When I queried from Buddha just what he was prepared to regard as an 'acceptable Tweak' (for example the Shakti Stone) - was it the price, was it the description, was it because someone significant to Buddha had tried it and reported that it worked, I was not inferring that it does not give an improvement in the sound nor was I challenging that YOU had heard a significant improvement in the sound when using one.
The description I have read regarding the Shakti Stone is that "it draws energy from the very field it is attempting to smooth out. It utilizes proprietary ferrous and non ferrous material and quartz crystal oscillators in combination with a low-level magnetic field and these components are orientated within geometric shapes both internal and external, and then housed in a poured-stone concrete material. Shakti is a passive audio component that has three internal circuit stages to absorb and dissipate some of the unwanted or parasitic oscillation effects in the electromagnetic field generated by active audio components." This is quoted from Stereophile February 1996.
I am going to suggest an experiment for you to try.
Place your Shakti Stone on a PASSIVE item of equipment - an item of equipment which is just sitting passively in the room or on a shelf - not connected into the audio system and not connected to the AC supply !!! Listen to some music. Get used to that standard of sound and then remove the Shakti Stone, listen to the same music again and see if you can listen with the same pleasure as you did previously when the Shakti Stone was in situ!
If you actually find that the Shakti Stone gives an identical improvement in the sound whether it is placed on an active piece of equipment or on a passive piece of equipment, then numerous 'professionals in audio' are going to have some explaining to do.
Let me explain myself further. I would ask people who are known to respond with a 'knee jerk reaction', to sit and think slowly and logically. Even if, Jeff, you do not find that you get an improvement in the sound by placing the Shakti Stone on a passive piece of equipment, the following still applies.
If you, Jeff, Wes Phillips (October 2006) and Brian Willis (February 1996) hear an improvement in your sound by placing a Shakti Stone on a piece of equipment, the improvement in the sound means that the Shakti Stone is 'dealing with' an adverse effect !! Which is exactly what Shakti claim. Then this means that, prior to you using the Shakti Stone, there had been an adverse effect around the particular piece of equipment which you had not previously been aware of !! Even if you had been listening to that same equipment for the past 5, 10 or 5 years !! Using the Shakti Stone had brought it to your attention (made you aware of) the fact that there HAD BEEN an adverse effect around the piece of equipment which you had not been aware of previously !! Which now puts you in the group of 10 aware people which I refer to in my reply to Ethan. But, also, prior to using the Shakti Stone, you had been part of the group of 90 who had not been aware that there could be any adverse effect surrounding equipment. Once you move into the group of 10 aware people, you can no longer use 'mocking' sentences or tactics. You know what you know - you are aware of new things !!
Now, let me take it a stage further.
If you like the sound with the Shakti Stone on a piece of equipment, when you remove the Shakti device you will no longer like the sound, you will no longer get the same pleasure in listening to your equipment - and I mean ALL the equipment, because the presence of the Shakti Stone on one piece of equipment governs the SOUND of the entire audio system !!! You like the sound of your system with it on, you don't like the sound with it off !! It is not a case of the sound being 'not as good' without the Shakti, once your working memory 'knows' the standard with the Shakti Stone on, then you will cringe at the sound without the Shakti on. The working memory is part of the survival mechanism - it upgrades itself automatically to new information or new standards if that new information is important and does not like being taken below the standard it has just become accustomed to. The 'cringe' is the working memory 'shouting, kicking and screaming' because it has been taken down below the standard it has just become accustomed to.
Let me now take it even further in a logical thought process.
The more Shakti Stones you use on different equipment (as Shakti recommend) and you hear further improvements in the sound, then this makes you aware that so much more of the equipment MUST ALSO have adverse energy patterns around it !! This is not what the audio industry want you to think. This is not what the audio industry want pointing out to them !! That is why Clark can describe that reaction of anger
>>> The respondents were *angry* at him, just like some folks here. Afterwards no one at Fi ever did that trick again, nor is it much seen in the other (surviving) magazines. One must take what comes in the box, plug it in and listen. <<<
and how I can describe the reaction to what WE did as ERUPTIONS !!
If a reviewer uses a Shakti Stone on an item of his equipment (say an amplifier) and if he then receives Joe Blogg's $10,000 CD player for review and he listens to Joe Bloggs CD Player with the Shakti Stone on his amplifier, he would report Joe Blogg's CD player as 'sounding good'. BUT, if he then listens to Joe Blogg's CD player with the Shakti Stone removed from the amplifier, the sound of Joe Blogg's $10,000 CD player will not 'sound' good. Which means the sound (and how it can be described) of Joe Blogg's $10,000 CD player is entirely dependent upon the placement (or not) of the Shakti Stone !!!!!!
Equally, because we are applying logic here - you can look at a 'tweak' which John Atkinson uses and (presumably) uses because it gives him better sound - the Myrtle Wood Blocks. Surely, logically, if John has better sound when using the Myrtle Wood Blocks, then this must mean that the Myrtle Wood Blocks, when in position under an item of equipment, are 'dealing' with an adverse effect ?? What adverse effect ?? And what are the Myrtle Wood Blocks doing and how are they doing it ?? Also, presumably, if John removes the Myrtle Wood Blocks from underneath the item of equipment, he will not have as good a sound ?
Similarly as I have described above, if John has the Myrtle Wood Blocks under his (say) amplifier and he then has to review Tom Brown's $10,000 pre-amplifier and listens to Tom Brown's pre-amplifier with the Myrtle Wood Blocks still in position under his amplifier, he will be able to report that the Tom Brown pre-amplifier 'sounds' good. BUT, if John removes the Myrtle Wood Blocks and then listens to Tom Brown's pre-amplifier, John will no longer like the sound of Tom Brown's $10,000 pre-amplifier !!!! In other words, again, the sound (and how it can be described) of Tom Brown's $10,000 pre-amplifier is totally dependent upon whether the Myrtle Wood Blocks are in position under the amplifier or not !!!
Extend this to retailers demonstration rooms and to the mass of equipment (active and passive) in their showrooms. If these 'tweaks' I have described have shown that there are adverse effects surrounding audio (and other) equipment, then things do not suddenly change because it is a retailer selling Joe Blogg's equipment, or selling Jack Smith's equipment etc. !!! Extend this to manufacturer's demonstration rooms at Hi Fi Shows. If it has been shown that there are adverse effects surrounding audio equipment, then things do not suddenly change because it happens to be a Hi Fi Show !!! The poor sound at some retailers showrooms and at Hi Fi Shows begin to make sense - and cannot always be blamed on 'room acoustics'.
Just to end with various quotes :-
Quote from Jeff Wong.
"There are too many variables, and they may be on a level of such subtlety, one could consider them negligible. By comparison, the effect of something like a Shakti is gross in size (to my ears),"
From Stereophile February 1996
Near the end of the particular article (on the Shakti Stone) in Stereophile I have quoted from, Barry Willis says " I'll be damned if there wasn't a whole new level of depth and clarity to the presentation (of music). Pretty amazing. I don't want to go back to listening without them. What exactly they're doing, or how exactly they're doing it, I'm not sure.""
From Shakti " Any active component that could self-generate or act as an antenna for RF, microwave, electric and magnetic spurious fields, could benefit from placement of Shakti in proximity to, or on, its chassis. These components would include (but not be restricted to) pre-amplifiers, CD players, transports, associated DAC and auxiliary interface devices, turntables and audio tape recorders."