Your Best Tweak Lately

My latest, and perhaps best tweak, is a continuation of fuse upgrades, first using HiFi Tuning, two types, then Furutech, and finally, Synergistic Research Reds. Now, you may not believe in fuses, and that's ok---not here to convert anyone, just to report that these SR Reds are so far ahead of the others listed--to my ears, at least. If you have Maggies that you want to easily improve, put these in. I also have them as the mains fuses in ARC 210s and 861GNSC. If you have confidence in your power supply as stable and plentiful--another tweak in itself--no worries about the safety of these fuses--I even push the ratings a bit to match my big-gauge power cord capabilities. In the Maggies, I push them to 8A and 16A (stock is 2.5A and 5A) for a more "straight wire" effect by way of the bigger elements--incredible upgrade without molesting the speakers. With potentials in power supply, cords, cables, isolation schemes, room tricks, etc, this is a tweaker's paradise--I'm stealing the term back--just for audio.
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!!!!!!
Yeah, how could fuses make such a difference? Just take them out and then listen--you won't hear a thing. You're welcome, Bojack. Again, these SR Reds are a nice addition over the others. What's your best tweak lately?
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.
Bojack: How incredibly rude. This is a forum...and, as such, you may not be interested in certain topics or agree with their content. But, why would you go out of your way to post something like that (rhetorical, I'm pretty sure I already know)
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.
The musical signal has 2 or 3 amps in the Maggie's? Interesting.
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 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.
Essence of Music
Glenfarclas? That's a new one to me. When I'm playing a gig with an open bar (my favorite kind), I'm happy drinking Johnnie Walker Black free (all bar's have JWB). Hey, if it's good enough for Van Morrison and Richard Manuel (4% Pantomime ;-), it's good enough for me.
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.
Did you find the Synergistic Research Reds to be directional?
I ask because I have read in other forums here on Audiogon that they were directional when used in VAC Sigma 160i / Sigma 160i SE Integrated Amp.
Essence of Music and...Super Intelligent Chip and isolation for portable Sony CD player.
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.......
Citation XX.
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.
By best tweak lately hands down has been the addition of extensive Stillpoints Ultra 6's + Ultra bases, closely followed by my Furutech GTX-D(G) wpo. Both made a big difference and positively improved the sound of my system. The Stillpoints also look great under components. Highly recommended!
Essence of Music is a 2-step CD treatment and comes in two spray bottles. After treatment the sound is clearer. I have had Optrix.
11-04-15: Geoffkait
Essence of Music is a 2-step CD treatment and comes in two spray bottles. After treatment the sound is clearer. I have had Optrix.
Geoff, 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 too find "UltraBit Platinum" to be excellent.
"Lotions Eleven" by Clark Johnsen some years ago compared a whole bunch of CD treatments and as I recall Jena Labs, Nanotech 8500 and Liquid Resolution were at the top of the heap. Speaking for myself good luck determining the pecking order of CD treatments.
Addendum. They're all excellent. The question is, which one is the best? I went for the most expensive one, hoping that strategy would get me in the ballpark.
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.
Without a doubt ..the SR Red fuse that I put in my ARC REF-3 preamp about a week ago. Fantastic!
Oregonpapa, thanks for your testimony on the SR Red in a component.  It's not easy to believe these things until tried--glad you did.  

jafreeman ...

See the review in "amps and preamps" for the latest results now that I have the SR RED fuses in both the amp and preamp. One word ... FANTASTIC!
  You guys got me going now with these SR Red fuses.  After getting nearly all SR cabling I thought I was done.  Then I find out about High Fidelity Adapters.  Still waiting for them to come in the mail.  Now these.  I hope I'm nearing the end....
Its NOT going to end. It's a curse!  *lol*
Getting the integration of the sub woofers with the speakers...and positioning bass traps:

REW (Room EQ Wizard) software, downloaded to my Windows10 laptop (free to download, accepts donations).
miniDSP UMIK-1 USB Measurement Calibrated Microphone (less than $100).
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.
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