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#172101 - 07/10/07 03:29 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful hearing? [Re: 2x6spds]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Do these component changes result in audible or measurable differences?

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#172102 - 07/10/07 07:41 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: Mojo]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16224
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Them there's a loaded question. Audible and measurable in the same sentence? Bah!
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#172103 - 07/10/07 07:52 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: pmbuko]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Ok. Let's answer one at a time .

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#172104 - 07/10/07 11:24 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: Mojo]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Well, I have an Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CDP from Upscale Audio. I upgraded it with Ediswan tubes, noticeable difference in sound quality. I modified it with an Upsampler. Noticeable difference in sound quality.

I never got a chance to modify my Philips SACD 1000 because Philips stopped supporting the product. I modified many speakers - tweaked the cross-overs, upgraded the caps and resistors, etc. My Frankencenters (thanks PMBKO) are heavily modded and with new Axiom drivers and a Reference 3a de capo tweeter it certainly sounds very different from the original Merak kit. Different and MUCH better.

I modded a few pairs of Michaura M55s, very much like the Axiom M22s (same 5.25" drivers and the 3/4" titanium tweeter from the Mzero, M2Ti speakers) - a gorgeous Rose Wood hex shaped anti standing wave solid as a rock cabinet. I replaced the cap with some Jensen paper oils, the resistor with a Mills, and removed the fuse. How does it sound? Well, I brought a pair over to Big Will and we swapped out his beautiful M60s. I thought the M55s sounded as good as the wonderful M60s did. In my system, I ran these speakers with an Antique Sound Labs MG S1 15DT 5 wpc SET tube amp, the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb. The sound stage was huge, high, wide and deep. Imaging was spot on. I enjoyed a wall-of-sound experience which was spectacular. The stock M55s are wonderful sounding speakers, but it doesn't take long to hear the difference.

Have to go now. There is a world of modified and tweaked components out there. I have a little experience with a few. Hope it helped.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#172105 - 07/20/07 10:11 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: rhinemaiden1]
RickSean Offline
regular

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 7
When I originally searched for any references to the review of Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi on the Stereo Dave's modification of an HK 3480 stereo receiver,
I had not seen this thread regarding the review. As the person who does these modifications, I felt I should respond to some of the remarks directed at Mr. Johnson's online publication and myself.

1) “Stereo Dave” Herren was my late employer and a friend. He was well respected in the Portland area audio community for his innovative custom made audio products and modifications of audio equipment. He had his own store for 25 years. Dave realized that unlike some people in this forum refuse to acknowledge, different brands and makes of audio equipment will have inherent strengths and weaknesses. If this were not so, we would not have so many brands of audio equipment. I think it is naïve to forget that there are many different makes of cars with their own strengths and weaknesses, despite the many engineers utilized in the manufacture of these various makes of cars. It’s well accepted among “car guys” that modifications can make large or vast difference in the performance of those vehicles, hence, a huge aftermarket industry. Mass market audio pieces, which are mid-fi priced, out of necessity have economic constraints imposed on them by the engineers, which have to do with keeping their price below a certain level, not necessarily to with optimal performance.

2) Regarding lack of comparison in the article, Mr. Johnson has no doubt reviewed thousands of pieces and is well qualified in evaluating the sound of performance of a regular $250 stereo receiver vs a modified unit. In the review, he also compares the measurements of the Modified HK 3480 with the listed measurements of the stock unit. The modified unit is shown to be superior to the manufacturers listed measurements.

3) Many people who have considerable amounts of engineering and electrical knowledge cheat themselves out of enjoying the music, by biasing their perceptions of what they hear based on the technical measurements / aspects of a unit. They fail to take an objective evaluation of a speaker or piece of audio equipment based on simply what they hear. Often the orthodox held beliefs have been proven to be not necessarily true; and we have found this to be true in audio. Often, the most expensive, theoretically highly measured equipment are inferior in sound performance compared to other pieces. And I'm sure a number you have had this experience. In fact, this is the dirty little secret in audio. We and many others have listened to modified equipment vs stock units and have easily heard the difference when the mod is done by a competent person. We are not the only company that does modifications. If there was no difference between modified equipment and stock equipment, modifications would have ceased a long time ago.

4) We have a proprietary modification that is not based on the standard capacitor based mod, but does effect the performance of many capacitors and components of the piece. The proof, however, is when people and reviewers listen to the modified units and discover that they are much better than the stock units, as pointed out in DVD player modifications review and receiver modification reviews and by our customers, who continue to give us feedback on the difference they hear.


Sean and Rick

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#172106 - 07/21/07 12:44 AM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: RickSean]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16224
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
1. Combustion and electronics are two completely separate and non-comparable things. It may seem like a good analogy, but it's not. Real-world differences between cars are easily verifiable under scientific scrutiny. The same is absolutely untrue of claimed differences among amplifiers, even those with $1000+ differences in retail price. I'm not trying to say one size fits all -- you should definitely buy an amplifier capable of driving your choice of speakers at the levels you desire without clipping, and that's all you should really worry about.

2. So the modded unit specs better, but do those specs result in a real-world performance gain, verifiable by double-blind listening tests? I don't often say "charts schmarts," but a drop of .02 (to make up a number) on the THD measurement isn't going to be audible.

3. "Many people who have considerable amounts of engineering and electrical knowledge cheat themselves out of enjoying the music." And many people who don't fool themselves into spending money on questionably frivolous "improvements". I enjoy my music quite well from my so-called budget system.

If there was no difference between modified equipment and stock equipment, modifications would have ceased a long time ago." Heard of the placebo effect? There are many many snake oil salesmen in the audio world peddling products that even you would agree are absolutely useless. (Example: wooden knobs) These products exist and people buy them because they don't know any better.

4. Audio memory is short. How can the customer be sure they hear a difference when they can't compare the before/after directly? The human brain is a fascinating organ capable of grand deception. It's wise to verify what it's telling you every once in a while.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#172107 - 07/21/07 12:55 AM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: pmbuko]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Peter, well said. But I have to tell you that those wooden knobs have sent my blood pressure sky high.

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#172108 - 07/21/07 11:47 AM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: Mojo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17696
Loc: NoVA
OK, how's this? We know that most well made and designed amplifiers put out a flat signal, no? Perhaps the modifications roll off or boost the signal in certain spots that people find pleasing. It would be just like using a wire gauge that's too small to make the sound "warmer."
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#172109 - 07/21/07 01:12 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: Ken.C]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
I can see a modified unit sounding different. If the changes are made in the pre amp section it could audible. Whether or not better I have no idea.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#172110 - 07/21/07 02:21 PM Re: hk 3480 modification: science or wishful heari [Re: Wid]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
If it sounds different, it should measure different. Let's see the data please.

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