when annoyed in some way with the sound of my system. They usually work, when used on those occasions. One could make a good case for the placebo effect here, but my system always seems to sound a bit more transparent and less thick and slow after any of these treatments. The Ayre brown noise track is great for breaking in speakers, but not audibly superior to the Sheffield, Reference, or Densen discs on the above mentioned occasions.

I think tweaks are always hit-and-miss, as I have defined the term above. You can't call changing cables a tweak (although I mentioned them) because so many folks refer to them as components -- this is an interesting side topic in itself. As per my (admittedly) arbitrary definition, you can't call moving speakers around a tweak, since many manufacturers recommend it, and since it really is a part of the basic set-up process. It was interesting to hear that you both had no real success with component isolation racks. This would depend, of course, on where you had the components set up before you bought an audiophile rack.

Thanks again for bothering to respond. Cheers, and happy listening, Clifton.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

I don't know, Bob. Should it? It is a response to the "Why do so many people fall for the cons" thread posted under this category heading. Maybe we should argue. You first. Cheers, Clifton.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Perhaps the cheapest tweak that I have done to my system was the most effective. I now use Ayre wood blocks under each component, at only $15 per component (it is recommend to use three) they had a profound effect. Under my amplifier they allowed the bass to be tighter, cleaner and more agile. Under my preamp they helped remove a certain hardness in the vocals. I also use the Ayre CD. I run the five minute sweep (Track 7) about once every two weeks and the one minute track (track 1) before each listening session as a quick brush up. It lowers the noise floor of the system and allows the ambience of the recorded space to break through much more easily. This tweak is also very affordable, it

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Things that work:

1) Proper system set up
2) Good bourbon
3) Good wine
4) Good w**d
5) Good music

Things that don't work:

1) Audiophile recommended recordings, especially female quasi-jazz singers
2) Magic clocks or anything with the name "magic"
3) Being hungover from all the good bourbon, wine and w**d from last night's listening session.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

There might be more stuff, but, this is what comes to mind.

Stuff that works that I currently use:

Dedicated 20 Amp line & new electrical service, PS Audio Power Director, Ultimate Outlet, Power Port, xStream Statement Power Cords; Black Diamond Racing Shelf & Pyramid Cones (mostly Mk IV); Shakti Stones & Onlines; API Power Wedge 116 & Power Enhancer; ESP Essence Power Cords & Power Distributor; Symposium shelves; Bright Star Big & Little Rocks; Audioquest ferrite clamps, sorbothane pucks & sheets; Gryphon Exorcist; Ayre CD; Quietline filter; DIY parallel filters; Bybee Quantum Purifiers (silver & copper)

Changing op amps, capacitors, and resistors in components has worked wonders as well.

Stuff that works, but, is too much trouble to use:

CD Blacklight mat

Stuff that produces a change that I choose not to use:

Sam Tellig's $1.20 coin tweak

Stuff I've tried, but, never used enough to draw a conclusion:

Bulk tape eraser; PS Audio Noise Harvester

Stuff I've tried, but, don't know if it worked:

Frozen photo of Buddha and Big Mike with 26 written on it in my freezer

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Thanks Jeff, Jazzfan, and Mrlowry. This is interesting, to me, because I always thought believing in the efficacy of tweaks was somewhat akin to believing in the efficacy of prayer -- you can never be quite sure, but you indulge anyway, just to stay on the safe side.

I suppose I'll try the Ayre blocks. Another sacrifice to the Tweak Fairy, but an affordable one. Jeff, I had the Audio Power conditioner that you mention before I bought the Cinepro, and the Cinepro improved things considerably. But you have a dedicated line, and I don't (at least, not here in my apartment -- I do have one in my other place). Do you (or does anyone else out there) know if it is possible to get a dedicated line installed in an apartment, a rental unit? I think that would be my next step, if possible. In my other place, I had the line installed before I even bought the bigger system, so I don't have the benefit of a before-and-after comparison to go by. This seems to be unanimous, though -- I haven't heard of one incident where the listener who installed a dedicated line was disappointed, or even less than enthusiastic. So, if it is possible to get one into my apartment, I'll do it.

