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#104202 - 07/12/05 01:47 PM Curious Audio Advice
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Audio Advice from the Mapleshade Handbook for Good Music and Good Sound

These gems are pulled directly from the Summer '05 edition of the above named handbook/catalog.

  • Almost everyone sits way too far from their speakers, that is, 8' to 10' or more. Try a low chair (or floor pillow) 5' away. You'll hear a phenomenal increase in clarity, bass impact and soundstage--roughly like spending 100% more on your speakers.
  • Nearly everybody sits too high. The "tweeters at ear level" rule sounds logical but fails when tested. For a test, sit on one or two phone books: you'll hear an amazing new warmth and fullness in baritone voice, trombones, tenor sax, plucked bass--and a far more natural treble balance.
  • Remove your speaker's cloth or foam grill. Snip off any plastic pjase ring in front of the tweeter. You'll hear as much as 100% improvement in treble.
  • NEVER use speaker cables shorter than 8'. Amazinglyh, 4' sounds much wordse than 8'. Contrary to common belief, shorter interconnects (2m or less) and longer speaker cables sound WAY BETTER than the opposite--based on extensive head-to-head tests.
  • For seamless subwoofer sound, use only the speaker cable input, not the RCA input. Always fire the subwoofer driver left or right, not at you or down into the floor.
  • Contrary to manufacturer hype, subwoofer placement is crucial. To get clean bass attacks, subs must be precisely (+/-1") the same distance from your ear as the midrange driver. Corner placement always leads to boom. Also, subs sound much cleaner on cones than on spikes or rummer feet.
  • If you have bi-wirable speakers with brass jumper plates, replace the terrible-sounding plates with bare, unstranded copper wire. If you bi-wire, separate the treble and bass cables by 1' or more; bundling wires will ruin most of the bi-wire advantage. Bi-wiring is worth doing only for cables with limited bass and treble.
  • You may not be into stero gear. But if you enjoy listening to music, sometimes you must wonder whether your speakers sound good enough. Startling as it may seem, you ought to be just as concerned about your audio cables. I've heard $2000 speakers with off-the-rack wires that sounded worse than little $100 Radio Shacks with good cables.
  • Just like your speaker cables, the wires that hook up your CD player to your amp (the interconnects) can make as much or more difference than your speakers. Everyone suffers from culture shock when they first see the weird cellophane-like sleeve wrapped around our two thin ribbon wires. But the fact that our wire is forty times thinner than conventional wire and has 100 times less plastic is precisely why so much more music comes through. You hear more bass, more treble, more quiet details, more slam on the attacks--just those things that make music more exciting, more emotionally gripping.
  • Weight on top of speakers, amps, CD players, transformers, turntables, and power supplies can tighten bass, clean up treble, and clarify midrange detail.
  • too much weight, wrong placement, or wrong materials seriously degrade potential improvements. Don't use lead, sand, concrete, brick, stone, corian or damped laminates. Of course, brass is still best; next iron, then wood.
  • To audibly improve any cheap interconnect, use a razor to carefully peel the thin plastic insulation off the braided metal you'll find underneath. Split 2-channel interconnects and separate the two by several inches. Cut head shrink and plastic strain reliefs off the back of RCA plugs and remove their metal barrels (if possible). Among generic wires, choose the skinniest for best sound.

Anyone else find any of this advice curious, to say the least?
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#104203 - 07/12/05 03:29 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
Tarun Offline
local

Registered: 05/27/05
Posts: 295
Loc: Hillsborough, NJ
Interesting advice indeed.
The one thing I would agree with, in my scenario, is the sub firing to the right or left and not in a corner or directly to my face. I did Alans crawl tests and found that a right or left location was much better.

The idea of removing grills for better treble is a must try....I am sure someone will agree that grilles sometimes muffle sounds.

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Denon 4308
M80x2,VP150,EP600,4xQS8

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#104204 - 07/12/05 03:33 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
Fascinating, Jim. Most illogical. "Thinner is better." Dollars to donuts, the Mapleshade guys don't like Axioms. Thinner, unless I miss the mark, means that the treble will be rounded off. And that's what a lot of the physical stuff they talk about doing seems to be aimed at.
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#104205 - 07/12/05 03:56 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
Perhaps I'm alone here but I find most of that complete BS and as JohnK would say "Complete nonsense from a charlatan"!.............or something along those lines!


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#104206 - 07/12/05 04:34 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
bugbitten Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Madisonville, KY
I wonder what Ratpack will have to say about this advice?

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#104207 - 07/12/05 05:33 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
FordPrefect Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 1334
Loc: Ancaster, Ontario
Sooo true

I have also found that wearing my fuzzy wool sweater on dry days can also have a negative impact on the highs and lows. In fact it can even invert the soundstage.

I suspect the material is conflicting with the grill fabic and is inducing a static electric field into my listening environment.



It's no wonder that Axiom will soon be selling listening jumpsuits and accessories for the discerning audiophile made from only sheep raised in the Dwight Highlands.






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getting to 2,000 posts; one year at a time vp160/qs8/qs4/ep350/m60/m2200s

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#104208 - 07/12/05 10:40 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
Nat Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 84
Loc: Oman
- Sit Closer to your speaker
- Adjust Your listening hight
- Put Weight on speakers

Maybe I should try sitting on the M80's while listening ?
_________________________
------ M80, VP150, QS8 Surr, QS8 Back Surr Sunfire Amp -M80, Denon 3805 -all else, SVS 20-39 PC+

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#104209 - 07/12/05 10:42 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7412
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Sounds are somewhat muffled when I wear the speaker grills over my ears. . .

Seriously, though, I keep the grills off because I like looking at the tweeter and woofer. I really can't tell if there is a difference in sound.
_________________________
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"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#104210 - 07/12/05 10:54 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Check the catalog date again.......are you sure it wasen't April?

Early, early........early, April?

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#104211 - 07/12/05 10:57 PM Re: Curious Audio Advice
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
Here's the one I loved:

"NEVER use speaker cables shorter than 8'"

Imagine that, they're advocating you buy longer and more expensive speaker wires. Hmmm, I wonder where you should buy them from?

Rich

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