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dbowker
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DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Mpingo Discs, $50 each in 1994
Spatial Control Kit, $450

I just bought myself a sweet block of iron dense ebony for $15 that is enough for at least 6-8 DIY Mpingo discs. Will they do anything at all? Probably not- or at least not in the way they say. But I won't be out much either for giving them a try. I'd speculate they might be useful as feet under my turntable or CD player, but I am planning on making up a full tuning kit (with maple L-Rack) and will report back to the Forum. If it takes me more than around 20 minutes per disc I'd be surprised so the cost for hand-made DIY is substantially less than the retail version (by about 20x!).

Stay tuned, heheh- this could be fun.

Check out their patent for their Mpingo footer. I've seen and worked with a lot of patents in my time and I have to say this one is the the thinnest on documentation or claims I've ever seen...

Patent for Mpingo Foot

PS_ Click on the Full Text button once at the link to bring you to the patent. AT the bottom are images of the actual patent pages.

mrlowry
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Please keep us in the loop. I've alway thought that lots of tweaks DO work even if the explanations offered by their manufacturer weren't accurate. I believe many companies either A: don't know the mechanisms at work and don't have the money or interest to find out B: they do know the mechanism but don't want to share because they can't patent their device.

The Ayre/Cardas wood blocks at $15 for a set of 3 are very reasonably priced. That's right $15, I didn't leave off a 0 at the end. I'm using them under all of my components.

KBK
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

for some reason I can't see the patent.

Regardless, a smart patent 'blocks' others from entering the area as much as humanly possible, while retaining trade secrets that are expressly not included in the patent. The patent has to be good enough to stand on it's own, of course. Since I cannot see the patent..I don't get the chance to see if there are any lines to look between that may/may-not contain the unwritten text.

For example, on the Goo Systems website, there is a 'Teo audio' creation that is being marketed under the Goo name, and will be marketed at the same price as a Teo Product, when the time comes.

With that item, there is an excruciatingly valid noise control and damping background and back story.

But we ain't talkin'. Ever. Too much information.

So, either you get it, by hearing the difference...---or you don't. Nothing personal. We just don't need our competition reading our stuff, the explanations that people DEMAND..and then taking that and creating competing products.

Quite basic and simple.

We're stuck in a situation where we end up standing beside hawkers who might not know what they are doing, at all.

The alternative?

Is to have everyone steal our ideas and understandings, maybe take them one step further and steal our own markets from us.

So we sit there and take crap from people, as we attempt to put bread on the table. Or..we can tell people what we know, be applauded by all for about 5 minutes..then have everyone under the sun try to beat us with our own understandings...and then have ourselves be put back on the 'bullshitter' list when we won't explain our OTHER tweaks or devices.

Get it?

It's about as simple as breathing.

Food on table---vs.---no food on table. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

mmmkk?

mrlowry
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

I couldn't view the patent either. It keeps telling me that I need a quick time plug in. Writing patents is an art sometime it all comes down to the absence or inclusion of a handful of words.

Buddha
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

At around two dollars per disc, the ones you make won't work.

Go find another piece and pay 800 bucks for it, then it will work.

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

If the patent was in 1995. It's good for 14 years? Maybe MPINGO II should be coming out. Looking at the drawings patent, it's a big nothing.....have they clamped down on nonsense patents? I think so. What is actually patetned, doesn't have any specs or functions? Looks like more BS.

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Goo ain't talking, EVER!!! Yeah, that's gotta be some product!!! Just buy it, try it, you know you are gonna hear the absolute improvements. Has too, we are GOO. We know, you buy. No talking!!!! I just love that approach to a product, since we can't patent it, but you are dumb enough to buy it, we won't tell you what it does or how, cus' what won't an audiphile beleive?

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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
At around two dollars per disc, the ones you make won't work.

Go find another piece and pay 800 bucks for it, then it will work.

Hey, I got no problem with people making what they want, and patent law expressly permits example(s) to be made for 'personal evaluation' of said patent. But..it does stop there. What I mean, is multiples of any kind are not allowed. One working sample only. Unless the invention relies on a minimal number of devices for the patent 'stipulations' to be met. Ie, to create a working situation which the patent speaks on or about. That last part I'm not clear on, so don't quote me on that one. But I do know the single example consideration does exist.

