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Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:

107.77.89.87

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 16:14:56
Me first:
Back years and years ago, a fella quoted in Stereophile, lived in ? Belgium.. Wrote about adding antistatic foam to digital devices to improve the sound.
The idea was to stop all the nasty IRF generated INSIDE the box by sucking it up with the conductive foam.

I did this tweak to my DAC.. Years ago. and still use that DAC.
Naturally the conductive foam has to be insulated from the circuit board etc inside the case. I used baggies, and ran a wire to each from the foam to the chassis body. I tried buying a many times more expensive DAC. But my old stuffed DAC was just as good. So I returned the new $$$ DAC.
Even with piles of $5,000 stuff in my system. I use and am happy with my old DAC. Also, the whole thing has never overheated.. Not even warmer than before.

========================================================================

The second tweak also came from the pages of Stereophile. A guy was experimenting with alternate Hz on the AC line. Apparently the 60Hz is just what happens to be used. And no reason to avoid using alternate Hz (except for turntable motors).
In fact higher Hz for the AC power is actually BETTER in many ways. (More max V) less ripple.. etc.
So I thought WTF ("where" the F*) can I FIND a device to make this?
The solution was an old PS Audio P600, but ONLY one with the optional Hz adjustment circuit board added!
Well I found and bought one used off Audiogon. (It had to be karma, since the seller was within 90 miles so I could pick it up meeting halfway.)

So I use the PS Audio regenerator at 110Hz instead of 60Hz just for my digital components. (Since a regenerator uses a lot of power, I only want to use it on as few as possible.. Thus the digital only allow the PS Audio to idle away with an easy life.. And since it is irreplaceable..)

I do not know why no one offers such a device at all anymore? Is it just a too obscure tweak???

The one downside I found was one component (Behringer DEQ2496) which did not get better. I think because it has a digital (class d like) power supply. And the higher frequency AC just does not play well. Not breaking it. just not being better, in fact slightly worse sounding.

========================================================================

Those are my two totally obscure tweaks..

You got any everyone seems to have forgotten?

 

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RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 6, 2016 at 18:28:20
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 600
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Marigo 6mm black tuning dots on the outside of fuse holders, one per holder, centered.

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 6, 2016 at 18:35:36
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 3047
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
Scotch tape covering gaps usually around the drivers on the front of a speaker. It smooths the sound a bit but it can be heard. Needless to say the worse the gaps the more the affect. I found this in an old issue of Hi Fi World decades ago.

 

I remove all smelly socks from the listening room, posted on October 6, 2016 at 20:58:56
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 1199
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
Makes it much more enjoyable. Although my midrange cabs are stuffed with wool and cotton.

Peace,
Tom E
berate is 8 and benign is 9

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 7, 2016 at 06:04:53
Quint
Dealer

Posts: 3650
Joined: June 21, 2003
The Japanese Nespa Pro Optical Disc Finalizer, which sadly is no longer made, has worked well for me for years. I usually only use it on especially poor CDs, in order to conserve the bulb.

Despite mostly favorable reviews at the time, the Nespa eventually slipped into obscurity when the bulb, around which the whole unit was designed, became unavailable. Shame, because IMO it worked quite well on most recordings. On some it didn't do much, but those were exceptions to the rule.
This is a public service announcement . . . WITH GUITARS!!!

 

Marigo, posted on October 7, 2016 at 11:44:33
hawkmoon
Audiophile

Posts: 379
Location: cleveland
Joined: July 11, 2003
I'm going to try that-have you tried the dots on the fuses themselves? I use marigo dots on my drivers to very good effect.

Thanks

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 7, 2016 at 12:22:34
sk
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 522
Joined: April 22, 2000
We sold hundreds of Nespa Pro units some customers buying 3 units at once b/c of the bulb concern. It worked on CD's as well as DVD's and used in conjunction with the companies Intron cleaning solution was a win - win. I'm told that Japan is considering bringing them back.
Stay tuned! (But I'm not optimistic the price would remain realistic)

(Dealer disclaimer)

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 7, 2016 at 12:39:13
BillH
Audiophile

Posts: 689
Location: Baton Rouge
Joined: December 23, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
January 31, 2000
Wooden dowel buttons under speakers on stands. This comes from Pierre Sprey at Mapleshade, and is about the cheapest effective tweak I have ever done.

