What is the weirdest successful audio tweak that you have tried?

Reader Doug Cline says this question came to him after watching <I>Ripley's Believe it or Not</I>: Have you ever tried an odd or out-there audio tweak that actually worked? What was it?

What is the weirdest successful audio tweak that you have tried?
Here it is
59% (67 votes)
Don't have one
41% (47 votes)
Total votes: 114

Stephen's picture

Tweaks are in the mind of the listener. Simply put, they are bullshit.

Al Earz's picture

Well, it's not weird or out there, but I just did it yesterday. I had an electrician run a dedicated 20amp outlet for the audio gear. Previously, it shared a circuit with the video gear and other outlets. What a difference. I really wasn't going for a improvement in sound, just getting all the audio gear its own circuit. I cannot beleive how I must have been starving my amps! The definition and clearity on my first listen to old favorites, Roger Waters' Radio K.A.O.S. and David&David's Boomtown. Whoa, the improvement was astonishing and since it wasn't the goal, an extreme bonus! I am considering a separate circuit for each amp now. Best tweak I have done with the most noticable improvement. Highly recommended and available at about $125 from your local electrician.

AF King, Houston TX's picture

It was J10 or one of those other knuckle-head reviewers that recomended placing coins; a combination of quarters, nickles and dimes arranged in various patterens on top of your loudspeakers. Can't hardley believe that "tweak" floated around the pages of -Stereophile- for a couple of months claiming it actually worked. Well hell go ring the bell, I actually followed the instruction carefully and could't hear any damn difference after about an hour of listening to familiar music. Maybe I wasen't drunk enough.

C.  Vomisa's picture

One glass full of wine on top of each of my speakers. After about one hour of listening, I noticed a big difference in the sound. The soundstage was enormous and it sort of spun around. I also noticed that the glasses were empty.

tony esporma's picture

A picture of the Virgin Mary over the turntable...It works great with french, Spaniard, italian and Mariachi music. Not so good for music of heathens and it's a detriment for music written by Lutherans and Orthodox Zoroastrians

x's picture


John Crossett's picture

Oh, weird tweaks that REALLY worked. Hum, that narrows the field down considerably. I guess then it would have to be the putting marbles under the four corners of my Target rack's MDF shelves. Opened the sound up in a small, but significant way. And to show you how well they worked, they're still there.

Anonymous's picture

After market power cords. The first time I bought a replacement power cord for an amp I was using and it immediately sounded if I replaced the amp with a larger,power, and more detailed amplifier. This was so significant a change that it left me baffled and more convinced that we must be willing to listen and not out of hand say things cannot work.

Joe Hartmann's picture

My first high end turntable was the Kenwood KD500 with a Grace 714 tone arm. The arm is in the attic but the table has long since been replaced. After a few week of listening I would hear the telephone ring in the kitchen but I always missed the call. One day In some mag I read about damping the platter of this table with peanut butter. Well I had already replaced the the table pad so for a lark I tried peanut butter. The result was much more that I ever thought it could be; but the long term of peanut butter solution was not without its problems vistors of the flying kind. By the way I stopped missing telephone call.

Kevin Flippo's picture

De-magnatizing CDs with a tape demagnatizer before playing them. It makes the background quieter, bass a little more focused, and brings out more detail in female voices.

Bernard Le Forge's picture

Burn-in device for cables. I,ve got at a fly market in amsterdam, 6 or 7 years ago, and found it very interesting. bernard le forge blf@postmaster.co.uk

Steve's picture

Three oak toy wheels with three oak balls used to put my CD plyer in static equilibrum, all available from my local hobby shop for $3(CAN). Black diamond beats the oak but not by much, and the price difference - big.

Travis C.'s picture

Let's see, plastic bags full of play sand on top of my CD player and all around it on its shelf, using a bulk tape eraser to "demagnify" my CDs, trying home-made footers made with everything from raquet balls to granite floor tiles

mediaseth's picture

Cutting squash balls in half and sticking them under my CD player. They have since been replaced, but it was a great short-term solution.

