|The challenge always is to pay attention to what you hear and to trust your ears. Over the years, our listening room has seen the passage of a range of tweaks, and some have stayed because we're convinced they make a positive difference in our system and our room.|
The most recent visitor that seems quite likely to stay are the Shakti Hallographs. And I never would have expected this. Two local audio friends had already listened to these sample units in their listening rooms and didn't hear any change whatsoever. But in our room, on complex large scale orchestral music, we heard an immediate and very positive improvement in the soundstage, in image specificity, and in the clarity of the upper mid-range and treble. The soundstage, already good, simply opened up and increased in apparent size, room boundaries became much less noticeable, and a troubling subtle refraction from the exposed brick fireplace and equipment rack behind the speakers disappeared (hurray!). How can something that reminds me so much of cookies dipped in chocolate make this sort of difference? Trust your ears.
(The Shakti Stones, on the other hand, made a quick departure from our system - killed the sound.)
Walker Audio's Reference High Definition Links (HDLs) were an earlier visitor to our room that were not permitted to leave. These delivered a surprising improvement in clarity to a set of speakers we thought sounded pretty doggone clean and resolving (Avalon Eidolons). Another one of those 3% improvements that cumulatively start making major differences overall. Fortunately, we never have to explain these because they fit inconspicuously at the speaker terminals mounted underneath the Eidolons.
Walker Audio's Talisman has become a regular part of my vinyl regimen. It sits to the left of the turntable and draws no attention until the LP playing ritual starts. Seeing me wave this thing over the surface of an LP creates immediate consternation in visitors, if not outright laughter. Yes, it works, we hear the difference, and we now use it with every LP side we play.
Nipper strategically positioned behind and to the left of the OTL amps... No, doesn't make a sonic difference. Just a fond memory of the friend who gave him to us. And after all, it is the friends we make through this hobby of ours who make all the difference.
So what in your room results in incredulity in your visitors?