Any new tweaks out there?


I know we've had threads dealing with this topic but newer members may have experiences not presented thus far. For instance, I'm sure many of us have noticed the the skimpy 12-14awg leads on the power supply of our amps. Has anyone tried replacing them with say, 8awg just to see what happens? Or changing out main caps? Or changing to pure silver signal wire? Or using the solder provision instead of the hold-down nuts on binding posts on the amp-side? Or going from E-I to toroid, etc.....? It would be great to hear about something new.
csontos
I stay out of the upgrade electronics internals..
But tweaks on the cheap yeah.
Crystals, antistatic foam, power conditioners, powercords..
footers.. pigtails
Main thing is many of the expensive aftermaarket $$$ tweaks are based on dirt cheap ordinary item tweaks (which IMO work just as well as the fancy versions)
Yep, I just found one for my speakers. I was looking to change the spiked w/disks footers. I figured out to thread, went to Lowes and Menards and got elevator bolts. At Menards, they had furniture floor protectors that were self-stick (to the bolts) with piece of (brown) plastic and an "O" ring on the bottom. I've used, and continue to use Herbie's isolation under many of my components. I used his Big Fat Dots under my previous speakers on my hardwood floors with success. This really cheap tweak works better than the dots under my Abbys. Clarity, depth and soundstage width abound.
Try hockey pucks under speakers and power amps. They are the real deal and only$1.00 each
Alan
I love hearing success stories. But have I no peers? I've only destroyed one amp and one pair of speakers and that was over thirty years ago. I still have them tucked away in a closet . Everything I've tried since then has been with success albeit to greater or lesser degrees. Are there no brave pioneers out there? You know, boldly going where...
New tweaks? How about something from Coconut Audio?
Jmcgrogan2 beat me to it. The tweaks and ads from Coconut Audio are the only ones coming to my mind.

I have enjoyed some the tweaks that Elizabeth has mentioned. I did a combination of them. It was speaker wire with ferrite cores and a 6 volt lantern battery with a 1000u cap across the top. Ugly but the results sounded pretty nice in one system I had them in.
Yeah right. Coconuts make me think of monkeys. By the looks of those photos, I think Darwin may have been right about the missing link. I remember that thread about Elizabeth's tweak. But I'm not really interested in relatively insignificant tweaks. If you want to meet someone who would do anything to improve his gear, you just did. So I'm past all the gimicky debatable stuff. I'm into the kinds of things I mentioned initially. Stuff a capable non-tech can accomplish with limited technical knowledge, or even higher level tasks with direction by someone in the know. This is not after all, rocket science. As an example, If you do endeavor to upgrade your amp's power supply wiring to at least 8awg consisting of around 500 strands of copper, your going to experience a very pleasant surprise. Why manufacturers insist on building a bottleneck into the amp, I don't know. If you do this, It will sound like it just became a much more expensive amp.
I have used a combination of a memory foam pillow with a board on top to allow for ventilation and leveling. It is an incredible good at dampening any vibration my preamp is ezposed to. It can be bought in sheet form from some fabric/sewing shops. BTW it is also called visco-elastic foam.
06-19-12: Mechans
I have used a combination of a memory foam pillow with a board on top to allow for ventilation and leveling.
That is clever, Mechans.
06-17-12: Csontos
For instance, I'm sure many of us have noticed the the skimpy 12-14awg leads on the power supply of our amps. Has anyone tried replacing them with say, 8awg just to see what happens? Or changing out main caps? Or changing to pure silver signal wire?
Yes to all of the above, more or less. I recently changed the wire connecting the IEC to the power supply in my preamp. I replaced the generic small gauge wire with silver plated wire from DH Labs. It was a nice little improvement, and easy enough if you can solder. My preamp also has upgraded caps and solid silver wire at key points.

I'm a compulsive tweaker. You can see a list of the tweaks I've tried here. I'm happy to discuss which were the most audible in my system, if you're interested.

Bryon
Nice thread, heh, here are some of the tweaks I use, in no particular order. Herbies Halo tube dampers, Shakti Stone, Skyline diffuser, Shun Mook Original Cable Jacket, Shun Mook Mpingo discs, pens of various colors for colorizing CDs, Xtreme AV Quicksilver Gold Contact Enhancer, various CD treatments such as Jena Labs and Nanotec 8500, Ionoclast destat device from Mapleshade, Walker Audio Talisman demag device, suspending all cables and cords via fishing line (low WAF alert), one- and two-stage vibration isolation, bluestone slabs from Home Despot, Dots, Golden Sound NASA grade ceramic Super cones, cones under heavy funriture, cream electret and Pen X Coordinate Pen from PWB, Monster Cable CD Rings (CD stabilizer), obtaining absolute level of the CD transport, speaker set-up track on XLO Test CD. Some things I avoid: Lead, Sonex, Brass, Sorbothene

Geoff Kait at Machina Dynamica
Bryon, there's a thread revival going on about IEC's right now. My response to this, and I did watch the video, is why not just eliminate the IEC and go directly to the board and thus eliminate all the other issues associated with this imo, stupid idea in the first place? The video itself shows this. Eliminating ground could be beneficial depending on the circumstances so Marantz could have better served their clientele by providing an IEC for this purpose and instead hardwired the power cord. Convenience is usually not progressive and benefits only the manufacturer. When common sense prevails, you usually get improvement. So I would love to hear about some effective internal shielding. This is something I have not tried but have seriously considered.
My goodness Geoff. What does your gear retail for in comparison to the articles you just noted?
06-19-12: Csontos
...why not just eliminate the IEC and go directly to the board and thus eliminate all the other issues associated with this imo, stupid idea in the first place? The video itself shows this.
Sounds interesting. Can you post a link to the video?
So I would love to hear about some effective internal shielding. This is something I have not tried but have seriously considered.
I've experimented a lot with internal shielding in my preamp. My first experiment was with ERS cloth. I liked it at first, but after much more experimentation, I decided it was harming things more than it was helping.

The shielding I ultimately went with was a homemade sandwich comprised of 16 gauge copper, 16 gauge steel, and TI shield. I had about 20 pieces of copper and steel cut to custom sizes by a an online retailer. Then I screwed them together with the TI shield and installed them in strategic locations in the preamp (e.g. all around the power supply). I made sure each of the shields was grounded effectively to the chassis. By the time I was done, I had added over 10 pounds of weight to the preamp.

I installed the various shields incrementally, so I got to hear the effects of the shielding at least 3 or 4 times. Each time, it was the same thing: a little lower noise floor, a little better resolution, slightly better harmonic accuracy. After all the shielding was in, the preamp sounded significantly better.

It was a remarkably effective tweak. It was also fun. And cheap.

Bryon
Has anyone else tried the Combak Harmonix MIC ENACOMs? I just got a pair from Japan and find them quite outstanding. They are not new but are very hard to find.
Try the walker audio eliminator A