02
Oct
09

Footers, spike bases, dampers and other tweaks (part 1)

Of late, some customers have been labeling us as the king of tweaks, an understandable reaction to us bringing in a number of different brands of tweaking or ‘tuning’ products recently. Being more of a ‘hands –on’ type of guy, I find audio accessories are always fun to play around with, and besides I find that they almost always work. Whether you know how or where best to apply them, is another matter.

This is where a little bit of skill and a certain amount of ‘trial and error’ experience comes in. But just sit back and spend some time listening to a system that is fully loaded with various isolation devices, conditioners, power cables etc., then listen to it again stripped bare of all of those. The vast difference in the sound quality will make a convert out of you right away! And when I say vast, I mean vast! There is really nothing subtle about the effects of a good set of isolation or tuning devices in your system.

What qualifies as a ‘tweak’? Anything whether big or small, that is inserted into any given audio system and tackles a certain shortcoming in that system is considered a tweak to me. It can be a AC line conditioner, a power cable, an isolation board or set of footers, contact enhancers, or even things you stick on components or on the walls of your room to tackle ‘negative energy’ can be an effective tweak if they serve to ‘cure’ a perceived problem in your system.

Different products address different weaknesses in your system, or are aimed at different systems at different price points. Therefore, there is a place in the ‘tweak universe’ for the plethora of accessories now available in the market and I have never encountered any one product that can be considered a ‘cure all’.

The following is a brief summery of some of the newest products we have introduced to local customers, and some of their unique qualities.

Advanced Acoustics

Most audiophiles now acknowledge that the room itself is usually one of the weakest links in any audio system. This company makes a range of room tuning panels that absorb the reflections from your walls and minimize excessive bass response from your speakers. They are easy to hook up, easy to maintain and come in a choice of attractive colours. Again, a “before and after” comparison will convince you of its necessity in any serious system.

advacousticsfeatured

http://www.advancedacoustics-uk.com/highendaudio/

AMR Gold Fuse

Have you ever considered that a tiny item like a fuse can profoundly affect the performance of your audio system? If not, then think again! The AMR Gold Fuse can be used in any electronic component whether for audio or video, and has been known to improve tonal richness, lower distortion and improve dynamic range (for audio) and also improve picture definition and colour saturation (for video). One of the most simple, inexpensive, but effective tweaks that you can buy!

Fuse_04s

http://www.hifi.com.sg/products/accessory/amr/goldfuse.htm

Fo.Q

This Japanese company manufactures a unique range of accessories that is coated with a special material that converts vibrational energy into heat. Apart from normal accessories like isolation boards and turntable mats, they also offer an interesting range of damping strips that you can use to control resonances of speaker cabinets, mains transformers, tonearms, headshells and any thing that your imagination can come up with!

ds25-001

http://www.foq.jp/index_e.html

SSC (String Suspension Concept)

This German company manufacturers a wide variety of products that can be separated into 2 broad categories – Pucks and Bases. Meant to be used under all types of components and even speakers, they have the ability to absorb and diffuse vibration by use of a unique network of strings. Extremely well machined and finished, all products are made in Germany.

Netpoint_Triologie

http://www.hifi-ssc.de/english_web/index.html

Shunyata Darkfield Elevators

These products are primarily meant to elevate any type of cables from the floor in an attempt to control vibrations and manage static fields. The elevator is constructed from expensive, multiple layers of electrically conductive foam. This allows static charges to migrate through the elevator eliminating the build up of static field differentials between the floor and cable that would otherwise create noticeable signal degradation. This results in improvement in the areas of clarity, resolution and wider soundstaging to any high quality sound system. Sounds like voodoo to you? Just give it a try and I guarantee that you‘ll be convinced in no time!

Insets-DarkField

http://www.hifi.com.sg/products/accessory/shunyata/darkfield.htm

In part 2 of this article, I will be writing on some of the tried and proven products that have opened the eyes (and ears) of many customers in the past. All of these products whether new or old, have time and again showed us that it is possible to elevate our systems to new levels of performance without having to chop and change our main components, thus avoiding having to spend tons of money in the process. So stay tuned!

Advertisements


%d bloggers like this: