AudioCircle

Audio/Video Gear and Systems => The Starting Block / Introductions => Topic started by: jb2455 on 18 Apr 2019, 10:23 pm

Title: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: jb2455 on 18 Apr 2019, 10:23 pm
Hi my name is jb and I like trying different tweaks for my system  : :thumb: has anyone tried the ‘ Dueland’ speaker clarifier? It looks like a capacitor in series connected to the speaker post. I believe Synergistic also has one that they sell. Do these work? Have you tried them?
Another is the Stein Harmonizer. Has anyone had success with this tweak? I am always curious about these tweaks and if they work or not.   :o

Thanks, JB
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 19 Apr 2019, 07:40 am
Hi my name is jb and I like trying different tweaks for my system  : :thumb: has anyone tried the ‘ Dueland’ speaker clarifier? It looks like a capacitor in series connected to the speaker post. I believe Synergistic also has one that they sell. Do these work? Have you tried them?
Another is the Stein Harmonizer. Has anyone had success with this tweak? I am always curious about these tweaks and if they work or not.   :o

Thanks, JB
Welcome JB :thumb:
These devices do ''something'' with the music signal and they will interact with the xover from your speakers, if the final result will please your ears its hard to say.

If you use a direct no xover FR driver I would rec dont use it.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: JLM on 19 Apr 2019, 10:40 am
In 50 years at this, have not found a single what I would call a tweak that works, but am not one to try many of them.  Recommend buying from vendors that offer good products upfront, why buy stuff that needs fixes?  Most tweaks are a scam, at best they do nothing, at worst they impart a coloration.  If the tweak is such a good idea why wasn't it incorporated into the original design or in all similar designs? 

Tweaks can be tempting, but best to focus on the essentials.  A simple synergistic system consisting of solid gear that fits your tastes/room is best.  Extra bits just distract and confuse.  Don't ignore room effects (weird shape, too small for chosen speakers, limited access, little isolation, poor setup, etc.) as most do.  By solid gear I mean that you should look into the company behind the components (service, history, deep  R&D/manufacturing resources, reputation).
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Elizabeth on 19 Apr 2019, 11:32 am
In the defense of tweaks... Plenty of utterly FREE tweaks around. The latest I tried was a gift from Michael Green who does 'tuning' as a professional. He suggested 'loosening the AC duplex, slightly" Holy Cow! it works! The sound became slightly less 'hard' a little softer, more natural.
Reminder FREE, Like FREE as in FREE. no cost. 
The free tweaks are the best. You can try it, or not, change it back, or not. no cost except a few minutes fooling around. Like speaker placement. 
Then more troubling.. footers.. There ARE dirt cheap good solutions, a buck each, even as low as fifty cents. Or you can splurge and buy $900 ones. EACH! ($900).
Most good tweaks started out as a free or nearly free IDEA. Grabbed by someone who managed to add in a profit. say 10,000%? Some folks take basic bits, claim they invented basic electronics, and then charge through the nose for it. (Bybee) when the fact is, anyone can make the SAME DEVICE for a few dollars in parts.
So IMO complaining tweaks are a 'rip off' is not fair. a lot (in fact nearly all) of them started out as an idea. a FREE or nearly free idea.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: OzarkTom on 19 Apr 2019, 11:47 am
Maple Shade Audio has over 50 free tweak ideas. Tweaks do work. I have been tweaking for over 40 years. I highly recommend trying the reverse of polarity at both speakers. One way will give you the biggest soundstage.

