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David Harper
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empirical guy

Im an empirical guy. I don't believe in audiophile snake oil.I believe in what makes sense to me logically. Im not saying Im right. Im just stating facts.
Having said that, Im faced with a mystery, and it is this;
On one particular day my stereo sounds awful. Opaque, closed down,no detail etc.
On a different day, the same system sounds amazing. Open, transparent,detailed,like a twenty thousand dollar reference system.
And I haven't changed anything! What's up with this? Is this difference in my brain? Is it the humidity in the room? Is it in my houses electrical wiring?
Has anyone else experienced this?

michael green
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in & out of tune

Hi David

Everyone has experienced this. They may not want to let others know and act like their system is the reference of the world, but the truth is audio is a variable. Audio reacts to all the conditions that physics provides.

Remember when you came up here and made comments about your 300 CD's and I said something? Later you made other comments about me being real or not? Well, since then you have come a long way in exploring your system. The best part to this is your being honest. A lot of audiophiles believe it or not, end up having two hobbies. The hobby they show their peers and the actual listening. Someone who is truly into the hobby has moved past a lot of the topics here. The reason why you see threads crash and burn here, is because the people making this happen are not the real deal, they are indeed "snake oil". What is real is what you are experiencing.

Now those people are going to come to this thread and spin up all kinds of stories and begin a thread war. They probably won't do it with you but me, because I represent the variables and have treated audio as a moving event. They say Tuning is not "the" answer, however there's not an honest listener on the planet who is not aware of what you are describing. Sooner or later every audiophile faces the fact that systems are not a fixed object. They don't sit there and play the same set of values, just like the weather outside is never the same. Fact is there is no way around system change, there is no way around you changing and there is no way to stop the continuum we all experience every day.

The whole reason TuneLand exist, is because of your original post. Where do people turn when they realize their systems don't play the music the same? Where do they go when one day it sounds great and the next like listening to ear buds? And very important, why have I been recruiting listeners for the tune since 1989? Trust me lol, it's not for the money lol. With as cool as the high end audio society is (and I have many awards I enjoy) the hobby made a mistake when they took away the ability to make adjustments. It's the mistake that has put this part of the hobby in decline ever since discrete fixed systems came on the scene.

here's the most important question to ask

Why are there no system threads here? Why is there no music referencing going on? Go to a recording sight and the first things they do are post their systems and reference music to compare. The reason you don't see this here is because high end audio screwed themselves when they took away the controls and threw their systems into the living room expecting the system to auto-tune itself. David, you got guys in the hobby who have listened for 50 years and have not been brave enough to ask the question you just did. Most of them including reviewers treat the revolving door of equipment change as if it will answer this problem. They start on the path of flipping the components and end up either taking a break from the hobby, exploring the snake oil, or come to the place where they realize their audio system is no different than any musical instrument.

David, look at this forum and the TAS forum. As you were honest above, honestly ask yourself, "where are the audiophiles"? Why is there hardly anyone here? This hobby use to be packed with serious listeners who couldn't wait to compare their sound with each other. The trade shows were packed with listeners lined down the hall waiting their turn to listen. Now it's 10 50-80 year old guys standing in the rooms talking. Did you know stereo recievers are selling at numbers that haven't happened since the mid 90's. The hobby of listening to a stereo is at an all time high. Vinyl and tape production is in comeback mode, and Mid-Fi turntable sales are soaring. So there's no lack of interest in music listening. The lack of interest in high end audio is happening because you have to match a system together through years of trials and if's and maybes and more confusion than success.

And all this comes back to your post. Set aside opinions for a second and with your empirical cap on, what do you do with a system that does what you described? next question What if you could adjust that system to sound good when it doesn't? What if you had a system that could sound anyway you wish?

If you had a great guitar in your hands, and every once in a while it sounding bad, what do you call this? The answer would be the guitar is Out-of-Tune. Don't over think this, keep the cap on. When your system sounds bad, what does it sound like? Out-of-tune. What do you do to that guitar to make it sound good? Set aside all that engineering audiophilisms and marketing and answer the question. In the case of the guitar, you tune it. In the case of motors & engines you tune them. In the case of everything passing energy you either tune them or throw them away when they go perminately Out-of-Tune. In high end audio, you either get in that revolving door of mixing and matching forever, or you can look to "the" answer, tuning.

lastly

I'm not promoting that you buy my designs. What I am promoting is you take a serious look at the question you asked and realize there are those of us designing, and have been designing, the next step in the hobby of being an advanced audiophile. There's a step beyond component trading and debating why. The next step that listeners take in this hobby is tuning their systems and making them variable enough to make the adjustments needed and wanted for their successful listening.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Why does the sound change?

Best line this week is from Michael. "I am not promoting my products." Just when you thought it couldn't get any funnier. But I digress.

But back to the OP. It's about time someone mentioned this, that the sound changes mysteriously for no apparent reason. This is a very subversive statement and should upset a lot of people. The problem with audio is that we have a rather limited understanding of what actually affects the sound. In addition we have been kind of, how shall I say, *conditioned* to believe that the ONLY things that can affect the sound are the components, the cables, vibration, house AC power! EMI/RFI and room acoustics. Unfortunately there are quite a few external things that could influence the sound, including things in the local environment.

Here's a short list of external influencers so to speak. It can be helpful to keep a log, since audiophiles can sometimes get carried away in the rush of changing things around or trying out new tweaks or just doing some housekeeping. That way when you hear an unexpected change in the sound you have some documentation for what you might have done to change the sound.

Time of day
Time of year
Day of the week
If you recently bought new components speakers or cables it takes like forever to break them in with attendant up and down performance along the way
Sun Spot activity, track sun spot activity at:

http://www.spaceweather.com

High pressure vs low pressure weather system
Wet ground can affect power grid
Bringing anything with barcodes into the house; barcodes are bad news. See thread on Morphic Message Labels)
Bringing books or magazines into the house, esp. Telephone Books
Bringing new smartphones or TVs or iPads into the house
Bringing new Movies and CDs into the house
Leaving empty bottles lying around

Hope that helps.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

bierfeldt
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Keep a log

I think Geoff's suggestion of keeping a log is a great idea. I might track different variables, like volume level, particular tracks that I am listening too and other variables like time of day, weather and changes in your listening space. Sunspots are real and I regularly get warnings from my cable company at peak activity times because they can create instability with my cable signal so it is not absurd to think it could impact other signals but this usually only twice a year.

Regarding the other variables, I am open minded but some variables are a bit too reliant on impacting different dimensions within string theory for me too have a high level of confidence in them.