Frozen pictures? Hell, I'm for freezing Buddha, at least (Mike's too damned big for my freezer, but I think I can stuff Buddha in). I recall from my visits to Bangkok and other Asian exotica, many Buddhas -- Reclining Buddha, Sleeping Buddha, Sitting Buddha, etc. I think it's time for "Hyperborean Buddha," no?

Thanks for the responses. Cheers and happy listening.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clifton - Sometimes lines for air conditioners are on a separate line to handle the higher amperage. You might be able to use one of these outlets for your system with no modification to the wiring in your abode.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Jeff,i'm using a fully loaded (isolation transformers and filters) Isotek Substation.Also,i have quite a few mains cables.Mac braided mains cables,Isotek Elites,Audioquest ac-15 and VanDenHul mainstreams.I too have a couple of Shakti stones and at least 2 dpzen shakti onlines.I really can't hear any difference at all,although i have to admit i've never sit down,put on my audiophile hat and begin a-b tests.
cd blacklight does make a difference but as you say,too much trouble to use.
My BDR cones and pits do make a difference,although not as great as some might lead you to think.
The 2 "tweaks" i have in my system that make a profound (to my ears at least) difference,is a Clearlight Audio rdc aspect rack(a German made equipment rack) and a same brand shelf and (don't laugh) a bedini ultra clarifiers,although i only use it for critical listen(too lazy to treat cds all the time).

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Thanks, Jeff. My air conditioning is central and thus doesn't run off of wall outlets. I'll check into it, though. As you can tell, I only know how to plug things in. Anything beyond that might get you a large helping of Kentucky Fried Clifton.

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Thanks Clifton for taking my first response in stride and in good humor.

Now on a more serious note, I do like and use tweaks but only if the tweak meets several not too difficult conditions.

First it has to be relatively inexpensive. Wooden blocks, tiptoes, cones, iso-pucks, etc. fall into this category.

If not relatively inexpensive then it has to have some kind of scientific basis to it. Again vibration elimation falls into this category as does power conditioning. We have all heard the effect that a motor turning on has on the sound of your system.

The tweak should be easily reversible. A turntable mat is good example, easy on, easy off. Completeyly rewiring one's house is not reversible.

Basically I'm quite willing to try most inexpensive, reversible tweaks that have some kind of scientific basis. What I find is that with most tweaks of this type the differences are not all that pronounced but rather subtle at best, but the way I look at it is, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so what the hell.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

The Bedini works for me, too, but not on a consistent basis -- it seems more effective on some CD's than others. Those that exhibit a glassy or splashy quality (I'm guessing in the 6 kHz range) seem to benefit the most, especially recordings of large scale orchestral works. I don't notice the effect much or at all on chamber or Jazz works.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clifton - Is there any correlation between the effectiveness of the Bedini and the amount (or colour) of the ink silkscreened onto the discs? It has been suggested that ferrous materials in the inks are what the magnetic fields alter.

feneran
feneran's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 1 2006 - 7:05am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Tweaks you don't necessarily hear (no pun here) about but which are of value are as follows:
1. Get an appointment with an ear doctor aand have your ears flushed out due to wax deposits.
2. Run a number 10 wire from your electrical service box directly to your site where you plug in your gear
3. Assure you have a proper ground wire and negative wire configuration
4. If possible run your system with a relative humidity of 45 to 65%..reason..the more moisture, the heavier the air..the heavier the air, the more the speakers have to work to move the air

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Hi, Feneran!

Welcome.

I apologize for disagreeing with your first post, but water vapor (moisture) is actually less dense than air.

Otherwise, clouds wouldn't float; at equivalent temperatures, water vapor is buoyant with respect to dry air.

The density of water vapor is 0.804g/l which is significantly less than that of dry air 1.27g/l at STP.

The idea about which is easier for a speaker to move - more, or less dense air we can save for later!