I've never even seen a mpingo disc, whatever it is. If I have seen one, I've never connected it to it's formal name. I walk my own 'damping' path.

And Dup..the kind of answer I gave is the kind you'll get, from here..all the way down to stuff that NASA uses, and beyond.

I wasn't out to give anyone a hard time, I'm just speaking on that part of the industry for a few seconds. Trying to put some balance in the conversation. IMHO, if a tweak can't hold up to scrutiny...well...

linden518
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
Has too, we are GOO. We know, you buy.


This line is sublime. Too good! Even Marcel Duchamp would have been unable to come up w/ this piece of Dada poetry. Stephen, is it too early to nominate "The Line of the Week?"

Elk
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

To view the patent you need a tiff image viewer plug-in for your browser. I don't know why a browser would indicate that you need QuickTime - probably some sort of Apple plot. Steve Jobs is exceedingly paranoid after all.

The reason that the patent is very short is because it is an ornamental design patent. An ornamental design patent application covers only the appearance of an article and does not cover its function. The only claim is for how it looks.

Ebony is great stuff. I have used it for bridges and nuts, as well as for fretboards when making various instruments.

I made myself a couple dozen myrtle blocks, of course in a golden ratio. I can't convince myself they do anything, but they are pretty.

Let us know what success you have making Mpingos.

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Yeah, the patent drawings only show it's shape and stuff....so, MPINGO is selling just a round carving, and adds that it's giving acoustic, sonic remedys? could it all be a...shudder......HOAX, and people fell for it? Not the first in audio. Now onto GOO.

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
Hey, I got no problem with people making what they want, and patent law expressly permits example(s) to be made for 'personal evaluation' of said patent. But..it does stop there. What I mean, is multiples of any kind are not allowed. One working sample only.

No need to worry here. The actual Mpingo discs are made from a specific "ebony" which is not even closely related to the wood termed "ebony" and most commonly acquired through lumber yards. The two - ebony and Mpingo - are actually quite different from one another and the common ebony lacks virtually all of Mpingo's special qualities. Mpingo is referred to as "The Tree of Music". "Ebony" is not.

"The wood is very hard and heavy with a weight of 82 lbs per foot."

http://www.chadashclarinet.com/wood.htm

As you'll see below, a $15 piece of real Mpingo would hardly be enough for a toothpick, let alone a set of Resonators.

While I applaud the curiousity which makes someone experiment in such a manner, it's difficult to see how your experiment will have any comparative meaning to the value of the actual Shunmook products. Even the Shunmook record weight is made from "century old ebony root which were immersed in the swamps of Africa". If you've ever worked with reclaimed wood that has been submerged for decades, you'll know there is a vast difference between it and freshly cut wood. So, you're still out of luck as far as duplicating any of Shunmook's products. The most basic Shunmook disc is a combination of Mpingo and Gaboon combined in a specific manner. And the higher end "Resonators" have diamonds mounted in a steel shaft. So, it would appear your experiment can only tell us about the cheaper wood sold as ebony and its effects on your system. It can't tell us anything about the Shunmook products.

Do you know the actual dimensions and contours of the Shunmook products in order to at least try to duplicate the originals? Do you have instructions on how to mount these discs for maximum effect? Do you believe your system is sufficiently transparent to tell you whether there is any effect? I'd go out on a limb and guess even the original discs won't help a Yamaha HT receiver and a set of Polks.

Or is this all a joke?

http://www.blackwoodconservation.org/tree.html

http://www.blackwoodconservation.org/facts.html

"The dense, lustrous wood ranges from reddish to pure black. It is generally cut into small billets or logs with its sharply demarcated bright yellow white sapwood left on to assist in the slow drying so as to prevent cracks developing. Good quality "A" grade African Blackwood commands high prices on the commercial timber market. The tonal qualities of African Blackwood are particularly valued when used in woodwind instruments, principally Highland pipes, clarinets, oboes and Northumbrian pipes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpingo

". Sawn logs currently sell at US $ 9,000 per cubic metre while processed timber for clarinets fetches up to US $ 13,000 per cubic metre."

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jeharr/mpingo.htm

You might want to do some reading before you waste you time with plain old ebony.

