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Black magic for the studio: an old Sound on Sound article, "Hi-fi tweaks in the studio"

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all, came across this article while procrastinating. My google-fu (or rather head-fi-fu) didn't turn up any obvious posts in the forums, so I thought I might share this link.

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_articles/aug97/hifitweaks.html

 

Abstract:

"Carbon-fibre cables, gold-plated connectors, contact enhancers and spiked, lead-filled supports -- not a list of props from a science-fiction blockbuster, but a selection of the many accessories available from hi-fi specialist dealers. MARTIN WALKER enters the twilight zone to sort fact from fiction and discover whether any of this black magic can help in your studio. "

 

I find this article very dissatisfying, and I'm curious to hear others' opinions.

 

Cheers

post #2 of 21

I do not see how this article attempts to separate fact from fiction. If anything, it tries to pass fiction off as fact.

post #3 of 21

"Many hi-fi tweaks are like herbal remedies — people try them out and they work, and it's not until some years later that scientists finally come up with a rational explanation."

 

Maybe someday science will advance to meet this overwhelming challenge. Perhaps after trivial matters like the grand unified theory are sorted out.

post #4 of 21

Well just for one instance, they mention 8 millionths of an ohm variation in "dynamic" resistance in speaker cable would cause a signal difference -60 db.  Not sure which calculator they are using, but that would only be a signal -102 db down if the impedance were 1 ohm.  Pretty sure the rest of the article is equally correct.  

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

I think you guys all hit the nail on the head. The article compiles random claims of effects that are "important", but lacking a coherent set of facts that clearly demonstrate anything. Neil Peart says you should show, don't tell [1], and this article falls flat on its face in that regard.

 

Anybody want to comment on the speaker stands? It seems to me that part of good speaker design would be to make a box massive enough so that it's woofer doesn't push it around. How much do speaker cones weigh? Is there enough inertia + pressure available to induce appreciable motion in a properly constructed speaker cabinet?

 

 

Quote:

"Many hi-fi tweaks are like herbal remedies — people try them out and they work, and it's not until some years later that scientists finally come up with a rational explanation."

 

 

Science needs to get off its lazy rear and make the appropriate advancements so it can explain the magical health benefits of homeopathic remedies.

 

Cheers

post #6 of 21

The article would be awesome if it had a page two with facts as advertised.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

Anybody want to comment on the speaker stands? It seems to me that part of good speaker design would be to make a box massive enough so that it's woofer doesn't push it around. How much do speaker cones weigh? Is there enough inertia + pressure available to induce appreciable motion in a properly constructed speaker cabinet?

Nobody is mounting their speakers on wobbly jelly. For non-BS mounting options check out professional resources like this.

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Nobody is mounting their speakers on wobbly jelly. For non-BS mounting options check out professional resources like this.

I'll keep that as a reference if I decide to open a restaurant or need to set up a small public address system. For now my floor serves as an adequate stand for my speakers. biggrin.gif

se
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

The article would be awesome if it had a page two with facts as advertised.

 

 

Nobody is mounting their speakers on wobbly jelly. For non-BS mounting options check out professional resources like this.

 

Cool.

 

It seems to me that the speaker stand/mounting hardware is probably more relevant for optimal placement of the transducer in the room's acoustical modes and  location relative to the listener.

 

However, as far as the wobbly jelly is concerned, I am certain (as certain as there is a flying spaghetti monster) that when combined with health rings, brilliant pebbles, and the right set of power and speaker cables, that the result is stupefying!

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

I'll keep that as a reference if I decide to open a restaurant or need to set up a small public address system. For now my floor serves as an adequate stand for my speakers. biggrin.gif

What, you don't have a 22.2 home cinema?!

 

 

 

(Their studio monitors are not floorstanding speakers.)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

 

It seems to me that the speaker stand/mounting hardware is probably more relevant for optimal placement of the transducer in the room's acoustical modes and  location relative to the listener.

 

However, as far as the wobbly jelly is concerned, I am certain (as certain as there is a flying spaghetti monster) that when combined with health rings, brilliant pebbles, and the right set of power and speaker cables, that the result is stupefying!

Yeah, you can find a couple of pdf's on their website that explain how to install / where to place their studio monitors, for example the acoustical axis should point at your ears so the right height and angle is important.

 

What I was getting at is that while these tripods/stands are not flimsy they are not as heavy as sand filled boxes either. And they don't recommend spikes. Nor does Genelec and probably lots of other studio monitor manufacturers don't.


Edited by xnor - 6/15/13 at 4:29am
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

What, you don't have a 22.2 home cinema?!

 

 

'Fraid not. Just a humble 2.0. And sans cinema too.

 

Quote:
(Their studio monitors are not floorstanding speakers.)

 

Wimps.

 

http://itishifi.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-big-big-loudspeakers-article-1961.html

 

se

post #11 of 21
Quote:
The Audio Guild    Thursday, June 13, 2013
Yeah, baby!

se

Haha!

 

Mine is bigger, 60 inches ... of throbbing ... bass.

 

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Haha!

 

Mine is bigger, 60 inches ... of throbbing ... bass.

 

 

Wow! How'd you get that to fit in the back of your Porsche?

 

Enjoy your bragging rights while you can.

 

Have these on the drawing board (waiting until I get the new shop built). 8 x 18, baby! That's a total of 144! tongue.gif

 

Actually, Sd (cone surface area) is probably close to that of the 60 incher. About 10 square feet.

 

 

se

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

More magic:

http://www.amazon.com/Audioquest-RCA-Jack-Noise-Stopper/dp/B00447ZOCE/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_y

 

Am I right in understanding that there is no center pin on these to tie the ground to the signal socket on the inputs that these supposedly protect from noise?

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

More magic:

http://www.amazon.com/Audioquest-RCA-Jack-Noise-Stopper/dp/B00447ZOCE/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_y

 

Am I right in understanding that there is no center pin on these to tie the ground to the signal socket on the inputs that these supposedly protect from noise?

 

Yeah. They cover unused inputs to shield the center conductor from RF.

 

se

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

Yeah. They cover unused inputs to shield the center conductor from RF.

 

se


... so this is basically worthless then?

RCA jacks have, what, a 2--3mm inner diameter? Only radiation > 100 GHz could sneak in there, and then only with direct line of sight [1]

 

I have had first hand experience with circuit design gone wrong because I left an unused AND gate on a 7408 chip floating, which caused undefined behavior, but the answer was to tie the floating inputs to ground (or high, i don't think it mattered, as long it wasn't left to oscillate wildly).

 

If it weighs the same as a duck, it's made of wood, and therefore....

 

If I'm missing something, please let me know!

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