Repositioning speakers and/or furniture.
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This one's ez and costs zip.
Sit in your usual listening position. Interlock your fingers and put them behind your head at ear level, so you're sitting there like some big shot executive. Elbows should be pointed at the outside edge of your speakers.
You can A/B this (hands up, then down).
Hear the difference?
A new chair in the listening position was a good one for me. It sets about 3 inches lower than my original chair. The sound stage depth increased and it's more comfortable.
Just what is your definition of "dramatic?"That is an excellent question 2chnlben. Whenever I read someone made a minor tweak such as cable swap, green ink, magic pebbles or whatever and noticed a "dramatic" change I'm skeptical. Although I have heard both sonic improvements and degradations with various tweaks, they have never been dramatic or changed the overall flavor of my system.
I would change the question to:
The best free, or nearly free tweaks.
(nearly free is a few bucks... never more then a Ten$)
#1) Shining all silver spinning discs. (CD and DVD): I now use Meguiars "ScratchX" to clean, smooth and polish all my discs.(under $10 a tube, lasts nealy forever) (I use Viva paper towels, and they 'usually' work well, once in awhile the paper towel will scratch a bit, then I send that roll to the kitchen... and get another one...)
#2) computer chip antistatic foam (from like Radio Shack) around the IC's in a DAC. (this tweek was reported YEARS and YEARS ago in Stereophile from the ?Danish correspondent.. I like it.) again under $10.
#3) Rubber chemical bottle stoppers everywhere... $1 each.. I have dozens of size 10 around, on, and under...
#4)Caig Deoxit cleaning on all the connectors and A/C plugs
#5) Teakwood blocks from a Goodwill find Kitchen cutting board, or a cheese cutting board.. $2 or so, but you have to find a REAL teakwood board, many branded as such are not. has to be heavy 'greasy' feeling wood. (not that it has kitchen grease on it!) I have many 2" cubes..
#6) speaker cable risers, cardboard tubes cut into 2" tall, with a "V" to hold the cables. Free. If toilet paper tubes turn you off, use the paper towel tubes..
(1) Clean all your connections with the best contact cleaner/enhancer on the market!.....Crystal Clear contact cleaner/enhancer $$$25 from www.thecablepro.com (2) Put a little Teflon Tape from Wal-Mart on all your AC plug's prongs! ( Take about 3 inches of teflon tape and wrape it around each ac plug prong and then push them all the way up the prongs )
I put some teflon tape on the center pin on my cable from my dish to my satellite receiver....(You take about 2 inches of tape and put a small hole with a paper clip at one end and put that end through the center pin of the cable and then use the paper clip to work the teflon tape around the center pin tightly and then push the teflon tape all the way up to the base of the center pin of the cable and then hook the cable back in the dish and satellite receiver) THIS IS A MUST TRY TWEEK!!! WOW!
Sorry Ozzy no way to post pictures....This is a very easy tweak, your just wraping the (center >copper< pin of the cable) with teflon tape and then pushing the the tape up to the base of the center copper pin. This makes non HDTV look a lot better....sharper..cleaner...brighter........darker colors!
DIY solid core powercables, 12-13awg. Mine is shielded too. Cleanest and most powerful current you can get. If you nedd any extension-cable make it solid too. Big powergain!
Replace the in-box powercable from rear wall to off/on-switch and back to trafo with solid too and your boxes will climb several classes in performance.
Maple Butcher Block Cutting Boards used as Amp Stands.
I was able to buy a 18 X 18 x 3 1 1/2" thick Maple cutting board.
I painted it Black and placed it under my Amp.
The footers used on the Amp are the Finite Elemete Cerapucs.
Anyway, the Maple wood does change the sound ever so slightly from when I was using a Granite slab under the Amp.
The sound is little mellower and fuller sounding, not a night and day change, very suttle but good pleasing change.
Using the Ultra Bit Platinum liquid on your CD's.
Doesnt seem like it should make as much difference as it does.
I have made many compliations of my favorite artists. Ultra bitting the CD to copy from and the CDR (usually a Mam-Audio Master Gold CDR's) to be copied to.
The copy comes out much better than the original.With better soundstage, treble, midrange, bass.
I also will add that after buffing the heck out of the CD's, I then use my Bedini Clarifier on the CD's to prevent static build up before I copy them.
Enid Lumley used to champion brass screws for mounting cartridges in tone arms before she left The Absolute Sound as a staff writer. Michael Green made some wonderful clamping stands that I encountered during my time in NYC. I built one using thick MDF found at an auction and discovered that it worked 'better than I thought it ought to,' certainly better than was reasonable.
At the time I had a partner who was not an audiophile. When I made a tweak and found she commented without knowing of the change, there was clearly merit to it.
So THE BEST TWEAK OF ALL TIME, bar none, though perhaps not the most affordable, IS AN OPEN MIND and the willingness to try something that seems unlikely, perhaps even something that seems ridiculous. I found that having another set of ears --preferably an experienced listener, as suggested above-- is both a great help and can forge very pleasant camaraderie.
All the Best, cdk84
This tweak business is all about creating an enhanced experience, right? Perhaps you're looking at the wrong end of the equation. Anybody who is so restless as to require constant variance in the sound delivery of their system will always pursue the moving carrot. Better I think to tweak the listener end than the system end.
A few years back when the Mpingo disc was the cure-all rage at the time, a guy responded to a question about its efficacy by saying he uses his every day and it never fails to make his system sound great. The trick, he said, is in how you use it. He put his on the arm of his listening chair under a tumbler containing 3 fingers of Scotch.