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/602...gt_adv_XSNG1060

mrlowry
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Jan-

Very well thought out and written post. You've clearly done your homework. You know way too much about Mpingo discs. I'm sold, I'll take three!

dbowker
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

First off- not a joke but curiosity. They spec out the dimensions both in reviews, their web site and in patents. But I also come from a fine woodworking background and I think your odd when you say standard ebony has almost relation to the "magic" mpingo variety. And that thousand year old swamp root stuff? Gimme a break! I'm not trying that one anyway, but still...

It's just an experiment and in my experience a well executed DIY project can duplicate or come very close to a commercial product if you have the right approach. But honestly- a given species of wood generally is not that different even it's variations. Is Philippine Mahogany different that South American? Yes- but not so much that the average person could not tell. I'm taking a guess that IF the Mpingo discs truly do anything, their lower "common" ebony (which is not common at all BTW)brethren will still have some of the same moJo.

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Interesting about the actual WOOD, and it's aplication in making musical INSTRUMENTS. Applying it to a dopey record clamp or other nonsense in AUDIO reproduction, is where the joke lies. Wood does effect the sound in the actual instruments, how you can apply this to putting it under an electronci component, is where the scam and marketing to audiophiles who beleive anything is the BS. Can we call Jan V. MPINGO Brains? Hard headed, nothing sinks in? Decades of sitting in the desert growing harder and harder. Nothing penetrates. MPINGO BRAINS is not an insult, it's an observation, just a SUBJECTIVE view of it all. I have no facts to back it up, since his brain has not been measured.....

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Jan, what level of "transparency" is needed to hear the IMPROVMENTS of MPINGO in audio RREPRODUCTION? I know your system probably is right?, and mine isn't, since I have too many drivers, too much crossover, too many watts. WOOD I hear an improvemnt though if it really does what is claimed by SCHMOOK or whoever that is that sells this junk? Magic blocks are certainly more powerful than any over wattage compicated crossovers, ain't it?

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

This is in part what is wrong with our society and audiopiles in general. You can give them information and they refuse to even click on a link or read what is in supplied to them in print. Here;


Quote:
But I also come from a fine woodworking background and I think your odd when you say standard ebony has almost relation to the "magic" mpingo variety.


Quote:
Some Information About the Mpingo Tree

The African blackwood tree is a member of the rosewood family, with taxonomic classification in the family Leguminosae, genus Dalbergia, species melanoxylon. Its name refers to the dark color of its heartwood, which appears black and is derived from the Greek mela, or melanos, which means black. The Swahili language used in Tanzania gives it the name mpingo. Historically, it seems that mpingo is the African ebony of antiquity, referred to in records dating to Egyptian times. In today's terminology the name 'ebony' is commonly used for a different species, Diosporos spp., which also has black heartwood, but is more brittle, less lustrous and lacks many of mpingo's other superb woodworking characteristics. Apparently, it is only in the last several centuries that the name ebony has been associated with Diosporos spp. to enhance its commercial value, and this accounts for the confusion associated with the name ebony being applied at different times to these two entirely separate species.

Read the links.

I don't think I would search out century old reclaimed Mpingo either. But your methodolgy suggests you would like to replicate a Dodge Viper so you start with a Neon's chassis, or a Conrad Johnson clone becomes a Pioneer receiver. The Mpingo wood is not a garden variety item. Combining it with other woods and other materials (diamonds) takes the Shunmook products further away from your DIY product. If you are experimenting with something less, then you can expect less return on your investment. Yes, the "ebony" should offer benefits but not the kind you would expect fron the real deal.

Read the links.

dbowker
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

I like your link to the children's tribal book about the Tree of Music. Cute, but hardly a good argument! If anything it makes you like YOU'RE joking. You don't know much about wood, I'm guessing, as "plain old ebony" is still outrageously expensive! The piece I bought, while cheap compared to the finished Mpingo discs is not cheap per board foot. In fact that $15 chunk translates into about $200 per board feet wood! Where I got it (not a lumber yard, which does not sell ebony, ever) does not even sell it in boards. The most you can get is a block big enough for a small bowl. Thinking that all the Mpingo mythology actually translates into real world effects, while possible, doesn't exactly give your position much solid ground. So let's just see what happens.

