Which TWEAK is most EFFECTIVE?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey Chin, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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    this is my opinion (rated by best (1) --> worst (5) tweak)

    please keep posts within the realm of these tweaks

    1. biwiring main spkrs

    2. copper --> silver ICs

    3. P&S silver plated AC outlet

    4. 3rd party AC power cord

    5. line conditioner

    Also, don't forget a nice pair of headphones

    I use Grado SR-60 which can be had for $69 (stereophile recommended)
     
  2. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Jeffrey,
    Based on your list, I would go for #5 a line conditioner. I have noticed tremendous sonic improvements with this.
    As far as interconnect goes, it depends highly on the quality of your current brand. For instance, going from Kimber copper to Kimber silver may be subtle on some systems, but Monster copper to Kimber silver would be a much larger sonic change.
    Biwiring cab improve the bass but it depends on speaker and amp.
    [​IMG] Hope that helps,
    Lee
     
  3. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    #6 Room treatments
    #7 Speaker position
    7 being most important followed by number 6. [​IMG]
    -edit- oh! you're not asking for a poll your telling us what helped you most. silly me. still speaker placement and room treatments really did it for me.
     
  4. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    I agree with John, in my view:

    1. Speakers Position, being the sub the most tricky to set up.

    2. Room treatments.

    In order to do both points right you need test tones, sweeps, pink noise, and SPL meter, a calibrated mic and a notebook with RTA software.

    This REALLY improves the sound, anything else is, IMO, much more subtle, if it is there a change at all.
     
  5. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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    i'm talking about within the realm of those options i mentioned.

    with the other stuff...it's a given
     
  6. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    then I can't comment. I would like to bi-wire or bi-amp someday and test some more interconnects.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeffrey, I am interested in where people will rank these tweaks as well, as I am considering a couple of them. I have been told in the past that one should install a power conditioner in a system before messing with power cords. I can't say that changing power cords without using a power conditioner would have no effect, but again, I have been told to go with a power conditioner first. It would be interesting to try the power cord and power conditioner independently first and then try them together.

    I suppose the same argument for buying the power conditioner before a power cord can be made for upgrading the outlet. That is, one might consider upgrading the outlet before the power cord. I am considering the purchase of a power conditioner for my main system and a power cord for an SACD player in that system, but not a new outlet.

    As for silver versus copper interconnects, there is no hard and fast rule. It is system- and cable-dependent. Some copper cables will outperform some silver cables in a given system and vice versa. One just has to try them out and see what works best for his or her particular system.

    Regarding biwiring, opinions here are mixed as well. Some people swear by it, while others say it is phooey. People make arguments one way or the other based on personal experience and/or technical grounds. Once again, I think this is something you need to try in your system. Based on what I have read, it is better to biwire with two separate cables than with one pre-made biwire cable. For one thing, it is said that interference between the high-pass and low-pass portions of a pre-made biwire cable can occur, leading to signal degradation. Furthermore, in looking at pre-made biwire cables, one's choices are more limited than in going with separate cables for the high-pass and low-pass sections. Going with separate cables also allows one to choose different cables (different manufacturers or different cables within a single manufacturer) for the high pass and low pass. To use two separate cables, buy one with banana plug terminations and the other with spade terminations. This will enable you to connect both cables to one binding post.

    While biwiring is a controversial subject, most anyone will tell you that biamping is a more meaningful tweak. I would actually refer to it as an upgrade, not a tweak. Tweak is too subtle a term to apply to biamping. Biamping costs more than biwiring, but the benefits are more clear cut. I biamped my main stereo system recently and am thrilled with the results. I briefly tried biwiring with a couple pre-made biwire cables and was not moved by the outcome.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well seeing as how John's excellent comments aren't part of the list and that I don't consider headphones a tweak (although they can be effective in not listening to my son's attempts at mastering the electric guitar), I'd have to take #5 as being a fun thing to have especially if I can plug in my coffee maker too. No comments on the others.
     
  9. DavidSegelstein

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    Plug your coffee maker into the power conditioner? I predict improved liquidity. [​IMG]
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you're not suggesting it lowers surface tension are you?
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    David, no. Everyone knows that coffee produced in a coffee maker that is plugged into a power conditioner tastes smoother than coffee produced in a coffer maker plugged directly into the wall. The power conditioner removes the bitterness. [​IMG]
     
  12. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I'd have to say the line conditioner was the BEST tweak I bought. Did it improve sonic or visual performance? I didn't notice. But it did protect my equipment from under/over voltages.
    Everytime your equipment has to draw more power, you are prematurely wearing out your equipment. When I was in San Francisco, the light on my box fairly often went from "green" (safe) to "yellow" (under-voltage). Only a couple times did it venture in the "red" (very low voltage) at which point it was time to shut off my equipment.
    So, was the power that bad in the Bay Area? Yes. And I had both an electrician AND PG&E come out and make sure both my house, lines, etc. were hooked up properly and drawing a proper amount of power.
    So to me, it was a sound investment. If where you live you don't experience voltage changes, it probably wouldn't be as big a deal. But if you're going to blow $thousands of dollars on equipment, kick in a little extra for protection.
     

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