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

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

  1. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    The amp is away for upgrades. And I do have the manual for it, but considering the whole board and transformer are being replaced - I don't know that the standard values would apply :)
     
  2. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Oh in that case, best to ask your amp technician if the same values would apply.
     
  3. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I have, just with the holidays and such, it's been tough to contact them. I'm confident I'll get it sorted out. The third fuse will go in my RLD-1 preamp which I could pluck out of the rack and open up, but I'm being lazy there.
     
  4. WHitese

    WHitese Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    I added some tube clips to my Grundig NF-20...for peace of mind...especially if the cat walks by that area...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    timind and bluesaddict like this.
  5. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Thanks for sharing! Glad to see you weren’t stuck in the mindset to leave it since you had money invested already.
     
  6. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    Added a third lava lamp (my office system now has one). Definitely helped.
     
  7. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I'm in the process of setting up a stereo sub system in my main HT. L/R line level signals will be sent to physically-positioned dual L/R SVS 20-39PC+ subs, which will then continue to a NAD 2200 power amp, which will be feeding a pair of Koss CM/1020 speakers.

    When I first connected everything there was a very loud and obviously-annoying ground loop noise. I tried all sorts of cable swaps / position swaps etc. but it stayed the same.

    So I looked online for a ground loop eliminator and found an open box Rolls Hum Eliminator (HE18) for sale on Amazon.ca for $24CDN (regular $69CDN.)

    Two days later I was hooking it up and... absolutely no change in the noise level.

    After a fitful night of sleep a thought came to mind: what if I insert the HE18 in the signal path of one channel only? Tried it. Worked like a charm! Did not matter which; as long as only one channel passed through the HE18 the noise disappeared.

    Jeff

    ps. The setup is still not complete. I've since received and installed a 12.3 woofer to replace the 12.1 that was in the recently-acquired second SVS sub. It now matches the one I already had. Plus the "new" sub's amp was acting up when pressed with extremely low frequency signals at moderate and above levels, so out went its BASH amp and in went a brand new SLEDGE amp that SVS provided. I'm just waiting for an adapter plug (that connects the woofer and amp board) to arrive before I get everything up and running. I'm curious to know if perhaps the old misbehaving amp might have been a contributor to the initial ground loop problem, and whether the HE18 will still be needed with the new amp installed.
     
    timind likes this.
  8. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    By far the best tweak: using the grid system of speaker placement that Jim Smith outlines in his excellent book Get Better Sound. Many other tips in the book helped.

    Upgrading all my cables to an assortment of Morrow Audio also helped.

    Herbie's and IsoAcoustics isolators had a surprising benefit as well.
     
  9. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Do tell, what’s the “grid system of speaker placement?”
     
  10. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Can I ask which Herbies and Isoacoustics product worked and where did you place it? I’ve been delaying getting isolation tweaks due to underwhelming results with vibrapods and sorbothane pucks in the past. The isoacoustics isopucks have been on my radar for quite some time now.
     
  11. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Welcome, it cost 30 dollars so it doesn’t feel so bad. I occasionally put it back in when I’m in the mood but came to the realization that some components should be bone stock to perform optimally. I do wonder if I had put an SR blue fuse instead would the end result be different, it remains to be seen...
     
  12. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    One thing I've learned over the years is that there is not one best spot for your speakers and being able to adjust them based on the music you're playing can produce huge results. I'm constantly adjusting my Celestions in my main system depending on the album I'm playing. Is that a tweak?
     
  13. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I have the GAIA III under my KEF Q5 and the pucks under my LS50. They do the job and are not butt ugly like many other audiophile tweaks I've seen.
     
    toddrhodes likes this.
  14. BruceS

    BruceS El Sirviente del Gato

    Location:
    Reading, MA US
    A comment I just could not resist. My tiny (corner of a smallish room with dubious acoustics) home office just got a Kanto SUB6 added to its Kanto SYD. Not only is my nearfield experience much better—the speaks are a meter or so from ear when I'm sitting in front of this computer—but the sound can now be heard elsewhere in the house pretty well, thanks to open door and empty, window-ish opening in wall. Feels like a big tweak to me!
     