My thinking is by keeping a log, you can identify what is common on bad and good sounding days. Here is an issue I had. When I listened to bass heavy tracks or when my volume went above a certain level, things started getting muddy but it didn't always happen. What I discovered was it only happened with vinyl. My issue is that my turntable is not isolated enough and vibrations from the subwoofer are impacting the sound. This is probably at all volumes but it become very noticeable at higher volume levels or at lower frequencies. Solution, I need vibration isolation for my turntable. Very straightforward and consistent with relative physics.

Now, I am not saying that it is not a room issue as it could be. My point is, it could be caused by all sorts of problems. Keeping a log will help you issolate what is happening on bad days and then you can solve the problem.

geoffkait
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Straightforward physics stuff

"My issue is that my turntable is not isolated enough and vibrations from the subwoofer are impacting the sound. This is probably at all volumes but it become very noticeable at higher volume levels or at lower frequencies. Solution, I need vibration isolation for my turntable. Very straightforward and consistent with relative physics."

I hate to judge too quickly but if I understand you correctly not only do you not do the string theory stuff you don't do the straightforward physics stuff either. Lol. You're absolutely right, though, vibration isolation is one of those absolutely must do things. Fortunately there are solutions that don't cost an arm and a leg.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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keep a log, TuneLand

So true Bierfeldt

This kinda gets back to Stereophile forum and high end audio in general creating a "smalling" camp of opinions while the rest of the industry has moved on.

What these threads fail to do is look at the facts. What's worse is crawling into this small neighborhood asking and answering questions inside of the box never taking the time to look outside. I shouldn't say never now, because even though people like geoff troll the heck out of us, he is in turn pointing listeners to the variable side of this hobby and in time will change his tune to try to get his share of credit for variable tuning, which we have no problem with. We're not pigish about credits, we're bigish about the hobby moving forward in bettering the sound.

As I am happy you took the jump in starting a personal thread here, let me show you something that might surprise. There have been listeners logging their systems and progress since 2004 sharing the variables in this industry and hobby that has gained membership of 300,000 audiophiles. 300,000 audiophiles who not only are watching the variables but actually signing up as a testament.

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.com/forum/index.php

When I started the first TuneLand forum, I had no idea how many listeners were going to come out of the woodwork to re-engage in their tuning hobby. Every range of top to bottom systems you can imagine. Thousands of these listeners are folks who decided to step away from the high end audiophile spin cycle and begin to look at their systems as variable tuning devices. Most of them wonder why I even come here, but my gutt says that to save high end audio, it needs to go back to Tom Miiller saying "I saw it, I wittnessed the revolution".

I truly believe that it's only a matter of time before these differences that the OP is talking about will become the biggest topic on this forum, and here's why. Every audiophile on the planet hears their systems go through change. The honesty of this statement is what makes people walk away from this forum, and is what this forum needs to engage in to bring them back.

It should no longer fall on deaf ears that this is a variable hobby. I have spent my entire life tuning and have never seen a system where the sound does not go through change, neither has the thousands of people I have worked with. There is not an audio system on the planet, where I can not proove this, unless the owner hides this system from us, and this is why it's a matter of time before the high end audio hobby must face the next step in order to go further in sound.

Why do I have well documented 50 foot soundstages? Why did I go on a tour to over 50 reviewers systems on a regular basis, from 90-95. Why is it that some of these reviewers said they couldn't review my tunable speakers because "it's too big of a game changer"? Why did I decide to go do a few studios, and design for Herman Miller while high end audio sorted itself out or go on the decline? And, why are we talking on this particular thread?

There is no getting away from variable tuning. It doesn't really matter if it happens now or happens after these pages stop. It doesn't matter if it takes the debates here to fade because the loudest voices would rather talk than do. It doesn't matter if the newer micro-systems get there before the amp of the month club does. What does matter, is if and as audiophiles start to tune, one by one they come to a better understanding through "actually doing" the hobby. Of course the people who only talk are going to kick and scream, because this has always been all they have. Does that have an impact on the hobby? Only to those who are uncertain about their abilities.

I say to the audiophiles, stop being afraid of TuneLand. Tuneland is the most friendly straight shooting forum in this hobby. Not one of these spins that take place here would be here if you the members became co-members with TuneLand. You want system logging? Have you looked at TuneLand? TuneLand is the most documented high end audio system logging in the history of high end audio.

TuneLand

Isn't it interesting (I'm speaking in general here) that all the people who "challenge LOL" tuning here have never posted on the very forum that takes the hobby from start to finish on the topic? Many who join TuneLand never come back here, why? Do you think they would not like to come here? They don't come here because Stereophile has this thing about staying behind instead of moving ahead. It's something that has been created by the members themselves, but this will begin to change as more "DO" the hobby of "Tuning".

As for us on TuneLand and those who help me with my emails more importantly, the tuning revolution that those magazines talked about hasn't gone anywhere, it's just that high end audio needed to go through some growing pains before implimenting the next chapter for the extreme audiophile listener. My email box is stuffed and growing by the day. I'm not sending emails to myself lol, I'm watching an industry go from talking so much to becoming a part of the practical application.

A while back geoff kait put up a smart A** thread here called where is Toledo. He of course was trying to point to the Tuning revolution as not being as strong as it is, or making some attempt to de-fame the movement as he has desperately done ever since I got here. But what he has not reveal to the forum here is where Toledo and many of the members here have done or gone. Why do you not hear from many of these members any more or not as often? Toledo has completely re-designed his audio system making it a variable one. Your members (not wanting to be flamed) are tuning their stereos. They obviously don't come here because of the fact that Stereophile has gained the reputation as being your typical audiophile troll forum. I will be trolled for even saying this.

Sad as I am that Stereophile has turned south, the tuning revolution will not be stopped as you the listeners discover just how good your systems are after many years of thinking they could only go so far. It's a great time for the audiophile on many fronts. It's also time for this hobby to explore, and maybe this forum will become a part of the next level by taking one or two steps of it's own.

Maybe JA will put RoomTune back up in the product recommended pages to let you the listener see the history of high end audio, and a day when tuning once was the norm moving forward faster than any movement of the time. Maybe you guys will go back to reading up in the early 90's when high end audio was it's most healthy. And you should also read when high end audio became a static hobby instead of a hobby of "doers". This was the beginning of the decline.

it's up to all of you

Go ahead and read the 90's and come back here and read how the high end audio part of the industry has declined and ask yourselves why someone like me comes here only to be trolled? More important ask yourselves why the rest of the experts don't come here? You would be correct in the thought that this forum is for the most part a graveyard. Only one new system thread in the last two weeks? Sorry but that's not high end audio.

High end audio is the OP making the truthful statements made above and instead of the "all is mystery" approach the practical application part of this hobby giving the answer and guideness.