https://mapleshadestore.com/freeupgrades.php
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: ric on 19 Apr 2019, 01:51 pm
Hi, there are two big areas that define the question "do these tweaks work". One is how sensitive your system is, and unfortunately has to do with how much money is spent buying sensitive equipment. The other is how sensitive your ears are.
     There are many who (for them) do not care for or derive much regarding tweakdom, and see it as more snake oil. And then there are people like me who hear differences, and enjoy hearing improvements in sound whether it is a minimal cost tweak or one costing hundreds of dollars. I have played around with many low cost tweaks and eventually realized that if I really want sound improvement, spend the money (in most cases). Many sellers offer returns if you are not satisfied, and if you are not satisfied and are out the shipping cost, it's a learning experience.
     If you can hear differences in speaker cables then you will hear differences in other things too. For example, Synergistic Research has their (relatively) new blue fuse. To my ears the sound difference is huge and worth the money for the sound improvement provided. Are boutique fuses tweaks? Do they improve the sound quality? Are they worth the money?  All these questions YOU need to answer for yourself. Don't believe someone who says tweaks are B.S. That's his opinion and not should be kept as such. Good luck!
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: ArthurDent on 19 Apr 2019, 01:56 pm
Greetings & Welcome to AC JB   :thumb:
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: timind on 19 Apr 2019, 02:31 pm
My thoughts on tweaks: do I want to spend my time listening to music, or do I want to spend my time listening for minute differences after wrapping tape around my power cord or some other such tweak? 

My listening time is precious these days.



And welcome to AC
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 19 Apr 2019, 02:35 pm
These Mapleshade free tweaks are great, if the room have a good shape/size they worth to try.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: bodhiboy on 18 Jan 2020, 04:05 pm
Thanks for the Mapleshade link!

mike
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Hornfidelity on 19 Feb 2020, 02:15 am
The mapleshade tweaks look fun.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: dB Cooper on 19 Feb 2020, 04:26 am
Hi my name is jb and I like trying different tweaks for my system  : :thumb: has anyone tried the ‘ Dueland’ speaker clarifier? It looks like a capacitor in series connected to the speaker post. I believe Synergistic also has one that they sell. Do these work? Have you tried them?

Thanks, JB

Firstly, welcome to Audiocircle.

I can't imagine what the possible benefit would be.
First off: assuming your amp has direct-coupled outputs, as most modern amps do, you would be second-guessing the amp designer and turning it into a capacitor-coupled amp. The amp will have to charge/discharge the capacitor on every +/- voltage swing, which some amps react poorly to (they oscillate). This is why many amps have difficulty driving electrostats, which are essentially giant sound-emitting capacitors. The capacitor will roll off lows at some frequency dependent on the cap value and speaker electrical characteristics. This effect can be reduced by increasing the value of the cap- but that will increase the likelihood of having the first problem.

There may be tweaks that work but throwing random parts into a circuit doesn't seem likely to work out for the best. Use a competently designed amp that mates well with your speakers of choice and connect only your speakers to it would be my recommendation.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: smargo on 19 Feb 2020, 05:11 am
my experience over 30 years is that a tweak works (at least i think it does) for the first 2 months that i use it. Then i take it away

and my system sounds just as good
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: eichlerera1 on 19 Feb 2020, 05:21 am
I have utilized many of Dave's tweaks to my advantage over the years.....
http://www.estroarmonico.com/Tweaks.html
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Letitroll98 on 19 Feb 2020, 12:43 pm
In the defense of tweaks... Plenty of utterly FREE tweaks around.....

The best thing about free or nearly free tweeks is that they're fun!  I wouldn't ever install my system without using the maple footers I made for a couple of dollars, not so much for the pumice stone footers, they're in a box somewhere.  But it was a ball trying them out, next up is Elizabeth's pen blanks.  My speaker cables are on homemade 2x4 risers, maybe I hear a difference, but they look cool, I just read on the Mapleshade tweak page they need to be 18", something new to play with.

On the other hand if they're asking any real money for a tweak I'm with JLM, I'm unwilling to give people money for stuff I can very likely duplicate at home and may be of dubious efficacy. 
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 19 Feb 2020, 05:17 pm
Please, post these feature here in detail.
Gracias
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Wind Chaser on 19 Feb 2020, 05:46 pm
On the other hand if they're asking any real money for a tweak I'm with JLM, I'm unwilling to give people money for stuff I can very likely duplicate at home and may be of dubious efficacy.

There are some tweaks you can cost effectively duplicate at home but some are not so easy to duplicate at home like tube dampers. Herbie’s Halos come to mind. Money well spent because they work and there isn’t any diy alternative that I’m aware of. Speltz ZERO Autoformers is another. Medical isolation transformers another and the list goes on...