  15. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Just a few minutes ago I put a pair of RCA 12AU7 Cleartops in my PrimaLuna ProLogue Four. Will have to do a little update in a few days.
    Also picked up a pair of 12ax7s Telefunken ribbed long plates. They will be next to roll in.
    :agree: :cool:
     
  16. bullmkt3

    bullmkt3 Forum Resident

    I have a Mcintosh MX-110z that I have tube rolled on several occasions. Some times I have noticed small differences. Recently I won an online estate sale auction with another Mac MX-110z. Before packing it to send to Cornell Smith in Phoenix, I removed the 60 year old original Telefunken’s and put them in my other MX-110. Wow! Incredible improvement. I don’t know if the NOS Mullard’s, Telefunken’s and other tubes I have rolled before were weak but these made the little preamp sing. I always thought I was unable to distinguish between tweaks but this opened my eyes.
     
    bluesaddict likes this.
  17. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    I added a JDS Labs Subjective3 EQ/tone controls this year and I am pleased as punch. Especially with LP's, I find that each album benefits from a little different EQ based on the recording.
     
    timind likes this.
  18. draden1

    draden1 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    You bet!
     
  19. BruceS

    BruceS El Sirviente del Gato

    Location:
    Reading, MA US
    Not sure if that's a tweak or a hack, but I respect your attention to detail.:)
     
  20. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I'd bet that if more people who had decent speakers spent more time placing them and adjusting as necessary for the specific music being played, there would be many more of them satisfied with their current speakers and not always looking for something else. I've had these Celestions (DL-8 II's) for at least 25 years now. Sure, I'd like some Harbeths just because (I do love their wood veneer finishes) but I doubt they would sound scads better than the Celestions.
     
    timind and bluesaddict like this.
  21. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 SpiderMonkey

    I started listening to music in my office room. Secondary system to be sure. Definitely an improvement since I am not concerned about tweaks and sound quality. Although now I do want to upgrade a bit. Is that a contradiction?
     
    timind likes this.
  22. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    IsoAcoustics Gaia speaker feet and Orea Bronze pucks under the turntable. Herbie's Tenderfeet under the DAC and music server, Baby Booties of various sizes under the phono stage and external power supplies and conditioner, Iso-Cups and frosted acrylic balls under the integrated amplifier.

    The biggest changed came with the speakers, then the turntable. With each additional component isolated, the sound grew a bit sharper, a bit more defined. It was subtle, but definitely there. It was like a sheer veil had been lifted.

    IsoAcoustics isolators are pricey, but they made an obvious improvement. The Herbie's products are far more reasonably priced and definitely worth the investment.

    Search the forums for the word Gaia. There is a long thread of people discussing their experiences with IsoAcoustics Gaia speaker feet.
     
    chipcalzada likes this.
  23. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Jim Smith's method of placing speakers... Lay down a tape grid (I used Christmas wrapping paper, which has a grid printed on the back) and using precise measurements to dial in speaker position, toe-in, etc. to ensure everything is symmetrical and equidistant from your ears, and that your moving / adjusting each speaker by the same amount.

    It's a bit OCD, but then so am I.
     
    drew phillips, Tim 2 and draden1 like this.
  24. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Doesn't sound any less OCD than the Sumiko setup method. I did it, and I'm glad I did. But - I never want to go through that again, lol. Two weekends of my life, gone. Worth it though. And coming out of it, you will absolutely hate The Ballad of the Runaway Horse, as that's the track you'll hear a thousand times during the process :D

    Edit - and oddly enough, as OCD as the process can be, it's not at all about symmetry, in fact it's kinda the exact opposite.
     
  25. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Replaced the mungy old feet on my Technics SL-1300 with a set of secondhand Stillpoints Universal Dampers, the old black cone-shaped ones. Big improvement, needless to say. Then got a good deal on a secondhand Stillpoints Component Stand, made another jump, though smaller. Overall, an expensive but future-proof isolation solution for this turntable and the next one.
     
    timind, chipcalzada and draden1 like this.

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