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Audio Tweaks - snake oil or true medicine?

  Thread Last Poster Posts Last Post
Archive through February 26, 2007Larry R100
Archive through February 17, 2007John A.100
Archive through February 13, 2007Larry R100
Archive through April 21, 2006Nuck100
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1708
Registered: Oct-04
Notes to Jan: Yes, she was referring to opacity - and the CD Stoplight is still being made. MusicDirect. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1709
Registered: Oct-04
Well, I just got off the phone with Mer's friend - and she said that the black flat paint would inhibit laser reflection much more than the black marker. Opacity is one factor, she said - but reflectivity is another. That's why I take a 3M green scrubbie to all CD outer rims. Without that, you will see a mirror finish on the edges. Reflection. . .

After that - I read several references to abraiding the outer edges of CDs - thus further reducing reflection.

And from what I remember in my interview with the CD Stoplight manufacturer, the green paint was designed to reduce laser reflection WITHIN the disc, not outside of it. Checking old notes. . .may never find them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1710
Registered: Oct-04
This, from an old 1990 Stereophile article:
- - -
Print articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Ice Magazine, and on television stations MTV, VH-1, and CNN, all reporting, with varying degrees of incredulity, the CD tweaking phenomenon.

The intensity of my interest in the subject was heightened by a product called "CD Stoplight," marketed by AudioPrism. CD Stoplight is a green paint applied to the outside edge of a CD (not the disc surface, but the 1.2mm disc thickness) that reportedly improves sound quality. I could not in my wildest imagination see how green paint on the disc edge could change, for better or worse, a CD's sound. However, trusting my ears as the definitive test, I compared treated to untreated discs and was flabbergasted. Soundstage depth increased, mids and highs were smoother with less grain, and the presentation became more musically involving.

Other listeners, to a person, have had similar impressions. Since I am somewhat familiar with the mechanisms by which data are retrieved from a CD (I worked in CD mastering for three years before joining Stereophile), this was perplexing: I could think of no plausible explanation for a difference in sonic quality. As we shall see, the light reflected from a CD striking the photo-detector contains all the information encoded on the disc (footnote 1). Even if CD Stoplight could somehow affect the light striking the photo-detector, how could this change make the soundstage deeper? I was simultaneously disturbed and encouraged by this experience. Disturbed because it illustrates our fundamental lack of understanding of digital audio's mysteries, and encouraged by the promise that identification of previously unexplored phenomena could improve digital audio to the point where today's digital audio era will be regarded as the stone age.
- - -
Further Online probing brought information from the AudioPrism folk that the CD Stoplight was designed to stop INTERNAL laser reflections. Within the disc, not outside of it.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1206
Registered: Nov-05
I used a marking pen on the edge of an old Sade CD a fair while back and noticed an improvement. However the pen I used was difficult to apply and have been meaning to get a different one. I may even try flat black acrylic paint - plastic model paint I guess - other than that a permanent marking pen.

Does the coating go on the edge of the CD only or do you guys also coat the clear top outer circumference area on the label side as well?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1711
Registered: Oct-04
MR - some people choose to add black or green around the center rim - I personally tried this, but could never hear any difference - plus, it's very easy to slip and either ruin or seriously mark the discs. As to the outer area - well, some people claim that, by adding thick black stripes running from center to outer rim it makes for better sound. Ask me and I say "huh?" but then, I did take time to make a bunch of li'l black rubber mats, didn't I? (double grin)

The "boys" out West have begun their CD party - but it will be hours before I get any results. Verne says two of the guys are already bad-mouthing the product even before they start. Yeah. . .

But if anybody can hear Any difference in sound, these guys can. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1209
Registered: Nov-05
Wonders will never cease! I was just down at the local supermarket and noticed Pledge Clean & Dust with a big "NEW" sticker. It seems we aussies take a while to catch up. Anyway, I bought a bottle out of interest and I'll see if I can't grunge up a disc or twoe with it. I also purchase a big black permanent marker. So as the sands of time drip through the hourglass in your study Larry, waiting for news from your LA friends, I might try these things out ands see (hear) what happens. Herbie's mat has left the building.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 9873
Registered: May-04
.

"Opacity is one factor, she said - but reflectivity is another. That's why I take a 3M green scrubbie to all CD outer rims. Without that, you will see a mirror finish on the edges. Reflection. . . "


But, Larry, the laser isn't aimed at the edge of the disc. You've confused me with the idea of reflection from the edge. And black is black. Am I mistaken in thinking the make up of black ink is not that different than the make up of black paint? Are not the same basic colors the base for both products? Are not both done by way of additive color mixing? The only difference I can guess at is opacity of the final product. If I am correct regarding the manner in which black ink and paint are produced, your friend has me way confused as to why one black edge treatment containing some amount of red pigment would be less reflective than another black edge treatment containing some amount of red pigment.





http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue1/auric.htm


"Auric Illuminator ($39.95 as a kit, www.audience-av.com) is a slightly thick, bluish cream that is applied to both sides of the disc with the supplied polishing cloths. In addition, a black pen (not the same as the one that comes with the Audio Systeme Desk) is applied to the outer and inner edges of the CD. According to the manufacturer, Auric Illuminator, 'Will help your disc player to retrieve all the available data on your discs at the right time. Auric Illuminator allows the laser pickup to track the disc more accurately. It also improves discrimination of the exact end and the exact beginning of the reflective and non-reflective areas on the track'."




And, "The Audio Systeme Desk ($495, at www.fatwyre.com) allows you to "true" the outer edge of a CD at a specified angle. You place a CD facing up on the platter, clamp it securely, turn on the motor, and slowly move the arm toward the CD. The arm is limited in its arc, so will only cut so far. It's a bit messy and noisy, but fairly foolproof in execution. The unit comes with a black pen, and while the CD is still spinning, you can easily paint the beveled edge by holding the pen to the beveled edge."



Also, "To add even more complexity, one can combine edge-cutting with any of the sprays, and can use a green pen or a black pen. No, make that a green, a blue-green, and one of several black pens. The green pen is the one from Audio Prism, CD Stoplight. The blue-green pen, which was supplied with the CD Clarity, I found too messy and WAY too toxic in odor. It is also not readily available, as it is in short supply, and is not normally included with the CD Clarity. Word has it that this is the color to go with, so perhaps another time."




Obviously what I earlier pulled and posted from AudioPrism's own webpage is at odds with what Stereophile claims and Larry says he got from further reading. I agree with Nuck that beating this into a bleeding, color treated, washed and rinsed mosh is bordering on the OCD. There is no more agreement on CD treatments than there is on cables. Thin or thick? PVC or Teflon? Twist or parallel? Black or green? Inner and outer? Washed and shaved? This is sounding very dirty!Believe what you like or what you hear. I have found my combination - for now. That's really all that concerns me. Now, where did I put that roll of Press and Seal?


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 9877
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0104/tjoeb.htm


"Kudos are also due Ah! for their De Mat disc stabilizer ($25). Not only does it dampen vibrations, but it also blackens the top and edge of a CD during playback. De Mat features a lip that covers the edge of the CD in much the same way as the application of a green felt tip pen aka "CD Stoplight." Unlike the green ink treatment, De Mat does not permanently alter the CD, and there's almost no effort involved in using it. Simply place the mat over the CD and go! The sonic effect is to focus image outlines in manner synergistic with the benefit of the upsampler board. Once heard, you will not want to be without it. And the best news of all is that it may be used in any CD player."

.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1712
Registered: Oct-04
Mercy! Jan's taking this tweak-thang to the Nth degree. Think I'll just think about thinking about the whole topic.

anyway - to the Great Insanity Mat shootout in LA.

It was kinda a bust. First, the guy with the Rega cancelled out - leaving only three players.

Then, when they started in with the testing, nobody could decide on which songs to play, etc.

They finally chose one song from Pink Floyd (Any Colour You Choose) one from Good Night (Straighten Up and Fly Right) and Exactly LIke You from the Ray Brown disc. They said OK to the first movement on the Mendelssohn disc. Sigh.

A very long story short: Nobody could seem to hear any difference between a plain disc and the Grungebuster. On any machine.

But for some reason, there was some difference on the Pioneer Elite. Three of the six people "thought" they heard warmer and cleaner sound with the Insanity Mat - but only on the Ray Brown disc and the Good Night disc.

In the end, they all took Insanity Rings home, and promised to listen closely in the days ahead. Yeah, they'll probably make faucet washers out of them.

Verne says it was a wash-out, but at least they did engage in some serious listening for awhile.

Guess that about wraps it up from LA - a tiny plus for the Mats on one machine, and on only two of the four test CDs. Sigh. Hardly an endorsement! (grin)

But it's what I expected. Heck, I've got two left for me to play around with - and there's five people out there to whom I sent one - so maybe one of y'all will be pleasantly surprised? Who knows. . .

Just one final comment: Black is not black - all inks and paints are formulated with different bases - some black is blue, some red, some green, etc. Any artist supply store can fill you in on details of this.
The "common" black marking pen is based on red, and thus reflects more than absorbs red-spectrum light. Though both marker and paint will, indeed, inhibit the transmission of light, just hold a disc or whatever you've marked with the pen up to a bright light. See what color is reflected most - red.

There are those who believe and worry about light-scatter within the discs, and those who don't. Like CD cleaning and pen-marking and cabinet damping, I try to both get and share information. Y'all can do with it what you will. This Forum is a good place to trade ideas.

That's about it.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 276
Registered: May-06
Just got home from work, opened this thread, kind of like the feeling one gets waiting to watch Grey's Anatomy (well maybe not as I am in this thread already and Grey's Anatomy is still in the DVR) found Larry's message, dashed back out to the mailbox and behold, my own newly adopted Insanity Mat. Going to name mine "Bull's Eye".

Even though my ears still feel like someone was lobbing Cherry Bombs at me last night (Iron Butterfly very loud, separate thread) I am heading up to the media room to introduce Bull's Eye to Pink Floyd - Animals, track 3 Pigs. Then maybe Jennifer Warner. First the Rega Apollo, then the Samsung SACD player, probably should run DSOM SACD disc from there in 2 channel as well. Finally I can head back down to the family room and drop them in the Rotel 955.

Only if my ears would stop feelin' like they need to bleed.

In that it's late and I let the Apollo cook a bit before I taste it, I may not be able to update until tomorrow or Wednesday night.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1713
Registered: Oct-04
Sorry, MR -scrolled right through your posting.

Let me know what happens with the Pledge, please. And don't go too heavy with the black marker - it CAN sometimes loosen the sprayed-on label surface around the edge. Not good.

At the moment, Jan has his kit, and I have my routine, which involves roughing up (with 3M green scrubbie, not sandpaper!) the outer edges, then cleaning with Z-14 only. that's it. No pens, no rings, no black disc-covers.

Thinking about an iPod. (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1210
Registered: Nov-05
Okay, my final conclusion - er, well I think it's final - on the subject of cd tweaking is this: Today, with my wife's emery board I lightly sanded the cd edge and painted it with the black marker. There was a slight improvement to the sound in the same ways I've mentioned previously. I then applied the Z14 (the Pledge wasn't as good) and there was further improvement. I then applied the cd size black vinyl adhesive, trimmed the outer and inner excess off with the stanley knife and filled in any spots where the vinyl did not meet the pen ink on the outer rim with more marker ink. I really couldn't tell if there was any more real improvement, but the entire process has created a very good overall improvement in 3 dimensionality, cleaner, crisper highs and more well defined bass. Having said that, the greatest improvements I have encountered so far have most definitely been the Merlin interconnects, which may or may not be suited to other systems.

However, I think my future cd tweaking will be with the Z14 and black edging with the marker pen, otherwise one might become too obsessive about this and forget there is actually music encoded on these stupid darn discs.

Also, there seems to be more benefits to my ears from applying these tweaks to older recordings, I would like to know what you guys think about that?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1714
Registered: Oct-04
MR - yes, definitely more benefit with older recordings. And on SACDs the improvement is minimal.

Please be careful with the emery board - I made the mistake, several weeks ago, of trying to use fine (150 grit) sandpaper on the disc edges instead of my usual 3M green scrubbie. Oops - the sprayed-on label side began to flake off in spots. I quickly dabbed on some clear nail polish, and vowed not to do that again!

Seems that many discs have label-side lacquer that is very thin - and when it pulls up it brings the silver layer with it - the layer containing the reflective pits and planes. No good. . .

I'm still intrigued with the idea that the black vinyl improves the sound - that harks back to several articles I've read Online. Nobody seems to understand why, but a black disc atop many CDs does make the sound smoother. Hmm. . .

I have tried many times now, but I simply cannot replicate Art's reports of grunge washing off with Z-6 when he uses Dawn liquid. But I've stopped using the Z-6, anyway. . .

Respectfully.. .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1715
Registered: Oct-04
MR - so, there's MUSIC on the CDs? Whadda yah know.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1211
Registered: Nov-05
Certainly makes 'em more cost effective Larry (grin).
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1716
Registered: Oct-04
As it's nearly 1 a.m. here, I was surprised to suddenly find Mer standing in the doorway - wondering what the heck I'm doing.

I told her "chatting on the Forum about the Insanity Mats."

"Oh, for Heaven's sake - come to bed!" she said.

I'm on my way.

G-nite from Swampville
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1212
Registered: Nov-05
Much kudos to Steve fro Herbie's Audio Lab. I only emailed him today to let him know I have posted the cd mat back to him and I just received word he has refunded the cost into my Pay Pal account which I have verified as well as his apologies for the mat not being of benefit to me. That's great service and honesty imho.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 277
Registered: May-06
OK, well that didn't take long did it.

Pink Floyd - Animals, track 3 Pigs, first 1:16 seconds 5 times each with and with out "Bull's Eye"

Now you have to remember my ears feel like you finger does when yesterday you forgot to use a pot holder and singed the skin off of the tip.

Without; theres a piercing / stabbing in my ears from a high pitched background rhythm that plays again and again and again. Think of how that first shot of Jack Daniels feels going down.

With Bull's Eye; the high pitched rhythm is there, but it doesn't hurt to listen to it. Sort of like every subsequent shot of Jack Daniels going down.

I actually queued the same section of the same track on an original Animals vinyl on my Linn and it was way way pulled back, well beyond either trial on the Apollo, due in part I am sure that it wasn't warmed up too.

So here's the conclusion for this first test. Higher frequencies are rolled off ever so moderately so that you would not be in pain (my ears tonight) or you would not become fatigued (my ears most other nights).

Not that I ever found the Apollo fatiguing, but it is clearly was a very nice, very subtle improvement.

Sorry I cannot say more at this time but having physical pain then not having pain sort of stole my attention away from anything else, such as isolation of notes, or cleaner mid-range, deeper bass, or whatever else that might or might not have been happening. All I know was it hurt my ears to listen to without Larry's mat and it did not hurt my ears when I used Larry's mat.

Again, that's enough for me tonight, but it is enough for me to do considerably more testing when my ears stop hurting.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4188
Registered: Feb-05
Michael I leave my Apollo on all of the time, same with my integrated. I find that when they have been powered down (power outage or what not) it takes a couple of days for them to reach their best sound quality.

Larry, I don't know how you washed ypur cd's but I applied the dawn directly to the disc and rubbed it on with my finger then I rinsed it off under very warm water. All of this was done with a halogen lamp on high over the sink so that I could clearly see what I was doing. It didn't require looking hard to see the Z6 wash away. Remember though that I never applied Z14 and Sal Zaino stated that if you applied Z14 then the Z6 bonds and it will not be easily removed.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1717
Registered: Oct-04
Michael: Advice from an old man - don't do this to your ears, son - you'll be very sorry in the not-too-distant future. Please - turn down the volume! Please. . .

As you have a much "better" player than I do, I can't begin to compare sound quality. But from what I read on various forums, the Rega would seem to be a very "bright" machine. Maybe that's why you get the results you do?

When your poor ears settle down - more testing, please. Heck - I may have to send you a bill for the Insanity Mat yet! (double grin)

MR - yeah, in my e-mailings with Steve I found him very up-front and eager to please. I wonder if his new Black Hole mats are any better - or similar to my Insanity Mats? Hmm. . .

Art, my friend - this may sound like I'm trying to pick an argument - NOT. I take a new, soft blue sponge and lightly apply the Dawn to various discs, rinse off under warm water, then pat dry with Kleenex Viva paper towels.

I think you're right on one count: the Z-6 that was applied OVER Z-14 is there to stay. On those discs, I'm now cleaning TWICE with more Z-14. Hoping that removes the Z-6 residue???

Now - I had at least ten CDs that had NO treatment of any kind on them. On three, I applied only Z-6. Then, I waited a couple of days. Then I did my regular Dawn-wash. No signs of any grunge coming off - EXCEPT when I used perhaps too much Dawn. then there was white "glop" - which I believe is excess Dawn, not Z-6.

I simply cannot replicate your cleaning results. Not that I doubt you - just that I can't do it myself.

Notes on the black ink on the rim debate. Those who challenge the light-scatter-in-a-disc should not use it unless they change their minds. Why bother? If you don't think it helps. . .waste of your time.