Th point is there’s nothing wrong with being frugal, however there are many great tweaks that do cost money and they do make a difference no matter how much anyone in the name of frugality objects, protests or denies the viability of them.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: OldScott on 18 Apr 2020, 04:21 pm
I agree with ric in that most often its a question of whether the tweek works or whether your system is sensitive to it. It may work on a very revealing system but not on a lesser, or vice versa. A further question, if the tweek has an audible effect, is it an improvement  or coloration/distortion?  As most of us have come to realize over the years  just because something sounds different doesn't mean its better. In fact it may even take some extended listening before one determines which is the case.     
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 18 Apr 2020, 05:13 pm
A further question, if the tweek has an audible effect, is it an improvement  or coloration/distortion?  As most of us have come to realize over the years  just because something sounds different doesn't mean its better. In fact it may even take some extended listening before one determines which is the case.
Good point, in the 90s I managed to find a shop with the well reputed Audioquest RF Stoppers, so I put two in the CD Player power cable, it was said to have a 100kHz filter point, to my dismay it had a clear bad effect on the music with less tone and life and some blur.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: rollo on 18 Apr 2020, 05:45 pm
Hi my name is jb and I like trying different tweaks for my system  : :thumb: has anyone tried the ‘ Dueland’ speaker clarifier? It looks like a capacitor in series connected to the speaker post. I believe Synergistic also has one that they sell. Do these work? Have you tried them?
Another is the Stein Harmonizer. Has anyone had success with this tweak? I am always curious about these tweaks and if they work or not.   :o

Thanks, JB

  JB only one way to find out. Each system has its own sound. Without an audition in yours opinions just will not help. Return policy ??

charles
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Elizabeth on 18 Apr 2020, 06:34 pm
for any tweak you have four choices:
Try it It works... great
Try it it does not work... too bad.
Read up on it decide the naysayers are right, do not try it.
Read up in it decide the pro tweak folks are right try it: then go to 1/2 again.

One point: itmay be that way in your system today, yes or no. in a few years, that may change.

And a commnet about the tweaks that cannot be (or only with great difficulty or needed expertise)  had cheap... well then do not try those? gee not rocket science. Skip those and do the cheap ones LOL It is not like "If I try one I have to do them ALL..' sorry no.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: toocool4 on 18 Apr 2020, 06:43 pm
Like some people have said, some tweaks work and some are just a waste of time. You need to try for yourself and don’t take anyones word for it.
Before you tweak i say you need to have done everything else to make the system sound good in the first place, tweaks are icing on the cake once you have done everything else first.

Some tweaks that have worked for me are power regenerator, isolation footers, damping plates etc.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: soundjimmy on 26 May 2020, 07:23 am
THERE ARE LOTS OF TWEAKS. It comes down to identifying problems then fixing them
Buy some static remover for clothes then wipe it on the speakers and cables . works a treat.
raise speakers to remove wooly bass.

good luck
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: robcraigw on 7 Dec 2020, 01:47 am
It can be fun and interesting playing around with differrent tweaks, but I find that it's almost like splitting hairs.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 7 Dec 2020, 02:51 am
The best tweaks are the simpler,  when I used long power cables I elevated them with coffee múgs tô great effect.
(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=177168)
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: musicman29 on 13 Apr 2021, 11:13 pm
There are probably just too many tweaks out there, but that's the free market system, right? Tweaks i've tried are the system tuning cd's from Ayre and Purist. The cork sandwich footer pads work, even have them on my amp transformer case to quiet some mechanical buzzing, various cables, of course, but I think a good rack makes a difference. Keeping cable connections clean is probably important. i use Deoxit and Stabilant for better(?) conductivity.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Letitroll98 on 14 Apr 2021, 09:43 am
It's easy.  All the free tweaks work fabulously, all the expensive tweaks are baloney, and all the moderately priced tweaks work a little bit, sometimes, if the weather's right.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 14 Apr 2021, 11:21 am
Wonder if these Deoxit and Stabilant are oily products ?
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Early B. on 14 Apr 2021, 12:01 pm
It's easy.  All the free tweaks work fabulously, all the expensive tweaks are baloney, and all the moderately priced tweaks work a little bit, sometimes, if the weather's right.

This sums it up pretty nicely.