The only reason this particular forum has reduced itself to no answers is because it is not "doing".

come join Tuneland and "experience" the answers not just talk about the questions

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Time to call the dog catcher

Michael that's all fine and well but actually reading through what you wrote it appears you actually didn't address either the whole idea of empiricism and why the sound changes day to day for no apparent reason or vibration isolation. Those are the two topics of this thread, it's not supposed to be an opportunity for another of your simultaneously breathless and long winded self promotional diatribes. Hel-loo! Why can't we all just get along? Watch with us now as Michael takes one of his discourteous pees on any thread here no matter how inappropriate or boorish his behavior actually is.. Talk about a troll! Geez, it's getting so you can't say anything around here anymore with getting a lecture and a good old fashioned pistol whipping from the David Koresh of Audio. Maybe it's time to call the Las Vegas dog catcher.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

bierfeldt
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My apologies to the OP

A snide remark I made in regard to Geoff's post (that was unnecessary and inappropriate of me, Geoff) is threatening to derail this thread. I agree with Michael, I think this is a great topic for discussion.

I would ask that those of us who are perpetually posting here, refrain from sniping at each other. We have plenty of other threads where this is far more appropriate. Lets stay focused on the topic, which is why the OP is experiencing variability in sound from day to day.

Speaking of, hopefully our OP will have an opportunity to begin logging what is happening on good days and bad days in his sound system and we can begin aiding him in figuring out what the challenges are.

geoffkait
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Is there an emoticon for snide?

There should be a SNIDE FACE to show that what you're saying is intended to be snide or ironic or humorous. Posting on an audio forum with tongue in cheek is oft misunderstood even by professionals like your humble scribe. Now, play nice kiddies. So, getting back to the subject at hand which is and I paraphrase, Why does one' s audio system sound like a million dollars one day then the next day sound like a piece of crap? The reason why it's such a Big Mystery, assuming one is even AWARE of the phenomenon is that there are UNKNOWN VARIABLES. There, is said it. For the overly enthusiastic audiophile every day should bring new surprises both good and bad since he will be CONSTANTLY changing components, speakers and cables and installing tweaks and room treatments of every description. It's plain to see a system such as that WILL NEVER BE BROKEN IN. Hel-looo! You can thus imagine the predicament of the well meaning reviewer, whose system, one assumes, is in a CONSTANT STATE OF FLUX. Therefore the reviewer like the poor audiophile, will be condemned to the audiophile equivalent of the DEATH OF A THOUSAND CUTS - having to endure the up and down SQ performance swings throughout all eternity. And this scenario doesn't even include all the other possible sources of sonic displeasure that Audiophile is prone to that I already listed, the books, the solar sun spot cycles and I know this is a long shot but could there be hidden variables that even I am unaware of? I know, sounds preposterous, right? (Insert humor emoticon)

As regards humidity yes it's true humidity can affect the sound, I.e. When the air is very dry due to increase in problems related to electrostatic charge on various items, otherwise under normal *slowly changing conditions* I don't see humidity as being on the list of reasons why the sound changes from one day to the next. Obviously if you live in a very dry are like Las Vegas you're probably well aware of the problems. Perhaps Mr. green would like to say a few words about humidity since he lives in Vegas.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
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thread

Everyone here has made good valid points. Sometimes my outlook may blind me to things which are possible.
Once I argued this subject with a friend who asked me if I believe in volcanoes. I said yes. He responded"have you ever seen a volcanoe?" I said no. He asked"if youve never seen one, why do you believe in them?" I said" because there's nothing about a volcanoe that is inconsistent with my general philosophy about what constitutes reality"
This is why I don't believe in the resurrection of you-know-who.
So maybe I need to open myself to new possibilities.
Micheal; you're right. I HAVE wondered why there aren't more members on these threads.

David Harper
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system

I've been mixing and matching gear lately and the system I'm listening to now is this;

Marantz UD 7007 CDP
Denon AVR X 1100 W reciever
Polk rtia5 floor standing speakers
B&W powered sub (I don't remember which model-200 watt amp.)

I've got the Polk speakers bi-amped from the Denon. Before everyone tells me this is BS, I'm already aware of that fact.

michael green
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BS?

Hi David

Anyone who tells you your system is BS, is giving you BS.

Wanta try some tricks?

Let me know what your system is sitting on and I'll give you some tips to try and see if you hear a difference. Simple stuff and free!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

May Belt
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Great Topic

>>> “I think this is a great topic for discussion.” <<<

I completely agree with you, bierfeldt, that this IS a great topic for discussion. One crucial thing is within the next point you make – i.e. that changes (in the sound) could be caused by all sorts of problems.

>>> “Now, I am not saying that it is not a room issue as it could be. My point is, it could be caused by all sorts of problems.” <<<

Yes, one person can keep a record of all changes made in the room to see if they match with the changes in the sound heard – but that depends on that person appreciating what the words ‘ALL changes’ mean. Another person could also, in their opinion, keep what they regard as a ‘record of all changes made in the listening environment’ but if they believe as “Relevant Changes” only “what makes sense to them logically” !!!!! then other changes, made in the listening environment, will not be recorded – because they would not be regarded as logical to be able to have any effect on the sound !!

Three different people could produce three ‘different’ listings. One person listing only changes that they regard as logical to affecting sound. Another person could have a larger list because they HAVE had experience of quite weird and unusual things (many not logical) change the sound. Yet another person, from experience, knowing that EVERYTHING in the listening environment has an effect on the sound could have an extremely long list.

The more things which people report has spoiled their sound (as well as what has improved it) the further we can all progress in our understanding of what, exactly, can affect ‘sound’ and affect our appreciation of all the musical information available.

As you say. A great topic for discussion.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

geoffkait
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Things that don't make sense

Thanks to May's post here's a list of some of my favorite reasons why the system might sound particularly atrocious.

1. The CD transport is not absolutely level. I'm referring to the actual transport mechanism itself, not the cover of the chassis of the CD player which, would you believe, if rarely the same level as the transport. When the CD is not level whilst spinning it has a greater tendency to flutter, making the servo mechanism work overtime.

2. If you happen to live on an upper floor of a high rise building you will be affected by high winds that actually cause the building to sway noticeable at very low frequency.

3. If you live near the ocean you will subjected to very low frequency vibrations produced by the ocean waves hitting the shore.

4. The sound will always be better if all CDs and or LPs are stored vertically instead of horizontally.

5. Cleaning all wall outlets in other rooms will improve the sound because the micro arcing produced by dirty or oxidized contacts migrate to the audio circuits in the house.

6. Walls vibrate like drum heads whilst music is playing so it's a good idea to damp them.

7. If you decide to paint your room be sure to paint the walls blue and ceiling green for the best sound.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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OR....

