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Orb
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord

How about a transformer isolation solution to deal with hum/ground loops, I admit this does not affect everyone but is a nuisance for some and is an unknown solution for many, cost $185 and according to Rane this is the next best way for connecting seperate audio units if balance is not available.

http://www.supracables.co.uk/groundseparators/gs-ags10k.html

http://www.rane.com/note110.html

Cheers
Orb

geoffkait
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:
None of your suggestions are bad, they are just the same old stuff. I had hoped for something new, not a rehash of that already well-known.

Same old stuff?? Gee whiz, Ilk, that's pretty harsh. Of course I never intimated they were not generally known. Let me ask you, how many of the free tweaks I mentioned are you currently using? Be honest, now.

Buddha
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:

(1) clean all electrical contacts, including wall outlets and vacuum tube pins, (2) check for absolute polarity of the system, including correct wiring of all speaker drivers (using a small battery), (3) determine precise speaker locations using the XLO Test CD, (4) evaluate the listening chair for possible sound degradation and replace if necessary, (5) remove any large rugs from the floor and/or wall to assess their impact on the sound, (6) remove all Sonex from the room, (7) elevate or suspend all cables and cords, (8) organize/relocate all cabling and power cords to minimize electrical interference, (9) check all fuses in system by ear for proper directionality and (10) obtain absolute level of turntable platter or CD transport.

Perfectly fine list.

Since you ask if people use them...

(1) Clean all electrical contacts, including wall outlets and vacuum tube pins.

Monthly, or more.

(2) Check for absolute polarity of the system, including correct wiring of all speaker drivers (using a small battery).

Hmmm, I use my ears, but yes.

A feature I watched for with several purchases was an absolute polarity switch. Krell seems to have gottent this right.

(3) Determine precise speaker locations using the XLO Test CD.

Yes, but I don't like the music on the XLO, so I play with this in other ways, and a fun topic!

(4) Evaluate the listening chair for possible sound degradation and replace if necessary.

Absolutely!

(5) remove any large rugs from the floor and/or wall to assess their impact on the sound.

Not presenty. The rooms have wall to wall carpet, but we actually considered the carpet and, importantly, the pad, when putting the house together.

(6) Remove all Sonex from the room.

Uh, Oh. I have one room with some diamond shaped squares used in a small den system. I like what it does there. I don't recall the brand name of some of my bass traps.

(7) Elevate or suspend all cables and cords.

Not so much. Played with it, didn't impress me.

(8) Organize/relocate all cabling and power cords to minimize electrical interference.

Yup.

(9) Check all fuses in system by ear for proper directionality.

Trouble in paradise! I looked into this and played around. It turns out that both ends of the fuse come from the same machine. That means one of the ends is 'working' backwards. They still need to invent directionally functional fuse caps. One cap is always 'out of phase' with the other.

(10) Obtain absolute level of turntable platter or CD transport.

Check.

geoffkait
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


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(3) Determine precise speaker locations using the XLO Test CD.

Yes, but I don't like the music on the XLO, so I play with this in other ways, and a fun topic!

Ironically, there are times when audiophiles should not trust their ears. Speaker set up happens to be one them. Using Track 4 of the XLO Test CD (Track 4, incidentally, is not music but an Out-of-Phase track of Keith Johnson's voice) one will obtain much better results than with any other method.

The problem with attempting to find precise speaker locations in a given room without something like Track 4 of the XLO CD is that one will find locations that produce good results and stop searching, believing those are the final, best locations - it's what we call a local minimum. There are simply too many combinations of locations to be able to find the two precise locations in a given room by ear alone.

Track 4 is also useful for determining the exact locations for tube traps, room lenses, acoustic resonators or other types of room tuning devices. Using the out-of-phase track 4 is not process that can be easily accomplished in a day or two, but eventually you will hear Keith Johnson's voice "coming from no particular direction, from all around you," including behind you. 1/2 inch in one direction or another for just one speaker can make all the difference in a well tuned, well set up system. Yet in an ordinary set up, however well intentioned, Track 4 might not make any noticeable difference.