In my Cambridge, even when the disc is playing, there's a flat black plastic "tongue" that sticks out over the spot where the laser shines up. And the disc is surrounded by flat black plastic rim. Light coming out from the disc would have a hard time going anywhere.

And I stand firmly in my belief that CD Stoplight is designed to stop or reduce internal disc light scatter, not to stop it from bouncing around the player housing. Just read their own literature. . .

One final note from Verne's test-party last night: he was so impressed with the Denon 3930 that he's going to ditch the HK 47 and get a Denon of his own. Denon-owners, take note. He says the 30 is much more musical than the 10 was. Well, good.

Now - anybody for a nice, bright green Insanity Mat? (jest kidding, guyz. . .)

respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4189
Registered: Feb-05
No Larry I didn't think you were tryin' to pick a fight...lol. I just think we are looking at it differently and applying different methods.

BTW the Rega is not a bright player....both my NAD and Rotel were brighter and they weren't bright. If there is one thing I can't tolerate it's bright.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1718
Registered: Oct-04
Art: If you can't tolerate "bright," you're in very good company. Agree totally. I've heard about Rotel brightness, but never NAD's. Maybe I need to stop reading reviewers?!? Yeah.. .

Jan: you brought into discussion the machine that carves away the CD rim on an angle, in hopes of stopping light-scatter. I got a kick out of this from a CES show promotion.
- - -

"Light scatter is often to blame for poor sound potential. Light scatter moves randomly through CDs and audibly deteriorates reproduction. Using black or green felt tips on the edge of a CD could never solve the problem satisfactorily. Just a few years ago a series of experiments came up with a remarkably effective process: the outer edge of the CD was ground or beveled to nullify the light scatter. The blackening of the bevel absorbs the remainder of the straying laser light.

Audiodesksysteme Glass has developed the CD Sound Improver based on this ground-breaking research. In just a few minutes it optimizes the sound characteristics of your CDs permanently and above all, noticeably."
- - - - - - -
And heck, for only about $500 USD. Good deal, eh? But what they do NOT want to discuss is the problem I hinted at earlier: on many discs, if you sand or scrape away the upper label lacquer, you expose the aluminum sub-layer, and in many cases it will flake off and deteriorate quickly. Guess they just hope that the machine-user doesn't have any discs where the alumimun layer comes very close to the outer edge. I found problems with some of my new SACDs and even had to apply nail polish to one, because I'd foolishly sanded a bit too much.

Guess we've pretty much worn out the CD tweak arguments? Probably not. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 9878
Registered: May-04
.

"And I stand firmly in my belief that CD Stoplight is designed to stop or reduce internal disc light scatter, not to stop it from bouncing around the player housing."


No, Larry, I said light in the transport. Most transports are essentially closed mechanisms. Not all and in cases where the transport doesn't close down around the disc edge ambient light could be more of a problem. This is most likely in an "open chassis" transport. But, at the very least, most transports are dark grey to black in "color". I haven't looked at the new Rega player but, as a top loader, it is possible it has less material around the disc itself. If that's the case, edge treatment might be a worthwhile tweak to its operation. However, this topic has been in the marketplace for years now and it would seem implausible that most high end designers aren't paying some attention to it when designing their players. That said, Roy Gandy has never followed convention.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1719
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: OK - I misunderstood. My "transport" while not totally enclosed, does surround the disc with flat black plastic, as well as a partial cover over the disc. Light would have a hard time bouncing off that stuff.

WELL! Some good news from Verne's experiment after all! Remember the Rega guy who canceled? Seems he had a very, very good reason. His wife gave birth to 6 pound 11 ounce Lisa Marie at 3 a.m.
Mother and baby fine - father says he's a wreck! First child, so a lot of angst there.

Also - one of the chaps who took part in the test did further testing at home - and told Verne this morning that "there is, indeed, some sound-smoothing with the Insanity Disc." Hmm. . .he probably heard better at home - without beer and pizza pollution?!?

Amazing - as I go through all my CDs to clean them, I find that there is a layer of dust on almost all of them. Most have not been cleaned in more than a year, and I was not happy to find the dust!

Mer came out to the kitchen to ask what I was doing.

"Making rainbows," I answered.

"Well," she said, "how about . . ." then she stopped and asked "WHAT?!?"

"Making rainbows," I explained. "You see this disc, and how dull the surface is?"

Mer allowed as how she saw it, and was amazed at the dirt. "So what about the rainbows?" she asked.

"Well, you see, I wash each CD with the Dawn, then I further clean it with the Z-14, as you've seen me do many times."

"I know all that," Mer sighed, "but rainbows?"

"Yeah," I said gently but firmly. "You put on the Z-14, like we always did, but now I've discovered that I wasn't polishing it out enough. So watch."

I put the pea-sized drop on my little sponge, applied it to the disc, and let it dry until the haze began to form. Not too dry, however, for that sometimes creates crusts, which aren't easy to remove.

then, I started polishing with the cloth - round and round in little circles. "Now watch closely," I instructed Mer.

She became fascinated when the disc turned from silver to hundreds of rainbows. Yep - by polishing much more than I used to, I find I'm getting a higher sheen on the disc - although risking tiny hairline scratches. Sound difference? Oh-oh - here we go again - don't know for sure, OK?

I'm thinking that there is more to using the Z-14 than gentle wiping. For those of you who have it, try more polishing and see if I'm just "seeing things."

Looking for those INsanity Mat reviews, guyz!

REspectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1216
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, I have always applied a reasonable amount of pressure wiping on the Z14 (in little circles also) but when wiping off, always from the inner to outer edge - 'cause wiping off round and round usually always resulted in tiny scratches.

Now, as stated before and now totally confirmed (by me) and thanks to info by Larry and Jan, I sand the outer edge and give the disc a slight bevel with a nail (emery) board (a good thick one almost like tough sandpaper) and coat and recoat the outside edge and inner outside edge to the label rim with black permanent marker. Once this is done I find there is no need for the black vinyl disc. And the sound benefits are the reward for the small effort.

As an experiment, get a bright light facing directly at you, hold the disc shiny side side up, hold it on an angle so the edge faces the light until you see the individual tracks (like the rings of an old sawn tree trunk). If you coat the outer layer you should not see these rings. Meaning the light does travel across the inside layer of the disc from the outer edge, therefore the black (or whatever) coating should prevent most of the straying laser beams. My opinion mind you all [grin].
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1720
Registered: Oct-04
MR - interesting! I just hope that you don't ever do what I've done a couple of times: sand just a bit too much and nick the upper layer of aluminum and lacquer. I still fear "disc-rot" if the reflective surface begins to erode.

So - what kind of "sound benefits" do you hear with black marker use? Interested, because I've never found any change by doing that. Then again, my ears ain't what they used to be! (grin)

Now - what you need, Rantz, is a couple of liddle black silicone rings to put on those nice, black-rimmed discs! Yeah! That'll do it!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1721
Registered: Oct-04
Digging Deeper:

Art: further research with the International Audio society reveals that you may, indeed, be onto something with your Z-6 disappointment.
Z-6, while making CDs shine brightly, does leave behind a thin coating. Also - while Z-14 is a true cleaner, Z-6 is not. Therefore, Z-6 leaves its own thin layer atop whatever mold release compound, etc., is already there. Here's a quote from an IAS newsletter.
- - - - -
the only way, for a fluid treatment to yield truly better CD sound without concomitant degradation, was to clean the disc very well and then leave nothing behind. This maximized disc reflectivity and also yielded the best sound of all, with no sonic downsides.
This correlation, between brighter reflectivity and better sound, strongly suggests that the quality of the eye pattern is indeed an audible factor in the ultimate signal put out by a CD player. Also, slight improvements in reflectivity produced major improvements in sound, strongly suggesting that the CD medium is very vulnerable and sensitive to this external analog influence of reflectivity. The cleaning technique that produced the best reflectivity also produced the best sound, and it was stunningly better than we had ever heard before form the 16 bit CD medium - more transparent, more musically natural, more vividly sparkling, and even more dynamic!
Unfortunately, the great sound did not last long. After about 2 minutes of playing, the sound from the freshly cleaned CD started deteriorating, back toward its normal self, losing color (becoming grayer), more veiled, less dynamic. Why? We soon found the problem. The freshly cleaned CD, as soon as we started playing it, became a piece of plastic rotating fast enough to attract very small particles of normal room dust, which we could see upon closely examining the CD. There was enough room dust in the air inside the CD player so that, after about 2 minutes, the fast rotating plastic disc had attracted enough to noticeably decrease its reflectivity, and this reflectivity decrease had produced a degradation of sonic quality. Although this was a sonically disappointing outcome, it constituted another scientifically valuable piece of evidence. The sound had improved when we got the CD super clean and maximized its reflectivity, and now the sound was deteriorating when attracted dust decreased the reflectivity.
- - - - - -
Witness my own problems - with CD dust, which I was surprised to find on most of my discs - and which I'm taking pains to clean off with Dawn and Z-14.