...you join a site that has actually done these types of testing and continue to study cause & effect.

The discerning audiophiles are getting more involved with their actual "doing" the hobby, and as you the readers are noticing going places (such as TuneLand) where the topics are not only talked about but being "done" in real time. If you go back 2 years on this forum, up to date, you will see a total of 2 audiophiles do the suggestions made by geoff & may (I may have missed 1), and during the same time over 1000 successful tuning moves on TuneLand.

From what I have been told by the members here, "we want to see you actually doing the hobby". The talking has ran it's course except for the occasional newbie, or someone never looking at tuning before now.

The OP is writen by someone "doing", setting the tone of this thread. It's the same tone that the forum in general has been screaming for and when not supplied here come to places where the hobby is taken more serious or at least more advanved.

My question to those making "talk" about the possible answers is "have you ever built a listening wall" personally? Have you done a room in a highrise in the last month, year, 10 years, ever? The life of an empirical guy is practical application. Practical meaning applying with and continuing practice.

This hobby isn't about maybes and if's for the high end audiophiles anymore. This hobby is about the audiophile hobbyist finding the experts in the biz and "doing" the hobby. If you the designer are not actually doing rooms right now, why don't you come back when the practical application side of your work is, active.

It continues to blow our minds that Stereophile has geoff from 9 years past with an in-room audio system talking rooms today! In other words how can a guy talk "empirically" about practical applications without having a practicing system for 9 years now? He gets mad at me for speaking about myself LOL, but fails to mention that I am the only designer/member here that has built over ten audio walls and or rooms this year, not counting my clients walls.

You the readers have to decide what "high end" is. Is it folks sitting in their recliner listening to their portable sony walkman with earbuds giving you advice, or a team of experts who are "actively" designing and building studios and listening rooms? It's not even that some of these folks giving advice have had a couple of living rooms in their lifetimes, but it's the fact that the advice is being given without them ever, in their whole lives, built one wall, let alone room, let alone studio, or music hall, or a wing of an entire university music department.

lets just look at one

geoff said

"Walls vibrate like drum heads whilst music is playing so it's a good idea to damp them."

MGA/RoomTune says

Walls vibrate like drum heads whilst music is playing so it's a good idea to "tune" them.

Damp them geoff? Damp them to what end? If you damp that wall you will also damp the music coming from that wall. geoff, when you damped that wall did it physically disappear? And geoff, what type of wall are we talking about as not any two walls in the whole listening world sound the same.

Stereophile lets move to some serious "doing" of the hobby and move past the spins that are making listeners flea the pages. My goodness the topic empirial guy should be soaring with active listeners and system threads and practical application sites that "do", feeding the info and giving results. This hobby should be way past these threads ending in spins of "if" and mysteries. TuneLand is way way way past the talk of "if" and has been onto "doing" the hobby for as long as the Stereophile forum has been in existance. It's frightning for the more advanced listeners to visit Stereophile and see that after all these years the forum is still pretty much at the same starting gate of listening that it was some 30 years ago.

Pick any one of these topics and tell us where variable tuning doesn't apply in todays audiophile world? If Tuning shouldn't even be the topic, the topic should be "how is the tuning going". This forum is being held back in it's listening progression all the way back to at least 1989. Isn't it freakish that listeners back in "89" learned how to take the next step in high end audio empirical listening as it applies to Air, Mass & Energy (acoustical, mechanical and electrical) and within a couple of years of me going off to tune Warner Brothers the industry fell right back into the talk and not walk?

How did this hobby failed the empirical guy, or did the empirical guy just decide to move forward, and on from the selling spin.

ask yourselves this question while your at it, one I have asked

Why when we go to the equipment & speaker forums here, do we not see people recommending 2, 3, 10 or 20 year old designs? Why does most of the talk center around products that are still within or close to current product runs? Products that still have years to truly breakin before hearing what they can really do? You know guys this isn't like the guy who needs the new Ford F-150 every year. This is/was a hobby of and for the "empirical guy".

one thing I promise you readers

If the pages here are not about "the empirical guy" the "empirical guys" are somewhere else "doing" the hobby.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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You say tomato, I say tomato

Tuning and damping are close to the same thing. Thanks for pointing that out. Obviously when the walls vibrate they produce acoustic waves that compete with the primary signal from the speakers, even if the sound pressure level is lower than the average sound pressure in the room. So, not sure what you're going off about since it's pretty obvious that damping the walls is a good idea. You know, what with the comb filter effect and everything. Are you so hung up on your own special Tuning Enterprise vocabulary that there's no room in it for other words? My sense is you can't see the first fir the trees. This is all just another excellent example of Stove Piping. You remember what that is, right? That's when you work in own little area for thirty years then suddenly wake up one day and find out you missed all the goings on that occurred in the rest of the world while you weren't paying attention. The Green Pen, damping, vibration isolation, Mpingo discs, tiny little bowl resonators, silver rainbow foil, Morphic messages, scattered laser light absorption, quantum teleportation, mu metal, cork, Lessloss Blackbody, SteinMusic Harmonizer, quartz crystals and tourmaline crystals, all knuds of crystals, demagnetizers, ionizers, the list keeps growing. My advice in this season of giving is stop trying to be a big know it all and maybe you'll attract more disciples into your tent. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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didn't need....

to read very far in to geoff's last post before it was pretty easy to see geoff doesn't know very much about walls or rooms. Sorry geoff but I think I'm not going to let you put words in others mouths this time or lack of knowledge in their ears.

geoff said

"not sure what you're going off about"

mg

That's why audiophiles are leaving Stereophile geoff. Thread after thread you speak without any experience and limited knowledge about topics.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=geoff+kait

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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I hate to judge before all

I hate to judge before all the facts are in but I actually only see young gullible types leaving Stereophile, not that I'm counting. You say they're going to ToonLand, I say they're leaving because they're tired of your insulting and redundant posts. Not to mention long winded. I mean, geez, there weren't that many active posters here to begins with, not counting your trained monkey, Chris, who I wouldn't really call active. Let's see there's the PhD from Romania, the two dudes from Pittsburg, Toledo, who I assume was some sort of moderator, maybe I was fooled into thinking he was a moderator, who knows? Anyway, there's the PhD from Carnegie Melon,,the one that was going to build a Schumann Frequency Generator from scratch as I recall and who also mistook volume for Dynamic Range. He was also the one who was convinced removing the transformer and relocating it would be superior to wrapping it with mu metal. Need I say more? Did I miss anyone? Maybe you're a victim of wish fulfillment. Maybe you're picking up some of the slow learners and stragglers. Who knows? Besides, I have forgotten more about walls and rooms than you ever knew. You're not even on board the vibration isolation train. Or the constrained layer damping train, for that matter. How much could you know? Lol Besides, numbers don't lie. I simply have more room acoustics products and products specifically designed for walls, ceilings even glass windows than ToonTown dreams about. As I said many times if you hadn't been hiding away in your Tuning Cave all these years like some diehard Japanese soldier hiding out in a cave somewhere in the Pacific long after the war was over you would be amenable to other people's viewpoints. But since you are as stubborn as a jackass I actually don't care. Im not trying to set the world on fire.mmim just trying to start a flame in a few hearts.

