Wow! OMG! Who thought that something as simple as fuses would make such a big difference!! I'm going to go out and try this!!! Thanks soooooo much!!!!!!
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Speaking of Synergistic Research... and tweaks...
I've always understood that my room has issues with bass nodes. In addition, the soundstage has been limited, in part due to the necessity of speaker placement and the nature of the Volti horns. But I have to say, several SR products have rather dramatically improved these shortcomings. The SR "Blackbox" has basically eliminated the low frequency issues - it is now controlled, resonant, defined. Additionally, wherever, I sit in the room, the sweet spot, to the side or at the back wall - the benefits are dramatically noticeable. The four Bassbusters never accomplished this level of control.
I've never been overly needy of soundstage. Tonal balance and sonic honesty has been at the forefront. However, on a whim I've installed 10 HFTs to the room and speakers. As rediculously small and insignificant these things appear, their effectiveness to my ears, and in my room, have introduced a three dimensiontality I've never heard in my room with any speaker. My wife commented that music fills the room. Black art? Hucksterism? All I know is things changed for the better. Immediatelly. No "breaking-in". No acclimation.
And I know these things have some controversy about them, so I'm a bit hesitant to post, but the combination of these two SR products has definitely been my best latest tweak.
Nice system, and room, PM. Now you have me interested in the HFTs, small metal cups that do something like cancel/reorganize stray sound waves? I am reading some reviews on these. Along with your testimony, these items are to be taken seriously. Can you describe the function of your Plasmatron and its effects on your sound? I get the impression you have discovered the additive benefits of many tweaks, each lifting a revealing system to a new plateau that is only exceeded by the next.
When I had Maggies I found that replacing the fuses and jumpers really did a wonderful job of reducing grain. With the Maggies, the musical signal passes through the fuses, so it makes sense that this would be a logical tweak. Not sure about increasing the maximum current rating though. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a fuse.
Very nice system and room, Brownsfan. As you have found, the value of a Maggie fuse upgrade is irrefutable. Yes, I have sacrificed the fuse protection for a bigger signal path--or so I like to believe. I also like to think I have addressed the usual anemic, noisy power supply with something that also provides stable, plentiful current the system can safely operate in, as you have. There is just no substitute for providing the right power supply at the components---more than a tweak.
SR offers a 30 day trial for their products - really, nothing to loose to try the HFT tweak. As far as the Plasmatron is concerned, it provides a liquidity, a flow - especially with digital, yet it does not inhibit detail or definition. Several layers of digital haze is removed. Dare I say more analog?:)
The RTS couplers now being sold by Audio Horizons. They made a nice improvement in making the bars solid over hollow like they once were. They are definitely additive--the more components that you couple to the shelf, the bigger the difference in sound. The drawback of these couplers is it takes about 7-14 days until you hear the dramatic improvement and they continue to improve for awhile. Initially there was no difference other than each component is now securely clamped to its shelf. I have Sistrum racks and platforms which already made a big difference in the sound. The RTS couplers made an even bigger change. I use them on each component except the turntable. If you are skeptical, I understand. If you don't try them, it truly is YOUR LOSS. No other thing I have ever done to my system has ever been as big of change for the good--no drawbacks in sound.
Best tweak? Glenfarclas 12 year old Scotch.
Latest tweak: A custom turntable belt from originlive.com for my original Well Tempered turntable. Outrageous improvement and well worth the money.
Old tweak that really made a huge difference: Shakti Holograms. Two pair ... one pair behind each speaker and one pair behind the listening position.
Must have tweak: Mapleshade maple platforms under floor standing speakers. Platforms spiked to the floor though the carpet and the speakers spiked to the platforms.
For fans of roller bearing isolators, there is great news. Ingress Audio Engineering in Canada is making them to Barry Diament's exact specs. They are machined in 7075 aluminum, are 1.5" in diameter and 0.5" tall, and have a 2" diameter "bowl" machined into them. The 2" diameter bowl is larger than that in the Symposium Acoustics Rollerblocks, with a shallower depth and less steep walls, which provides a lower resonant frequency and less damping, resulting in greater isolation to any component placed on them. They are priced at $90 for a set of three with 3/8" chrome steel ball bearings, plus shipping.
isolating speakers from floor interactions in my second level rooms with acoustically active suspended plywood floors.
Accomplished with Auralex subdude platforms under OHM Walsh speakers and Isoacoustic speaker stands under Triangle Titus monitors.
Cost of each: ~ $100.
Best investment ever!!! My advice is if your speakers are not sitting at ground level on a solid concrete foundation, try stands or platforms like these designed specifically for acoustic isolation from the floor before changing another thing. The difference is true hi fi sound in all regards versus something more mid-fi and muddled.
I haven't turned the fuses around yet--wanted to listen for awhile, then decide. I like the improvement so much, not sure if I will turn them--probably will try it, though. The other brands did show some difference when turned around, but these SR Reds are such an improvement in clarity and sound stage--instruments and percussion parts are appearing to the far sides of the sound stage that before were a dull tapping or clipped ringing--sounds I always suspected should have been more than what I was hearing are finally defined, and this is just from the 'main' fuses, next to the IEC areas. Yes, it seems crazy.......
One smaller Walker Audio resonance control disc put near motor of Nottingham Spacedeck turntable that sits on maple block. Increased clarity. The same disc was also put on top of the Nakamichi 682ZX tape deck - the same but less. I am going to get two more and put one on another side of where motor is and see if there is further improvement with two discs. Will keep the one on the deck.
Essence of Music, is it a cd treatment? What was the difference before and after treatment? I don't have many cds, treated them with Optrix.
11-04-15: GeoffkaitGeoff, I wonder how that compares with UltraBit Platinum-Plus? The guy who makes UltraBit PP used to make 'Finyl' way back in the day which worked a treat.
I remain vey impressed with the SR Red fuses I have placed in the "mains" AC banks of amps and CDP. These fuses complete a trio of external power tweaks, along with an isolation transformer for plenty of quiet energy and DIY AC cables using Ohno Continuous Cast copper wire by Furutech. Make your own AC cables for an easy upgrade--with the quality of DIY materials on the market, there's no need to spend on the "big brands". Save a fortune there and buy a real isolation transformer, e.g. Torus, RGPC, with outlets right there at your gear. Power supply is, IMHO, the most important external tweak to make your good system a great one at any price point.
Jafreeman. I agree with you about power supply quality. For better systems and classical,jazz,solo instruments and choral music lovers I consider it essential. My experiments have always confirmed significant benefits (to my very fussy ears) on every device in the chain. Of course one must have patience and experiment with different types of products. For example, Equitech's balanced power, like the 2Q, is an indisputable benefit to any system (let's face it; the extremely demanding professional and research facilities using it have done their 'research' confirming it's benefits. I have also had excellent benefits from MIT's Oracle power cord, including the non-networked AC3, and Sound Application products. This is not to say other products are not excellent. For Geoffkait, Ultrabit Platinum products had great praise from The Absolute Sound and others, and I appreciate their benefits.
Latest tweak: Walker Audio SST to the tube pins. I just performed this on a RSA Raptor headphone amp- so far I can't say it is any type of night and day difference, although it sounded great before the application...
Best tweak: solid butcher blocks from Amazon under my Omega A8 using brass points (reasonably priced off Ebay) under the speakers and blocks. About $100 for an outstanding improvement in bass and in the already excellent soundstage.
Update. The second Walker disc near Nott motor didn't do it - the sound got 'strangulated' a little, so one disc it will be.
Treated records with LAST record preservative - slightly improved clarity and dynamics, especially the former.
Treated tape deck playback head with LAST head preservative - same as with records.