So far I have not weighed in on any of the endless rants between you and Ethan, but I AM the only guy around here who's looking to investigate a little further into the issue. If they work, who knows, maybe I'll box them up lend them out to people who want to see/hear for themselves the "Magic" is all about. If they work really well, Ethan and then DUP will get a set as Christmas presents from me.

Don't dismiss the experiment unless you can "prove" that it can't work. I don't think you can "prove" the real ones work anyway, so at least we're going to get somewhere in the middle with my effort.

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
I'm taking a guess that IF the Mpingo discs truly do anything, their lower "common" ebony (which is not common at all BTW)brethren will still have some of the same moJo.

This and your comments about the patent being "thin" lead me to believe you've already talked yourself out of any "mojo" to be found in such tweaks. I can't ask JA to once again intervene with comments regarding perception but you might want to read his posts where he briefly discusses "perception" along with the importance of how the framework for perceiving anything is formed and subsequently used by an individual. This framework of what we believe to be true - and what we will not believe - can and will shape their acceptance of devices such as Mpingo discs. http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...art=13&vc=1 I dare say this is not "woo woo science".

If we can allow for being talked into the benefits of a product, we certainly must allow for the fact we can talk ourself out of a product's benefits just as easily if not more so. I'll go out on a limb and say "mojo" is what Mpingo is all about. If you are not attuned to this particular mojo, then you are beginning the experiment with part of your mind and all of your ears closed to what might happen. You don't have to believe in magic but you must be open to what Mpingo has to offer. If you have reduced your listening priorities to one criteria, say "SLAM" as an oft used example of simplicity breeding ignorance and an unbending belief that all outside of your preconceived world is "audiofoolery", and that is all you are interested in hearing and knowing, then you are very likely not a good candidate for what Mpingo can bring to your system. And before you ask, no, I cannot tell you exactly what Mpingo can bring to your system any more than I could tell you what you would hear from a particular amplifier or even a traditional room treatment. Despite being "scientific" and backed by charts and graphs, you hear what you wish to hear and what you have prepared yourself to hear. A product alone cannot change how your brain is wired. If "SLAM" is where your brain stops working, no one can make you hear any more than that unless you decide to find out what the rest of us have been hearing for the last forty years. All I can say is if you are expecting beer and you're provided wine, you'll be disappointed. If you are stuck at a mental age of sixteen and you have very simple requirements for "SLAM" above all else, then "mojo" is all about one thing and one thing only. Again climbing further out on that limb, I'll tell you what Mpingo will not bring to your system. "SLAM!!!"

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
I'm taking a guess that IF the Mpingo discs truly do anything, their lower "common" ebony (which is not common at all BTW)brethren will still have some of the same moJo.

You have taken my word "common" to imply it's all too commonly meaning.

Along with the not all that uncommon "if" combined with your comments about the patent being "thin" you lead me to believe you've already gone a long way toward talking yourself out of any "mojo" to be found in such tweaks. I can't ask JA to once again intervene with comments regarding perception but you might want to read his posts where he briefly discusses "perception" along with the importance of how the framework for perceiving anything is formed and subsequently used by an individual. This framework of what we believe to be true - and what we will not believe - can and will shape their acceptance of devices such as Mpingo discs. http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...art=13&vc=1 I dare say this is not "woo woo science".

If we can allow for being talked into the benefits of a product, we certainly must allow for the fact we can talk ourself out of a product's benefits just as easily if not more so. I'll go out on a limb and say "mojo" is what Mpingo is all about. If you are not attuned to this particular mojo, then you are beginning the experiment with part of your mind and all of your ears closed to what might happen. You don't have to believe in magic but you must be open to what Mpingo has to offer. If you have reduced your listening priorities to one criteria, say "SLAM" as an oft used example of simplicity breeding ignorance and an unbending belief that all outside of your preconceived world is "audiofoolery", and that is all you are interested in hearing and knowing, then you are very likely not a good candidate for what Mpingo can bring to your system. And before you ask, no, I cannot tell you exactly what Mpingo can bring to your system any more than I could tell you what you would hear from a particular amplifier or even a traditional room treatment. Despite being "scientific" and backed by charts and graphs, you hear what you wish to hear and what you have prepared yourself to hear. A product alone cannot change how your brain is wired. If "SLAM" is where your brain stops working, no one can make you hear any more than that unless you decide to find out what the rest of us have been hearing for the last forty years. All I can say is if you are expecting beer and you're provided wine, you'll be disappointed. If you are stuck at a mental age of sixteen and you have very simple requirements for "SLAM" above all else, then "mojo" is all about one thing and one thing only. Again climbing further out on that limb, I'll tell you what Mpingo will not bring to your system.