Neon Karbender's picture

The question is loaded, since what the "weirdest" means depends on your outlook. Some people would say changing cable is weird, others might think waving a fish over your speakers before-hand is weird, whilst others might not. Remember Audiophilia is a Religion, a case of I'll see it when I believe it. As for me, it wasn't weird at all; I auditioned many cables at home, even borrowed a second amp to try bi-amping and the result I ended up with was that biwiring with great cables was better than biamping with good cables, for my particular amp, speakers and tastes, that is.

Mike J.'s picture

George Cardas has a formula for speaker placement that I believe is on his website (I learned about it from _Stereophile_). In my previous listening room, which was shoebox-shaped, I placed the speakers according to this advice, down the the quarter inch, and I was amazed at how much better focused the stereo sounded. I can't set up my speakers this way in my present room, or I certainly would.

Gary Chessler's picture

Do it yourself rollerblocks under cd player. This really works wonders.

Stefano Podesta's picture

McIntosh Jeff Rowland Accuphase(2) Class

Older Brother Gert's picture

Don't really have one but I did try this bizarro one I read in some stereo magazine about putting nickels and dimes on top of my speaker cabinets. I never completed the test of this tweak because the other half of my brain kicked in. Fool me once, etc.

Norman Bott's picture

I am too busy enjoying my upgraded cables made for me by an audiophile person I know locally. This did more than I thought possible. Good cables make all the difference in the world.

John Mallon - Ireland's picture

Try this: Cup your hands and place one over each ear directing the sound straight into your ear like a bat collecting sound waves. The sound takes on a whole new dimension. Big Sound Stage and increased Volume. One Snag though, everytime you reach for your beer, it's a disaster.

B-A Finlan's picture

I apologize to those who have heard this before . . . uhum. When I lived in an apartment in La Jolla, CA in the early 1990s I was obsessed with receiving a Los Angeles FM station on my Magnum Dynalab Etude FM tuner and Signal Sleuth booster. I drove my landlord nuts building various antennas on the (flat) roof of our building (at night). I finally settled on two horizontally stacked Winegard 6065 antennas attached to a 2x4 and mounted on a rotor. I bought a $50 zero phase combiner to combine the signals from the two antennas. The setup worked pretty well and on a good day, I even got a listenable signal from a 1 KW UC Santa Barbara college FM station. I got the best signal from a local station by pointing the antenna at a large building about a mile away and obtaining the reflected signal off of it. When I later moved into a house in San Marcos, CA I assembled four Channel Master antennas on top of a foothill near our house into a quad stack using three (less expensive) Winegard combiners. I pointed the stack at LA (no rotor on this one) and fed the output into a Winegard signal amplifier. I then ran 1300 feet (count em!) of Belden RG-6 Quad Shield cable down the side of the hill to my backyard and into the house. I borrowed my neighbor's tall boots to walk through the brush. (He later told me the area I walked through was infested with rattle snakes

Fred Huff's picture

I can't really argue one way or the other on the subject of tweaks. I just don't think they would offer much improvement to my entry-level system. Anyway, I would rather spend my money on quality recordings, both CD and vinyl.

Brian Burke's picture

Bubble wrapping the cables! I listen with the volume up around 6 or 7, so things get to vibrate in my music room; seems like the best tweaks in my system are those that cut down on that vibration. Cleaning things up with Caig Progold worked wonders too!

Al Marcy's picture

Belden MediaTwist CAT 6 as speaker wire.

Mark Gdovin's picture

Dime-store vending machine "super balls" as a most amazing de-coupler. Gotta get creative about attaching (like using silcone cement) but, for 25 cents apiece they rival the best of them for de-coupling in a very linear way.

Jack Carpenter's picture

Hockey pucks under the legs of the wooden rack that supports my electronic components...supposedly reduces vibration from speakers thru floor. Oh, & ZOG Sex Wax on the interconnects (essential for a really tight high end)

Noah Brooks's picture

RF Stoppers

Jeff Berry's picture

cinder blocks under the speaker stands

Yovchev L.N.'s picture

All equipment is hanging on precious stones a lot of them end big also.