As you - Art - are one of the few who used Z-6 without some other cleaner first (Pledge or Z-14) your problem was worse than ours.

Now - to the person who got one of my Insanity Mats and didn't want to "go public" with it - thanks for your almost-positive reply. More natural lows, but fuzzier highs was your reaction - which I thought I'd pass along on the Forum. She plays show tunes and "light" jazz mostly.
(the recipient uses a Sony player and HK amp)
To each his own - and the results are, uh, "interesting." I guess. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 9886
Registered: May-04
.

"The freshly cleaned CD, as soon as we started playing it, became a piece of plastic rotating fast enough to attract very small particles of normal room dust ... "



Anti-static Pledge, anyone?


Larry, instead of all this washing and cleaning and sanding of CD's, why don't you just buy a turntable? It can't be any more work.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4200
Registered: Feb-05
"As you - Art - are one of the few who used Z-6 without some other cleaner first (Pledge or Z-14) your problem was worse than ours."

On more than half of the discs with Z6 I used Pledge first. Good try though.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1219
Registered: Nov-05
"what kind of "sound benefits" do you hear with black marker use"

Same as with the Z14 - and together the effect is multiplied a little. The whole process takes a few minutes which isn't much for the musical benefit imo. The only thing I intend to do now is to make a template so I can apply the top outer black ring with the marker neatly. For me this tweaking process is the icing an an already delicious cake.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6072
Registered: Dec-04
It's like a Seinfeld episode.

Hey what's Kramer got in the bag?

Kramer:'Oh just some dish soap,car cleaner, furniture polish ,black paint, car wax,a tube of caulking, a rainbow of sharpies, plastic wrap,scothbrite pads,glittery foil,a manicure set,a bright light,black shelf paper.

Jerry: 'I see. Having a craft party?'

Kramer: 'Hell no! The maestro is coming over for opera'

Laugh track, commercial.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1220
Registered: Nov-05
You watch to much TV Nuck!
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1221
Registered: Nov-05
You watch toooooooo much TV,Nuck!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6076
Registered: Dec-04
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6077
Registered: Dec-04
That's entertainment in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Least so long as I'm here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 9890
Registered: May-04
.

Larry, I've only listened to a few CD's but your little mat gives similar results to Herbie's in both of my players. Your's is slightly smaller in diameter than Herbie's and the results seem consistent with that difference. Your's is a bit less confidence inspiring (than Herbie's) that it will arrive back on the disc when I push "eject". I washed off both sides of the mat as I'm not comfortable with talc inside my player. Talc is a fairly good, if very fine, abrasive. So far there have been no problems with the mat sticking to the inside of the player.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1722
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Tried to answer last night, but could not access the Forum for some reason.
Yep - I didn't expect any revelatory statements - I believe that the li'l mat does help a bit on some recordings, but I'd never go through the trouble of making a batch again! (grin) You did right by washing the disc before using it BTW.

I made it smaller because Herbies' new "Black Hole" mat is 1 3/4" in diameter, and I wanted to try to get as close to that as possible. obviously, he must use some other material? Just don't know. . .

I still await further reviews - but am not holding my breath at this point.

At first, I was a bit skeptical of putting the mat in my player without some sort of "buffer" material on top, but since then I've just washed the mats with Dawn, dried carefully so that residue doesn't stick to the under-side - and used them. Not had any further "upper clamp sticking" - probably because the generation 4 mats have a pattern on the top side, not smooth, as the first batches were.

Art - sounds like I'm trying to pick on you, but am not. I'd still like your opinion on sound quality if you ever got hold of some of our Z-14. But heck, if you're happy with Dawned Discs - go for it! (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1723
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Anti-static Pledge may, indeed, be good - but the Z-14 also - according to the label - "creates an ultra-slick, anti-static surface." I still get dusty discs, however - they're store in an open bookcase - and maybe I should put them in some kind of cabinet.

The Z-14 label reads - for those who don't have the original bottle:

"A custom blend of special cleaners and mild abrasives. Deep cleans all hard plastic surfaces. Removes fine scratches (I don't find that to be true on CDs). Improves clarity and vision. Leaves no smudges or oily residue. Creates an ultra-slick and anti-static surface."

seems to work for me!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1224
Registered: Nov-05
Larry - re the exerpt from the article you posted. After using the Z14 and playing entire treated discs I cannot see any dust on the cd playing surface. Those guys must live in the desert, leave their windows open and listen to the music during duststorms.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1724
Registered: Oct-04
MR - yeah, I know what you mean. But I DO have dust on the discs that have sat around in my bookcase for months. And we do leave our doors and windows open as much as possible. Sigh. Love dat frash aire! (grin)

As an aside, we do note a lot of crud in our air - I have to clean the blades of our ceiling fans every couple of months - and get off a brown/gray bunch of fuzz that I am unhappy with so far as breathing it is concerned! An inconvenient truth it certainly is. . .

I believe that the Z-14 really does have anti-static properties - so I hope that at least it helps keep the dust at bay. Sigh.

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1725
Registered: Oct-04
NUCK: Got yer Insanity Mat yet? I sent it by dogsled, so it should be there soon.
LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4208
Registered: Feb-05
Yep Larry Dawn is good enough for me. I'll not be putting anything else on my discs. I've had enough of that. My back still hurts from hanging over the sink for more than 25 hrs last weekend (not to mention my pride as my wife and other family members looked on in horror).
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1726
Registered: Oct-04
Art: You would seem to be in good audiophile company. From several sources, I get the strong impression that the "best" tweak for CDs is to get them very clean, and then leave no extra "layers" on top of the polycarb itself.

That's one of the reasons I've started using a tad more "elbow grease" when polishing the discs with the Z-14 - to be sure that the glop cleans, then leaves! (grin)

Do the Insanity Mats make any difference? Does anybody really give a rat's ahhse? Nope comes to mind, but it was both fun and a challenge while the experiment lasted.

thanks to all for putting up with me. I think I'll trade disc-polishing for a snifter of fine brandy and some good coffee after dinner tonight. I think that some people call it "relaxing." Strange thought. . .(grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4210
Registered: Feb-05
My work week ends in 30 minutes, my snifter will be full in 90 minutes (commute and stop at the liquor store comes first).
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1727
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Bravo!
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4211
Registered: Feb-05
Well it didn't even take me 90 minutes...more like 60...yippee!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6084
Registered: Dec-04
Larry, if the snow keeps going here in Outer Quebec, I may not get home this weekend to find/try the mat. I will check with Mrs. Nuck if the mailbox flag is up.

I will likely get back in time to fly to Chicago.

Rats!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1728
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: If you're traveling anywhere between Quebec City and Lac St. Jean - give a shout to any of the de la Roche families around there - I'm related to all of them, good or bad! (grin) Big family - big hearts - big, hairy guys who used to like to use me as a football! Sigh.

Too bad it's this time of year up there - the area around my cousins' homes are filled with probably the best "bluets" blueberries - in the world!
Hope you get home safely, mon ami!

Respectfully. . .Laurent, uh, LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1225
Registered: Nov-05
Vous parlez Frenc, Laurent ?

Je suis trAs A©tonnA© que vous Ates le multi-lingual, mais alors comme un journaliste autres langues doivent avoir pues servir. de toute faAon, il intA©resse se lisant les commentaires de vos tapis de folie.

Jusqu' A plus tard


Wish I could speak French!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1729
Registered: Oct-04
MR - sigh - a plus tard is just wishful thinking on my part, 'cause youz guyz live so far away.
Yes, or oui, je parle Francais, un petit peux, mon ami.
I used to speak French rather fluently - many decades ago - but once I stopped visiting my cousins in Quebec, I had little use for the language, aside from an occasional interview with a visiting dignitary of some stripe or other.
don't know how you're trying to type in French, but here it comes across in a bit of a tangle. Made it out, however, so all's well.

Your response may spur me to go back to the Mother Tongue - so beware of future e-mails! (grin)

Avec meilleurs voeux. . .Laurent de la Roche
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1227
Registered: Nov-05
Theprogamwantedfiftybuckstodoanuntangledversionlarry.

I've always thought there is something special about the French language and accent - musical? Like they speak with a grungebuster on their tongue.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1730
Registered: Oct-04
MR - very good, sir. Actually, the French have, for centuries, just tried to hack up something out of their throats! (grin) But UR right - the language doth fall trippingly from the tongue - verily (or something)

Michael: did your ears ever stop bleeding? Hope you're not seriously "wounded" from your sound-encounters. Looking forward to further reviews of the Insanity Mat, if any. . .