"SLAM!!!" With that the door is shut tight.

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

As if anyone should need any further proof you can lead a horse's ass to a link but you cannot force open a closed mind ...


Quote:
Can we call Jan V. MPINGO Brains?

dup, you've called me worse and I'm sure before you wind this all down to your final and eternal banishment from this forum you will come up with even more juvenile ideas.

I will, however, take your suggestion as a compliment since Mpingo is a wood used for royalty. The finest instruments use this wood. It is the "Tree of Music". So, if you wish, you can now refer to me as "Your Majesty, the Mind of Music". As such, don't speak unless spoken to.

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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
I recently added two bass traps to the rear of my listening room and heard the improvement I expected.

RG

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

Jan I clicked teh links and did read.....what else do you want to argue about? It also shows how again teh continent of Africa is being raped as regards it's natural wonders, for the enjoyment of the rest of teh world. Those trees take decades to grow, all gone just to make something for teh enjoyment of the white man. But then again, if it wasn't milled and used, what whould the tree be doing there, just provivding a nesting place for some almost exticnt bird or animal? That's fine, just save teh Chettahs, they are the most BEAUTIFUL animal out there, sleek, form perfect functionally perfect. Beautiful cat, my favorite, I used to have one, till it ate my neighbor, had to give it up.

CECE
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

May I adress your highness King Jan, king of______ I experience MOJO quite often, and it's not in the wood blocks....it's in the live events I attend, (no MPINGO) and then reproduce it at home!!! No MPINGO. Live Gibsons, and Fenders and Gretsch. They gots MOJO, and the MOJO is in the amazing abiltys of www.mattoree.com Speaking of which get his new release LIVE CD/DVD combo only $20. Filmed in widescreen by soem amazing camera crew using some great high end equipment. I was glad to participate in the event!!!Support the musicans, cus' without em, you will have an audio system that does nothing, even with all your tweaks!!!!!

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:
Jan I clicked teh links and did read.....what else do you want to argue about?

I wasn't arguing, dup. I was accepting your compliment. Why do you think I was arguing? Because that's all you can do? dup, I am as unlike you as I could possibly wish to be. Don't assume everyone wants your hifi or that everyone must be like you. Most of us want neither except, of course, for the little mini-dups on this forum who wish to one day grow up.

Lost your cheetah? Frito Lay (from Dallas you know) has one on each bag of Cheetos.

Do support your local music venues.

How about we get this thread back on track and not just you jabbering away?

Jan Vigne
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

What part of my post was incomprehensible to you?

dbowker
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15

"African blackwood tree"

OK- So I went out and got a chunk of African Blackwood, commonly know by the indigenous peoples as Mpingo wood. Same price BTW so we're not talking about the difference of quality or rarity. Both are rare, expensive and used in musical instruments and have excellent resonant qualities. I think I'll try both woods anyway. They had a really nice bigger piece that would make a great record clamp. The stuff is incredibly dense and heavy and the grain certainly would look nice as a clamp. My guess about the whole affair is they have similar properties to some dense plastics and carbon, but the very randomness of the grain helps further dissipate energy. An entire turntable plinth out of this stuff would look and likely sound incredible. Hmmmmm....

Now... if it can do this for a whole room I'd be shocked, but I'm not saying it can't happen and I will try it with both ears open with a variety of material. I can usually hear extremely small changes to my system or room almost immediately so who know? I'm approaching this in the spirit of science and fun.

If they do nothing I've spent little money, and I enjoy making stuff anyway. I'll give the discs to my 22 month old son to play with as blocks, heheh. If they work in any way I'll report it immediately and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

bifcake
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Re: DIY Mpingo Discs: $15


Quote:

If we can allow for being talked into the benefits of a product, we certainly must allow for the fact we can talk ourself out of a product's benefits just as easily if not more so. I'll go out on a limb and say "mojo" is what Mpingo is all about.

This sounds to me like a sugar pill. If you believe it will work, then it will work. So, if you decide mojo or a piece of string that I have to sell is going to improve your system, then it will do so regardless of any objective evidence to the contrary.


