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  1. #1

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    Default Free tweaks, and tips thread

    Well I could not find the old thread, but it think its about time again for some fresh ideas. The title says it all. What do you guys have. Even near free works here.
    Thanks
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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  2. #2

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    Nothing. Well I'll bump it a little bit. If you take peel and stick tiles, and sandwitch them with cork you get real decent Iso's. Tile, cork, tile, cork, and tile. Real cheap and effective.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

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    Good night, Jim Bob :)
    Good night Mary Ellen:)
    Good night Grandpa :)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    scrounge leftover (unused) CAT5 from a network wiring job at work (the odd-length scraps are invariably tossed in the trash in my experience). Use it for speaker cables or interconnects with appropriate terminations.
    all the best,
    mrh

  5. #5
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    My signature says it all.

  6. #6

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    anybody try the felt around the tweeter
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  7. #7

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    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71762

    Setting additional weight on top of your speakers.
    Removing the grills improve the end result in some cases.
    Also, while not free......it's close to it. Caig DeOxit.

    George, no I haven't tried the felt.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    anybody try the felt around the tweeter
    I have tried it a long time ago. It changed the soud, was it better??? It was different.

    Surely if it is always a good change, we would see it on almost all speakers, I mean surely the mfg of speakers can afford 10 cents worth of felt, and still make a profit.
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    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    anybody try the felt around the tweeter
    Same as hoosier21... I tried it on Monitor 7As a long time ago in a small room. Even though it was different, I decided it wasn't any better, and pulled 'em off again. I actually used cotton batting, which was a recommended 'tweak' ca. 1980.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    1/2" thickfloor tiles under my SDA's between the base and carpet. Added a bit of stability, they sit more square, and added a little better bass definition. Picked a nice complimentary color to go with the carpet and it looks a little classier too. :D

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #11

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    When your subwoofer is mounted in a cardboard box, more bass can be had by cutting holes in the box and making a good air hole....

    Michael

    Edit - actually that tip came curtesy of T_Unit616





    Some things you just don't want credit for.... :D
    Last edited by McLoki; 09-07-2008 at 09:27 PM.
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
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  12. #12

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    Come on guys this is free tips for newb's
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  13. #13

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    Get your read on - knowledge is power......
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    When your subwoofer is mounted in a cardboard box, more bass can be had by cutting holes in the box and making a good air hole....

    Michael

    Edit - actually that tip came curtesy of T_Unit616





    Some things you just don't want credit for.... :D
    roflmpo, OMG! what happened 2 T_Uniy616.

    Sorry for the bring backof an old post, but I've missed a lot in the past 2 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    When your subwoofer is mounted in a cardboard box, more bass can be had by cutting holes in the box and making a good air hole....

    Michael

    Edit - actually that tip came curtesy of T_Unit616





    Some things you just don't want credit for.... :D
    Oh my god...that thread really needed some pictures. Reminds me of another message board I was on...a guy made a cold air intake for his car with some Home Depot flex hose with a cardboard air box. he had pictures though...priceless.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by janmike View Post
    Just thought I would suggest to those interested to carefully, YES CAREFULLY, take a screwdriver and tighten the screws on the front of all the driver components. Over time the screws become loose due to vibration and a little twist will help reduce the vibration. My free tweak of the week.
    Just trying to help. :)

  17. #17

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    well, this is not exactly a "free" tweak but might be a cool experiment to try... I have a spool of cheap 100' Monster Speaker cable with about 50' of unused cable... I cut four lengths about eight feet long. I then separated the left and right strands to make two single strands from each length which gave me a total of eight single eight ft strands.

    I then marked both ends of two strands. I then got one pair of unmarked strands and a pair of marked strands and braided them together. I attached banana plugs to the pair of marked strands and also the unmarked strands resulting in the end with one pair of 6ft braided speaker cable (i.e. the banana cables were attached to a pair of single strands). Make sure you pair the unmarked strands together as well as the marked ones... you do not want to cross the cables and blow out your amp. If you have a multimeter you can test the continuity as well before attaching the bananas

    I had used these Monster Cables before with pretty pathetic results. I could not tell the difference in sound at all. But with the braided set, there was a significant improvement in sound over the plain jane cable. I dunno if it was because I had twice the copper running or the braiding (I keep seeing articles of audio DIYers braiding cables) but spending 45 minutes of braiding the cables was worth the time...

