"Get Better Sound"

Any thoughts about how useful this book is?

Better be useful for $150 on Amazon :-)
I've seen it very well reviewed a couple of times so I just ordered it, should be here later this week. It's actually about $50 shipped direct from the publisher, Quarter Note Press. Considering how much money we spend elsewhere on our systems that's not a major investment.
The standard $150 paperback version is good but the text is a little jittery on this version - I compared it to other similar publications and it appears built at a specific price point for run-of-the-mill audiophiles (by all means go for it if you are not discerning enough to notice fine details). Serious audiophiles, however, will definitely want the hardcover version (far superior) with gold bindings, a pure silk divider and embossed text!

Just kidding ;-)
i read the book. aisde from the technical details on speaker st up, i believe experienced hobbyists won't learn musch from this publication.

many of the suggestions can result from trial and error.
Thanks all. Much appreciated. The advertising is somewhat hyped, but it's hard to know what to make of it.
What's old is new... and what's new is old. Granted there's no silver bullet here, but the book makes you think about everything you could be doing... before buying a new piece of equipment to remedy a conceived issue.
An alternative and good addition to 'Better' is 'Sound Reproduction' from Floyd Toole. I am partial to the idea that 95% of 'better sound' lies in the speakers, placement and room treatment. Matching a speaker to a room is where the hard work lies. I enjoyed 'Better' and 'Sound'. Trial and error (?), no just keep tweaking the room/treatment. Spend time in getting a good room analyis via free computer software and 'see' what you hearing. Understanding 'sound' is the hardest part of this hobby.
I think the book can be a little useful but overall it really probably is not worth the money.
FWIW - there is a longer thread on this topic over in "Best of" - "Is Jim Smith's Book, "Get Better Sound", Best Book?"

Note, although my member name is "hornguys" (from the time when I imported Avantgarde Acoustics Hornspeakers), I am actually Jim Smith, the author of the book in this thread.
As an audiophile with over 30 years of experience I found Jim's book quite refreshing. Not for the groundbreaking new information it provided, but confirmation of many of my own discoveries and experiences. My system really benefited from Jim's experience and advice concerning what to listen for on the 'Chieftans' recording. By following Jim's advice I've really dialed my system in. I would really recommend Jim's book to any budding audiophile as Jim has really provided guidance in purchasing the various tweaks and other audio 'Stuff". I prefer his approach to the books by Robert Hartley as Jim's book is more "hand's on instead of just describing/defining what various equipment is. This is not a knock against Mr. Hartley's books which I also own and have enjoyed reading. As a teacher, I've found that there are few books that I've read that haven't provided some new facet of knowledge to treasure.
Thanks Mr. Smith and Mr. Hartley for your efforts.
It solved my friend's bass dilema--the couch incident. So yes, it's a good reminder for proper setup.
And, it's a great primer for beginners.
Although, when you see some photos on here by "experienced" hobbyists of their systems poorly setup, you'd think it'd be good for them as well!
Since some folks might not have seen the various comments from manufacturers and reviewers, I thought it might be helpful to list a few. There are more, but these come to mind and were easy to find. They have been approved to quote:


Stereophile Book Review: Get Better Sound, Art Dudley

“Get Better Sound is the cheapest good tweak you can buy for your system.”

TONE Audio, Spotlight

“This is the best $44.50 you will ever spend on your hifi system, hands down.”

6moons.com, Srajan Ebaen

“I don't think there's been something exactly like this in our industry before.”

“…decades worth of hands-on expertise...

In short, it's the proverbial slam dunk.”

TONEAudio, Marc Phillips aka the Vinyl Anarchist

“The One Audio Accessory You Need”

“…readers ask me about which component to upgrade, or where they should put their money in order to yield the most noticeable improvements. From now on, my answer will be Get Better Sound more often than not.”

Positive Feedback Online – Jeff Day

I highly recommend Get Better Sound by Jim Smith, and I think it should be in everyone's audio library. If you'll take the time to work through Jim's tips and implement them in your Hi-Fi system you'll be rewarded with a transformed system. Don't think about it, just do it. You'll be glad you did.

Enjoy the Music.com, Nels Ferre

While I have recommended numerous pieces of gear as good values, even great ones, I have never believed in a "Best Buy" until now. No matter what your system consists of, or what type of music you enjoy, spend the $44.50 for Get Better Sound.

TNT Italy – Lucio Cadeddu, Editor

“…this book is one of the best "tweaks" you can apply to your HiFi system!”


Paul McGowan, PS Audio

“A must have book for anyone serious about high end audio”

Richard Bird, Rives Audio

“His book, "Get Better Sound" is a plethora of tips ... practical, easy to follow, and most of all--they work. Many of them are the basics of what we do when designing a room. While we may use mathematical calculations to predict results, the basic goal and issues remain the same. Jim has put together very approachable and useable methods to help just about anyone achieve better performance of their system.

This is highly recommended.”

Ayre Acoustics website – “What’s New”

“System setup is every bit as important as the equipment itself. Jim Smith has written a very good book which takes on the issue of system setup in a thorough, easy to read way that we can highly recommend.
$150? Isn't this the same book I am seeing in Stereophile for $44.50 written by Jim Smith?
Yes. One and the same.

They are having a little fun with a strange $150 listing on Amazon.

Amazingly, not long after GBS came out, the Amazon site stated that they had had the book, but weren't sure when they'd get it back in stock.

The truth is - I never sold it to Amazon.

The quarterly newsletters come with the purchase of a new book.

Can't imagine how that $150 listing could work.
Jim -- I'm glad you weighed in. Because I saw the $150 price tag and thought, hmm, I spend a lot on gear but that's a lot to spend on a book. It does not pose the same dilemma for me at $45. Don't know why I missed that.