I would add that most tweaks that cost money only last as long as the first few songs you play after the tweak is introduced.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: ric on 14 Apr 2021, 02:10 pm
I would say bullshit. Tweaks can and do work depending on what they are.
My caveats at this point are: you need two things in this hobby, sensitive equipment and sensitive hearing--without one or the other you won't hear much.
Also, part of the addiction to this hobby is hearing differences, which is what tweaks, cable changes, speaker, amp etc. changes do. For me it's always a thrill to hear those (positive) changes. BUT(!) once done your ear will become accustomed to those changes and then you will seek out other potential sound improvement ad nauseam, or ad infinitum depending on your point of view. (my girlfriend thinks the former).
Hence, the desire for more, better, different, latest, etc.
Remember, what we call tweaks, somebody stumbled upon and turned it in to a business. Snake oil is based upon how much things cost (retail) relative to the actual cost in parts--it usually has very little to do with whether it works or not . It's like Gomez Addams said "all you have to do is build something that cost pennies to make, you can sell for a dollar, and it's habit forming"
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Stercom on 14 Apr 2021, 02:28 pm
I guess comes down to how you define a "tweak". Your excellent example of using cork to dampen a transformer's buzz. Is that a "tweak" or just a fix to a problem with the amp? Anyway, I would say "yes" tweaks work. Do the cheap ones first and then decide if you want to spend more on what seems reasonable.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Early B. on 14 Apr 2021, 06:22 pm
In the past 25 years, I've probably removed 100 tweaks (ones I paid for), and not one of them did I ever say to myself, "Man, I should have kept that tweak."
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Stercom on 14 Apr 2021, 07:23 pm

musicman29 who restarted this thread and said: "The cork sandwich footer pads work, even have them on my amp transformer case to quiet some mechanical buzzing,...."

In the past 25 years, I've probably removed 100 tweaks (ones I paid for), and not one of them did I ever say to myself, "Man, I should have kept that tweak."

Why would you remove a piece of cork that was keeping a transformer from buzzing? Or are you saying something like that isn't a tweak?
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Elizabeth on 15 Apr 2021, 01:45 pm
As my system has become better at resolving the signal, I can say I tossed out the treated Quartz crystals as not being much use.
The Exotic wood all stays. as I can hear the difference changing the wood types... still.
Have to say the best thing of all was upgrading speakers from Magnepan 3.6 to Magnepan 20.7
Next best was adding all the Furutech Duplex.
Going to Marantz SA-10 for a DAC also was good.
And the icing on the cake was the butcher blocks everywhere with all sorts of exotic wood as footers.
I pretty much have no need to further fiddle around.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: mwstewart01 on 15 Apr 2021, 05:32 pm
Has anyone had an improvement with isolation transformers/power conditioners or is that just snake oil?
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: FullRangeMan on 15 Apr 2021, 07:54 pm
Has anyone had an improvement with isolation transformers/power conditioners or is that just snake oil?
I always liked tweaks inclusive the esoteric ones from Peter Belt, but on transformers I have listened no benefit and after I tourned to use the CD player direct in a 120V outlet I have listened a small benefit just starting in the first song, I have tried 2 Toroidal trafos one 2,5kg and a 4kg both hand made in 220V to 120V.
(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=108770)
(https://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=108779)
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: rollo on 15 Apr 2021, 08:37 pm
Has anyone had an improvement with isolation transformers/power conditioners or is that just snake oil?

   Yes and yes. Not snake oil. Depends on design of conditioner and budget. We would never do an Audio Show without them.


charles
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: fre11111 on 6 May 2021, 08:02 pm
Hi my name is jb and I like trying different tweaks for my system  : :thumb: has anyone tried the ‘ Dueland’ speaker clarifier? It looks like a capacitor in series connected to the speaker post. I believe Synergistic also has one that they sell. Do these work? Have you tried them?
Another is the Stein Harmonizer. Has anyone had success with this tweak? I am always curious about these tweaks and if they work or not.   :o

Thanks, JB

Hi there JB,

My name is frederick, I am a former retailer, installer and tuner. I just want you to know my experience with these tweaks both for Home audio and car audio. Everything you do will have an effect on your system, for good or bad we do not know. We have installed very expensive systems before where tweaks made sound worse than what we started. If you can have the luxury to test the item before you buy I think would be best. I am not close minded in terms of allthe tweaks because sometimes it can resolve some issues. Thank you
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: gmfisher on 12 May 2021, 03:54 pm
My two favourite tweaks on my current system, that are (obviously) pleasing to my ear?

