StillPoints ERS - IMHO

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StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« on: 3 Dec 2003, 05:21 pm »
Okay, I'm a sucker for cheap tweeks.  Or, maybe I'm too cheap most times to committ to worthy (expensive) component upgrades and this is my sympton of the audiophile disease.

Stillpoints ERS - it's doesn't cost a lot, absorbs and defracts RFI and EMI, it's easy to use and it's well reviewed by members of AudioCircle and audiophool press.

...and, it works, but like most other things - it's system dependent.

I bought two sheets and 12 feet of tape - $91 or so thru the CryoTweaks.  Placed on top of my transport (Sony DVPS-7700) and outboard power supply P1000 and tape inside my Ultimate Outlet, my home brew hospital grade junction box.  The results - mixed.  A slightly quieter background and a little less 'grainyness' made for slightly more enjoyable listening sessions.

I moved one sheet and placed it on top of my PS Audio PowerPlant (PP300) and it was a little better sounding (smoother) than the effect on the P1000.

I have 6 LAT International power cords, 3 LAT top-of-the-line IC's, and top-of-the-line speaker cable (running to my woofs).  All of these (including the speaker cable - rare) are triple shielded for RFI-EMI rejection.  As well, I have an Ultimate Outlet and Power Plant and the new IRD Purist LLC has a an effective filter, too.

The combined effect of ERS was less than that of one power cord...power cords cost me $75 to $129.00 (used and new).  The effect of ERS reminded me a lot of each power cord I introduced into my system...just not as effective.  However, each power cord I added to my system had less of net effect on the system than the preceeding one. The ERS was introduced only after 6 shielded power cords, IC, SC and everything else - I could ask for nothing more from it.   

All the same, for my 2 channel system, the $91 (actually used about $80 of it on 2 channel system) may have been more effective towards something else.  Cryo'ed cables, perhaps?

On my very simple video system, the ERS was more effective.  Fixed power cords all round, cheap Onkyo receiver...only a Monster Cable Powerbar (works nice for $149.00) added.  I moved  sheet (from PP300) to my DVD (Pioneer), taped the outside of the PowerBar and wrapped a few winds around some cords.  Better effect than in other system, more pronounced  silence, definitely better dialogue and sound and maybe (probably) better picture.

So, ERS works.  But depending on how much EMI-RFI rejection you already have, you may find its effects to be underwhelming.  Then again, if you live in an urban area, have little RFI-EMI protection, you may find this to be a great tweek.

In a perverse way, I'm kinda' glad it didn't work that well for means I did something right previously.  Yeah, ERS works, but other RFI-EMI rejection tactics do, too, at similar cost.
« Last Edit: 24 Dec 2006, 09:01 pm by TheChairGuy »


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StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #1 on: 4 Dec 2003, 12:17 am »
Chairguy- From my experience, the ERS is more effective used inside the various types of units you mentioned.
                                                             Paul G[/b]


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #2 on: 4 Dec 2003, 12:18 am »
Yo Mr. Stern,

I used to use the LAT powercords too.  I feel the unique sonic signature that the LAT had on my system would have made it less perceivable in terms of the difference ERS would have made on it.


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #3 on: 4 Dec 2003, 03:01 am »
I used the tape inside my homebrew 4 gang hospital grade outlet box (fed with 6' LAT cable) and in the Ultimate Outlet.  A few pieces were adhered to the outside of the Power Plant, fixed cords (Sony Transport) and on the main outlet box (in the wall - PS Audio Power Port).  Sheets were laid under the transport, the P1000 power supply to my DAC, then moved to the top of the Power Plant with slightly better effect.  I didn't want to open up all the components and had read that the mer presence of the cloth on the outside cleaned up digital grudge from transports - also I was warned to use sparingly as effects are cumulative and could reduce high frequency content.  So, I tried to use a bunch, but not so much that is difficult to remove.

It's John...I was listening to The Howard Stern Show when I wrote it.  What sonic signiture did you find with the LAT' totally honest, I haven't spoken to another user of LAT gear b4.  They are well shielded and definitely changed sound with each added...the noise level uncannily lowered each time; the earlier ones dramatically.  Perhaps that's the only thing a good powercord does is....shield EMI-RFI.  Dubious or snake oil those that say more 'current' makes it to your components with fatter, purer, optimized cable strands?  

