Wow, thanks to all of you for your responses. Probably the most comments that I have received have been on Spin-Clean and How to Improve Your Sound, so here is an add-on for improving your sound.
- BlueTack: Many of us in the audio world have mini-monitor or bookshelf speakers. In most cases this is a necessity not just of economics but room size. If you have these speakers on stands, they sound best when fixed to the stand. Sometimes however, an unpleasant resonace sets in, particularly if the stands are metal. Quick fix, don’t bolt them, rather use a material called BlueTack. This is a soft, pliable material that fixes your speaker solidly to the metal stand without drilling holes on the cabinet of the speaker. As it is non-resonant, it will also eliminate the ringing from the stand. Bluetack has many uses, including eliminating cabinet resonances from your audio components. Turntable bases, particularly older duals with the plastic base, applying Bluetack to audio component covers at the point that the cover connects to the chassis also works great and it’s cheap $10-$15 Cdn.
- Bearing Oil: Do you own a turntable? Many of us do and one thing that escapes us is the necessity of adding or replacing bearing oil on the platter bearing. Most of the turntable companies provide it and it truly makes a difference. Replacing the oil may be an issue depending on your turntable. If you “do it yourself” check for service manuals on “vinylengine.com”. One thing to remember is you only need a drop. Some manufacturers recommend even yearly replacement. What does it do? This oil allows your platter to spin more effortlessly, hence less wear and noise.
- Leave your equipment on! I’m sure you notice your music system sounds better the longer it is left on. Most electrical components run better the longer they have left on. They usually run quieter and with audio gear the sound should become sweeter, fuller and even more detailled. If your hi-fi is in use ocassionally – weekends only then of course turn it off on Monday and back on Friday. This may not always be possible, particularly with the cost of electricity, but it does truly work. Just a note that if you purchase new audio gear, make sure that it has been on well before your demo. Why, the sound of the product will change and you want to hear it as you would at home after a few hours of listening.
- Speaker wire off the floor. Believe it or not, it actually is better to have wires off the ground or wall. There are devices in the market that look like little barricades or “saw horses” that keep your speaker wire off the floor.
- Surge Protectors: I am constantly amazed at the number of clients who do not use surge protectors. These devices can do other things but their primary purpose is to protect your equipment from nature’s elements. Lightning, immediate power surges can do anything from weakening electrical compnents in your system to destroying it. Please don’t purchase the cheapest one that you can find in most cases, those under $30. simply offer more outlets. Prepare to spend $50-$200 or even $1000. Yes, it’s a lot of money however when you consider that each of your components can easily cost $500-$700. it is inexpensive by comparison. An additional reminder, it is not unusual that power surges damage your speakers. When your power unit goes, it can take the speakers with it!
A few more tips or ideas. They do all work believe me. Vibrations of resonances are major detractors of sound. Any way that you can combat them should make your product sound better, perhaps only by one percent but 1% improvement in 5 areas makes a big difference!