Tweaks just mental?

Some say that the effect some of the tweaks make are psychological. Let's say that it's a fact that some changes to your system are mental. What's wrong with that? We all know that we perceive sound differently. And we have personally experienced a situation with someone and had a totally different experience.

Just how mental is the whole listening experience? I'm not pretending to know, but I wouldn't be surprised if we find out that it's more and more mental. For instance, let's say I could make no changes to my stereo, but I could have the house alone for the weekend, I could toss my cares out the weekend for the weekend, play it at any volume that I desired (still no changes to the system). Further, I could reroute planes and vehicles away from my house, so that I didn't get low-freq interference.

I remember seeing a post where several audiophiles said that their best listening time was around 11PM and they attributed it to either smoothed power that time of night or more mental peace in their household. Hmmm ...
The listening experience is totally mental. Tweaks that do not alter the sound are just that in a given system with a single user. If I do not hear or feel something (a tweak) in my system then it does not exist as a change to me. People as individuals not only have tastes/preferences each unto their own, but also varying degrees of observation. Some things involving sound can be no more than a slight annoyance instead of something that can be pinpointed and described. However when these problems are remedied either through trial and error, or perhaps even through dumb luck, enjoyment of the system can increase greatly over long listening sessions. I guess that these would be referred to as minor tweaks and many do not find a need to deal with them. If something makes a change in the sound that can easily be identified and described, then I consider it to be just another component (regardless of what it is, whether I personally like the change or not) and not a tweak @ that point.
The best listening time of 11pm can be explained away by the glasses of wine,scotches(my choice)and other "tweaks" that are available for the system.
Much of the experience is mental, the whole "hearing" process is bioacouistal/mechanical/synapse/electrical, and amazing feat in itself, and very subject to tweaks. Those could be of rest, and some I know(I know an engineer that does mixdowns 1st thing in the mornings saying that he hears better then) swear 1st thing in the morning is the best time to listen and kinda gross, but having your ears cleaned can be a tweak. . My eardrums have been patched, and In some ways I would imagine that to be a tweak. I remember reading once of the tweak of removing your glasses if you wear them as I, because of the reflections off of them,etc. How many of us do that late at night but rarely during the day.
And actually, if the tweaks, whatever they are work for you, I don't know if it really matters if its mental or not.
IF you are enjoying the tweak, then it works for me. Think I will pour myself dram of a tweak now.
I can typically hear a noticeable improvement at sometime around 1 AM to 2 AM every night ( or is it morning ??? ). Since i live on a relatively quiet block next to a field, i don't think it is the ambient reduction in noise level that i'm noticing since it is relatively quiet most of the time. My guess is it is the difference in AC quality, as the music sounds cleaner, sharper and more liquid with a blacker background. This is quite noticeable even on a quality FM station such as WFMT.

As to the functionality of some tweaks, they are undeniable. When your cd player / TT are hop, skipping and jumping due to heavy footfalls or acoustic feedback, you CAN correct this via "tweaks". The results, when done properly, are undeniable. No double blind tests required or scientific studies needed.

As to some of the other more esoteric stuff, i would not have believed some myself until i noticed it first hand.

Being an electronics tech for a living, i used to argue tooth and nail about "power cords". An AA inmate ( Ozzy ) and a few other guys went round and round with me and a few others about this subject one day several years ago on AudioReview. I don't think that there was ever such a heated nor fast paced exchange on any subject there. There were over 60 posts in a matter of appr 4 hours.

Needless to say, i was talking out of the top of my hat i.e. i had never used an aftermarket power cord since i considered it "foolish". Well, once i had tried a highly touted power cord ( Custom Power ), i was a believer. While i did not like the specific effects of that cord on the specific component that i tried it on, hearing the difference DID make a believer out of me. I now own quite a few aftermarket power cords and also build my own.

Changing racks also had a MAJOR effect. So much so that the tonal balance and spacial characteristics were altered. Believe it or not, i had to change amps to get back to where i was before that rack. Who would have thought that what the component rests on could affect the sonics of the system ??? While i could understand a TT being affected by such things as micro-vibrations, etc., who would have imagined a pre or power amp sounding different ??? Needless to say, i am now a "believer" in the mystical art of tweaking.

Stereophile did an article about "proper placement" of equipment on racks, where to place your footers, etc... several years ago. This article DID have some scientific reasoning behind nodes / standing waves and energy transfer between components and shelving. Moncrief also covered some material like this in IAR, but concentrated more on the mating surface / points of contact between the component and the type of footer being used.

The thing that makes all of these points "controversial" is the different levels of hearing acuity & listening skills. If we all had the same hearing ability and listening skills, the playing field in terms of "tweaks" would be a lot more level. Since this is not the case, we simply have to rely on what we think we hear and experience. What sounds good / bad / different to you may not be the same as what someone else hears / experiences. Sean
I live next to a canal with high voltage power lines. Even with a Power Wedge on both my music system & my video system, both systems sound their worst in the afternoon on a summer day here in the Phoenix area, during peak power consumption.
Audio & video are best nere between midnight & 4:00 a.m. Now if I could just hit the powerball, I could adapt...