I agree with the notion of some level of relative humidity being good, though. It makes for less static electrical charge and softer skin on the chicks.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

True.Same way the 24/192 mode on my Cary 306/200 won't work with all cds,especially the older ones.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Oh Oh, What company is coming out with an AudioPhile GRADE Humidity control system for home use...Furutech? Seems right up their alley. That's a thought, none of teh equipment reviews ever mention relative humidty, temperature of are where stuff is under review,barometric pressure....this guy just opened an entire new market for audio nudnicks. Audiophile enviromental control system,ms.Certainly this has to affect teh wood and speaker drivers more dry sounding, more fluidity to teh sound. Why havene't high end makers like Krell or Mark Lenin$on added a temp/humidity controller to their pre amps. I think I need to start a company, audio grade enviorment systems. Can't stand the heat, can't stand the sound, can't stand ME? It's because, you cables are in teh wrong enviorment. Were' screwed, now another 20 years of debates. What temperature was teh original recording done in, if you can't have that at home, how can the music sound teh same when you play it back. If teh Beatles recorded at 76 degrees F and you play back at say 71 with a different humidity, the air is different than whne they recorded!!! Cables can't help THAT can it?

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

I hadn't thought of that, Jeff. I'll look into it. Since that hasn't been a possible variable, up to now, I can't really infer any kind of pattern until I start listening with that in mind. So, we'll see. Cheers.

feneran
feneran's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 1 2006 - 7:05am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Your figures are correct but my experiance suggests otherwise. On lower humidity days my system sounds more real. The system includes ARC Ref 1 preamp, ARC VT100 MKIII amp, Lector Tubed CD player and Magneplaner Tympani 1D Speakers as well as Valhalla Interconnects and Speaker cables.

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

My ESL's also sound much better on low himidity days.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

When I owned the KLH-9's, back in the late '60's/early '70's, I bought them in Salt Lake City, Utah, a high altitude, low humidity environment. When I moved to the coast (sea level, higher humidity), their sound improved -- much more lively and dramatic, much more "out-of-the-box" sounding, with better bass. And this was with zip cord and stock interconnnects, folks. Yes, there was a time when you expected all the necessary wire to come with the equipment when you bought it.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Are you sure about this? i thought equipment sounded their best on high humidity !

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Yiangos, you surely know by now that the answer to every question involving our arcane pursuit is, "it depends." My experience with the KLH electrostatics certainly agrees with yours, but who knows why there are always exceptions?

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 28 min ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Electrostatic speakers may be a breed apart in their situation since the air-gap is part of the capacitance of the system and that will be directly affected by humidity. Most other capacitances are better sealed against environmental variations.

Kal

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Kal, this certainly calibrates my experience well, although I knew nothing of these things at that early time. The KLH's sounded worst during the hot, dry days that dominated Utah summers. I believe the high altitudes lower speaker sensitivity, too, so the fact that I was using the 40-watt Marantz monoblocks (Model 9?? I can't remember, but they were expensive as hell at that time), which were a sonic match but didn't provide much in the way of dynamics, didn't help things. Cheers.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Speaking of electrostats, I own the original Martin Logan CLS speakers and I have found that one of the best free tweaks is to vacuum them after the charge has fully dissipated on the panels. I perform this maintenance about 1 per month. It tends to make them more detailed and dynamic, especially micro dynamics. Anybody else out there this obsessive?

ohfourohnine
ohfourohnine's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Once again, Clifton, you're the originator of what turns out to be an interesting and somewhat revealing thread.

Under the heading of "no surprize" it appears Jeff is not only among the top ten record collectors, he may be the outstanding tweaker with Yiangos pressing him pretty hard.

In the category of significant facts, the vulnerability of electrostats to humidity variation is worth remembering - particularly when the upgrade urge sends one auditioning speakers.

In the overall, we see again that while most of us insist that the best reproduction of music is our destination, some of us may be more in love with the trip.

Most of us are enjoying very good sound or we wouldn't be paying any attention to what goes on in this forum. Jazzfan's first post was right on the mark. Having read the thread, I've decided to scratch the next tweak I was contemplating and go review my favorite recordings catalogs.

Thanks for helping me get my head straight again.

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

I'm going to try this as I have my grills off for the old hair dryer thing. In a previous post I incorrectly said my system sounded better with higher humidity. The opposite is the reality.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clay - I tweak and fiddle, and the journey can be fun. But, my goal is always so I can better enjoy my music. I firmly believe that extracting more information, nuance, subtlety, and natural detail adds to the pleasure of the listening experience. Hearing all the little cues that might've been previously hidden helps transport me and get lost in the music. Once I fine tune, it's kinda "set and forget" and time to spin discs. Reducing glare and allowing more music to come through unimpeded makes for longer listening sessions.