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sound vs music

I'm trying to forget the sound quality for a while and just get into the music. I think we sometimes get so obsessed with sq that were no longer enjoying the music. When I listen to youtube music videos on my TV, I forget about the sq(because its mp3 crap) and I just enjoy the music. It's a smart TV so it has wireless internet and the audio exits the tv from the optical audio out to the optical input of a Denon AVR.

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David -much will play a

David -much will play a factor for sure. Where do you reside? I ask because if you live in one of our major U.S. cities this will be culprit #1 (and there is always a culprit).

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thank you David & Allen

The thought of an important thread like this turning into the typical geoff vs the world posting was something members don't want to have to bear again.

Instead, getting focused on what makes us tick as listeners and exploring the hobby from our experiences is what makes a hobby (any hobby) strong and credible.

Geoff, as you pointed to a few, wouldn't it have been better for you to welcome their points of view instead of watching them loose interest in this forum? The list of people loosing interest goes back to when you first started trolling here. Nothing to do with anyone else but you. The rest of us have the ability to figure out each other and get along, agreeing or not, with some type of respect.

Allen said

"Where do you reside?"

mg

This is one of the very first questions we ask at the tune. Where do you live, how is your house constructed, what's your electric flow chart, what's your furniture and how old is your house. This is the proper way to get the sound ball rolling. If listeners put their environment first on the list, many problems that might have happened down the road may never be a problem at all.

Component chasing can and does become an endless revolving door, if we don't know our space. We have to think of our components differently than the past has taught. Our speakers, source, amp and all the rest, are plug-in tools that we insert into our already existing audio system. This hobby presents the audio hierarchy in reverse, because it's not here to sell locations and houses. The audio industry is here to sell you the inserted components. That's all fine & good, but how many homes do you see where the appliances are bought before the home is planned. If a new home or renovation is built around the appliances, that's one thing. You can build your dream kitchen, work shop, bathrooms and on it goes. But, if your trying to put a double wide frig in a single size space? This is exactly why high end audio guys often end up with bad sound. Their taking their appliances (components), placing them into a space (environment) not built for them, and then turn it on expecting something that isn't even remotely what the reviewer described, the designer promised or the marketing in general painted a picture of. Usually it's wonderful for the first few days, until the first piece of music goes on that sound terrible. This is where the problem get's big. No one in the industry is around to tell them, they started with the wrong approach. No one is here to tell them what the hierarchy really is, because for 20 some years now this industry has been in the business of selling appliances and not "sound".

geoff and others like him can troll all day long, but it's too late. There is no way to keep the empirical guy from finding "the method of tuning" unless he decides to not "do" the hobby.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Train to nowhere

Thanks for the diatribe. You've obviously painted yourself into a very small corner with all this tuning nonsense. You know, in the real world the roads in a town lead to other cities and towns, unlike the roads in your little town that stop at the edge of town and lead nowhere. Wake up and smell the coffee!

Get thee to a library!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

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reside

I live in northern Illinois, about sixty miles northwest of Chicago, in a town called Crystal Lake.

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Crystal Lake

Hi David

Your not far from a Tunable Room going in BTW.

Is your electric in ground or pole?

Also your area has a lot of upgraded wiring. Do you know if yours has been upgraded yet? It would have been in the last 10 years or around that, unless you are in a newer home. If you look inside your circuit panel and take me a pic I might be able to tell you something about your electric wire.

I do a fair amount of systems around Chicago, and you are close to a lot of big city energy as Allen says. Let me know if you want to do a system field trip. I don't know if you want to jump in and voice your system but, if you are interested we can do a little tuning.

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Reading maps LOL, thanks geoff

geoff says

"You know, in the real world the roads in a town lead to other cities and towns"

mg

you mean like here geoff?

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-13755-roomtunes-tunepak-10pc-kit.aspx

let's see Chicago

There's Music Direct (above), Herman Miller (below)

http://www.bing.com/search?q=herman+miller+room+tune&pc=Z161&form=ZGAIDF...

That's two for starters, shall we continue?

Fact is geoffy, it would be hard for you to fine a major city or town where there are not RoomTune. That's just one of my product lines.

It always cracks members up to see you in the same threads as myself. How long has this forum put up with our internet troll friend geoff kait. He sits in his recliner with a sony walkman trying to insert himself into the hobby in some way. Well geoffy boy some of us have real businesses and more than a voodoo doll as an avatar and spaceship pictures on their website :)

We all understand why your here, you need relevance. However sometimes you need to let the audiophiles here do what we do as a community and you stay in your lazy boy recliner.

Now if you got something to show us further than a stones throw from your apartment complex, let us know, cause we don't see you listening to music, we don't see you with a stereo, we don't see you with credentials. What we do see is geoff kait

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=geoff+kait

Please keep in mind the only reason your here is because JA is loose with his Mod grip.

Now for the sake of the OP, feel free to visit geoff's two pictures with his lifetime systems, including client. When your done take a look here

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t249-a-look-at-tunable-systems

a few of mine

But geoff go right ahead and waste our time, when we're only trying to be nice to you.

For "real audio" info please visit http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ or subscribe to Stereophile or our other great Magazines and audio forums.

So geoff as has been said by about everyone who has ever had to deal with you, when your done showing your back side come and listen to some music with us.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Hogs waddle

It is actually you who is showing up in all of my threads and trying desperately to take a dump on them. Fortunately your motives here are as transparent as glass. If only you were capable of actually carrying on some sort of real discussion instead of constantly pushing your limp Tuning enterprise you would get a little respect, I mean from people other than those who are gullible or naive enough to actually swallow all that Hogswaddle. Isn't it time to put a stop to all the Audio Nervosa?

Have a nice hair day.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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house

my electric is in ground. the house is 45 years old but the box has circuit breakers instead of fuses, so that means it was upgraded at some point, I think. What if I got an extension cord and plugged the stereo in right next to the box? This would bypass the house wiring right?

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Electrical panel

Hi David

All of your electric is running through the same source even if you did a cord. I would want to see the panel and how it is wired before giving suggestions. However how far is your equipment from the panel?

