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more 'snake oil'

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Thompsonuxb's picture
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Do surfaces really make difference to the sound a CD player/DAC or an amp makes.(Should I include PC's/MAC'S too) Glass, wood, plastic does it affect the sound, I know back in the day I placed a sponge from an old settee under my turntable to reduce vibration, but todays tec is less affected than turntables. I mean anyone hear have squash balls cut in half under their amp or CD player feet or maybe a iso plate or anything like that.... or is it more nonesense?

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Here is what Lavardin have to say about it ("What is the best rack to put the amplifier"):
http://www.lavardin.com/lavardin-faqE.html#support

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RE: more 'snake oil'

There's not one irrefutable reason I can think of why HiFi should be affected by the substance used to make a support, only the rigidity or lack of it.  Yet I have always preferred the sound of my HiFi when it's supported by solid wood rather than by glass or metal racks.  I can give absolutely no credible reason why there is a difference.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

I'm sure I still have some of those magical black triangles from Peter Belt somewhere. Must dig them out and convert my DAC into a worldbeater!

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RE: more 'snake oil'

I think they were adhesive foil triangles and they were put on the front cover of some hi-fi mag once (probably one that Jimmy Hughes wrote for) as a free gift. I gave mine to a friend's daughter who liked coloured stickers. I'm pretty sure that was well over 25 years ago.

I am amazed that anyone has kept them for that long.

 

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Check out the Big Question in the latest What Hifi Mag - Nov Issue

 

I was part of a 3 man blind test in the What Hifi test rooms.

We thought we was going to be hearing 3 different systems - same speakers, same cables.

 

We heard 3 different styles of song many times and all 3 of us could clearly hear differences along the way - some smaller than others - some in presentation etc.

Now it turned out the only thing being changed was the surface the cd player was sitting on.

All 3 of us were completely shocked by the news and that has changed my opinion on the matter forever!!

Now bear in mind the what hifi test room is a purpose built, acoustically treated room - that lets you properly hear the system you are listening to.

In a non acoustically treated room - you hear the room more than you hear the kit - ie. the room influences and skews the sound so you do not hear exacty what is coming from the speakers -  so therefore the differences in products like these are often called snake oile - wrong the room you are in / the speaker position / your seating position is not letting you fully hear the differences they can make

 

I am now embarking on a room acoustics project to improve my listening room.  My cousin has already added acoustic panels to his walls and the difference it has made in his system is huge!

I am waiting in a new sofa then I will be doing mine and cannot wait,  I have also ordered a Hi Fi Racks Podium - but thats for aesthetics, function and size as much as sound. 

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Aparently (Chineese water snake) snake oil is higher in Omega 3 than Salmon.  The problem with the name came from 'snake oil salesmen' not actually including snake oil in the products they sold. 

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RE: more 'snake oil'

ellisdj wrote:
 

I am now embarking on a room acoustics project to improve my listening room.  My cousin has already added acoustic panels to his walls and the difference it has made in his system is huge!

Cant agree more ellisdj. My room treatment was cheap but so very important. I say try a little experimentation as my previous threads suggest. Lots to gain for very little money.

Cheers

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RE: more 'snake oil'

chebby wrote:

I think they were adhesive foil triangles and they were put on the front cover of some hi-fi mag once (probably one that Jimmy Hughes wrote for) as a free gift. I gave mine to a friend's daughter who liked coloured stickers. I'm pretty sure that was well over 25 years ago.

I am amazed that anyone has kept them for that long.

 

 

More like never got round to changing the plug that I stuck one on too! I had them placed near the dust covers on the bass drivers of my AR 18BX speakers, and on a couple of LPs near the spindle hole if I recall correctly. I couldn't hear any difference whatsoever.

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Covenanter's picture
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RE: more 'snake oil'

ellisdj wrote:

Check out the Big Question in the latest What Hifi Mag - Nov Issue

 

I was part of a 3 man blind test in the What Hifi test rooms.

We thought we was going to be hearing 3 different systems - same speakers, same cables.