I also abstain from easting lettuce a few days before a listening session.

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 7, 2016 at 12:50:55
Quint
Dealer

Posts: 3650
Joined: June 21, 2003
I bought two, but recently sold my second unit to fund a crapload of music purchases. :) In fact, I probably bought them from you, since weren't you the exclusive distributor for Nanotec Systems back in the day?

BTW, the guy who bought my spare is over the moon about it.

I doubt I'd be able to rebuy one--especially if the price increases--so I'm hoping mine holds out a little while longer!
This is a public service announcement . . . WITH GUITARS!!!

 

Yes you did!, posted on October 7, 2016 at 14:15:23
sk
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 522
Joined: April 22, 2000
We have seen the bulb last from well over 5,000 treatments to double that!

 

RE: Marigo, posted on October 7, 2016 at 18:05:49
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 600
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Never tried the black dots directly on the fuses. With the metal foil layer in that dot flavor, I haven't been brave enough to risk one of them coming loose and lodging somewhere unhappy. Have a few of the 2mm white dots laying around (with no foil layer), so that might be worth a try at some point.

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 8, 2016 at 11:35:07
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16887
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
I use my P-300 on sources at 120hZ, big diff in image and detail. Favorite weird tweaks are Bud Purvine ground tweak and the copper foil tweak. Both are easily searchable here by their names.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Easting lettuce ISN'T the tweak..., posted on October 8, 2016 at 20:14:34
musetap
Audiophile

Posts: 19016
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004
Westing it is.

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 9, 2016 at 06:15:38
HiOnFi
Audiophile

Posts: 1169
Location: Florida
Joined: January 11, 2004



I have been hesitant to post the most mind-blowing tweak in my experience. Now, it could be so mind-blowing because I have paid close attention to many things that affect the sound- quality components, and isolation from vibrations. If you look closely at the picture, you can spot Machina Dynamica springs under everything, including the subs. So, with that...

I bought 2 Machina Dynamica Flying Saucers for my duplexes (one on the 20amp dedicated line that my PS Audio Power Plant and Ultimate Outlet are plugged into, and on my PS Audio Dectet on the TV system.

I probably need these in my bedroom, too, to neutralize whatever nastiness is coming into the room from the open duplex circuits...

Anyway, I was impressed, but the real magic happened after I bought a bunch of Flying Saucers for my windows. I have a lot of surface area in the room, which is also occupied by my separate TV system

What I experienced is immensely quieter room which allows the pluck of strings, tinkling of piano keys, cymbals.... think a blanket being removed, they have joined the fabric of the music.

IMHO, both of these could make a huge improvement in most systems at a ridiculously low cost

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 9, 2016 at 07:38:20
ahendler
Audiophile

Posts: 4776
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: January 24, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 14, 2010
M&M's on top of speakers
Alan

 

Minus..., posted on October 9, 2016 at 14:39:39
musetap
Audiophile

Posts: 19016
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004
the brown ones when listening to Van Halen

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

So THAT'S what's wrong then., posted on October 9, 2016 at 15:35:21
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 600
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Couldn't figure out why Black and Blue just wouldn't come alive. Since there weren't any black M&M's, I substituted brown. Duh.

Thanks Musetap! :)

 

Green M&Ms... Mmmmmm....., posted on October 9, 2016 at 16:58:15
.

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 10, 2016 at 11:32:26
Mike B.
Manufacturer

Posts: 24277
Location: Oregon
Joined: September 27, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 1, 1999
I like UncleStu's battery ground tweak that he shared here. RIP Stu.


 

I tried it a few years ago.. No change. Maybe I will try it again with my new IC? nt, posted on October 10, 2016 at 16:16:54
.

 

+1 n/t, posted on October 11, 2016 at 08:23:38
tweakmenow
Audiophile

Posts: 125
Location: East Coast USA
Joined: March 26, 2012
.

 

RE: I tried it a few years ago.. No change. Maybe I will try it again with my new IC? nt, posted on October 11, 2016 at 14:26:34
Mike B.
Manufacturer

Posts: 24277
Location: Oregon
Joined: September 27, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 1, 1999
I went the full monty after Stu continued to add to it. Lantern battery. High uF electrolytic across plus and minus posts, bypassed with a film cap. Connection is by 12 gauge solid core copper in a sealed piece of larger heat shrink filled with ferrofluid.


 

+1 n/t, posted on October 13, 2016 at 04:47:08
Baki
Audiophile

Posts: 80
Joined: January 11, 2003
.

 

Unplug all unused equipment, posted on October 17, 2016 at 12:14:58
Salectric
Audiophile

Posts: 1008
Location: East Coast
Joined: February 23, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
November 13, 2015
The simplest tweak I know of is simply to unplug all unused equipment. By this I mean unplug the power cords from the wall outlets (even if the component is turned off) and unplug all cables from unused sources to the preamp. In other words, when listening to LPs, you should unplug the CD player and FM tuner from the wall outlet and unplug their interconnect cables from the preamp. The same thing with any other equipment not actually in use.

I should also add that all 3-wire power cords plugged into the outlets in your listening room should also be unplugged, except obviously for the hifi components then in use. For example, my Loricraft record cleaner has a 3-wire power cord. There is a significant adverse effect on the sound quality if the cord is left plugged in, even though the Loricraft is totally off. For whatever reason, 2-wire power cords don't have nearly the effect.

I know it sounds ridiculous but try it before you write it off. It doesn't cost a thing.

 

RE: Unplug all unused equipment, posted on October 17, 2016 at 15:17:48
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 600
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Not ridiculous at all in my experience. I don't go to the lengths of unplugging components because I'm far too lazy, but I do make sure stuff that's not part of the system (but on the same electrical circuit) is unplugged or turned off. Found this out when I installed the Furutech outlet. Had the power shut off at the panel, and when I went to the garage to get a different screwdriver found the lights were out. Two compact fluorescent lights on the same circuit as the system. System sounds noticeably better when those lights are off. So check not only stuff that's plugged in, but turn off stuff you can't unplug like lights, and the ultimate horror -- dimmers.

Makes a pretty good case for a dedicated line...

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 17, 2016 at 22:08:38
Dryginger2
Audiophile

Posts: 232
Joined: October 2, 2014
Install sufficient audiophile duplexes as far apart as practical in the wall behind so that each component has one to itself on the analog or digital circuit in order to minimize corruption from ground noise feedback and magnetic interference from unnecessary crossing/ proximity of cables. (I made a couple of holes in that wall to access the second circuit in the room behind.)

 

Mostly for audiophiles listening to your system, posted on October 17, 2016 at 22:53:57
driver
Audiophile

Posts: 2068
Location: Henrico, VA
Joined: May 8, 2004



The audiophile price tag.

Those small square or rectangular white tags with string to tie on the power cord. Put whatever price is necessary to increase performance.

Works best with the small bottle as seen in the pic.

 

RE: Mostly for audiophiles listening to your system, posted on October 18, 2016 at 19:49:55
Dryginger2
Audiophile

Posts: 232
Joined: October 2, 2014
Driver,

To paraphrase Henry Ford, if you believe you can or you believe you can't hear a positive difference between standard and audiophile cables, you're right!

Dryginger

 

Wow I am way way too lazy for that tweak..., posted on October 19, 2016 at 11:24:47
I have two TTs with power supplies, a CD player, five CD changers...
Three preamps (with two in use at any one time) two DVD players,two DACs..
TV.. all plugged in. And even more...
No way am I gonna' unplug stuff. Just REACHING the plugs is a major headache on plenty of them.

I tried just turning stuff off.. But really found no difference.
(Turning off CD stuff when playing LP..)

Just call me an electronics junkie..

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on October 31, 2016 at 17:29:14
Tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 2318
Location: No. Cal
Joined: January 19, 2012
It's likely IMO that brass acorn nuts on all four corners of ones speakers would be better than M&M's. Carbon conductive grease on signal path connectors would be my entry to this subject. T456
"The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced."

- Q, 2365

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on November 1, 2016 at 00:36:03
hawaiiguy
Audiophile

Posts: 71
Location: island of Oahu, State of Hawaii/USA
Joined: July 17, 2001

Painter's tape on my glass sliding/picture windows (2 sliding/1 picture) about 1 1/2 inches long near the corner on the 3 windows...cured my music room where I could hear it shrill when playing music on some occasions.

Uncle Stu had this piece of painters tape on his front door

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on November 1, 2016 at 05:05:56
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1713
Location: Scotland
Joined: January 9, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
March 29, 2017
. . . adding antistatic foam to digital devices to improve the sound.

A friend who worked in RF engineering gave me the same tip a year or two back. I nodded wisely - and promptly forgot about it.

Your post nudged me to give it a try. In short, it is VERY effective and costs next to nothing. Many thanks to you and my original tipster both.

Dave

 

!!!, posted on November 4, 2016 at 12:01:56
Lew
Audiophile

Posts: 8825
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Joined: December 11, 2000
Just for openers, why would you need 3 preamplifiers and 5 CD "changers" plus a CDP? (What's a CD changer, by the way?) I am guessing that your audio and home theater systems are in the same room; that might explain why two DVD players, but not all the rest necessarily.

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on November 5, 2016 at 17:15:48
kingjim1954
Audiophile

Posts: 33
Location: usa
Joined: March 29, 2009
Simple Green and my pressure washer clean my ears out so I can hear the pure sound of silence,

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on November 29, 2016 at 13:42:50
Dryginger2
Audiophile

Posts: 232
Joined: October 2, 2014
Reckon uninstalling the unused internal speaker of the TV whose sound is reproduced through the audio system in the listening room qualifies as an obscure, yet effective, tweak since the cause of the surprising sound degradation hides in plain sight beyond our peripheral awareness.

Dry Ginger

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on January 15, 2017 at 06:57:28
gordguide
Audiophile

Posts: 110
Joined: January 20, 2002
The most obscure "tweak" I've encountered is a floor-mounted fan, the kind you can buy at Wall-Mart for $20. A base with typically 4 legs, a vertical pole with adjustable height, typically you can select stationary or blowing over maybe a 45 degree horizontal area ... well you probably have it figured out by now. Oh, three blades with a wire cage, maybe 18" in diameter.

Anyway, as it turned out, I had the fan out so it was handy when the person who previously stayed in my house came to pick it up, it was her fan. So it was between the front door of the house and my left hand loudspeaker in the living room, at roughly the same height as the speaker.

Both the fan and the speaker were pretty close to the back wall ... about two feet for the speaker, and a little closer for the fan. About 3 feet (1 meter) from the door, about 2 feet (

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on February 12, 2017 at 11:47:39
wkhanna
Audiophile

Posts: 248
Location: The Analog Land of Archaic Anachronisms
Joined: December 15, 2007
I always look forward to the xmass holidays.....

a live evergreen tree in the room always does wonders for my room acoustics while meeting WAF standards at the same time.
----------------------------

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
......just an 'ON' switch, Please!

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on March 11, 2017 at 04:54:53
Kingshead
Audiophile

Posts: 177
Location: Florida
Joined: September 14, 2016
Contributor
  Since:
September 19, 2016
Started a thread recently on improving the Kenwood KD500, here are some excerpts.




The rock is a great table, really stood the test of time. As good as the concrete resin (Corian) base is at dealing with vibration it can easily and cheaply be improved upon. Here is one of the modifications I've made to my KD500, the improvement isn't subtle.













10lbs of lead sinkers, differing in size, all sealed with plastidip. Not only does the increased mass help, but the vibration dampening properties of the lead itself are well known.

Martin

 

RE: Tell us the most obscure tweak you know of that works:, posted on March 16, 2017 at 17:32:10
raya
Industry Professional

Posts: 388
Joined: May 9, 2014
Going to the restroom before I sit down for a listen. Really, I'm not kidding. I'm getting to the age that this really is one of the best tweaks.

Next is listening at night with the light off and a scotch. Then using the restroom. This puts a new spin on, "what came first, the scotch or the bathroom".

Couldn't help my self.

 

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