Quote:

If you are not attuned to this particular mojo, then you are beginning the experiment with part of your mind and all of your ears closed to what might happen. You don't have to believe in magic but you must be open to what Mpingo has to offer.

I'm still trying to figure out what that may be. It sounds to me like: You must be open to the powers of snake oil in order for it it work. Else, if you block the chi, the snake oil will not be able to tap into the source and be carried to the proper channels.


Quote:

If you have reduced your listening priorities to one criteria, say "SLAM" as an oft used example of simplicity breeding ignorance and an unbending belief that all outside of your preconceived world is "audiofoolery", and that is all you are interested in hearing and knowing, then you are very likely not a good candidate for what Mpingo can bring to your system. And before you ask, no, I cannot tell you exactly what Mpingo can bring to your system any more than I could tell you what you would hear from a particular amplifier or even a traditional room treatment. Despite being "scientific" and backed by charts and graphs, you hear what you wish to hear and what you have prepared yourself to hear. A product alone cannot change how your brain is wired.

If you have to BELIEVE in something for it to work, then chances are the product is not worth buying. You can always hear the differences in components that actually make a difference in sound quality. Whether those differences are worth the money is another question, but you can always hear the differences.


Quote:

If "SLAM" is where your brain stops working, no one can make you hear any more than that unless you decide to find out what the rest of us have been hearing for the last forty years. All I can say is if you are expecting beer and you're provided wine, you'll be disappointed. If you are stuck at a mental age of sixteen and you have very simple requirements for "SLAM" above all else, then "mojo" is all about one thing and one thing only. Again climbing further out on that limb, I'll tell you what Mpingo will not bring to your system.

What if we do massive amounts of drugs prior to implementing mpingo products? I have a feeling that would serve as a catalyst to enhance and focus the improvements in sound reproduction made by voodoo mojo magic.

dbowker
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"Along with the not all that uncommon "if" combined with your comments about the patent being "thin" you lead me to believe you've already gone a long way toward talking yourself out of any "mojo" to be found in such tweaks. "

I'm skeptical, but not out to prove they don't work. I'm genuinely curious, and saw an opportunity to try it out with spending a lot of money. I have all kinds of fancy cables in my system, a number of vibration control feet and platforms (some bought, some DIY) and generally like experimenting with sound. I wouldn't generally think about spending $450 for a tweak- it's out of proportion to my overall system, and if it's just milled African Blackwood, I'd say it's a pretty steep mark-up.

And as for my assertion of the "thin" patent- I worked for 7 years for a litigation consulting and animation company that specilaized in analyzing and visualizing patents along with their language. I helped defend and litigate cases worth hundreds of millions of dollars. So trust me a bit when I say that the Shun Mook patents are not up to the standard I'd normally expect. It's not the first time I've seen this sort of thing though. The problem with the US Patent office is that they are overwelmed with submissions and have largely taken the attitude of grant patents to almost anyone, and "let the lawyers sort it out." It's sad really, because a lot of stuff gets rammed through and the companies with the biggest legal teams can shut out a great deal of real innovation.

Buddha
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I've got a name for your product:

"My-pingo Discs."

Shouldn't be a problem, right?

I'm trying to picture the Shun Mook factory. Imagine all those types of wood they must have spent time with, made various prototypes with, etc. before arriving at the final product they made.

It would be ultra cool to see the full tale of how any audio product winds up getting made.

I have played with making cables, and ended up with a snakes' den full of 'failed' cables. Imagine what the reject pile must look like for alot of what we end up with as any given final product.

Elk
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Quote:
OK- So I went out and got a chunk of African Blackwood, commonly know by the indigenous peoples as Mpingo wood. Same price BTW so we're not talking about the difference of quality or rarity. Both are rare, expensive and used in musical instruments and have excellent resonant qualities. I think I'll try both woods anyway.


Excellent!

I have never worked with African Blackwood, only ebony. Let us know how it differs - if at all - on the woodworking level.

I know you will report in the efficaciousness of the end result as sonic enhancers.

Jan Vigne
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Quote:
Quote:
If you are not attuned to this particular mojo, then you are beginning the experiment with part of your mind and all of your ears closed to what might happen. You don't have to believe in magic but you must be open to what Mpingo has to offer.