1. An iFi SPDIF regenerator to clean up the source to the powerdac, and
2. A battery to power the digital source which makes it sound like a totally different system, much much cleaner, even with the reclocker!

Agree with the sentiments above; try it and if *you* like it then hooray.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Gerben86 on 15 Jun 2021, 08:31 am
Hi, I'm Gerben new to this forum.
I'm excited to bring my listening experience to the next level, learn und just try stuff. :)
Good day to all from the Netherlands!
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Nico M on 24 Aug 2021, 06:12 pm
Hi all,

I also do use tweaks A lot. As long as they are sensible.
I installed a low jitter masterclock in my CD player,  with it's own power supply.
Gave the digital circuit it's own 80VA toroidal transformer, with shottky rectifiers, and nichcon KG buffers.
Also i split up the power supply and divided,  so each chip got it's own regulated low noise feed. Spdif, decoder, dram etc, i removed the system clock, and gave each chip that needed it it's own low jitter clock.

The tweaks work. It changed my former mediocre Marantz CD72SE, to a really singing highend player.
Although i now use a seperate dac now, modding the player to use it as a transport,  was beneficial.
The cleaner the spdif signal enters the dac, the better it sounds...
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Bluray on 14 Sep 2021, 05:13 am
Hi ! I am New to Audio Circle and looking forward to learn and exchange my experience in the audio hobbie.

Really enjoy using tweeks in my systems in all areas of the audio chain, cables, components, power source, room acoustics, etc. I have beeen successful with most of them and continue to try new Tweeks on a regular  basis.

Vibrations and RFI /EMF control tweeks have made the most positive impact in my systems. Shakti stones, BDR cones and shelves among are the most easy and simple ones to implement with high rate of success with careful placement and positioning of the tweaks and lots of experinting to tweak the components to my liking sound and reach synergy between all the components.
 
Good to be here !
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Blackmore on 14 Sep 2021, 11:08 am
Welcome to AudioCircle, Bluray
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Phil A on 14 Sep 2021, 11:24 am
Welcome as well!
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: DannyBadorine on 14 Sep 2021, 03:03 pm
Hi all,

I also do use tweaks A lot. As long as they are sensible.
I installed a low jitter masterclock in my CD player,  with it's own power supply.
Gave the digital circuit it's own 80VA toroidal transformer, with shottky rectifiers, and nichcon KG buffers.
Also i split up the power supply and divided,  so each chip got it's own regulated low noise feed. Spdif, decoder, dram etc, i removed the system clock, and gave each chip that needed it it's own low jitter clock.

The tweaks work. It changed my former mediocre Marantz CD72SE, to a really singing highend player.
Although i now use a seperate dac now, modding the player to use it as a transport,  was beneficial.
The cleaner the spdif signal enters the dac, the better it sounds...

Those tweaks make a lot of sense to me.  I've spent a lot of time with DAC's in recording studios and live mixing consoles.  The clocking and the clock power supply has a huge impact on the results.  Jitter is a significant problem and higher quality clocking makes all the difference.  With a good clock you can hear the image get wider and deeper.  You can hear the room sound on the drums.  You can hear the details of the reverb and delay on the vocals better.  You often hear things in recordings that you never knew were there.
Title: Re: Tweaks! Do these work?
Post by: Early B. on 14 Sep 2021, 03:27 pm
The clocking and the clock power supply has a huge impact on the results.  Jitter is a significant problem and higher quality clocking makes all the difference.  With a good clock you can hear the image get wider and deeper.  You can hear the room sound on the drums.  You can hear the details of the reverb and delay on the vocals better.  You often hear things in recordings that you never knew were there.

Absolutely!!  That's exactly what I experienced when I recently acquired a master clock. What separates high-end audio is separation. Generally, the more components you have with their own power supply, the better the sound. It's expensive, though -- no way around it.