Well, this might be another subject entirely, back to the ERS....


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Similar experience with LAT cord
« Reply #4 on: 4 Dec 2003, 06:00 am »
I own several power cords - a Z Cable, a thick Tek Line cord, and the LAT.  Although definately the least expensive of the three, the LAT always seems to deliver the deepest soundstage and blackest background. I use it on my tubedac, which also benefits from the ERS strip I've placed inside.



StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #5 on: 4 Dec 2003, 06:23 am »
ChairGuy- Aloha from your friend on Maui.

As posted, you need to get in side the box were the transformers and diode rectifiers are creating RF/EMI.

Build a ERS barrier around the transformer and power supplies.

Switching power supplies like the ones found in most DVD players are
the biggest offenders.

If you have the ERS tape, try applying it to both side of the ribbon
cables in your DAC and transport/DVD. They act like antennas.

Also, get yourself some Black Pad and do some damping of your transport/DVD(you'll see this stuff inside your P1000).

When are you going to come out with a British Officer's style chair?


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #6 on: 4 Dec 2003, 07:38 am »
Hey John,
My guess is the ERS wouldn't improve on the sonics that I haerd when I had the LAT in my system because it does the most frequency "equalization" of any cord I've owned.  And, in my system, the ERS generally opened the soundstage up a bit and provided more clarity and detail.  I doubt the ERS can cut through LAT's equilization of the system's sound.

While I had the LAT, I also had Virtual Dynamics and Mapleshade PCs.  The LAT sounded marshmellowy in my system.  The lows were slightly muffled and the highs were creamier with the LATs (I had two).  The marshmelliness did somewhat reduce digital edginess on my digital fronts at the time.  But, I greatly preferred the Virtual Dynamics which was being sold at half of what I bought the LAT for.  

Other than that, I think LAT is a great value since I bought them way before their recent price hike, and they do sound A LOT better than freebie cords.


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StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #7 on: 4 Dec 2003, 02:32 pm »
Viggen - What is your assessment of the Mapleshade power cable?
                                                                                 Paul G


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #8 on: 4 Dec 2003, 06:39 pm »
Viggen, I'm also interested in how the Mapleshade power cord performed? Do you have Mapleshades basic or plus power cord? I'm thinking of trying the plus on my EAR 834P Tube phono stage and the regular on my Solar Fusion H1 amp & MiniMax preamp. Is it what they say it is.. Could beat cables costing 4 times more?? Thanks


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #9 on: 5 Dec 2003, 01:04 am »

Hi - yeah, I'll probably open up a few of the components and do some more internally to them with ERS...I did a little of that with my homebrew outlet box and Ultimate Outlet, but not the other gear cause I read the beneficial effects just laid on top.

I haven't opened the P100 up since I bought it, but I just bought 20 lbs. of Plast-I-Clay ($1.50 per lb.) and intend to use some damping in a few pieces of gear and speakers.  The stuff is hilariously effective and cheap...kudos to Frank van Alstine.  He wrote a bunch of articles as far back as 1982 on the benefits of this stuff.  Check on the website for back issues of  Audio Ideas in pdf for a read.

Sounds like you have the MSB/P1000 combo(?).  If so, I just improved the pairing 5% with an upgrade to that cheap-ass umbilical cable that's supposed to supply current from P1000 to DAC.  It's a $129.00 cryo'ed cable from Revelation Audio (found on Audiogon).  I've had it in only an hour now (just came in mail).  I wish it didn't darn work cause I'm no fan of spending $$ on more cables (something that shouldn't matter), but it really does.  Cleaner, faster, clearer and much better bass. 19 hours more to fully break-in, but it's already pleasing......well made, too.

Don't know what a British Officer's style chair is...did a Google search on it and came up empty.  We sell a lot of the unit (and a couple others) in my avatar to HI.  Wal-Mart, KMart, City Mill - we are in Long's on mainland, not in HI.  We also have a massive beach distributor in Irvine, CA that has regular shipments to surf shops there.



StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #10 on: 5 Dec 2003, 01:14 am »

I hope not to ever change out any more powercords, I hate getting stuck on cable issues.  LAT has good, sound engineering behind it and it definitely changed my tunes for the better - what may be better out there, but I don't know and really don't wanna' find out.  Cables are one part of this sickness that you never win, ya' know what I mean?

In my system, the biggest change by intro of LAT cable was the IC-200 IC's, then power cords by close margin (each one up to maybe the 4th one of 6 now in the system), then the SS-1000D speaker cable.  All but the most die hard cable nay-sayers will generally tell ya' speaker cable, then IC, then PC's in that order of importance.

The change from the PC's were almost freakish...much lower noise floor and very weird phase shift until broken in 50 hours later.  Real weird sound until then.  The first piece of equipment that it didn't dramatically benefit was the IRD Purist LLC preamp..I suspect the built-in EMI-RFI filter negated some fo the benefits of shielded after market power cord.

I get them at Echo Audio in Portland, OR new for $120.00 (list $169.00 I think now?).  I don't know how they do it and I do not ask.  Really great people and good deals on used gear...better than most pricing on Audiogon and ebay.  Again, I don't ask, I just buy when I can.


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #11 on: 5 Dec 2003, 02:32 am »
Hey Eich,

The Mapleshade PC is brassy, a warm metallic glow.  While I had them, it introduced a bit of interference into the DAC, dida pretty good job with the transport, but it did wonders for the preamp which was the Nakamichi CA7A.  The pre sounded a bit analytic/lifeless and physically had a class A warmth.  With the Mapleshade, the pre breathed new life and ran cool.  They definitely had synergy.  I had the regular double-helix which is the lower end version.  


Cables definitely have dubious honor of snake oil.  I think LAT's website makes a very good case regarding using the most cost effective materials to get the most bang for the buck cable.   It is one of the first cable manufacturers that tells you exactly what they put into the cable that I've been aware of.  Now, you have lots of small vendors who are giving you the "truth" by making their cable recipes known.  So, in most cases, you pretty much know exactly what you are getting, or so you think.  In short, you don't want to be overcome with cable nervosa?  You are in the wrong place my friend.  :lol:


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #12 on: 5 Dec 2003, 03:20 am »

I have a friend that showed me a really cheap tweak for vibration.  Just pour some silicone into a small waxed paper cup - about 1/2" thick.  Then pour in some small lead shot, like bird shot and keep it all under the silicone.  Let it harden and then remove the "puck" from the cup.  Set this dead-weight puck on top of your cabinetry - really kills the resonance.


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #13 on: 5 Dec 2003, 04:20 am »

Yeah, Plast-i-Clay, for about $1.50 per lb when you shop around.  I've used Mortite or Dennis brand rope caulk (hardware stores) for years...but the stuff is so tacky that when you 'finger it' into spots for damping for a while your skin gets too raw.  Plast-i-Clay has the right softness, yet fully adheres to surfaces.  And, by weight, it's about 1/4 the price to boot.

I used (Mortite about 15 lbs worth) it years ago on a cheap-ass JVC (solid plinth) belt drive TT and it sounded remarkably ballsy.  Yeah, the arm still stunk, but the dramatic beterment was heard by all.  I've done component innards, speakers, CDP's all with modest (negligible in some cases) to outstanding outcomes.

I know Frank van Alstine sand you don't always see eye to eye on things...but his advice on Plast-i-Clay is great.  See 'Audio Basics' 1982.

Your 'silicone/lead shot cupcake' ( :mrgreen: ) tweek would work I'm sure on some speaker and component surfaces, but not all.  The clay gets in the way...better.  Along the lines of the 'cupcake', I have two 10 lbs solid steel weights bought at KMart ($4.77 each as I remember it) sitting on top of my speaker cabinets.  Someday, I'll Plast-i-Clay them and de-couple them from the cabinet.  Your cupcake seems like it might help dissipate the vibrational energy into heat thru the silicone that the weights don't.

My Optimus LX-8's are butt ugly, but sound great with all my tweeks(including active crossovers).  My stuff is all in my office and 'the women' don't have a say in my 180 square feet..they can do what they want in the other 2000 or so sq. feet.  

"One large step for man, one large leap for mankind".