Yiangos - I've got a MAC power cord, but, have always found it a bit bright for my tastes. I used to put it on my cassette deck to liven things up a little. I've ended up putting it on the transport in my headphone rig, where placement seems less critical (or that I'm more forgiving and have lower expectations with this rig.) It's an old model; I haven't heard anything made by them in ages.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Hi Jeff

I took out all the MACs power cords not because they were bright or anything,but because i moved all the equipment to another location and the macs are too long to hide behind the racks.back are the VDH mainstreams.The only place i've got a mac hc (high current) power cord,is the power amp and since the mains socket is a 20a one,i can only compare it with the stock cable that came with it.I will eventually but right now i've discovered i've got some serious room problem (i need a lot of bass traps etc lol)so,even if i do the comparison,everything sounds bright in the listening room anyway.

ohfourohnine
ohfourohnine's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Jeff, no one who has read your posts since the establishment of this forum could reasonably suggest that you are more enamored of the journey than the destination, nor was that what I meant to say. Of late, I've increasingly been involved with tweaking - albeit on a bush league level compared with you and some of the other guys. My "set it and forget it" periods, I realized, have been getting shorter, and too many pages in my Acoustic Sounds catalog have page corners turned down. Though it may have seemed I was casting aspersions on your behavior, I was finding fault with my own. Why wouldn't you be heavily into tweaks? My impression is that when you've chosen to do something, you don't do it half way. That said, given the level of the system you're still tweaking versus mine, I think I'm better off doing less tweaking and more listening. Getting my head straight, as I said, was the issue - not yours or anyone else's. Hence my thanks to Clifton for kicking off the thread.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clay (and Jazzfan), there is certainly no substitute for a fine recording/performance of your favorite music. And a nice liquid relaxant, to untangle the knotted confluences of electrons run amok along the freeways of your brain.

Mrlowry, I tried the Ayre blocks last night. First, I put them under my Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista DAC, where it sits on the bottom shelf of my 5-shelf (audiophile-approved)equipment rack (I can't remember who makes the goddam thing, but, rest assured that I would use nothing without an audiophile-approved rating). I was still sober at the time, no shit. Hmmm. It sounds definitely less strident on a couple of CD's that have a tendency to shriek in the wrong places. I'll be damned. So I put in one of my favorite (in terms of recorded quality) CD's. Definitely smoother, with no penalties in terms of resolution of detail. I'll be double-damned. So I put a second threesome of the little wooden blocks under my Musical Fidelity A-3.2cr power amp, on the next-to-bottom shelf, formerly resting on Audio Points brass cones. Ugh. Thickening of the sound, loss of snap in the brass, percussion, and plucked strings sections of the Britten-led "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" (the original LP and JVC's XRCD remastered version -- same effect on both). Also, the soundstage just shrank, from all previous boundaries. Okay, back in with the brass cones. Ahhhh. Back to where we were, much, much better. So I replaced the Ayre blocks that had improved the DAC with brass cones. Okay, but not as smooth and coherent as it had been with the Ayre wooden blocks. So, there it is. The blocks improved my DAC, but strangled my amp. In the interests of scientific completeness, I suppose I could have messed with other components, trying all-brass versus all-wood and nothing under anything, but I usually don't like to go more than an hour without a drink. So the Ayre blocks stay under my DAC, and the Audio points brass cones stay under my power amp. And that's enough for one evening, as I am about to try my first Hortini (that's Gin, with Horse Tranquilizer instead of Vermouth). Bad day on the links, you know. AHHHHHHHH. Perfect.

Thanks for your comments, Clay, and Lowry, thanks for turning me on to the Ayre blocks. And, last but not least, thanks to my local veterinarian (who treats me much better than my HMO does).

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clay - Thanks for clarifying. It did seem to come across that way, but, thinking about it, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. I thought, "Maybe that's how I come across... I do post about equipment a lot more than music." In this hobby, it's very easy to get caught up in the gear and tweaking. It's fun, and can be addictive. How can it not? You try something, and suddenly, you're hearing music you thought you were familiar with in a new way. "Hey wait! That wasn't like that before! I can hear the wood body of the guitar now and that harmonic of the string over that note!" When I try something like an AC filter (or what have you) and hear and notice new things in music I thought I knew well, it makes me wonder how much more info can I extract? It's easy to get into gearhead mode after an experience like that. We're probably all guilty of it -- I'm sure most of us have upgraded something at some point in time. I plead guilty to sometimes obsessing over gear and tweaks, but, it's always because of what it does to the music - thankfully.

