Sometimes, dear reader, we hear of tweaks that leave us scratching our heads- how could anyone be so foolish? The HST, or Head Scratch Threshold varies by person- some would lump cables in here (not me!) and some would say that the quantum effects touted by some are totally legit. Many times, perhaps even most of the time, these tweaks are as phoney as a stuffed mermaid. But in some cases, it is simply a lack of understanding that leads to dismissive attitudes. With audio cables, for example, we see an extremely tiny signal, one which crosses the 0V point repeatedly. Due to this tiny signal level and lack of an absolute bias, dielectric absorption and mechanical resonance (microphony) are much larger issues than they would be in a larger scale signal transmission.
The purpose of this article is to identify a few really real tweaks that may at first seem ridiculous, but are effective in creating a more satisfying sonic experience. Some proposed mechanisms by which these tweaks are improving your signal are also proposed. Please retain an open mind. As the great Falors Lopi once said; "Perception is false in both directions, trust not your mind as it will tell you that truths are untrue as well as convince you that falsehoods are reality." With that wisdom in mind, let's dive in!
As you can see, it's a simple concept- take your tubes and roll them between your hands. I've found that going about 1 forward motion per second creates the best result, a more open sound resulting in more dynamic flexibility. Too fast and you wind up with a confused, dizzying sound, and too slow and there seems no efficacy. I believe the centripetal force releases some tension in the mechanical joints and structures and decreases overall entropy within the assembly. Simple no? And free to try!
There, easy as pie! Repeat until you have 4Fs on one cable of each interconnect pair. For digital cables use 3, and video cables only 1. The idea here is to create a light, well-damped "vibration sink". The vibrations flow into the tape, and the layers of soft material dissipate it as heat, without any "stable" shape to support vibrational modes of its own.
Our hearing mechanism is used to incorporating this feedback, but shoes create an unnatural barrier to this, and your hearing mechanism recognizes that something is wrong, which creates a perception of unnaturality. This has been proposed by some Hi-Fi Gurus (including my own sonic mentor, Lirap Losof) as a mechanism by which LPs are preferred to CD. The LP rumble provides excitation to the feet, as at extreme LF the shoes are ineffective barriers. This provides some of the excitation of the feet, but is not as complete as the removal of shoes. So, give it a try, you may find that your CDs sound much more natural and "analog" with your darned shoes off!
That's It For Now