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #14 on: 5 Dec 2003, 05:41 am »
Chairguy- You have a Sony S7700 modified with the MSB 192K
network and a full Nelson w/P1000, right? Came from a guy in HI?

The British Officer's chair was low slung folding chair with a back that pivots and leather arm supports. It was wider then a director's chair
and a lot more comfortable, since you could lean back and the back
would pivot to match your spine angle.

You should come up with a similar audiophile listening chair. I'll
rep for you in HI.  

Keep on tweaking! Aloha.


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #15 on: 5 Dec 2003, 06:48 am »

Was that you I bought the Sony DVP from...way cool, how are ya'?  I remembered that I bought it from a guy in Hawaii (and liked to travel to Las Vegas), but didn't recognize your name (you use the same on Audiogon?) . The DVP is working well in tandem with the Gold Link III and Power Base.

Yeah, I was living in Washington DC at the time and have moved west in the interim.  I forgot what you said you upgraded to, but it was something British and very upscale as I remember it.  Meredian?  

I still don't have a fix on what this British Directors Chair is, tho.  If it doesn't compact snugly, is very transportable and can sell for less than $29.99 retail buyers won't do it.  Above $20 for an outdoor portable chair and it's tough selling in volume to almost anyone.   That's the gig in my biz.  Tough to tell the Wal-mart buyer they are wrong!!!

Tres cool bro, hope you're quite well. :wave:


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #16 on: 5 Dec 2003, 06:22 pm »
Chairguy- Yes, I use the same name on Audiogon. Glad to hear all your gear is working well.

I'm currently using the TacT gear, which eliminates the need for a separate DAC and can take a 24/192 input. (wish someone would come
up with a transport that can output DVD-A in two channel at 24/192
and convert DSD into PCM).

We've got a Wal-mart on Maui now, so I know what you mean about the price points.

I still think there's a market for a comfortable audiophile listening chair,
that doesn't have to be as lightweight as your current models. I'd love
to have a couple of chairs for when friends come over to listen, but be able to fold them up and put them in a closet, when it's just me.

Anyhow- Mele Kalikimaka! 8)


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #17 on: 5 Dec 2003, 09:20 pm »

Oh, now you're in for it - once you get  Wal-mart'ed it's mighty tough paying more in other stores for the same stuff.  You have been 'tainted' permanently.

I sit in my backpack chair (the one in my avatar) all the time when listening, but it's kinda' ugly for my room, so off into the closet it goes afterwards.  It's got arms, a cupholder, headrest and 4 position recline - feels good for about 1-2 hours..that's about the end limit of comfort for most folks in an under-$20 retail portable chair.  

We've got one that sells (poorly) at $79.99 (image piece) called The Lounge Wizard that is as comfy as any chair in any house I've been, but it's too bulky to fold up each time in my room.  It's fine for the outdoors tho as you have more room.   THAT is a great listening chair, man - kudos to my Chief Engineer for designing that one.

Regards guy....


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #18 on: 8 Dec 2003, 06:19 pm »
I had a few feet left of the ERS I used it to around the R-Core transformers in my MultiAmps, fully lined the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet, and added a few strips to the wall outlet cover (PS Audio Power Ports).  I didn't want to rip open the PS Audio Power Plant or transport..these just have the 8 x 11" sheets laid on top.

Net result - nyet; nothing that I could tell.  So, it's really system dependent the effectiveness of this tweek.  I have alot of RFI-EMI rejection apparently with the UO, PP, all shielded cables throughout and a RFI filter in the Purist LLC.  

On my modest video system, some startling results.  A strip on top of my Poineer DVD, a few strips to the outside of my Monster Cable PowerBar 1100, an 8 x 11" sheet on top of the DVD, a few strips on the wall outlet cover (Eagle 8300 Hospital Grade).  Much clearer sound (very obvious), cleaner, tauter bass, and maybe (probably) better picture.

End result - it works, but if you already have significant attention paid to EMI/RFI you may not need it. But, most don't have much attention paid to this subject, so your results could be startlingly good when you use the ERS cloth.  It's a good tweek, that could be a great tweek for some.

Way to go Stillpoints!


StillPoints ERS - IMHO
« Reply #19 on: 8 Dec 2003, 09:35 pm »
Has anyone tried the door on their circuit breaker yet and lived to tell about it?