Reader Bill Huey reminded me recently that I'd promised to cover pre-War buildings that have hot and neutral electrical service but no ground. Why the rush? Bill was about to move into just such a dwelling. (Hey, never mind the furnace and the roof—what about my stereo?!)
I had a fascinating conversation the other day with George Cardas about slap-echo. (See Fine Tunes #1 and #2 for other Cardasian room treatment and speaker placement tips.) I know, it is amazing what audiophiles get excited about.
Last month I delved into avoiding reflective, parallel-wall slap echoes from ruining your audiophile day. But I've since learned of a perfectly useful workaround that's much less costly and involved than horsing around the Sheetrock. Much to my chagrin, the info came from the same source, George Cardas. When he told me about it, I slapped my forehead so hard I'm sure they heard it in Brooklyn. One caveat: This tweak works best with big, juicy collections of LPs. It could work with CDs...but we'll come to that.
The subject of audiophile-grade AC outlets, which I have been discussing in previous Fine Tunes" columns is more contentious than I'd ever imagined. In August's episode of "Fine Tunes," I forwarded you an e-mail from audio worthy Glen Bartholomew, who waxed poetic about the inexpensive and therefore (he felt) oft-overlooked hospital-grade devices from Leviton. He found the Levitons to be the equals of, if not better than, the Hubbell, Bryant, and Eagle units I'd previously recommended.
So where did we leave off? I think you were wandering around the listening room clapping your hands. You were, I hope, listening to the slap echo and noting how it changed as you meandered about. That's probably just when someone near and dear bumped suddenly into the room and gave you that peculiar look we audiophiles know so well. Try to explain what you're doing.
As an audio journalist "servicing" the High End (ouch!), I surf the Web waves to see what's going on on the various audio newsgroups and bulletin boards. Sometimes the Net resembles the Concorde going down, the crash video'd by a passing French motorist: Ashen faces pressed against car windows driving slowly by to check out the carnage.
I get mail. Boy do I get mail! But I love hearing about and sharing some of the tips'n'tweaks from all you Victims of the Musical Quest. I can't help myself. Neither can you, I understand. Come to me. [sob]
Paul Kelly (email@example.com) recently sent me a most interesting e-mail titled "Cones, Stones, & Groans." I'll share it with you now, as I gave "Sean" (firstname.lastname@example.org) a chance to expound on cones and how they work under equipment in the February "Fine Tunes." After reading through all the "Fine Tunes" archived on the Stereophile website (I thank him for his positive remarks), Paul wrote: