Your most recent system tweak, did it help or hurt the sound?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by draden1, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    I was curious as to what degrees other forum members tweak/obsess/nitpick over their system?

    This is not an all encompassing list but I consider a tweak (right or wrong) to be calibrating your TT, moving components or seating around, room treatments, power conditioning or outlets, vibration control, racks, etc.

    I don’t think a tweak is new speakers, amps, cartridge, source, or any other large box purchase. Those are larger than tweaks and there are other threads to share those purchases in.

    My most recent tweak was to try some IsoAcoustics Orea feet under my TT. I originally had the stock feet and then went to Vibrapods w/cones and was pleasantly surprised at the added clarity in voices and air around instruments. Of course I wanted more so I replaced the Vibrapods with a bamboo butcher block and Diversitech mp2-e anti vibration pads (the black and blue ones). This was a clear regression and the best way to describe it was that the music lost some of its boogie. The IsoAcoustic Orea feet brought back the boogie and surpassed my involvement I had with the Vibrapod/cones setup. Lyrics sound clearer than ever and there’s more air around everyone, it’s awesome!
     
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  2. MichaelArcane

    MichaelArcane Purveyor of Terrible Opinions

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    If you consider a tube roll a tweak by your standards, I'd say mine has helped, although it might not be end game...too early to tell.

    I had recently tried a quad of Tung-Sol 12AU7s in my preamp driver stage looking to 'upgrade' over the stock tubes. Bad idea. While the overall bass response tightened and they ielded a cleaner sound, the soundstage also collapsed as did my speakers transparency. It suddenly felt as tho I was very aware of the location of my speakers, and the magic had gone. After giving them a fair chance to break in and settle down to no avail, I swapped back to the stock tubes while I awaited delivery of a set of Tungsrams (Upscales last set, they gone now...sorry).

    Have had them only 3 days now, maybe just 20 or so hours total on them, but they have settled in pretty nicely. Bass isn't as tight, they're a little roly poly and round, but F me is there a ton of it. And the bass extends much deeper now. It's a different sound but I like it. But most importantly, the magic has returned and the soundstage and transparency returned. And with them, the fun. A nice final tweak to enjoy before Christmas brings some big changes to my system.
     
  3. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital

    Even though draden 1 disqualifies additional speakers as a tweak, I'm going to offer these "little" Super Tweeters by Aperion Audio as one of the best tweaks ever, and they were not expensive. They can be off or on and as you see, many different frequency adjustments and 0- -3db attenuation, just a great add on product, and takes 1 minute to add to each speaker, fantastic open and brilliant, defined high end.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  4. dennem

    dennem Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Upgraded power cable in my main system - great result

    Upgraded headphone cable on my Oppo PM-3 from a stock one to a custom-made and did not like the change at all, despite the new cable being quite expensive
     
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  5. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I'm fully in "tweak" mode, now.

    Latest:
    Took my Audio Sensibility base-level (can't remember the model, my apologies) tonearm cable and hacked off the DIN plug and replaced it with WBT RCA terminations, since my current table does not use a DIN-style output. Was using Mogami cabling before between the table and phono pre. Definite improvement here.

    Added a Furutech GTX-D NCF duplex to my room. At this point I have my line stage (McCormack RLD-1) and my amp (Bedini 200/200) plugged into it. At this point I feel confident saying in no way did it harm or detract from anything. Would be harder to quantify benefits at this stage as I just put it in yesterday, but I don't think I'm offbase saying it has contributed to better and more realistic soundstage presentation. That sounds very "audiophiley" but it's the best I can do to describe what I think I'm hearing. Do I think I could ABX it? No.

    What's interesting is the above two tweaks also necessitated a rearrangement of my gear and even bring back into the room a metal/glass audio rack. I was really not looking forward to bringing glass back into the room but I'm happy to say I haven't heard any sort of negative from doing so. But what it definitely did do is allow me to use much shorter cabling for a few sources into the preamp (see below) and, well, I really like the way the setup looks now.

    Next up is building a few "high end" DIY cables using VHAudio cables and signal wire, with KEL RCA connectors. I have come to really enjoy building cables.

    After that, VHAudio is also offering up the new SR Orange fuses for a "buy 2, get 1" sale. And at the price they command, that's quite a deal IMO. I plan to get three - one for my preamp and two for an amp I am having rebuilt. I've never messed around with fuses so I have no expectations there. But I do look forward to giving that a shot.

    I also plan to get 4 Orea isolation feet for my turntable and motor (3 for table, one for motor, just to keep everything at the right height.) Not sure when that might happen, though.
     
  6. konut

    konut Prodigious Member. Thank you.

    Location:
    Whatcom County, WA
    draden1 likes this.
  7. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    A Ferrite clip on the power cord of my Russ Andrews basic power strip, very cheap and it cleaned up some 'grain' in the sound, subtle but very worthwhile.
     