 

We heard 3 different styles of song many times and all 3 of us could clearly hear differences along the way - some smaller than others - some in presentation etc.

Now it turned out the only thing being changed was the surface the cd player was sitting on.

All 3 of us were completely shocked by the news and that has changed my opinion on the matter forever!!

Now bear in mind the what hifi test room is a purpose built, acoustically treated room - that lets you properly hear the system you are listening to.

In a non acoustically treated room - you hear the room more than you hear the kit - ie. the room influences and skews the sound so you do not hear exacty what is coming from the speakers -  so therefore the differences in products like these are often called snake oile - wrong the room you are in / the speaker position / your seating position is not letting you fully hear the differences they can make

 

I am now embarking on a room acoustics project to improve my listening room.  My cousin has already added acoustic panels to his walls and the difference it has made in his system is huge!

I am waiting in a new sofa then I will be doing mine and cannot wait,  I have also ordered a Hi Fi Racks Podium - but thats for aesthetics, function and size as much as sound. 

I'm not questioning what you heard but unless the test was "double blind", ie both the subjects and those conducting the test had no idea which you were listening to, then it has no validity at all I'm afraid.  No scientist would accept the result of a single blind test in any way at all.

Having said that if what you were listening to had any mechanical component then there is the possibility of acoustic feedback and I would have to say it might make a difference.  It certainly could with something as sensitive as a turntable, in fact I'd be surprised if it didn't and I remember when the world was young being convinced that it did.  I'd be more sceptical about a CD player but can see that it's not impossible.  Valve amps, yep there's a possibility because of their microphonic nature.  Solid state equipment I would be amazed but one must keep one's mind open.

If WhatHiFi want to gain credibility for their tests they need to be double blind or people like me will just ignore them.

Chris

Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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RE: more 'snake oil'

Thompsonuxb - I think your thread title should have a question mark after it. Your first post asks a question, but the lack of question mark in the title makes it look like you're stating a fact - which is only going to attract those that revel in slagging off anything that doesn't plug into the mains Smile

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RE: more 'snake oil'

ellisdj wrote:

 

We thought we was going to be hearing 3 different systems - same speakers, same cables.

 

While I'm a believe that they can make a difference, one could raise the point that you were already expecting to hear differences, and this may have influenced your perceptions.

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ellisdj's picture
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RE: more 'snake oil'

I don't see why double blind matters - they had no input just changed the cd and moved the CD player, all done behind us so we had no idea what was going on.  Then they took our comments related to what we thought after each song was played as many times as we wanted on system a b or c

They changed the order it was played in as well to remove any preference from the test before

There was consistency as well - I preferred one sound and chose that every time as my preference from the 3 so that clearly shows I could hear a difference in that presentation that I liked 

it was hard to tell sometimes, very hard but at the same time the differences were there and consistent

Sitting there listening for differences does have an effect psychologically - with other factors as well didn't know music, never heard system before - however that removes prejudices so is better 

sounded excellent as well - the seperation and space between everything was stunning never heard anything like it.  The ray Charles song there was a band playing in front if us - all spaced out going back about 4 feet behind the speakers - brilliant! 

That was off a Cyrus cd6s nothing mega high end,the amp was moon i6 I think MA platinums, epic speaker cable, not sure interconnects.  They have stunning test facilities 

 

 

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RE: more 'snake oil'

If you're playing music off a NAS drive via Sonos, will the surface matter?

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RE: more 'snake oil'

bigboss wrote:

If you're playing music off a NAS drive via Sonos, will the surface matter?

 

thats a very interesting question - I have a similar system - music is fed via my home network to a network card / dac analogue  output . Therefore no moving parts in the audio end point so you would assume affect less maybe

I can tell you my experiences soon when I get the hifi racks podium, however I have messed around with my speakers with the coming new sofa so that has thrown out my mccac calibration so it won't be a fair test. I will have to run mccac again as my centre will be raised considerably but I can still report back general findings.

 

someone else might know more??

 

 

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RE: more 'snake oil'

My Linn DS sounds noticeably better with Black Ravioli under the chassis!

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