Here are a couple of other things.

The feed that is coming into the circuit panel from the outside (the thick cable) is it copper in color or silver looking? Also please do not touch anything unless you are an electrician or know your way around electrical stuff. If you have an electrician, I can show him or her how to setup your panel for the best sound.

Also, lets take a look at the outlets in your room. I'm guessing by what you have said so far, you want to be using a 15amp breaker. 15's give a more open sound with rounder notes. 20amps are for more of a 2D sound (not as much depth). Back to your room. If you take off the outlet covers, you will see the house wiring. If the house wiring is shoved back in the hole, you are creating an inductor of sorts. You want to make that wirs straight. I personally don't use outlet plates at all. All they do is put tension on the socket and wire.

Here's a big tip. Look throughout your system all the way back to your cable coming in from the outside. Look at all of your cable, interconnects, power cords, house wire, everything. Everywhere there is tension, there is added resistance. Anywhere in your whole house where wires are coiled up on the floor, squeezed or bent with tension, you are loosing music content. Doesn't matter where in the house cause everything starts and shares the same bars.

now lets look at your components

See where your power cord goes through the chassis and then onto the circuit board? Right where it goes through is a strain release. It's so you don't pull the cable loose by pulling on it. Remove that strain release and look at how much it is crimping the power cord. Once you've got that out of the way and if you have a steady hand, take an exacto knife and gently cut away the cord jacket. You have two wires, and around those wires is a jacket that can be removed. Once you get it started on the circuit board end you can strip it right off by pulling. Most of the time you will have a two cable configuration with a white and black wire. If you get rid of that jacket you have gained even more sound.

One more thing while your with the covers off of the components. See where the wires are squeezed together with tie wraps. Snip those and spread about your wires, trying to make them so they don't touch.

There is a lot more hot rodding to be done, but even if you do this much, you will have a completely different sounding system with far more dyanmics.

Anyway, hope that wasn't too much for starters. If it was we'll need to do some links to TuneLand so you can see how to do.

Let me know your equipment models and I can get more specific.

Check out this simplistic low mass system.

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t187-pics-for-stereophile

The power cable (MGA Bare Essence) goes straight to the circuit panel. The panel (not seen) is right next to the room. The cable goes over the system, then drops down from above.

That system's about 80 miles from you.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Go battery power!

Th only way you can really bypass the house AC is to do what I did - go portable, I.e., BATTERY POWERED. Or to switch to battery powered electronics. That's actually WHY such things as battery powered amps and so forth exist. The problems with house AC are myriad and not helped at all by the situation that ALL circuits are interconnected, unless you have installed a dedicated (isolated electrically) circuit. There are issues with voltage regulation in many areas, with variations in the QUALITY of the power according to weather conditions such as atmospheric pressure and sun spot activity as we were discussing here recently. Also, as I mentioned a couple times recently there are issues even for non-audio outlets since the noise produced by micro arcing migrate to other circuits including Audio circuits. Not to mention I can COMPLETELY AVOID the whole issue of power cords, the expensive and the ADDED NOISE. Hel-loooo!! In addition by bypassing the house AC entirely you avoid the detrimental effects of the circuit breakers themselves which are most likely quite dirty and oxidized PLUS you avoid the detrimental effects of the magnetic panel cover on the circuit breaker box. And speaking of things you can't see, bypassing the house AC eliminates in one swell foop issues related to RFI/EMI that would otherwise inflict sonic havoc on your precious electronics. You can also eliminate ALL issues relate to GROUND, which is not necessary in battery powered systems like my cheap ass portables. You can also skip all the issues related to fuses which all actually MANY.

Hope that helps,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Actually...

...batteries have their own set of problems.

geoff could you give a list please of your different battery experiences?

What sizes have you used for audio, and could you give us brands? Again as with everything in this hobby, every battery type and brand sounds different than the next. Also the listening curve life of batteries vary from one to the next, typically with a sweet spot of 1 to 2 hours per charge. Portables have a longer sweet spot 5-6 hrs within their 30hr life, but they are not nearly as good sounding as lets say a freshly charged Optima Red Top. Here's another problem with the smaller batteries. They sound their best on the first charge then after that loose their detail and bass response. They start sounding washed out.

As a reference my last two high end battery systems were Red Wine Audio and Altmann BYOB. On the low end side, I did my best to stay up with geoff's models and a few others that Goodwill was kind enough to give me deals on. I also have a friend at The Sony Store and went through about everything there. Honestly the portables don't grab my ears at all. I would probably feel different if they were outside of their cases. Maybe I'll play with that sometime, but even my small headphone amps kill the sound of the portables.

I'm sure battery systems will continue to improve but in our testing we did not find them to out perform house electric. I can see the opposite being true in certain areas, but this camper found tuning the circuit panel power lines and outlets to give more of the music and dynamic range. The battery systems I listened to just didn't give the gutts. The soundstages were definately compressed compare to house current.

So, I didn't see batteries as a plus for home listening. For sure an area I will visit again though as I have clients that do battery system listening.

BTW, in the battery testing I found the whole charging thing to be a pain. Maybe listening to fading batteries does't bother others, but I found it even more anoying than outer to inner distortion. I guess that's the curse of growing up in the studio. You become hyper pitch sensitive.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Rehab Locator

Give you a list of betters experiences? Are you high? I am the only one here with a battery powered system. Your testing is becoming rapidly irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Geez, you can't even hear the difference between tape and CDs or the impact of dynamic range on the music. Why should anyone trust your opinion? That's what Audio Nervosa does to you. You wake up one day and you can't hear. If you can't follow the logic behind the performance advantages of battery power maybe you should find someone over there at prairie dogs on crack central and send him over hear to discuss the subject.

Your friend went through everything at the Sony store? That's rich. My player is a vintage one, i realize your brain is shot. I just told you what it is the other day. Are you brain dead? You're in serious bad shape. Do you have any rehabs nearby? Wait, what am I thinking? Of course you do. You're in Vegas.

Geoff Kait
Machina Diabolical

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It's the cockroach !

I had the same problem for a while. I eliminated all the variables and found out that the only thing different from the day my system sounded bad to the day it sounded reference was the cockroach walking on the speaker cable.
The system's sound changed depending on WHERE the cockroach was walking on the cables...if it was closer to the speaker it shifted the soundstage left/right. When it was closer to the amplifier the bass became "tighter".
Best results were when it was dead-middle....the midrange would open-up...airy-highs and tight bass.
I managed to train him to walk back&forth on a 10cm patch of cable in the middle...now my system sounds AMAZING EVERY DAY.
I'm planning on taking him to CES or other hi-fi shows and develop a whole line of commercial products.
I'm still not sure what SPECIES I should use because it turns out their exoskeleton's thickness DOES affect sound quality.
I'll keep you guyz updated.