Think I'll go listen to some opera. . . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4220
Registered: Feb-05
Oh my this audio stuff is weird...removed the vibrapods that I've been using with the Rega gear since I bought it and wouldn't you know it, quite an improvement...so far. Gandy's a genius...fiddle sticks to the audiophile, long live the music lover.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1731
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Welcome to, uh, "reality." For a long time I was being urged, pushed and prodded to put brass cones under my CD player, because it would somehow create rarified air, and the sound would expand to such an extent that I would be changed forever. Or something like that.
Well, I went out and paid far too much money for some brass cones - put them at various points under the CD player, and tested, listened, changed, listened, listened, listened. . . . .
Nothing. Nada. No change. Waste of my money.

Oh, I've been having a good time with all of this press-n-seal and Grungebuster and the likes - witness my own "Insanity Mats," for Heaven's sake.

Hello? Any change worth noting? Welllllll . . . .the only thing I've done that has made a change noticeable to Mer and me is to clean the discs with one glop or another - all designed to remove grunge and present a cleaner "lens' for the laser to shine through and back.

So - onward! and Courage! (double grin)

Yeah, there is actually music down there somewhere on all those shiny Christmas tree ornament-Frisbee thangs! Go for it!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1732
Registered: Oct-04
Art: BTW - a friend just bought a Rega Apollo - and I'm due for an audition at his home sometime next week. Don't know the rest of his kit - though he uses some flat-panel speakers, which he says he loves more than anything. As I remember - seeing them, but never hearing them - they're Magnaplanars.
Will post a review whenever I can. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4222
Registered: Feb-05
Larry, I've always had great luck with Vibrapods and they have improved every piece of gear I've owned for quite awhile, they're still working great on my DVD player and tuner but that Rega stuff is just plain different. I don't know what else to say.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6107
Registered: Dec-04
I will not try to post en francais, as my keyboard does not allow. Alors!
Thanks for the post MR, your keyboard does not allow either.

Mon traviel mais pas permis mon department a' mon maison. Mais mon travail a' persuit mon persuitment a' Chicago don Samdi.
Moin supplican la persuitment a' discuisement de le jour a' Samdi.

I'm exhausted. have never written french for so long time...I am, how you say, not so good?

The French guys here NEVER speak English unless a tech comes around, and everyone likes to practise. Like an instant celebrity trying to decypher 2 languages, neither perfercted.
The french guys are speaking broken english and conferring between themselves, and I am trying to get a grip in Francais, although the listening is easier than reading.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6108
Registered: Dec-04
Tabernac!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1733
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Have you considered that the Rega is made by aliens? Hmm. . .

Nuck: Just plain ole G-nite! (grin)

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4224
Registered: Feb-05
At my house it ain't "the Rega" it's "those Regas".
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6112
Registered: Dec-04
Art, at the rate you are going, they may be referred to as 'those rabbits'.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 280
Registered: May-06
OK, ears survived EC Concert. (I'll post on that later.)

Using the "Bull's Eye" again. Today the CD is Jennifer Warnes "The Hunter" Tracks 8 and 9, "way down deep" and "the hunter". On both there was a subtle diminishing on the high end, less lispy, but no other noticeable differences with or without the mat. After about 20 A/B wife got word to me that it was time for headphones, I think her exact words were "Enough is enough already, why are you doing that to us?" Then something about me not being the only one who lives here. Wives. I never can figure them out. So here I am running my tests through my Sennhieser's (hope this counts).

No perceptible difference with Jennifer, however going back to Pink Floyd, it actually cleaned it up a bit. Notes were clearer, across the board. With or without the mat the harshness that came through my speakers was not evident through the headphones, buy the mat made a different difference than it did through the speakers. At this point some of you are thinking that maybe the Insanity is me and not the mat. You know, it just might be, but I am not going to let that stop me.


Dead Can Dance, Into the Labyrinth, Track 3, "The
Wind That Shakes The Barley". Larry's Insanity mat really shone on this song. I listened to this track a half a dozen times with the mat and only needed to hear it once without. The Insanity Mat really smoothened the a cappella vocals very nicely.

Super Sounds, Track 10, J.K. Drum Improvisation, by Jim Keltner, somewhat of a negative effect in that the vibrations from the drum, not the "boom" but the ambient sound one hears from the hardware used in the construction of the drum itself was removed as well as some of the trailing reverb. Keep in mind that the Super Sounds CD is a collection of some of the finest recordings to begin with. So I suppose this is a CD that should be left alone and not treated in any manner. I am not looking for an argument on this point, but I believe that there is media available that cannot be improved upon.

However, the very next recording, Clare de Lune, a harp solo by Isabelle Perrin, was positively affected by the mat in a negative way. With the headphones on you can hear what sounds to me like noise carrying over from a transport mechanism, perhaps a reel-to-reel player. With the mat this noise has more presence. It is annoying to hear with the headphones even without the mat, but I missed hearing it on my test without the mat and heard it clearly on my test with the mat. When I switched back to the track without the mat it was too late, I now was too aware of the noise.

My tests are completed. My results have been audited by Simon, Schuster, and whomever. Survey says that the mat has the ability to smooth harshness, clean up "average" recordings, stifle outstanding recordings, purify female vocalists, and fits nicely in the Rega Apollo with zero risk to the player itself.

Therefore, Larry, have you submitted for your patent yet?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 281
Registered: May-06
Art,

I used my Apollo at first without the Black Diamond cones and pucks and then with. With wins hands down. Carbon fiber, not "rubber", if that makes any difference.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4228
Registered: Feb-05
Michael it probably depends on what you're looking for. Haven't tried your cones but will look them up...if they're expensive probably won't if not I might just give 'em a whirl.

Just completed the Apollo test at Eugene HiFi and it does have some software glitches, not mine in particular but the Apollo itself. Their player would not play the same discs that mine wouldn't and their Cambridge would. So good news and bad. My unit is fine, bad news it won't play a couple of fabulous discs. I'm still loving it.

Speaking of tweaks....this product line is fabulous. I would love to invest in 2 of the Symphony Standards.

http://www.eugenehifi.com/Quantum/Quantum_main.htm

http://www.eugenehifi.com/

Eugene HiFi - 2 brothers who live in a house smaller than mine and do business from their living room. Great guys with incredible enthusiasm for music. They put on a record and just get lost in it (as does anyone in the room with their fabulous reference system).

They sell a speaker I'd never heard of called Living Voice and they are wonderful. Driven by the Mastersound amps with a Roksan table and Rega Apollo sources we really had a great time listening to music and sharing stories. Nice to know that these kind of places still exist...oh and I'll pay retail for anything I buy from them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6153
Registered: Dec-04
Art's next post says 'I did it again'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4230
Registered: Feb-05
I really loved the sound of their reference system, but the sound of the 300B amp was just a bit sweet for me. Something with EL34's might be more suitable for me. As for now I'm quite pleased with my setup.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6158
Registered: Dec-04
EL84's would be right up your alley, Art.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1735
Registered: Oct-04
Sigh. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6163
Registered: Dec-04
No mail yet, Lar.
Jes a Fedex notice for pickup.
Must be my anti-vibration coil mounted hardwood platter.
It may work well with the iiiiiiiiiiinsanity mat.
In fact, after the online rowdy with my girl tonight, it will prove that I am around the bend.

And right, as always.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 282
Registered: May-06
Let's hope it's not Fed-Ex asking you to pick up your cables again Nuck. If they have a snakeskin sheathing perhaps you can just lay them on the ground and they can slither their way to us.

BTW, call me and I will help you navigate Chicago.
 

Silver Member
Username: Lovegasoline

NYC

Post Number: 125
Registered: Jul-05
...just passing by and sticking my head in here.

Can someone throw a bone in my direction and fill in a detail about the Pledge treatment?

I followed the older threads as this was being discussed and I did at that time buy some non aerosol Pledge. I do not have the fortitude to enter into the Zaino-laser-marker orbit, but I'd like to try the pledge, if nothing more than to clean my CDs and reduce static. Also, my CDP occasionally randomly skips with no pattern that I can discern...new CDs, old CDs...so I'd like to experiment with the Pledge to see if this has any effect on this.

I've looked all over the web and most of what I read states one should apply the Pledge onto the LABEL side of the CD. Is this correct? Or are you applying it to the OTHER side? I've read so many versions of this I'm thoroughly befuddled.

In a nutshell, can you please restate the SHORT version of the application process...the one which excludes Zaino or any other product from the process?
Also, have you experienced any negative results from using the Pledge?

