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Do you think all CD players sound the same or all editions of the same CD or vinyl (old vs. new imports, etc.) sound the same?
And, do you think all cabling and cartridges make little or no difference?
Then read on to learn how every little tweak can lead to better sound!
Move Your Speakers Around
This one is FREE! No! We’re not kidding! Try different placements of your main speakers as described in your manual. The results can be staggering!
Identify the Weakest Link
Okay, so you’re saying, “Nothing obviously wrong, so what do I do now? That guitar still sounds like a fishing line on a tuna can!”
Talk to us! We’ll be happy to figure out what could be wrong. As a rule, the sound from your system is limited by its weakest link.
We doubt there is another factor, aside from the turntable cartridge, that is as significant in truly changing the sound you get.
- The speakers are so called “transducers” (electrical energy converted into mechanical energy).
- Many audiophiles will FIRST select their speakers and the remainder of their budget for other components.
- Placement of speakers can actually vastly change the sound in a room and is directly related to your room’s acoustics.
- Try setting your speakers from six inches to 24 inches away from the wall. A better, more 3-dimensional sound stage will result in most cases, especially when rear-ported reflex designs are used (the speaker has a hole in the back).
A Better Cartridge
For the vinyl enthusiast the cartridge is one of the most dramatic ways to improve sound. It does not have to break the bank, will preserve your records longer, and simply sounds better than an old, worn cartridge.
Potentially the best stocking stuffer for any occasion for the audiophile.
Cables are often overlooked, but are some of the more critical links in a system.
- A $1000.00 CD player cannot pass good sound on a ten-cent, frayed, flea market audio cable.
- Just passing good sound is just as important as amplifying it or “transducing” it from, say, analog vinyl or digital CD, into the electric amplifier chain and out as sound through your speakers.
- Ask Us About Affordable High Quality Interconnect and Speaker Cables
- You may already have reasonably good equipment, with the weakest link actually being in your cabling.
- We make our own high grade interconnect and speaker cables in-house. Cut to the right length with your choice of connectors. Crafted and tested to ensure trouble-free operation and the best sound possible for your money.
A Good Amplifier
Speakers are only as good as the amplifier they are driven by – a bad driver cannot win the Rallye Monte Carlo, not even with a Ferrari.
- It must be pointed out that it is not always the higher power rating that makes for a better amplifier or receiver. Different manufacturers over the years have used individual ratings, which are not always compatible.
- Ever buy a car with a 90-hp engine that moved faster than a car with a 160-hp engine of similar weight? In the audio world, your amplifier is the engine that drives your system.
- Some of the world’s best amplifiers were, and are, comparatively diminutive in output!
- Take for example a 30-watt amplifier; sound dinky, right? Hold on! The average modern speaker will produce somewhere close to 90 decibels, or just below, of sound pressure with one-watt power at a distance of one meter.
- Pumped into the average room of, say, 160 to 250 square feet, you just reached the dance club level sound pressures and certain to have a police complaint made by your neighbors!
- It it’s not power that counts, then how do you select an amplifier or receiver? You must listen to it!
- Your ears are what is most important. We make it easy for you to listen to different combinations of speakers and amplifiers that will best match your tastes.
- Some tube gear enthusiasts are even known for using one or two-watt per channel amplifiers with ultra-efficient speakers for a very warm and sweet sound!
- A few speaker manufacturers have developed the art of producing better than 100-decibel per watt speakers of extraordinary sound qualities, specifically matched for these small tube amplifiers.
- So, never knock a small amplifier until you try it! You may like it!
- On the hand, your ears may like the dry quality of a higher-powered system with relatively in-efficient, hard to move, but dead-on speakers.
- Who can possibly know? You will after an audition. (Link to main email here)
Your Source Device
A source device would be your turntable, CD, DVD or MP3 player, tuner pr tape machine.
- Remember, your amplifier and speakers can only amplify and tickle your ears with what they are being fed by the source device.
- Is your current CD player, turntable, radio receiver, DVD player up to the task? Are you using a suitable antenna?
Feel like more should be added here, see Pete
Needless to say, your system can only sound as good as your record on vinyl, CD , DVD, MP3, or through good reception of a station that uses good sources.
- That makes it so important to preserve our rich heritage of sound and music and take good care of your treasured favorites. Careful handling can extend the lifetime of media in some cases, indefinitely.
- Ask us how to take care of your treasured musical and other recordings. There are numerous ways to at least partially rescue some otherwise potentially useless material.
- We highly encourage you to assist in the task of keeping musical heritage in good shape, as the vast bulk of vinyl records will NEVER make it onto CD or MP3, meaning that better than 80-percent of all music will be lost, unless we archive and maintain our vinyl collections.
- Maybe it is time to take advantage of that limited number reissue on the market right now to replace the old, worn album or scratched and skipping CD, or at least upgrade to a better preserved vintage copy. House of Records, our record collection, can meet your needs with advice and vinyl.
Your home can make any system sound “dry” or “wet”. Tell us about your room:
- Do you have a carpet, wood, ceramic or tile floor?
- Are there lots of furniture pieces and maybe a wall of bookshelves?
- Heavy curtains?
- What are your walls made of? Are they covered with paneling or paper?
- Maybe you have a Gropius designer style home with four walls and a functional chair group, all placed to complement a Dali painting next to the window wall and lots of open space.
- More “damping” occurs when your room is filled with sound-absorbing objects and they will tolerate, and even prefer, a different speaker and warmer amplifier from a barren room with echo potential.
- An emptier room can be a bit trickier and will require a more precise amplifier and may do better with less bass and midrange-laden speakers. Otherwise, the amplifier/speaker could easily sound boomy or bass heavy.
- The emptier room will have a brighter sound and can develop so called standing waves or multiple sound reflections, which over emphasize some sounds and instruments in a bad way. Like we said, “Tricky.”
- If you noticed, a brighter speaker can be a better speaker for a brighter room. Bright plus bright makes…too bright? But it is supposedly just right, not bright? Sounds wrong? A paradox, isn’t it?
- A large wall carpet or some acoustic wall tiles will make a day and night difference. Ultimately you will only know how your speakers and amplifier sound once you set them up at home.