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: What works and what doesn't?


Quote:
....And that's enough for one evening, as I am about to try my first Hortini (that's Gin, with Horse Tranquilizer instead of Vermouth). Bad day on the links, you know. AHHHHHHHH. Perfect.

Thanks for your comments, Clay, and Lowry, thanks for turning me on to the Ayre blocks. And, last but not least, thanks to my local veterinarian (who treats me much better than my HMO does).

I almost spilled my very hot coffee when I read about your "Hortinis". I know that I'm always writing about my bourbon drinking habits on this forum but I made a very mean dry martini, that would be with gin, none of these fancy vodka creations for me, thank you. I've never tried mixing in anything nonliquid other than a garnish, say a habanero or onion stuffed olive and the like (a few capers on the bottom is a nice touch).

Next time you're kicking back with one of your Hortinis may I suggest that you give a listen to "Horse Pills" by the Dandy Warhols from their CD "Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia", I think you may enjoy it and relate to it.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clay,do not compare me with Jeff.He is the "master".I am just an "apprentice" compared with him.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Clifton

Thanks for the update. Did the person that you purchased the Ayre wood blocks from discussing proper orientation? The Ayre logo should be either upright or upside down NOT sideways, or on the top/bottom of the blocks according to the recommendations of the people at Ayre. In my experience cones in general make a component sound faster and more agile. They also can make some components sound bright. One area that I feel cones always work fairly well is under CD players or Transports. They tend to drain the internal vibrations created by the spinning disc out of the components.

feneran
feneran's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 1 2006 - 7:05am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Do you think a change in room acoustics had any effect on this as well?

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

This thread has made me pull out an old chestnut of a preamp that is my second favorite ever - the Superphon Revelation II with "space case."

Superphon made a version of that great preamp with a wooden box and plastic dome roof to move the electronics inside as far away from other metal objects as possible (practically speaking).

In a way, they were trying to put the preamp on Ayre blocks 20 years ago. Man, is it that long? Damn.

If this Ayre block sort of tweak is to be discussed seriously, we should be seeing differences in effect based on what the material of the underlying shelf was, no?

__________________________________
__________________________________

I've also been thining about Jeff's Shakti experiences and my Bright Star Audio shelf-slab-platform thingy I use under some analog gear...

I wonder how it might change the sound to have "Shakti Shelves?"

I'm also thinking this sort of thing may be cheaply done, if I were to get smarter about what's in 'em.

(Pause for obtuse mental flight...)

Then I thought about some new thing I saw a thread about somewhere. Here? Audio Asylum? Other?

It seems there is a new Shakti-style kind of block that supposedly has secret ingredients inside that are "ruined" if one opens the box.

Someone posted that the thing is full of powdered drink mix and pennies, and if you fill a Ziplock bag with that mixture, it does the same thing as the mystery box, for almost no moneys.

We're a reasonably smart bunch, we ought to come up with a group experiment for the holidays and talk about what we could put into some sort of Pier One or Cost Plus derived box that may exert some beneficial electrical effect on a given type piece of gear and see what happens....

Sort of an electronic potpourri, so to speak?

Maybe a preamp or amp or phono preamp thing or CD player thing?

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

For years, I've been meaning to get my brother (a dentist) to x-ray a Shakti Stone and Online to get a hint of the goodies inside. Without seeing any visual clues, just based on the literature, I'm thinking there are some coiled inductors and maybe some crystals to pick up RF... I'd need to read up and see if those fit the bill. The dental stone-like stuff is just there to dissipate heat... there are probably shaped wells on the inside of the stone to take resonance into account. I suppose if we did some basic research as to what passive parts will pick up RF and EMI, we could make some DIY devices.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: What works and what doesn't?


Quote:
For years, I've been meaning to get my brother (a dentist) to x-ray a Shakti Stone and Online to get a hint of the goodies inside. Without seeing any visual clues, just based on the literature, I'm thinking there are some coiled inductors and maybe some crystals to pick up RF... I'd need to read up and see if those fit the bill. The dental stone-like stuff is just there to dissipate heat... there are probably shaped wells on the inside of the stone to take resonance into account. I suppose if we did some basic research as to what passive parts will pick up RF and EMI, we could make some DIY devices.