Thanks a bunch.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1235
Registered: Nov-05
Use Pledge Clean and Dust on the playing side of the CD. Use Viva paper towels or microfibre toweling to rub on inner to outer edge to avoid scratching. I suggest spraying a little on the cloth rather than spraying the CD others may think differently.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1736
Registered: Oct-04
MR speaks the truth. NEVER try to use any cleaner or liquid on the label side. There's only a thin layer of lacquer on top, then comes the fragile metal layer, which, if you scratch it on this side of the disc, means you have no more music!

On the playing side only: Spray some Pledge Clean and Dust - as MR says - on either Kleenex Viva paper towels (use NO other kind!) OR get some microfiber towels from Sam's Club or an auto store.

Follow MR's directions.

If you use other paper towel brands - you will scratch the disc. If you use any towels other than microfiber, you will probably scratch the disc.

One thing to remember: do not spray the Pledge directly on the disc and then let it dry. Spray on the cloth and keep polishing gently until you get a nice shine and all liquid is absorbed.

Good luck!
 

Silver Member
Username: Lovegasoline

NYC

Post Number: 126
Registered: Jul-05
Ok, the procedure is a one step affair....apply and polish all in one shot (w/ appropriate cloth) before it dries.

I'll give it a shot, thanks.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6208
Registered: Dec-04
Give us your opinion, Gas.
 

Silver Member
Username: Lovegasoline

NYC

Post Number: 127
Registered: Jul-05
Opps, I forgot to ask:

Are you cleaning the CD (warm water, soap, etc) as a seperate stage BEFORE applying the Pledge, or does the Pledge do double duty by cleaning and polishing at one and the same time, with no prior prep work needed?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1741
Registered: Oct-04
At the moment, a couple of us are cleaning our CDs with Dawn and water before using other stuff - but only because we're getting Z-6 off the discs, as a precaution.

In your case, don't worry about the water - just use the Pledge Clean and Dust - with the earlier caveats of using only Viva paper or clean microfiber towels. And if you wash the microfiber towels, do NOT use fabric softener with them - they do not absorb very well with softener. Nor does any towel, for that matter. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4253
Registered: Feb-05
Heck I might just try the Dawn first, then Pledge if you feel you need to. Why not it's cheap and effective (for me).
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1742
Registered: Oct-04
Good thinking, Art. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Lovegasoline

NYC

Post Number: 130
Registered: Jul-05
I'll clean the CD first...I do not have Dawn (I have standard issue Palmolive). I picked up some Viva paper towels and when I get a chance I'll get some microfiber towels [the latter sounds like a good all purpose product to have on hand around audio equipment and media].
Hopefully, you guys who are trying to reverse the Zaino application can get it cleared up without any detrimental effect on the CD...good luck to you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 291
Registered: May-06
Well Larry I mentioned to Marsha about not using softener as it reduces absorbency she snapped back what makes you (meaning me) think that our towels are not absorbent enough. And furthermore she likes the scent the softener gives towels, etc. etc.

I think I will keep my microfiber towels and my opinions on some of this stuff to myself.

LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6218
Registered: Dec-04
DALLAS MORNING NEWS

A local man was found today strangled with a pink microfibre towel. The man's wife is being held for questioning, but is expected to be released, with the events 'justifiable'.

No evidence of spittle during the strangulation was found on the towel, apparantly it was not absorbant enough.

Police were seen removing items from the scene, including, car wax, furniture polish, green scrub pads...
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4256
Registered: Feb-05
More snake oil to ponder.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue30/belt.htm
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6220
Registered: Dec-04
That's Dave Clark himself.
What about the other four?


I still get e-mails from Belt.
Seems to be my foil.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6245
Registered: Dec-04
Got the insanity mat, Lar, thank you.
I plopped it into all the players, to check the fit, but didn't play yet(shiftwork house).
The transport spit out the disc once, but then accepted it.
Will report.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1754
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: Good luck - I make no promises or claims with the Mats, so don't hold my feet to the fire. If you hear any real difference, I'll be surprised. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6254
Registered: Dec-04
Weeeeeellllll, the Plextor disc drive ate the little mat.
I broke it open and retreived the tweak, took like 10 minutes.

DO NOT IGNORE THE 2 SIDES OF THE MAT!

Hehe, trying the insanity mat in the transport tonight, easier to open.

Helen and I would like to see some of Mer's art, Larry.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1757
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: The Insanity Mat was designed to go only one way - smooth side towards the disc surface. Otherwise it will come off and become a tiny Frisbee.

Sigh. . .

Sorry about the trauma, Nuck. Been there. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1758
Registered: Oct-04
Oh, yes - be sure you wash it before you use it. (too late - oops!) Otherwise it won't stick very well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6270
Registered: Dec-04
Lar, no trauma at all, Helen and I were chortling along and sipping wine as I retrieved the mat.

Now I tried the insanity mat in the transport. The first run with Mellencamp(my reference) reveiled nothing to report, but this is my best recording. The player did it's job, and the disc did it's.
Then I wondered about a 'poor' disc.
I have a Billy Squire cd that never sounded right.
It's 'emotions in motion', and if you have ever heard Squire, you would know that the timing is half of the whole shebang.
I spun the first minute of the title track to remember what I found disappointing, and it was missing pace.
Right then, in goes Larry's mat.
It worked. Be it imbalance, colour or whatever, your little tweak levelled out the disc, the control of the transport, and the control of the bass, putting it in the hands of the amp.
A completely different quality, and a vast improvement. I am going to make another cd to send out, and I will rip the songs with a clean pledged insanity coupled master.

You saved Billy Squire, and put his name in print for the first time in likely 15 years.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1760
Registered: Oct-04
Well, Nuck, I try to save one person at a time.

Don't seem to be able to save myself, though! (grin)
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6274
Registered: Dec-04
Lar, your cape is showing.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1762
Registered: Oct-04
Drat! I keep trying to tuck into my silk shorts, but, sigh, it gets away from me now and then.

Should tighten my digital cable a bit. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4278
Registered: Feb-05
OK guys any of you try this product or anything like it. My friends at Eugene HiFi swear by it and use more than one in their system. When I send them back their cables they will send me one of these to try. Retail $500.

http://www.quantumqrt.com/symphpro.htm

http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/quantum_life_symphony.htm

http://sixmoons.com/audioreviews/quantum/pro.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1766
Registered: Oct-04
Art: Haven't tried one, but heck, why not?

Read as much as I could - and was dubious, until I came to "sleek, attractive design."

That did it - obviously a must-have. (grin)
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6290
Registered: Dec-04
Art, Chad at Alternative Audio used this product one time.
He sold it, for a small profit, and really liked it.
It was in a smaller room with Cary mono amps.
I am not sure if he got another one, I'll email him and ask.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 301
Registered: May-06
Larry,

"Bulls Eye" the Insanity Mat returned. Apparently it enjoyed its spin with Zeppelin's "When the Levee Break's" it decided to hang out with the disc a couple of days. I suspect you let these mats watch "Almost Famous" before you shipped them out.

Art,

I have to wonder if any of my Monster or Panamax gear already has this QRT running as I think I already have those results. It would be cool if it did cause it would save me another $500 of tweaks....LOL!!!!!!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4279
Registered: Feb-05
The fellas at Eugene HiFi don't use power conditioners at all. They believe that conditioners rob the music of dynamics so they use only the Quantum products...I must admit their system sounds fantastic. I'm very much looking forward to trying the Symphony Pro. At $500 I may have to borrow a trick from MR and negotiate...lol!
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4288
Registered: Feb-05
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Naim-AC-Power-Cord-Improved-Clarity-and-Dynamics_W0QQite mZ190088286490QQcategoryZ32833QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

There be the power cord we talked about Nuck.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6318
Registered: Dec-04
Amazing, I listened to the Soundtrack from 'almost famous' this aft, real low on the tubes. 'Yes' is really good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1767
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: you mean it stuck in the player? Rough side up, and smooth side down onto the disc. Otherwise, you're cruising for a bruising.

I'm thinking about upgrading my interconnect SACD cables - so will post info as I go.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6325
Registered: Dec-04
Art, thanks.
Guys there is a super good power lead on the cheap.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1769
Registered: Oct-04
Art/Nuck: Jerry just brought over his new Kimber interconnects to "test out" on my system. As he won't have his new Saturn until Wednesday or Thursday, he just wanted an opinion.
So - I hooked up to the Cambridge, and hit a "repeat" button on a disc. Will let the cable warm up for a couple of hours or more before comparing it with the two ANALOG interconnects I have: an older Cobalt pair, and a Blue Jeans cable pair a couple years old.
Oh, I know I should "burn in" the new cables for days or weeks - but I both disagree with that theory and haven't the time to wait.
On the surface, it would seem that the Kimber SHOULD sound better - if one buys into all the hype. As you know, I rely on Mer's ears, not mine.
Anything special I should try to listen for here?
Comments welcome. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1256
Registered: Nov-05
Although uninvited, I'll add my two cents anyway.