Tip 1 - Some speakers need to be considerably closer together than one might expect in order to get them to come alive. Tip 2 - Toe-in is often just for sissies that have insurmountable room issues.

Elk
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:
Let me ask you, how many of the free tweaks I mentioned are you currently using? Be honest, now.

Gooff, here's the list:

(1) clean all electrical contacts, including wall outlets and vacuum tube pins,

~ Yup. Flitz to clean AC (always have it around for instruments). ProGold contacts - love the stuff. High temp Craig on vacuum tubes.

(2) check for absolute polarity of the system,

~ Yup, but stopped thinking about it as recordings are often not in absolute polarity.

(3) determine precise speaker locations using the XLO Test CD,

~ Yup, although with various sources, including my own test CD as well as measuring with RTF software.

(4) evaluate the listening chair for possible sound degradation and replace if necessary,

~ Yup. Leather is comfy but not the best. We should probably all sit on backless chairs.

(5) remove any large rugs from the floor and/or wall to assess their impact on the sound,

~ Yup. Have played with furnishings.

(6) remove all Sonex from the room,

~ Never had any Sonex. Room treatment is however more important than any tweak. The room is a component.

(7) elevate or suspend all cables and cords,

~ Tried it. Too much bother for little, if any improvement.

(8) organize/relocate all cabling and power cords to minimize electrical interference,

~ Yup. Bad cable dressing can be a problem. Plus tidy makes it easier to change cables, add/subtract components, etc.

(9) check all fuses in system by ear for proper directionality and

~ Briefly played with years ago when fancy fuses came out. Cleaning up the fuses and treating them seems to help. Not convinced there is any directionality to a standard fuse.

~ Recently recorded Appalachian Spring with two wood screws as a fuse to replace a blown fuse in the outboard power supply of my Avalon mic pre (long story, I considered killing a small boy and his parent for his goofing around). I couldn't tell any difference in sound between a basic fuse and the wood screws.

(10) obtain absolute level of turntable platter or CD transport.

~ Of course. One of the reasons to have a good audio stand.

geoffkait
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:
(10) obtain absolute level of turntable platter or CD transport.

~ Of course. One of the reasons to have a good audio stand.

Regarding the CD transport level, one should not assume the level of the transport itself is the same level as the top of the CD transport chassis, they can differ by several degrees or more. I.e., obtaining level of the top of the chassis (or stand) might not be suffient to ensure the transport per se is actually level. To be on the safe side, one should remove the chassis top and obtain the level directly on the transport using a bubble level, ensuring the CD will be level when spinning.

tomjtx
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord

Did that with my CD player when I still used one.

Tried tilting it and heard no diff.
This made me wonder if it mattered for my turntable.
So I slanted the TT but all I got was a momentary loud scratching sound.
Still haven't figured out why so I have to withhold judgement on that.

I'll try the test again as soon as I save up enough for a new cartridge.

geoffkait
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:
Did that with my CD player when I still used one.

Tried tilting it and heard no diff.

There's a very good chance the transport section of the CD player was not level to begin with. As I said, one should not assume the transport section - i.e., the CD spindle - is level simply because the top of the chassis appears level or even measures level.

Cheers

JIMV
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:

Quote:
Either approach sounds good.

So again, what can we buy or obtain for $100.00 which will double the sound quality of an already well-matched system?

A concert ticket.

Assuming the venue is good, the artists are on their game, the electronics are set up right, the selection of music worth a damn, your seat great and the audience quiet.

Failing that, the experience can degenerate into $100 flushed down the toilet for a mercifully forgotten event.

geoffkait
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Either approach sounds good.

So again, what can we buy or obtain for $100.00 which will double the sound quality of an already well-matched system?

A concert ticket.

Assuming the venue is good, the artists are on their game, the electronics are set up right, the selection of music worth a damn, your seat great and the audience quiet.

Failing that, the experience can degenerate into $100 flushed down the toilet for a mercifully forgotten event.

Not to worry. Chances look good he was just posing as an audiophile.

JIMV
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Re: biggest snake oil scam ever: the power cord

cool chair...

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