  18. #18

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    Positioning is one basic one that can make a large difference. Not just moving the speakers around the room but toe in and angle up/down. Another thing to consider is your own position in the room, moving your seating position by 6in can make surprising differences. If you don't believe me lookup the video Ethan did over at Real Traps, it was AMAZING how much of a difference a few inches makes for modes in a room.

    Damping material on baskets. Some speakers it makes a nice difference, like when I did it to my LSi9s. Cost very little, you could probably get enough scraps from your local car stereo store. I used dynamat, other people like blu tak and the like, since it is easy to take off if you don't like the effect.

    Flok on TVs. This one is HUGE and I can't believe no one else does this. Flok is the material the use on the inside of telescopes, or around screens to absorb light. Putting this on the face of a TV cost very little (I pair ~$20 for ~25ft of it) and makes a big difference. It absorbs the light that normally would bounce off the face of the set, and gives a much more cinematic feel. Kills resale value, but its worth it. I also painted it black:



    Sand bag damping. Fill a plastic bag with sand, put it on/under CDP, DVD, speakers, etc. You can get cheap play sand for a couple bucks for 50lbs. Or you can build bases for speakers/subs/CDP/DVD and fill them with sand. I built stands for my speakers for ~$10 in parts. They are like TNT Sandblasters, they are 50lbs each very stable, bring my Gallos to ear level, and improved the bass. Also, built a big one for my loveseat, so the vibrations from my Buttkicker don't go through the floor and shake the house.

    Cheap feet for components. Some cheap materials work well as feet for components, if you want to decouple pumice stones or cork can work well. For coupling some blu tak works in a pinch, I got it for $4 at office max and enough to do all my components.
    Last edited by Gaara; 01-13-2009 at 06:00 PM.

  19. #19

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    Don't know if it would be considered a "tweak", but back-lighting your HDTV makes a very big improvement when viewing in low light. I have an Ideal-Lume 6500 kelvin lamp behind my DLP ($49). Easier on the eyes and makes black appear blacker, colors seem more rich.

    One of my favorite tweaks is cable management. Buy a bag of pull-ties, and pull-tie stand downs and get those cables seperated and routed properly. Keep AC away from everything else; digital away from analog interconnects (sans optical of course).
    Last edited by steveinaz; 01-15-2009 at 09:15 AM.

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    One of my favorite tweaks is cable management. Buy a bag of pull-ties, and pull-tie stand downs and get those cables seperated and routed properly. Keep AC away from everything else; digital away from analog interconnects (sans optical of course).
    +1 - but I used twist ties - definitely group as recommended.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gaara View Post
    Positioning is one basic one that can make a large difference. Not just moving the speakers around the room but toe in and angle up/down.
    +1 also

    I had my monitor 7s out in front of my TV for a while because the imaging in Stereo was much better - smoother - seamless. (see rig in showcase/link in sig) Last weekend I noticed that my low-mids were a little weak. Reading another here's post about lack of bass in their 7bs - the tweak suggested was to move them back toward the wall - I too did this and the results were not subtle.

    The Audessy MultiEQ on my reciever set the crossover to 200hz and +6db on the 7bs at 18" away from the wall, and 120hz +2db at 6" away from the wall, and 110hz also +2db when right against the wall......but the bass sounded boomy that way.

    So I pulled them away 6"; reran the Audessy, and all was good in the world. When playing in stereo, there is a separation that is audible, but that is why I have a dedicated 2ch rig now.......in 5.1 - i hear the sound inside my head it is so nicely balanced.......

  21. #21

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    I also use the 22" x 22" clay tile on carpet/under each spiked speaker. Tightens bass and seems to improve midrange. Also adds a little additional height to my towers. Energy C-9's tend to be a little "thick" in the mid-bass, this tweak really worked well to reduce this.