"On the surface, it would seem that the Kimber SHOULD sound better - if one buys into all the hype"

That's not necessarilly true Larry. Some cables will have varying or not have benefits at all depending on components used. For example, originally our NAD CDP sounded better than our Denon 3910 - adding the same interconnects to both, we could not tell the difference between them, hence the i/c's must have been more of a benefit to the 3910 - well, according to my logic.

Sometimes it can take a fair while of listening to determine subtle differences and other times differences can be almost instantly obvious.

Many manufacturers have various models and/or construction types in their cable line ups to cater for the variances in componentry. Where one may be very beneficial another may not and this should not reflect badly on the brand. I think many of us are discovering this.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1772
Registered: Oct-04
MR - U R always "invited," so please post.

Sigh - the more people I talk with about the cable problem the more confused I get. I'm thinking of trying out the "new" Cobalt cables - they say I have 90 days to ship back without paying - and see if they help out a bit.

Probably not - but heck, worth the minimal effort on my part to give them a workout.

I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm doomed to "mid-fi" unless we move or get vastly superior kit.

Think I'll have another Scotch.

LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 306
Registered: May-06
Larry that's a great idea! Wow, way cool, yada yada, and all that too.

Inventing a speaker that emits an aura of light to go with the music played through it, kind of a cross between what the Panasonic Plasma TV does with its lighting and what Windows Media Player does with an audio only file (the psychedelic screen).

That way if the cables make any improvement which Mer can hear you will see it first hand!

Just don't let Nuck claim he already has a set...
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1773
Registered: Oct-04
M W - had another Scotch. And another. All sounds are better now. Sigh.

I give up. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6343
Registered: Dec-04
Aren't you sending a set, Mike?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 312
Registered: May-06
Well partner it takes a bit longer to build 5 to 7 sets of light emitting speakers that synchronize exactly with the sound so that if you can't hear the difference you can see it than it does to build insanity mats. I'm on my third trial set but I have this problem I can't get past; when I change the set up around I can hear the differences but I can't see any changes in the light emitting speakers. Don't expect anything soon....ever for that matter
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1793
Registered: Oct-04
Michael: You can buy, but don't know where, liddle light sets that hook up to your speaker leads. Depending on the frequency, the lights glow blue, red, orange, etc. And some of them will aim beams at walls, ceilings, etc.

They've been around forever - once had one. Pretty cool, but I haven't a clue where to get them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4305
Registered: Feb-05
Tomorrow thw Quantum Symphony Pro arrives...here we go. Should be a fun audition.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1795
Registered: Oct-04
Art: will trade info tomorrow - you send me opinions on Quantum Pro, and I'll send info on the new Silver Serpent interconnects. A deal? (grin)
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4306
Registered: Feb-05
Good deal....may have to wait until the next day depending on when it arrives. Last time it wasn't until evening. Hope it's earlier tomorrow!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1607
Registered: May-05
Art,

Did you hear Naim discontinued the Arivas? Appearently its because Castle, who OEMed the cabinets, went out of business. Maybe your dealer will give a generous discount? Then again, probably not. Naim stuff doesn't exactly get liquidated.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1608
Registered: May-05
Also Art, when you had your Xpression, I believe you used Vibrapods under it. Cones or discs? Or both?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1812
Registered: Oct-04
All Insanity Mat users - please check in!

I'm trying to put a lid on my IM experiment - and now I'd like some input from those of you to whom I sent the liddle thangs.

May I get the following information, please?

First - did you hear ANY difference, and if so, on what music and what discs - brand, old, new, etc.

Second - and this is important to me. What kind of "clamping mechanism" does your machine(s) use?
Most, it would seem, are magnetic, with floating top clamps. However, the REga and others use spring-tension. Does anybody's machine use actual clamps connected to the player while in use?

Thanks - Mer and I do hear an occasional sound improvement - but not much, and only on select discs, mainly older ones.

Oh, yes: this from Verne and friends in CA. Two of the people who took home the mats from the wash-out listening test have reported that they do, indeed, hear a "smoothing" effect when using the mats. Verne is checking to see exactly what sort of machines and clamping they use.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10034
Registered: May-04
.

Yes, I heard consistent "improvements" with your mat, Larry. I don't use it right now since there are more improvements to be gained from the Herbie's mat due to it's larger circumference and I'm still using the P&S route on some discs. All three mats tighten the performance venue by putting more space outside my room boundaries and more "air" around performers. They create a "rounding" of (particularly) the midrange in a way that one note "rolls" into the room with heightened attack and sustained decay. And musically when I use the mats notes move from one to another with momentum and forward drive like a ball rolling downhill rather than simply taking a step from stair to stair. The performers sound more practiced and articulate. Instruments have a sound more characteristic of the materials they use. The music and I relax a bit more. None of this is profound but it is noticeable.


I haven't paid any attention to when the CD was recorded or whether its origins are AAD, ADD or DDD. Certainly most of the music I listen to such as Bill Evans and Elvis and all their contemporaries began as analog recordings. As noted previously, I have very few SACD's and they seldom manage to find their way to the player as of late.


My Denon 2900 is similar to most of what is in use by the forum members, with the exception of the growing number of Apollo users, in that it employs a conventional "clamping" system. Since probably 98% of the CD/DVD transports came from Sony, Toshiba or Philips this magnetic clamping type of transport is the most common. Other than the Rega players I know of no midpriced players that currently use the computer style clamping mechanism of spring loaded balls. I'm sure I'll be corrected on that matter.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6432
Registered: Dec-04
Lar, I had definite inprovements on 2 cd's.
I think both were imbalanced, but didn't know until the IM was introduced to the Classe Transport.
One is ELO Live Hits (BMG44844-2c) which is as cheaply made as a saleable product can possibly be made.

Standard Phillips clamp on the Classe.
My transport always sounded kinda jjjitery, the mat flattened out the signal, without a doubt.

For what I paid(nudge nudge, wink, wink), I like it.
I don't use it always, some cd's play back just like I want(thank you very much) but a lot of 'questionable' cd's will see a lot more light.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6433
Registered: Dec-04
In fact, when I open the trans in a few weeks for spring cleaning, I will look at the clamp again, Lar.

Spring cleaning time is fast upon us, folks.

Ready your #2 phillips and teeny allen keys, time to clean the gear!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1813
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Thanks for your thoughtful and informative review. I went into this with tongue-in-cheek, as y'all know, but in the end there may, indeed, be some merit to my liddle products. Which will NOT be repeated! Whatcha got is IT! Interesting to note your descriptions - they pretty well follow what Mer has said about "some" discs.
As to your use of the larger mats - I would have made mine to fit Herbie's 2" ones, but then I read where he's taking those off -market and going with the Black Holes - which are 1 3/4", same as my Insanity Mats. Sigh. Keeping up with. . .

Nuck: your response mirrors one of Verne's friends, who claims "some improvement on some discs."

Jan: your clamping mechanism would seem to be akin to mine - magnetic, so the upper "thingy" seats itself on the CD and floats, rather than being attached physically to the player. Good - because that stops a lot of potential vibration right there!

Spring cleaning!?! Good grief, Nuck, what do you do, rip apart all yer stuff and vacuum it out? Hmm. . .may be some merit there, I suppose. But in my case I'd most likely fudge it up and that would be that. . .

Thanks so much for the reviews, guyz - makes my work seem valid, even though it was just a fun experiment. I've got two left for me to use, and I do use them - when I remember!

I'll just add one more comment - they work on CDs, but I've not found ANY improvement on SACDs.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1814
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: When you open your player(s) for cleaning, pay some attention to that top clamping thing. Sometimes it does not fit tightly against the CD.
You'll have to insert a CD with the player cover off, of course, to see what I'm talking about. If the upper clamping puck doesn't fit right down and center itself, you'll get vibration. I did.
on my Cambridge I finally took some fine sandpaper and smoothed out the little "dagger" that goes into the center hole. that did it, and now the clamp whaps into place every time.
Cambridge is good, but I've found lots of places where their plastic work is sloppy.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6438
Registered: Dec-04
Larry, I will do so this time, and, yes, the annual vaccumn and cleaning is a springtime ritual.
Isn't yours?
Upclose and personal, to check the high current connections for cracking, low power conn's for fatigue(usually thermal stress in an 'A' amp.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6439
Registered: Dec-04
Suck out the cat hair.
Dog hair.

Insideous, that hair is.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1815
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck: Guess I'm a slob. No, I don't take apart my gear every year - though I do suck out as much stuff as possible through the amp cover. The CD player has a solid cabinet,so no gunk in there.

I try to keep the stuff clean with swiffer pads every few days, but I probably need to do more. . .

As we have no kids, dogs or cats - well, Mer's hair isn't a problem around the stereo! (grin)

BTW: I see the clock on the Forum is still set to regular, not Daylight Saving time. Should Admin have done this, or is this something I need to do on my computer? My computer's master clock shows the correct time, but the forum is an hour behind.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10042
Registered: May-04
.


http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/twist.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 314
Registered: May-06
Lar,

I thought you would have trained these little Insanity Mats better. Mine ran off again. Perhaps it thought I was done with the reviews but I wasn't. I was going to introduce it to the DVD player. When it comes back I may have more to post.

Next time, and I suspect there may be a next time in spite of all objections to the contrary, you may want to consider lime green, canary yellow, hot pink. That way it won't be able to sneak off like a little spider without anyone noticing.

Lar, untrained Insanity Mats, really... or am I the only one who got the "Alpha" mat that keeps running off?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1817
Registered: Oct-04
Uh. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jan. . . . . . . . . .

Uh. . . . . . . . . . . .

(where's Chubby Checker when we need him?)
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1272
Registered: Nov-05
You think your time is off Larry? Here I am in your future - tomorrow at 1.12pm. Where H.G. so we can sort this out?

Anyhow - as for cd tweaks (black vinyl discs, Zaino, grungebusters etc) forget about them - get an Apollo. It does everything and much more than what I was trying to get the NAD to do.

Hear me purr :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1819
Registered: Oct-04
MR - I dream enough as it is, my good friend! And so far Mr. Apollo hasn't appeared. . .nor is he likely to do so. Double sigh. . .

As I recall you've been through the fire with interconnects. . .what sort are you using now, and are you supremely happy with them? Or even sorta happy? (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1274
Registered: Nov-05
I use Merlin Verdi's between the players and the preamp and Merlin Chopin's between the pre and the power amp. As I once stated, if I hadn't had the chance to audition them, if I hadn't heard what they did for the music, I never would have paid such a large sum (by my standards). They seem to have made excellent friends with the Apollo.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1277
Registered: Nov-05
http://www.merlincables.com/intl/products-audiointerconnects.php
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1822
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks, MR - they're a bit over my budget, but I'll make notes if I ever feel I can or will go that route. appreciate the posting. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1831
Registered: Oct-04
All Insanity Mat owners: Please wash the mats, then carefully put a (thin!) layer of baking soda, talcum powder or plain flour on the TOP layer. This will prevent the mat from taking flight in the players.

Also - if the bottom layer is not "sticky," wash it or take some masking tape (NOT Scotch or duct tape) to it and clean off the dust and crud.

I never said it was purr-fect - just weird! (grin)

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4339
Registered: Feb-05
Put talcum powder on it then put it back in your player...don't seem real wise for the long term health of the player.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1833
Registered: Oct-04
Art - well, just dust it with power, shake it off, and then use it. Been doing that all along. Doesn't leave much of anything on the mat. I only do that when I wash the mat - which is not often. Much better to just take some masking tape and pull the dust off the sticky side of the mat.

Or - you can use it and lose it - in the player, as it sticks to the upper clamp. Never said it was perfect! (grin) And if, as I read here, several of you ARE losing the mat in the player - ummm, not good.

That's probably why you don't use one. . .not that you'd need it anyway with the Rega.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1912
Registered: May-05
This thread hasn't been posted in in a while. I guess this is as good a place as any...

A few weeks ago, I was playing around with isolating/decoupling/whatever the tecnical term is for my speakers. I've got hardwood floors that I didn't want to put spikes on. I had pennies under the spikes, but they really didn't have that good of an effect over the rubber feet that came with the speakers. The speakers came with bot rubber feet and metal spikes. Here's what I did -

I was looking for granite cutting boards from local stores. A lot of people on the Naim forum and a few other places have had very good success with them. I couldn't find anything that either was both big and thick enough.

Then I went to the Home Depot looking for granite/marble floor tiles or something similar. I the best fitting and priced thing I could find were approx 3"x12" granite strips. I think they're supposedly used for the edges/outside perimeter of floors or counter tops.

With an old t-shirt under them to protect the floor (the bottoms are very rough), I put one under each side of my speakers - one under the front and back right spikes, and one under the front and back left spikes. They sounded a lot better than the pennies.

The t-shirts were a temporary thing, and having some adhesive felt circle pads around, I tried them under the corners and one in the middle. It made a huge difference in the overall sound, not just any one aspect of it.

Total cost - about $15 - $2.50/granite strip, and about $5 for the felt pads.

I'm thinking that this way may be better than a single block, because there's less of a chance of it rocking if the floor is uneven.

I have no idea why it sounds better this way than with the pennies. But honestly, I don't care. What matters most is how it sounds rather than why.

I'll try to take some pics if anyone's interested.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7583
Registered: Dec-04
I'll see the pic's, Stu.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4936
Registered: Feb-05
Waitin' for the pics Stu.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1914
Registered: May-05
I'm trying guys. I got a few before my battery died, but they're awful. I'll charge it up tonight and hopefully will get them posted tomorrow evening.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1918
Registered: May-05
The materials - Top strip is top surface, bottom strip is bottom surface

Upload



The backs of the felt pads are adhesive

Upload



Front view of speakers

Upload



Side view of speakers
Upload
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1919
Registered: May-05
Shameless system pics

Upload


I inadvertently bought twice as many strips as I needed, so I figured why not try them out under my B60 and Apollo. I'll also try them under my Xpression.
Upload

And my final tweak...

My Niagara University Purple Eagle Bobblehead.

The Magic Rocks ain't got nuthin' on Monte!
Upload
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1388
Registered: Nov-05
Hey, whatever works Stu! Nice kit.

Now, I have some tiling I need done . . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4939
Registered: Feb-05
Totally awesome pics of Stu's kit. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

Nuck where's yours big fella!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1920
Registered: May-05
Maybe we should start a System Pics thread? It would be good to share pics of set ups, visualize tweaks, etc. Hell, maybe we'd even help each other decorate? Our wives would be proud.

I know that's what the Braging Area section under Home Theater is, but that section's a joke. Too many clowns trolling it, kind of like the Music area.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 440
Registered: May-06
Stu, Stu, Stu....

I don't know, I might have to dust, rearrange wires, put away my media, toss out the empty bottles of scotch. Seems like a lot of trouble.

Then what, everytime we change a power cord or adjust the tilt of our speaker we have to repost?

After which comes the criticisms and "recommendations".

Finally I will compliment your whatever and Nuck will go off in a jealous rebutal or Art will repost his pics to find out why I didn't compliment his same whatchamacallit.



Then again, I've seen the insides of Nuck's gear on this forum, how much worse can it get.

Seriously when I posted some pics last year I got some very good feedback on room acoustics and such.

Sound like a cool idea, I would participate.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7601
Registered: Dec-04
My stuff's a mess, my rooms a mess and I dropped my camera. Yeah, that's it, dropped my camera.

Honestly guys, nothing to see here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4940
Registered: Feb-05
Everybody has something to see Nuck...don't be shy. Stu, perhaps you should commence with that thread. I'm with ya!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1923
Registered: May-05
I'll try and take some better pics before I start the thread.

I too need to clean up before I want to start taking more pics. My wife has recently decided that my sanctuary should double as a workout room for her. Her Yoga mat, exercise ball, and DVDs need to find more practical storage places when not being used. Good thing she gets home 2 hours before I do and is finished working out before I get in.

My first listening room got turned into her home office. My second listening room is slowly getting turned into a Yoga/Pilates studio. I'll get it straightened out and take pics.

If someone wants to start the tread in the mean time, feel free. I'll join in as soon as I get the pics taken. I claim no ownership nor copyright to the thread.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1924
Registered: May-05
Also, where should the thread go? This area seems to have the least amount of trolls. Think it should go here, or in a higher traffic area like Speakers?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1925
Registered: May-05
One other thing, I'm going to list my 320BEE and NAD PP2 phono pre-amp on Audiogon in a few weeks, after I get back from some travelling. I'd rather sell them to someone here. Anyone interested?

I'm probably going to ask about $325 and $75, shipping and paypay included. I'll sell to you guys or someone you know for a few bucks less, especially if interested in both. If you or someone you know is interested, let me know.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4943
Registered: Feb-05
The thread should probably go here in this area...at least I think. "Speakers" gets its share of trolls although the Music thread seems to be going quite well, so I'm open.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4944
Registered: Feb-05
Perhaps we should call it "System Pics for the Speaker Guys".
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