Man, I would honestly LOVE to do that!

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Ever see what a laser optical assys looks like? On the Philips VAM CDM12.1 It's supported on 4 elastomer mounts appear to be a silicone rubber mount. There is no vibration transmitted to the chassis for the block of wood to do anything with. I just swapped one out of an old Philips changer that ued to skip intermittently, with a new one in it don't skip no mo'. Your concept that wood is softer, and brass cones make it brighter is illusionary, your mind has decided brass is hard, and wood is soft so that's what you are hearing. Betcha wouldn't know what is under anything if ya closed your eys and listened

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: What works and what doesn't?


Quote:
Ever see what a laser optical assys looks like? On the Philips VAM CDM12.1 It's supported on 4 elastomer mounts appear to be a silicone rubber mount. There is no vibration transmitted to the chassis for the block of wood to do anything with. I just swapped one out of an old Philips changer that ued to skip intermittently, with a new one in it don't skip no mo'. Your concept that wood is softer, and brass cones make it brighter is illusionary, your mind has decided brass is hard, and wood is soft so that's what you are hearing. Betcha wouldn't know what is under anything if ya closed your eys and listened

Wow, mounts that absorb "all" vibration.

They should put those on cars.

I've never seen anything that absorbs "all" vibration.

Most everything has a frequency of vibration or two that get past it better than vibrations at other frequencies.

If something placed below a unit helps minimize the transmission of vibration at a frequency that the internal supports had the most trouble with, then maybe something good could happen.

Also, that could explain the variable effects people report between different pieces of gear and different support materials like wood or metal.

Or am I being too crazy?

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Paint thinner works, Jazzfan. But I can't take the hangovers. Gin is a proper basis for any recipe, methinks. I still haven't gone through all plastic containers under my sink (Lysol, Tid-ee-bowl, Windex, etc.), but I'm workin' through 'em, one at a time...periodic updates to follow, as I achieve various stages of enlightenment.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Yeah, but you can't hear (remember?), and you probably spend too much time sober, else you wouldn't be able to unscrew all these parts and get them properly back together. Life is better spent, DUP, seeking advanced states of consciousness than it is merely undoing tin boxes. Until you can hear subtle changes in the enharmonics vibrating throughout the upper spheres, you will never transcend the likes of Trane, Audio-by-Van-Alstine, and those Wurlitzers. Life is short, my man, and art is long. God is Beauty, and Art is the face of God. Get with the program, for cryin' out loud, before the floor 'neath your feet opens up and swallows you to Tophet, to dwell forever with the lesser sonic demons.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

Thanks, Mrlowry. I actually guessed it right, putting them in sideways on edge, so the stamped logos are visible and readable on the sides. I will try them under my transport and see if it helps more.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

So somehow the makers of wood blocks know what freqencys the mounts in Cd optical assys, don't stop, and they made teh wood get them. Sounds like a byBee bad electron catcher. Yeah, make sure teh label is the proper direction!!!hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahah

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: What works and what doesn't?

If it was so critical, why don't teh magic beans, i mean magic wood blaocks have instructions to tell you which way to place the magic beans, I mean WOOD. did you take out the Mapingo discs? No ball bearing mounts, wood blocks, and of course 3 is teh number, not 4, 3 !!!! You guys are a hoot!!!!! How come teh green ink doesn't work any more? Nobody talks about that anymore.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: What works and what doesn't?


Quote:
So somehow the makers of wood blocks know what freqencys the mounts in Cd optical assys, don't stop, and they made teh wood get them. Sounds like a byBee bad electron catcher. Yeah, make sure teh label is the proper direction!!!hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahah

Aren't you the guy who's always pointing out how few different makers of these inner devices there are?

How many different mount makers there are?

I don't mean to endorse a product, I'm just trying to figure out ways that it could matter.

With wood, the direction of the grain may also affect things depending on how the block is placed, perhaps?

I'm happy to poo poo the crap out there, but I would like to learn more about how we may affect equipment with these types of devices. This tweak nibbles at the edge of "possible" for me.

In a way, as we talk about using these blocks and feet, it almost starts to sound like building a crude constrained layer device, doesn't it?

Pages

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading