What's new

Best tweak/acessory you have ever purchased or DIY? (1 Viewer)

Scott Oliver

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
1,159
I don't want to hear about power conditioners, remotes, cables or that type stuff. I am interested in hearing about isolation devices, Cd treatment stuff, cones, EMI/RFI frequency absorbers, etc.

Back in Oct 99 Home Theater magazine did a shoot-off about these type of Voodoo products. Some they found effective, some junk. Personally, I have had the same type of experience. But I would like to hear opinions of those who have tried various stuff to expand my future listening adventures. So what have you all tried or bought that made a difference?
 

Manuel Delaflor

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 25, 2001
Messages
657
In my opinion, the greatest improvement come from a well designed methodology to locate the speakers, this is specially true for the lower frequencies.

Most people still don't realice that around 50% of the quality of the sound that a set of speakers is able to reach depends on their surroundings, on the room. Not in the speakers themselfs.

Other than that. I believe that the best possible tweak is to manipulate the signals, with the knowledge we have in Psychoacoustics, before they reach the amplifier. This is done by a dedicated DSP processor. For example, a Behringer DualFex Pro, or even the little Wow Thing from SRS Labs.

So far this technology will work only with certain recordings, improving the soundstage and the "acoustical realism" to new levels.

I don't believe in trying to hear, at all costs, what the engineer wanted (guys that use this argument are, in reality, supporting an authority argument). No matter what some guys believe, some recordings are just awful! (and Im being very polite).

I want as much control as I can regarding the sound I will hear.
 

Brian OK

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
550
Acoustical treatments for the listening room --- bass traps, first reflection wall panels, corner tunes/traps, diffusors, room lenses, ...etc .... IMHO (and personal experience) are the MOST effective and dramatic improvement you can invest in (either DIY or through retail offerings)to improve your playback.

It's the room mostly, and how you can improve on it's sonic properties. Many chase after this amp, those speakers, this tweak, the continuous upgrade treadmill. It can never end, even though upgrades are good ;^) if the objective is a true sonic bump.

But, IMO, treating the room is the shortest path to good sound.

my .02

BOK
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
I'd have to go along with BrianOK's position. To that I also suggest the importance of methodical record keeping after one performs various modifications and enhancements to their listening environment. Record what you do and what if anything you measure after each adjustment. To my mind, the benefits for those who use software to analyze and record the result of their modifications come to better understand their listening experience. While not so much a tweak per se, I think its important that individuals strive to understand just what it is that they enjoy along the ways of an overall frequency response and not get hung up in religiously insisting that all controls must be set at their default (neutral) positions. For those who enjoy the low end, well just kick it up a notch.

Also I advocate the practice for those that can do so to indeed audition speakers in their homes. How many threads have appeared in this and other forums where someone has purchased say a Paradigm or Norh only to find themselves in a position where they can't return the speakers and they're just unhappy. They wind up now searching for wires or an amp (some would consider those tweaks, but often its a holy grail crusade that still at the end leaves them feeling empty) that they think will improve upon what is in fact a poor purchasing decision.

Pay attention to your contacts. Make sure they're clean and for those who have rotary knobs, rotate them periodically. Kind of like running your car's a/c in the winter to circulate the lubricant.

Save your receipts. Bought something with a lifetime warranty and it fails. Don't get pissed off at the manufacturer because they now won't replace it on account of you threw your receipt away.

Finally, as another nomination for a tweak, I suggest that those who have homeowners/renters insurance to understand just what is covered in the way of you HT systems. Talk to someone and ask them to explain by drawing upon analogies. Often one finds that they 'think' they're covered fully but that in reality, that $1,700 amp, if hit by lightning, will be replaced by a cash payment of $300. Ouch! Understand how it is that you want to be covered in these situations and if your present company can't provide the coverage you want, find someone who will. This is a tweak that provides a long lasting sense of security and that's bound to increase your long term listening enjoyment.
 

Lee Scoggins

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2001
Messages
6,395
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
Real Name
Lee
They wind up now searching for wires or an amp (some would consider those tweaks, but often its a holy grail crusade that still at the end leaves them feeling empty)
I totally disagree. I purchased Cardas Golden Reference high end cables for my system and I feel great.

The sound is as natural, rich and full sounding as I expect of a great sound system. And it goes waaay beyond anything that can happen from just dropping in heavy gauge cable.

I think saying that cables leave people feeling "empty" may be the result of never hearing the sonic improvements cables can make to a good stereo.

Lee
 

Brian Bunge

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2000
Messages
3,716
Best tweak? A DIY sub! Beats the pants off the commercially available stuff out there! :)
Brian
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
Lee: so you're saying that its irrelevant or perhaps unneccessary to audition speakers in one's own environment and that the potential for disatisfaction, seeing as how they now can't be brought back, can be corrected for by wires? What gauge is that Golden Reference? I'm sure we can find some ubiquitous copper to compare it against. Of course it won't have numerology going for it but it'll probably have some ASTM guidelines that it adheres to. As for your last statement, yes you're quite correct, that's been my experience...can't tell the good stuff apart from regular old copper of the same length and gauge under blind or dbt with matched levels. But I tell you, I'd get more mileage out of being able to do it and then to boot have it replicated by others.
 

Doug_H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
586
My best and probably least expensive addition was bass shakers. They add to both music and theater and are very easy to set up.

Second would have to be my Pronto remote.
 

Scott Oliver

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
1,159
I haven't tried the Pro Gold stuff, but I mentioned it to my dealer and he said "Oh you don't need to buy a whole bottle just use some of mine" I like him, good dealer. But this stuff would make sense to me considering all the times my grubby hands have been on the connectors, plus dust and any chemical residue from the productio factory.
Since not too many tweaks have been thrown out of the type I am more intersted in hearing about, I'll throw in some of my own.
Walker Audio Valid Points
I bought these they were expensive and way overpriced, but I do think they helped my system alot. I have tried them on three components, amp, transport, and DAC. For me they had the greatest impact under my DAC. It really tightened up the sound, gave better soundstaging and air, more detail but not at all making the system fatiguing. The reason I like these compared to some other isolation devices is that the come with weights to put on top of the component as well as the suff underneath. The added weight on top can really help some lighter components, whereas my Meridian Transport which is really solid and dense did not benefit to the same degree as my DAC.
Any other isolation devices that you have found to be effective. Symposium Rollerblocks, MIB Aurios, Bright Star racing Cones, etc.
I have tried some other stuff, but I will probably stir enough controversy with the above.:thumbsdown:
 

Ron Reda

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
2,276
Save your receipts. Bought something with a lifetime warranty and it fails. Don't get pissed off at the manufacturer because they now won't replace it on account of you threw your receipt away.
Finally, as another nomination for a tweak, I suggest that those who have homeowners/renters insurance to understand just what is covered in the way of you HT systems.
Chu,
I totally agree with you 100%, however these are more guidelines than tweaks! :)
Scott,
I'd have to say that my best tweak would have to be the PS Audio Power Port (AC duplex/receptacle) that I just installed. First, let me qualify "best". To me, "best" would mean a tweak that applies to one or all of the following categories: inexpensive, best bang for the buck, most noticable improvement (audibly/visibly)
Since installing the PS Audio Power Port two nights ago, my audio equipment plays cleaner/clearer by (I assume) lowering the noise floor of my system. It has also slightly improved the performance of my video equipment...all for $40. So, it gets my vote! :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Ted Lee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
8,390
for me, two tweaks stand out.

1. upgrading my cables from the skinny supplied stuff (i know...i know) to some decent rat-shack/AR cabling. higher cabling than that yielded no noticeable differences for me

2. speaker stands. they got my speakers off the floor which really seemed to improve the sound
 

Lee Scoggins

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2001
Messages
6,395
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
Real Name
Lee
Lee: so you're saying that its irrelevant or perhaps unneccessary to audition speakers in one's own environment and that the potential for disatisfaction
Chu,

When did I say this? As an audiophile, I STRONGLY believe one should audition speakers in their own room. Many independent dealers will let you do this. Mine does here in Atlanta. Room acoustics make a huge difference. If Mike Knapp were here he would probably say they are one of the most effective tweaks.

So I think we agree on this.

As far as cables, we agree to disagree. As for Cardas, since the cables are arranged in a Golden Ratio, gauge is largely impossible to assign due to a large number of strands.

Lee
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
Lee: Well that's because you quoted me out of context and as far as the Cardas' cables or any other for that matter, all one need do is determine the overall surface area of each conductor by summing and then it can be cross-referenced. Just curious, does sex count as a tweak? Things seem to sound better afterwards. I'd do a DBT, but its just not my style :)
 

Dave E H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
829
If we're talking video, I'd say a biad light behind my TV - i think that really does make it less stressful on the eyes.
 

Stacey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Messages
174
Custom building speaker stands for my Paradigm 5se Speakers. The speakers are towers and do have the metal "feet" but digging through some audifile mags alerted me to a "reccomended" height the speakers would sound best at and constructed the stands myself to place the speakers at the "best" height. Total cost: $15 , Sound Improvement: Priceless ;)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
348,460
Messages
4,846,385
Members
142,322
Latest member
DK Baker
Recent bookmarks
0
Top