:D LOL

P.s. sorry David...I woke up like this after a long party last night :D
I just took a jab at some of the nonsense we hear everyday in this hobby :-D
Hope you guyz had a laugh with it ;-)

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test

you're going to have to train him to get on and off the wire without telling you so you can do blind ABX

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I'm wearing something that's not appropriate

 photo photo_36_zpsd799mlei.jpg

"I think I have something tonight that's not quite correct for evening wear. Blue suede shoes."

Geoff Kait
Machina Dracula

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Re: ABX

Hahahaha good one D !

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Absolutely Everything Affects HiFi's Sound?

Judging by much of what's printed here, and elsewhere, there is nothing under the sun that does not affect our system's sound. While that MAY be true, I don't believe it. I'll admit many things affect sound that I would not have expected, it's really only a few things under the sun, I suspect. Might the largest variable be us, with our physical and mental changes throughout every day?

I've learned to be more open-minded, even when skeptical, but it's hard to tell who's having fun yankin' my cord, here. Certainly, I still have much to learn after 50 years (this year) of pursuing better sound, however, too many of these tuning tweaks are too much.

While remaining open to new information, for now, I'm relying on my brain adapting to the system I have, and liking what I hear.

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I have much to learn, too

"I've learned to be more open-minded, even when skeptical, but it's hard to tell who's having fun yankin' my cord, here. Certainly, I still have much to learn after 50 years (this year) of pursuing better sound, however, too many of these tuning tweaks are too much."

Hey, that's quite a coincidence. I have much to learn too. After 51 years of pursuing better sound.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dracula

pentode
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Maybe It's Really Magic

Throughout the 50's my musical pleasure came from a wonderful, Webster, suitcased sized, phonograph. The fake, blue alligator, exterior, and its three, glowing, octal-based tubes, have, forever, resided in my diminishing memory. Sometimes I'd put on a record and lay on the floor, peering through the ventilation grill at the glowing tubes, wondering about the magic that allowed them to reproduce music and bring so much pleasure.

Could it be that the extra distance electrons must flow in tubes, rather than transistors, allow more time for magic to affect them, and, therefore, the sound?

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in our heads

"might the largest variable be us,with our physical and mental changes throughout every day?"

Yes, that could be it.Kind of like I think the reason beautiful women are not living with me is because I'm discriminating in who I choose.

Or, just as you're falling asleep in bed, you're jolted awake by a really loud noise in the house. But you're alone.
there's no one in the house. is there?

I don't know what any of this has to do with stereo, but I know it has something to do with me.

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Thoughts on tweaks

Some tweaks make sense, some don't. For me, it is all very straightforward. If a test group can hear a difference in a double blind test (not necessarily every time) but at a statistically significant rate, it is real even if we struggle to explain the mechanics of how it works scientifically. Not everyone's hearing is equal. Not every recording will be a fretted the same way by a tweak. I have seen scientific experiments that based on empirical evidence are impossible, but deliver statistically significant results.

I will consider anything with evidence even without explanation. There are lots of things that we can explain how they work but not why they work. My challenge is, some of the tweaks I have looked at lack any evidence other than the sellers vow that they are real or unscientific testimonials. Show me the evidence, and I will be glad to entertain a tweak. I don't think that is an unreasonable request when being asked to spend money.

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Comments on thoughts on tweaks

Uh, pretty sure that's all you'll find with all tweaks, that they are either not explained, or not explained to everyone's satisfaction. Actually, the manufacturer's sales pitch is about all you'll find with almost all audio products, speakers, amplifiers, cables unless you're going to count reviews by magazines. The only way to really find out what something sounds like is place it in YOUR system for a protracted period of time. Make sense? Maybe are are looking for proof, not evidence. I should also probably point out that even the manufacturer data or measurements can be quite misleading or at least unsatisfactory since a specification of flat + - 2dB from 30 Hz to 20k Hz is actually going to be quite a different story in almost every room, no?

Geoff Kait
Machina Darcula

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Part of the reason I avoid

I generally avoid conversations on cables. I have spent money for more expensive cables and returned them. I will not spend extra money for balanced cables, digital cables, power cables or speaker cables. I have tried higher end balanced cables, HDMI cables and a higher toslink cable and returned them because I can't hear or see a difference.

I have not tried higher end speaker cable but in runs under 25', i struggle to see the benefit. The reason I haven't tried it is that I can't return it.

I don't have higher end power cables but am certain that power conditioning, specifically having stable, steady power is a difference maker. Once I get a conditioner, (And I do need one I think)I will experiment with upscale power cables to see if I can hear a difference.

I have tried higher end unbalanced cables. I ran a test this evening to see if I could hear the difference between the cheap Monster THX cables I bought from accessories4less on clearance for like $8 a piece and the Audioquest Golden Gates I have lying around which were $70 for like an18" cable. I couldn't tell the difference. I then had my wife swap in a 21yr old cable that was a good cable by 1994 standards and I still couldn't hear a difference. Now, when I first bought an Audioquest cable and dropped it into my system, I thought it sounded better. After a blind test with someone else swapping cables in and out told me my belief that my sound improved was unjustified because I couldn't tell a difference in 5 test tracks.

Speakers, amplifiers, DACs, preamps, phono stages, cartridges - when you listen to them in a blind A/B test, you can tell the difference and can decide which one you like better. I am certainly susceptible to marketing, no question and I have purchased things that make me cringe (Bose wave radio) which in the big scheme of things sounds very good, it just should have been about $100 cheaper.

Regarding tweaks, I feel that many of them are in the same space as cables. Here is the part that is unfair. I am rejecting cables based on a limited test in a fixed period of time using only three cables, none of which is absolute crap and no of which is elite. It could be that I picked my tracks poorly. It could be that Monster has an undeservedly bad reputation. Maybe my hearing stinks and my involvement in the hobby is self delusional.

What would be helpful is if a company that markets cables, a reputable publication or even a Ph.D. Psych or biology student ran some experiments to determine if humans can tell the difference in a statistically significant fashion.

I feel the same way about tweaks. I would love to see some real experimentation regarding cryogenic treatments of different items like CDs or even Tubes. How about real double blind A/B testing of discs treated with the Inteligent Chip or the Iteligent Card via the Inteligent Box. these are all fascinating things that could be tested. I just am not prepared to spend the money to test them myself.

The cynic in me says manufacturers don't want to prove their products don't work while publications don't want to say something doesn't work or there is no perceptible difference because it risks ad revenue. It doesn't make anyone involved a bad person, it means they have a business to run and are meeting consumer demand. But in the same token, as a tried and true and admittedly thrifty cynic, it is tough to decide what you are going to have faith in and not.

