I don't think a formula exists for tweaking an audio system, per se. That said, make sure your system has enough resolution for the tweak you are going to use.
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do you mean how to change the "sound" of your stereo system with passive components ?
do you mean how to minimize inherent but audible imperfections of a component, without replacing that component ?
there are many anti resonant devices (materials) which can affect the performance of a component. is this what you mean by tweaking ?
Actually, Mrtennis(I bet I can guess your favorite sport?), I'm from the old school that had turntables and all the cartridge and arm adjustments. Turntables had springs and feet and some had motor adjustments. We still have speaker placement, though. Thanks for the XLO recommendation,?(if I go to see your moniker, I lose this letter. I actually have 6 different anti resonant devices, but I've not compared them, per se. I do want to mention two tweaks that are no brainers. One(from Naim) is to separate power cords from signal cords. The second is to raise speaker wire and interconnects at least 8 inches from the floor(from Mapleshade). I couldn't raise my speaker wire that high, but I used three 16 ounce styrofoam cups(thank you Dollar Tree) at various places to raise my signal cables from my rug.
I've got lots to say about speaker placement, but what I might say will depend on
1)Type of speakers,
2) Size of room
4)location of walls and openings and windows,
5)What are your sonic priorities,
6)What limitations do you have regarding optimum speaker and listening position placement, i.e. is this a dedicated audio room or is it a dual use room to be shared with others.
And since I'm asking questions have you done any research into the subject of room acoustics etc? Have you read the various formula's by Cardas, Audio Physic's, Dunlavy, or looked at the Cara program on the Rives site. There is already a lot in print in in Audiogon and AudioAsylum archives to keep you busy reading for a long time. Just depends on how serious you are. It's time consuming and can be a frustrating task when you try to maximize speaker placement and room acoustics. But, its worth the effort!
The beauty of the XLO Test CD Track 3 (out-of-phase) is that set up of speakers using Track 3 is independent of type of speakers, room dimensions, use of room acoustic treatments such as tube traps, location of windows, and openings to other rooms.
Virtually all other methods of speaker set up are generalizations that may or may not hold true for a particular system/room. Track 3 of XLO Test CD allows audibility of speaker position to within about 0.5 inch in a well tuned system.
Wellfed, The XLO Test CD, track 3, is really a great test. It's something I use for set up. Occasionally when I think I have a sharp center image dialed in and I use this track I find that the out of phase sound is not equally spread about. Sometimes its due to room abnormalities, some times its because the listening position is not dead center or that one of the speakers is getting reinforcement from toe in/wall reinforcement etc. GK is right on.
The walkabout tracks are interesting as well, but I wish the CD had came with a diagram showing the exact locations in the room where the sounds originated - the vocal description on the disc leaves a lot to be desired.
When I say that I'm more qualified in how not to tweak a system, I mean this: If you try to tweak a system in terms of getting the treble,etc., that you know is there, you are making a big mistake. That's why I am critical of reviewers who use a certain discs for a certain thing(i.e., the bass). Tweaking like that is a mistake. But, on to other things. I currently have my amps sitting on 4-inch teak on top of my preamp. This is not a proper tweak(per Mapleshade, and others). The amp needs to be on the floor(with proper support there). I also have very tall speakers that aren't wide(the original DCM Time Windows, Newbee). They would sit on a rug. Instead, I use a Mapleshade 2-inch mapleboard with Isonodes under the Maple. I would suggest that one does not put tall, thin,light speakers directly on an almost 2-inch rug.