Quote:
I'm still trying to figure out what that may be. It sounds to me like: You must be open to the powers of snake oil in order for it it work. Else, if you block the chi, the snake oil will not be able to tap into the source and be carried to the proper channels.

Now that it's 04/16 I can attend to this.

It's remarkable how just the very suggestion of being open minded causes the most close minded individuals to prove just how tightly closed and resistant to change they can keep themself! It is the very essence of the AL GORE!!! school of debate brought about by the hyper partisan society we have created for ourselves. No wonder Mailer and Buckley stopped doing their intellectual side shows decades ago.

Alex, I envision your home as being filled with four color prints of dogs playing poker and talking fish mounted above the toilet.

Can anyone explain to Alex just what being "open" to anything means? Not just to Mpingo but to anything. Jazzfan, if you're reading this I bet you can manage.

CECE
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Open minded-gulliable? Open minded-clueless? Openminded-easy mark ? open minded-wanna get some beads, give me Manhattan. Open minded-Starbucks best customer? openminded-doesn't understand basic scienctific principals. openminded-forgot to close the skull and all the logic left in a big wind through the open head? There is a difference between open for new ideas, and being just plain stupid.

Jan Vigne
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There is a difference between open for new ideas, and being just plain stupid.

Stephen wouldn't like the I response I have for that quote.

bifcake
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Being open to new ideas is all well and good, but there has to be a semblance of scientific principles behind new ideas. Otherwise, we won't be able to filter anything out. We'll get bombarded by all kinds of claims and we'll be bogged down in open mindedness giving all the wild claims credence and going through the motions of finding out whether there's any merit to them. That would take a lifetime. Given that my lifetime is finite, I tend to filter what I consider wild, exaggerated claims which have no merit and I pursue those products that I consider worth my time to try out.

Is there a chance that by not giving the little wooden thingies the time of day that I'm potentially missing out on something wonderful? Yes. However, I think that chance is pretty damn small where I feel comfortable enough tossing the idea of little wooden thingies improving the sound of my CD player right down the drain without going through the auditioning process.

Think of junk mail. Do you go through EVERY piece of advertisement you get in the mail because you want to be open minded just in case you may stumble on something wonderful? Chances are you glance at the package, make a quick decision as to the usefulness of that piece of mail and deal with it accordingly.

KBK
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I check my mailbox once a month, whether I need to or not.

As for the mpingo discs. There may be scientific principle behind it, and there may not.

if there was sound reason behind it - chances are they'd never tell you. That, in business terms - is basic common sense.

I have no problem whatsoever with you dismissing them, in what ever way you feel appropriate.

Since I'm in the damping and noise control business as well, I'd very much prefer it if people never attempted to grow any brain cells when near such products. Best for business prospects and the future, you see. Again, on my side - it's Basic common sense. As stated in other places and threads, you'll not receive explanations from me.

bifcake
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I have no idea what you just said or whether you took a side.

dbowker
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Well- I get what you mean about junk mail and not trying every little tweak out. I wouldn't have bother with my own experiment if I actually had to go out buy a $200 set of Shun Mook discs! I explained that I saw the opportunity, and what with around 50,000 words of ranting between Jan and Ethan I figured maybe I could shed some light on the issue. I also felt that at least on the direct coupling to component scenario, there IS some scientific validity to the discs. Particularly with turntables the whole setup is just one big micro-vibrational rig. In the end they did make a difference and it looks like I'm going to keep them on the 'table after all.

I need to do further tries with my CD player. That too is subject to micro vibrational issues, although I've already got that thing pretty well isolated etc. Certainly you can dismiss my observations and it won't get me up in arms or anything. All I can say is that I have a lot of experience with equipment evaluation, and in this case started out very skeptical, as I first said. So I can confidently say I was not looking to "prove" they worked- but in my listening I eventually had to admit that damned if they didn't make a positive improvement.

Also again I don't think they were ever worth $50 a disc, but that's almost beside the point since we're just talking about IF they COULD work. My guess is that the best tweak for a CD player is good feet underneath and make sure it's perfectly level.

CECE
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Huh, I 2nd that....what did he just say? I think that was an over damped statement, it's just too muted for me, cus' what did he just say? Is MPINGO sawdust toxic?