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Why audiophiles sometimes don't get good results

Yes, it's happened to us all. We try to compare two things usually an inexpensive thing vs an expensive thing and lo and behold, nothing happens. Same thing happens with tweaks. But I don't think ANYONE ever said cable comparisons always give results, or amp comparisons or tweaks. Things are just not that simple in this hobby. There are a great many reasons why people don't get results when they compare cables or compare amplifiers or power cords. Now I could mention listening skill but I don't even have to go there. But I will mention SYSTEM ISSUES which are quite common, you know, system out of phase, out of polarity, something not broken in properly, dirty connectors, things of that nature. Things that would make differences in sound, should they exist, more difficult to observe. It's surprising that ANYONE HEARS ANYTHING AT ALL when you start factoring in all things I've been preaching about, weather conditions, daytime vs nighttime listening, seismic vibrations, EMI/RFI, even the dreaded Morphic Fields.

There is also the issue of whether cables under test are new or broken in sufficiently. When one attends audio shows like CES assuming he can hear notices how horrible almost everything sounds, especially the first day of the show. Things sound better on subsequent days but never reach their full potential. There's just not enough TIME in a three day show! Hel-looo! If you ever come around during the nighttime at the shows you'll probably notice some exhibits playing music ALL NIGHT LONG in some desperate struggle to overcome the rather dumb decision to exhibit BRAND NEW EQUIPMENT and BRAND NEW CABLES instead of taking the precaution to break everything in beforehand. Make sense?

So, what's this all mean? Well, for one thing it means that one should not take negative results with anything, cables or power cords or tweaks, and try to form an argument that that results means that there is no audible difference in cables, or power cords, or amplifiers. You cannot generalize negative results. Not to mention that, frankly, the evidence base on reviews and testimony by audiophiles on audio forums like this one, is that there are generally noticeable differences between any two cables or power cords and audible difference in the sound using tweaks, ANY tweaks. Just because a couple a audiophiles say they DON'T hear differences isn't really all that significant when looking at all the evidence. In fact and I certainly don't mean this as anything personal negative results can simply be thrown out. They're OUTLIERS.

Greeting seasonings,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

bierfeldt
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regarding cables and tweaks

Ultimately, I agree with you that null results in certain circumstances is not confirmation that there is no effect and a body of evidence does suggest something is going on.

However, if it is not obvious and requires subtle listening to identify deviations in sound quality, those modifications are tinkering at the fringes of improvement and when one has limited resources, aren't going to deliver big ROIs.

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Tubes
David Harper wrote:

Im an empirical guy. I don't believe in audiophile snake oil.I believe in what makes sense to me logically. Im not saying Im right. Im just stating facts.
Having said that, Im faced with a mystery, and it is this;
On one particular day my stereo sounds awful. Opaque, closed down,no detail etc.
On a different day, the same system sounds amazing. Open, transparent,detailed,like a twenty thousand dollar reference system.
And I haven't changed anything! What's up with this? Is this difference in my brain? Is it the humidity in the room? Is it in my houses electrical wiring?
Has anyone else experienced this?

When I suddenly notice that my system seems to be less than its normal self, I check the number of hours on the preamp tubes (the preamp has a monitor readout that tells you how many hours the tubes have on them).

If the monitor is at or close to 1000 hours, I put in new tubes; fixes the problem every time. The tubes in my preamp typically have a drop in performance at 1000 hours or so. Once I had a tube go sour after only 500 or so hours, but that was a unique event.

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Tube Curious

Commsysman, what are the tubes that you replace at 1000 hrs? By "not its normal self" may I assume its LESS good than normal, or just different? I'm sure you know that, normally, small signal tubes should last longer, and I doubt you're buying cheap ones. Your amp may stress those tubes more than usual, but this isn't typical, so I'm curious. Thanks for any details.

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Thanks! for sharing- David.

Thanks! for sharing- David. MG will be a good source of info for you.

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I think a lot of it is our physiological condition at the time

Without discounting the plethora of variables that can impact the sound at any given time, I tend to believe that the most likely cause is how we are perceiving the music at any given time. Simple things like blood pressure or stress levels no doubt have an effect on how our brains process the delicate nature of emotional connections to music.

Having said that, the single most effective thing that I have done to virtually eliminate this sporadic change in perceived sound quality is leaving the system on and playing music, even at very low levels 24/7...at least when I'm using solid state stuff. This has led me to believe that there are valid conclusions to be drawn with regard to thermal normalcy and cable stabilization, along with extensive experiments in cabling my gear.

While most people are reluctant to leave their system on and playing 24/7, and with valve systems that is not at all suggested, leaving the solid state stuff on and playing hasn't seemed to shorten the lifespan of the gear to any noteworthy extent. I've got stuff approaching 20 years old that has spent the majority of that time on and playing.

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In a vacuum no one can hear you scream

Pentode wrote,

"Could it be that the extra distance electrons must flow in tubes, rather than transistors, allow more time for magic to affect them, and, therefore, the sound?"

Well, let's see...if electrons travel at the speed of light or close to it, the extra time you are referring to would be what, a millionth of a picosecond? Maybe it's because in a vacuum the electrons are not affected by vibration.

Geoff Kait
Machination Diabolique

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PT Barnum sez

"If folks would believe in more they would be much better off than if they believed in less."

"Without promotion something terrible happens. Nothing."

"As a general thing I have not duped the world. I have given them their money's worth two-fold."

"Every crowd has a silver lining."

Geoff Kait
Macho Diabolical

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Leaving equipment on

Catch22 wrote,

"While most people are reluctant to leave their system on and playing 24/7, and with valve systems that is not at all suggested, leaving the solid state stuff on and playing hasn't seemed to shorten the lifespan of the gear to any noteworthy extent. I've got stuff approaching 20 years old that has spent the majority of that time on and playing."

I suspect that is even more true today what with fancy capacitors like Duelund that apparently require 500 hrs of break in before they sound right or fancy cables like High Fidelity Cables and Power Cords that also require ridiculous amounts of time Playing Music through them before they sound their optimum. Assuming there is a class of audiophiles who CONTINUALLY upgrade cables and or electonics that's going to be a LOT of breaking in. Will it all ever get broken in? I doubt it. And when do they sit down and finally examine all their handiwork? What's wrong with this picture?

As far as psychology and all that stuff goes, I suspect it not so much the things you can control, like mood, but something deeper, and not really amenable to conscious control. The things that go BUMP in the night. The unmentionable. You know what I'm talking about.

Geoff Kait
Maraschino Diabolical

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