    Some years ago I experimented with Mapleshades brass cones and weights. The really do make a difference depending on how and where you put the chasis weights. They worked best (had the most noticeable effect) on CD/DVD players.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 01-15-2009 at 03:34 PM.

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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    Don't know if it would be considered a "tweak", but back-lighting your HDTV makes a very big improvement when viewing in low light. I have an Ideal-Lume 6500 kelvin lamp behind my DLP ($49). Easier on the eyes and makes black appear blacker, colors seem more rich.

    One of my favorite tweaks is cable management. Buy a bag of pull-ties, and pull-tie stand downs and get those cables seperated and routed properly. Keep AC away from everything else; digital away from analog interconnects (sans optical of course).
    Solid stuff. Can't believe I forgot about the backlights, I have a Ideal Lumes for my XBR and one for my PC monitor. Definitely cut down on eye strain, especially if you have a completely light less room.

    Clay tiles also work to add a little tilt. I have used some 6x6 ones under the front spikes of stands to raise the angle slightly, can do wonders.

    Quote Originally Posted by clarknova_666 View Post
    So I pulled them away 6"; reran the Audessy, and all was good in the world. When playing in stereo, there is a separation that is audible, but that is why I have a dedicated 2ch rig now.......in 5.1 - i hear the sound inside my head it is so nicely balanced.......
    I was AMAZED at how much of a difference a few inches made moving my speakers around. My PC speakers especially, I ran sweeps from 120hz-20hz and there were 4-6db variances by moving a 6". Crazy stuff.
    Last edited by Gaara; 01-15-2009 at 05:32 PM.

  23. #23

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    Default ...another speaker tweak

    Check the mounting hardware on all of your speaker drivers--especially new speakers. Almost every allen bolt on my C-9's needed some tightening. Then check them again anually. You might be surprised how loose some of the mounts are.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 01-15-2009 at 05:42 PM.

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  24. #24

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    The biggest one I have found in my 22 years of audio experience is room placement of speakers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    The biggest one I have found in my 22 years of audio experience is room placement of speakers!
    I saw the bump on this thread, and I was just going to say what you did. It makes a huge difference.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  26. #26

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    I just feel we sometimes get caught up in watts, wires, amps, players, blah blah blah, and forget one of the most important factors in reproducing good sound.

    Sometimes it takes "out of the box" thinking and requires a total room makeover to get a huge improvement in sound quality.
    Romans 1:16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    I just feel we sometimes get caught up in watts, wires, amps, players, blah blah blah, and forget one of the most important factors in reproducing good sound.

    Sometimes it takes "out of the box" thinking and requires a total room makeover to get a huge improvement in sound quality.
    Agreed, the room is an extremely important though oft neglected component.

  28. #28

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    I'm looking for some good tips on xover mods. I'm mainly interested in what type of cap should go into which part of the xover. I found some LSi kits on ebay once, and the guy was talking about this cap is best in this application, that cap is best for low freq., etc. I've also seen people mention using improved inductors, and would be interested in those, as well. I'm less concerned with resaleability (is that a word?) and more with whether or not it will make a noticeable improvement in sound quality, especially in the area of imaging.

    Anyone here have anything like that?
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

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  29. #29

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    Good caps for tweeter, normal caps for woofer(depending on your budget and desires).

    You can always upgrade the coil for the woofer, although that's more of a diminishing returns investment. The coils to be replaced are usually large and can get expensive, only to find out the improvement is small. Something with a lower DCR will offer better damping on the woofer. You might even notice the bass gets punchier with a new coil.

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    1 way to defeat the dreaded PITA ground loop hum; buy a toslink splitter, such as the INDAY, (not a mirror splitter) and isolate those "hummy" sources via toslink. Usually the problem comes from a) Cable or satellite connection b) 2 prong ac plug components being interconnected with 3 prong ac plug components. My problem was the latter. I ran the DTV box and BluRay via Toslink---hum all gone. My CDP is a 3 prong ac plug and has never intorduced hum into the system.

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