CECE
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Now a CD player has to be perfectly level? Please explain that one......the biggest improvement for a CD player is to get teh SACD version and play SACD

dbowker
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That would be true DUP if the CD I was replacing was available out of the 37 SACDs they bothered to put out! In any case, I don't think I'm going to replace the 700 CDs in my collection, if I even could! In meantime, getting it level and isolated is a good idea.

CECE
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Since you brought it up, what effets do an unlevel CD player have versus one that is level? How does it matter? You said it should be level, please explain. Of it it mere audiophile conjecture? Since that is a big effect in this world. Assumptions become gospel, based on nothing more than some "belief". Did you see those funky Wizzard of Oz shoes the Pope wears? Man, who dresses that guy, even worse than the people who do Stevie Wonder, does Stevie Wonder know what they did to his hair?

CECE
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I see about 1900 SACD on Acoustic Sounds....many not what i want, but lots i do.

dbowker
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Leveling a cd player does not cause a "major" effect- granted. But FOR ME it tightened up the lower bass and upper mid-range. My own speculation si that it aids the transport systems ability to extract error free data. I defer to others for a better explanation and since it's free aspect of setup don't feel compelled to investigate further.

A number of very high-end players have feet that can be leveled (like the Krell) so I can assume it's not for nothing. Anything mechanical and spinning just runs better when leveled, even if for motor wear. You're welcome to have your SACD player propped up diagonally on your bookshelf if you so desire Sir Dupster.

ethanwiner
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Quote:
what effets do an unlevel CD player have versus one that is level? How does it matter?


A few years ago I bought an external DVD burner for my laptop. I was surprised when I got it and connected it because it stands up sideways, and the disks go in sideways on their edge. It's worked just fine reading and writing flawlessly for several years now. It's obvious to me the ones and zeros do not care if they're "level" or not.

--Ethan

dbowker
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The DVD burner/cd rom and a computer are mostly for data and have a different set of error corrections applied. Plus- I didn't say non-level wouldn't work, just it worked a little better.

ethanwiner
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The DVD burner/cd rom and a computer are mostly for data and have a different set of error corrections applied.


Sure, but the corrections are similar. I'm not certain about DVDs, but a data CD has 16 bits of redundancy for every 16 bits of data, where an audio CD has only 14 bits of redundancy. I can't imagine why there would be a change in "bass tightness" or imaging etc from a CD player's angle. If the CD is mis-tracking so badly that data reconstruction kicks in, you'll probably hears clicks and pops and other obvious anomalies. A change in perceived bass sounds to me like a classic case of comb filtering as explained HERE.

But you probably already knew I'd say that.

--Ethan

bertdw
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No one has mentioned the j-word yet.

I wouldn't be surprised if the motor, bearing, platter and/or disc vibrated more when not level, somehow causing jitter.

ethanwiner
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No one has mentioned the j-word yet.


Jitter is a non-issue. If you really think you can hear jitter that's 100+ dB below the music, start with my Artifacts Audibility comparison and see how you do with artifacts that are only 25 to 55 dB below the music:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/audibility.html

Hopefully this will put jitter in a proper perspective.

More to the point, jitter is electrical, and what you described is mechanical. Mechanical vibrations are never a problem with optical media because the data is read into a memory buffer and verified, then sent out the D/A converter. This is why "jogger" CD Walkman players have a large memory buffer. And those work fine even if you jump up and down while the CD plays.

--Ethan

bertdw
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But isn't that electrical signal recovered from the spinning disc?

And some people think jitter does matter: http://www.stereophile.com/reference/193jitter/index.html

ethanwiner
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But isn't that electrical signal recovered from the spinning disc?


Read what I wrote again. It's read into a buffer, verified, and then sent on its way. There's no reason I'm aware of that a CD vibrating, or being at an angle, should affect the ones and zeros that are read.


Quote:
And some people think jitter does matter: http://www.stereophile.com/reference/193jitter/index.html


I realize some people believe jitter is audible, but they would be wrong. At least for modern gear made in the last 10+ years. The article you linked to is more than 16 years old. But I doubt jitter was a "serious" problem even back in 1992. And certainly not when compared to the amount of "jitter" inherent in LP records and analog tape. I'll never understand why jitter with vinyl and tape is cool, but for some reason it's a huge problem with CDs.

--Ethan

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