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Hi-Fi Snake Oil

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by greenleaf7, Jun 7, 2013.
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  1. Greenleaf7
    The purpose of this thread is to call out the most blatant snake oil audio products regardless of price.
    The idea is not to ruin anyone's enjoyment of audio, or inflame subjectivists in any way, but to separate mythical products from those that actually make a difference to our listening experience.
    The marketing for such items can be extremely persuasive. While it may seem like Nirvana, the claims are nearly all completely false. So if ever a salesperson attempts flog you with any of these items, you’d know better to say no.
    I believe that the list of Snake Oil items listed in this thread will help audio enthusiasts make better informed decisions when purchasing new audio gear.
    Here's a list of (highly possible) snake oil equipment in the audio industry. If you know of any other similar equipment, please feel free to share them!
    Monza LP Stabilizer http://www.furutech.com/2013/02/03/1631/
    Piezoelectric effects are the key. Furutech’s employs these nano-sized polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramic particles exhibiting electro-generative properties with carbon powder that exhibits thermal-conductive characteristics that interacts with the electrically charged ferro-ceramic particles converting their energy into heat that’s conducted away and released from the surface of the material and in doing so making the connection between electrical and mechanical oscillation. The mechanical and electrical damping effects occur while “interconverting” thermal, mechanical, and electrical energy acting as the perfect weighted surface for your LPs.
    SK-II Electrostatic Brush http://www.furutech.com/2013/02/02/1788/
    By using the SK-II and lightly brushing the surface of LPs, CDs or DVDs in a circular motion, the sound quality of LPs and CDs will be improved and the image quality on DVD replay will also improve.
    LP Flattener DF-2 http://www.furutech.com/2013/02/02/1790/
    The DF-2 provides controlled-heat perfect flattening for all your warped records, even those with only slight irregularities just enough to unsettle your cartridge and cause mistracking.
    De Mag http://www.furutech.com/2013/02/02/1792/
    The only way to achieve top performance is by demagnetizing your problems away! There are no other demagnetizers on the market that can be used in such a versatile and effective way. The deMag Demagnetizer can even be used on metal-based accessories like CD stabilizers or speaker terminals.
    AudioQuest NRG WEL Signature Series AC Power Cable http://www.audioquest.com/power-cables/wel-signature
    COUNTER-SPIRAL GEOMETRY: WEL Signature AC power cables have an inner circular array of positive conductors spiraling in one direction. Around this inner group are the negative conductors spiraling in the opposite direction. Even while the positive and negative conductors are crossing each other instead of being parallel, the relationship between the positive and negative groups is fixed and non-changing. The result is an astonishing clarity, like focusing a camera lens you had no idea was so far out of focus.
    Cable Elevators http://www.musicdirect.com/p-971-cable-elevators.aspx
    Use Cable Elevators to support long runs of interconnects, power cords and speaker cables for huge improvements in detail, focus and dynamics. Creating an instantly noticeable and undeniable audible improvement, Cable Elevators are one of our all-time, best-selling, most effective accessories we sell. 100% Money Back Guaranteed!
    PS Audio Noise Harvester http://www.musicdirect.com/p-7419-ps-audio-noise-harvester-in-black-ea.aspx?source=igodigital&
    Eliminate noise right at the source. The PS Audio Noise Harvester is the world's only device that actually eliminates line noise from your home's power lines. Only the Noise Harvester removes AC noise and converts it to another form of energy, light! Give your power conditioner a nice head start by lowering your noise floor in the first place.
    Quantum Base QV2 AC Line Harmonizer http://www.musicdirect.com/p-48752-quantum-base-qv2-ac-line-harmonizer.aspx
    Qv2 applies QRT technology directly to your AC line, simply plug the Qv2 into any spare outlet on your power conditioner (or the same power line that your system’s connected to) and your music or movies will take on a new sense of space and immediacy, clarity and presence. It really is that simple.
    Audio Desk System CD Lathe http://www.musicdirect.com/p-6975-audio-desk-cd-sound-improving-system.aspx
    Designed to “true” the shape of the CD to reduce mechanical jitter, the ADS also trims the edge of the CD to a 38° angle to reduce laser scatter. This new edge is then treated with the included black marker. This 60-second process results in pronounced improvements in focus, transient attack, detail and transparency.
    Spiral Groove - Strange Attractors: Decouple http://www.musicdirect.com/p-85110-spiral-groove-strange-attractors-decouple.aspx
    Strange Attractors act very similarly to a diode, which allows energy to only pass one way and not return. Strange Attractors remove both internal and external sources of vibration, hold your components very, very still, allowing your components to finally deliver all the music in your recordings. The effect is absolutely stunning; background noise vanishes, harshness and hash are banished, revealing a gorgeous tonal purity and dramatic dynamic range.
  2. thegunner100
    Wow, this should be a fun thread xD
  3. xnor
    Cable burn-in devices. Some companies even offer this as a service.
  4. Greenleaf7
    This is a review of the cable elevators
    "The damn things do lower noise, increase dynamics, remove haze, and open up the top octaves. Once you listen to their effects, even a skeptic like me has to admit that it is hard to take them back out of the system. Music sounds more like music with the Cable Elevators in place. I recommend them strongly, especially given their price!"
    - Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, Editor's Choice Award Winners
  5. Mambosenior

    Simply priceless, although he forgot my favorite: blacker blacks.
  6. Greenleaf7
    What does "blacker blacks" mean? I'm assuming that it holds the same meaning as 'blacker background'.
  7. bigshot
    Super Intelligent Chip!
    6Moons reviews Super Intelligent Chip!
    Brilliant Pebbles!
  8. bigshot
    It means super funky!
  9. ThatPhilDude
    Is it black enough though, I need something that can truly be called ''none more black''.
  10. julian67
    I don't see what is "snakeoil" about a device which flattens vinyl records. I no longer have any vinyl but can clearly recall records that were not flat from new and others which warped over time. I can also recall the problems could often be heard.

    There were lots of horribly thin LPs made which warped much too easily and I always thought it was a bonus if I took the record out of the sleeve for the first time and found a good heavy, flat disc. It didn't happen often enough. Here in the UK there was (maybe is, don't know) a market for Japanese imports because they tended to be better made and part of that was being flatter and heavier.
  11. bigshot
    The problem with flattening warped records is that they flatten out with little stretches and crimps. The needle tracks it, but you get wow that makes you say, "WOW!"
    It's better to find a super tracking turntable and transcribe warped disks. It is a salvage operation. They can't be saved if it's past a certain point.
  12. bigshot
    Then you need to buy records by Parliament/Funkadelic or Sly and the Family Stone!
  13. Mambosenior

    It only makes sense if you belong to a cult.
  14. dvw
    The electrostatic brush can be useful for LP but not CD and DVD. The electrostatic brush I owned is all metal and has a ground strap on it  The Furutech one does not look right. The price is probably not right either.
  15. roadcykler
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