WOW factor

Just wondering what upgrades or changes to the system made big differences in sound in your system?
For me there were a number of things, but I'll start with: suspending my speakers from the ceiling using cables attached to rubber mats coupled to top and bottom of speakers held in place with cables. Prior to that I had plywood squares coupled to speaker's top and bottom surface which produced alot of bass resonance. The rubber mats made the sound dark and quiet. Also floor does not resonate. This is one of many things I discovered.
tube rolling in my amp.
PS Audio Premier Power Plant
trying various power cords. Also, isolation tweaks such as cones and maple platforms...
aside from the obvious upgrades ( Cable and PC), system Stands etc...the upgrades that surprised me were the following:

1) regularly cleaning all cable connectors with anti oxidation cleaners

2)elevating cables off my carpet

3) removing the spike dishes from my my speakers stands and allowing the spikes to lock into the floor and/or carpet.

4) using specialized CD enhancement products such as Mirko smooth.

5) using high end hubbell ports
Pedrillo: We think alike, "outside the box".

I too found that placing the speakers at "ear" level

instead of down on the ground, opened up the music as

the Bass was "focused" from the ground, but rather up

high as well, smoothing the sound.

Many other non-typical audio improvements have I also


But when You experience over 4kw. of power matched with

Loudspeakers that add +3-6db. of headroom for All the


With less than 1watt of power used at normal listening,

The "Jump Factor" or the "WOW!" factor is realized as You

are "submerged" in the Music.

Antony Michelson "Musical Fidelity" made the point:

Why, according to MF amplifier power is important

For Musical Fidelity, one of the markers of genuine hi-fi is a decent dynamic range. To produce a decent dynamic range, the system needs to be able to produce peaks of at least 100dB in your listening position, and comfortable peaks of 105dB to 110dB are better. However, 100dB is the bare minimum requirement, and any system that produces less than this does not deserve the name of hi-fi. It takes an amplifier with a lot of power to produce peaks of 100dB or more.

Many amplifier manufacturers produce units with low power and call them 'high-end.' Low-power amplifiers will produce a surprising continuous level, but unless they are coupled with extremely efficient loudspeakers, they cannot possibly produce a decent dynamic range. No matter what a manufacturer says, or how much it costs, a low-power amplifier is not genuine hi-fi.

Unless you understand the relationship between amplifier power and peak listening level, which most audiophiles do not, you are likely to be sold something that costs you a lot but is not really a proper hi-fi system.

One reason that few audiophiles understand the relationship between amplifier power and peak listening level is that loudspeakers and amplifiers are specified differently and there is no obvious way to use the information to find out what kind of peak levels you can expect from a particular system. Most manufacturers are loathe to clear up the confusion, for reasons that will become clear.

Loudspeakers are usually specified by their efficiency; they produce a certain number of dB for 1W at one metre. However, as you move away from the loud- speaker, you lose about 5dB for each metre over one metre. You'll see in a minute why you need to know this.

Amplifiers are usually specified by their power rating in watts.

To use these two pieces of information, you need one more number - the amplifier's power in dBW This is a measure of how much sound (dB) is produced for a certain amount of power (W). As you will notice on the table, the amount of power needed for each increase is not linear - each increase in dBW requires a steep increase in power. A low- powered amp will never be anything other than a low-powered amp: we are dealing here with the laws of physics.

However, armed with this information, you are now in a position to find out whether or not your system is capable of peaks of 100dB or more.

To find out what a system can do, take the loudspeaker's efficiency, add on the amplifier power in dBW and deduct for the listening position. You have now worked out the system's peak level capability.

For example, to work this out for a system with loudspeakers of 87dB efficiency and an amplifier power of 200W and a listening position about three metres from the loudspeaker: 87 + 23 - 10 = 100 dB peak level capacity. This assumes that the amplifier's power really doubles into 4 Ohms, a can of worms that we will not open at the moment, and that the amplifier is stable. In this example, the system would be just about reasonable.

Von Schweikert thinks similar:

The VR 11 Special Edition Loudspeaker

The world's best speaker system? No company has designed a perfect speaker system, of course. And just what would the "world"s best speaker be, anyway? Would it have powerful, tight bass down to 10Hz? Astonishingly clear midrange and unbelievable transparency? Extremely smooth highs out to 50kHz? Three-dimensional imaging that creates a suspension of disbelief? Incredible build quality and a Twenty-year Warranty? A speaker so exciting that you want to stay up all night, savoring each and every note? A speaker system so incredible that each and every exciting listening session is not soon forgotten?

If these qualities are your personal "Holy Grail" and music is an important part of your life, the VR-11 Special Edition is for you! Our award-winning technology has been praised by many esteemed reviewers such as Robert Harley (Stereophile review of Vortex Screen, 1989), Harry Pearson of of the Absolute Sound (VR-8 review for Fi, 1997),

Greg Weaver (StereoTimes review of VR-4SE), Clement Perry (StereoTimes review of VR-6), and Paul Bolin and John Atkinson (Stereophile review of our Andra II redesign for EgglestonWorks Audio, Nov. 2002). Famous clients include Alan Menken, winner of seven Academy Awards for film scores; Herb Alpert of A&M Records; MTV Studios; Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs; JVC of America (Hollywood video screening room); Sheffield Sound Labs; Stan Ricker Mastering; Chris Huston (recording engineer for Led Zeplin, The Who, Young Rascals, Pattie LaBelle, etc); and more than 40 professional recording studios around the world.

The VR-11SE utilizes our proprietary Acoustic Inverse Replication (A.I.R.) technology, developed by Albert Von Schweikert while at California Institute of Technology. A.I.R. utilizes our famous Global Axis Integration Network to enable our VR-11SE to replicate the inverse of the recording microphone's signal, thus decoding the dimensionality of the actual recorded event. In combination with our rear-firing Ambience Retrieval System, the VR-11SE will provide thrilling realism, so close to a live performance, that you will continue to ask yourself: is it Live or is it VR-11?

A key ingredient of VR-11SE's magic is the extreme dynamic range offered by our 99dB sensitivity (using the bass/treble boost settings). As most audiophiles have realized, live music has a tremendous dynamic range, which most speakers compress to the point of sounding "canned." Conventional, low/mid efficiency speakers lack "jump factor" and lose the excitement of the live event. In addition, a "veil" is imparted by inefficient drive units and dissipation of low level detail by "commercial grade" crossover parts.

VR-11 eliminates these problems by using large magnet/low distortion drivers in a line source time-aligned array, in combination with the use of extremely expensive crossover parts, internal wiring, and binding posts. The resulting dynamic range, clarity, and transparency are shocking; we believe the VR-11SE is extremely close to "live!"

These 2 camps know WOW! At a steep cost however.

I am Blessed to enjoy this same WOW! with paltry

perfectly matched components forming a "Synergy" of Music!

Love Your Music!

Enjoy the Components.

Herbies Black Holes - cheap tweak and....WOW!!!!
Pedrillo: I checked your system, that is amazing turntable you put together
3-inch-thick maple platforms for my monoblocks. I really wasn't expecting much, and the difference, especially in the bass, was WOW.

Things others have mentioned (NOS tubes, new preamp) have certainly been surprising too, but this one did a lot for not too many dollars.
I would like to contribute another: lead shot through out my turntable made big strides.
There was a time when I wanted to put lead shot through my turntable, but then found the problem was only the left channel on the cartridge wired out of phase.

copper inputs
copper posts
Stepped attenuator
The most recent WOW was recapping my preamp with teflon caps. I am now in the process of putting teflon bypass caps on anything with a coupling cap in it and on my speaker tweeter crossover caps.


WOW is what I said when I saw this!

"Best Buy, just did not fulfill my needs".

Love Your Music & Video!

Enjoy, Your Components.

By having a space that was all mine that I could make as "Ugly" with room treatments as need be that nobdoy had to see was a huge WOW, probably bigger than most other ideas here.
1. Dedicated lines
2. Upgrading speaker xover networks
3. Tubes and S.E.T.
For me first WOW was when I got in to Vinyl 2 years ago.
Even bigger WOW when I switched to tubes.
Hello, please copy/paste the link below to a Real WOW!

16ea.- 18" Snell Subwoofers
30ea.- 2102 Mcintosh amplifiers
2ea.- NO#33 Mark Levinson amplifiers
3ea.- Crown Gold Reference Macro amplifiers

Much more!

$6million Dollar System!
Builds proto-type designs for Home Theatre Extreme
Just sharing, You simply must see this!

Peace to All.
My denon 103r sounds right with the Graham 2.2 loaded up with alot of leadshot.
Tube amplification with single-driver speakers
Running a high current amp capable of doubling output from 8 to 4 ohms made a big difference with my larger Ohm Walsh speakers.

This amp replaced another amp that had 3X the power output but not as much current, and only increased power delivered marginally in comparison from 8 to 4 ohms.

This change resulted in a much tighter, more transparent and detailed delivery with a larger sound stage at typical listening volumes.

I've read that a high current amp (perhaps also with higher damping factor) can make a big difference as well with many other larger or more esoteric design speaker systems that similarly may produce a more difficult load for an amplifier to drive, like elecrostats, maggies, etc.
The OPPO 980 h dvd player, totally blows my mind.
Nuforce MCH3SE w/ V2 boards. WOW!!!!!
For me the biggest WOW factor to my ears, heart, bank account, and system was the first time I heard a pr. of Thiel speakers really show there stuff to me. I had heard them off and on for years in different systems, but they really never got my attention.
I ventured into a shop that had a pr. of 2.4s set up with VTL 7.5 preamp, Ayre V-1XE amp, sourced by a VPI HX-R table with Dynavector XV1s cartridge. I bought a pr. of 7.2s without a demo later that week. Going on three years and some frustration, (matching the right amps) I have never even thought about changing speakers.
Anyway now I get to have WOW moments everyday. ;)
Tom Hankins,
Just out of curiousity did you get your source right?
I found that not until I got my source right was when I started to realize the potential of my speakers!
Just IMHO!
I listen to vinyl 99% of the time and it sounds very good. Since owning the Thiels I have found more than ever before how much amp/speaker combo matters. I went through (owned or home auditioned) several very nice amps with the 7.2s. Parasound JC1s, two models from Pass, and Ayre. When The Krells hit, system pretty much complete. I am waiting on a custom made tubed preamp to get here and I really am not wanting for anything else.
The leap came when I got my turntable (LInn LP12) running after about 8 years of sitting idle. Wow!