  8. caracallac

    caracallac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    500 sides after I had my cartridge re-tipped, with the burn in more or less complete I've recently been fine tuning the VTA and VTF and it certainly has made a difference.

    Initially tracking was most secure around 2.0 to 2.1 grams. Now the sweet spot is at 1.92 grams, with the VTA about 2/3 mm higher.
     
    draden1 likes this.
  9. Linger63

    Linger63 Forum Resident

    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    Tried a $250 DC Blocker :)...............It blocked a bit more than just DC though!!!!........:shake:
     
  10. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks to those replying so far, always fun to see what people do to their systems/spaces. I’ve never heard of a ferrite cage, will have to look that up.

    I am also curious about fuses in my phono preamp, amp, and dac. When I contacted the manufacturer of my phono pre they said none of the fuses are in the signal path so spend my money elsewhere. I still may try it in my amp and dac though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  11. Grower of Mushrooms

    Grower of Mushrooms Omnivorous mammalian bipedal entity.

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Don't know about hurting the sound, but it certainly hurt me.

    Bought a marble slab to sit under my CDP, and dropped it on my foot.
     
  12. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Probably not how it was intended to be used. ;)
     
  13. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    I added acoustic panels to ceiling.

    fabricated a ladder kinda thing, used a ceiling fan mount to attach to ceiling (the junction box was installed when I built the room to support a Hunter Original fan) and two panels suspended from ladder thing

    I previously had bass traps all 4 corners and absorption panels all 4 walls.

    but ceiling treatment took it up a few more notches.

    Treating your listening space should be your first priority.
     
  14. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    I recently purchased a pair of Kef R3 speakers which after listening to them on my 24 inch stands, felt a shorter stand would be better. I bought a pair of Sanus SF 22 speaker stands to lower the Kefs. I felt the height was better, but the stands weren't as stable as I'd hoped. My solution/tweak was to build a suitable plinth for the stands as a means to stabilize the stands.
    With the Sanus stands in stock form, the speakers rocked back and forth with just a nudge. With my plinths in place, the stands are rock solid, no movement. Do they sound any different? I don't know, but I like the stability. I'm still deciding whether I like the looks, but they certainly don't bother me.

    [​IMG]
    SF22

    [​IMG]
    with DIY plinth
     
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  15. Ontheone

    Ontheone Poorly Understood Member

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Added Synergistic Research HFTs to my main room with challenging acoustics (glass wall, high ceiling, brick fireplace). Took off the high frequency glare from the glass and greatly improved imaging top to bottom. 30-day return policy so I figured low risk.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    IsoPucks under my Sol. Liking what I'm hearing. Bought four - one for each leg, one for the motor, "leveled" with a bit of blue tac, but it thankfully didn't take much.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Nice, did you do a 5 pack or go for more? How do you stick them to the walls?
     
  18. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Glad you like these! I am a big fan of Isoacoustics right now, my first post shared my thoughts on the Orea feet on my TT. I just installed some more under my phono preamp and power amp. Amazing the difference they make!
     
    toddrhodes likes this.
  19. Ontheone

    Ontheone Poorly Understood Member

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    They've been running a buy 2 packs get 1 free special. So I got two 5-packs and added a free 5-pack of the HFT 2.0's (treating both speakers with two and adding the fifth transducer to the front wall). They come with an off-white soft putty to adhere to surfaces but I've been using Blu-Tack as I experiment with positioning throughout the room.
     
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  20. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Absolutely! I've got GAIA under my speakers, and Pucks under my digital rig, phono pre, and now the table. I have an Aperta (sp?) amp platform under my amp (not in view in the pic) and sub platforms for both my music sub and my theater LFE sub. In every case, I feel they've been worth the investment.

    I am not sure how much more I'd get from the Oreas, but I plan to eventually replace the roller bearing setup under my line stage with Oreas.
     
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  21. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    I would be curious to hear someone’s space with these, I don’t know anyone that has them.
     
  22. Ontheone

    Ontheone Poorly Understood Member

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I've read some folks suggesting the HFTs are an alternative to traditional absorption/diffusion acoustic treatments - I very much disagree. These cannot replace bass traps or create broad diffusion. What they seem to be able to do however is address undesirable reflections around tricky surfaces such as glass, certain furniture, and brick for example. I think they work best when used as a complement to traditional acoustic treatments.
     
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  23. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    @draden1 Smart move to contact your manufacturer, my limited experience with fuses is that it doesn't always work. In my case, a Hifi tuning supreme fuse made my phono pre sound hyper-detailed and bright, swapped the stock fuse in after a while.
     
  24. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Speaking of fuses, I am trying to jump on the Buy 2/Get 1 sale on the new SR Orange fuses at VHAudio but am having a little trouble figuring out what fuse values my upgraded amp will need.
     
  25. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    @toddrhodes The value should be written on the end cap of your existing fuse.
     

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