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  1. #1
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    Default Darqueknight's AI-1 Tweak Results.

    I started this thread with Darqueknight's permission to keep any reviews done by club members on the AI-1 here in one place.

    At 2:30 PM Monday afternoon I got a call from Jesse (F1nut). Of course this was before I read Darqueknights followup on his Dreadnought/AI-1 shootout. Based on the sound of his voice I figured he found another tweek that made his wee wee get a little woody and wanted me to try it. . . I was correct in my observation.

    He told me to take 10 square sheets of aluminum foil and wrap my AI-1 transformer but first listen to my favorite reference LP then wrap the AI-1 and listen again. He of course didn't tell me his findings so I wouldn't be influenced and to see if we both got the same results.

    My wife was hearing my side of the conversation and always wanting to be involved in these type of exercises wanted to be a part of the experiment.

    Well I did it except I used five sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil folded in half and then wrapped tightly around the AI-1 box.

    I used three pieces of music and format's, they are as follows;

    1. Jazz at the Pawnshop LP; "High Life," "Limehouse Blues," and "Lady Be Good."

    2. Mapleshade Music Festival (redbook) CD; the entire album

    3. Ziggy Stardust SACD; the entire album


    Before reading my findings if you are planning to try the tweak perhaps you should wait to read my findings or anyone else's until your A/B test has been completed.
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    Findings . . . mind you now I hadn't read Raife's thread nor did Jesse tell me what he heard.

    1. From the second the needle dropped I noticed a significant drop in the noise floor. The same was true of the two digital formats (except a needle wasn't dropped :D;)) however it was more apparent with the analog front end;

    2. as a result, there was more air around each instrument and of course added weight to the sound of each instrument, this resulted in the musicians sounding farther away from each other but in their correct spaces;

    3. bass presence and extension went up considerably. I heard and felt that groooowwwwl go deeper and more present through even the loudest passages where all instruments were playing; and

    4. that 3D holographic image deepened and the really noticable improvement was the the width of soundstage by at least a 1 1/2 to 2'.

    My wife's first response was to say, "it sounds cleaner and clearer!"

    Needless to say I think this is a great and inexpensive tweak until I can gather the funds to build Darqueknights Dreadnought AI-1.

    The more I listen, the more I like it and find other positive attibutes but I've stopped taking notes and am just enjoying the music.

  2. #2

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    I don't need an A1, but it would be fun too try. I could always sell it if need be. Hmmm
    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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    Nice write up Joe,,, sounds like you're having a good time. ;)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    'Bout time Joe......;)

    Anyway, I would encourage anyone using an AI-1 to try this tweak. Personally, I think the results are nothing short of stunning and that adjective doesn't come from me easily. Raife hit a home run with this one.

    One thing Joe left out, I also told him to take another ten sheets of foil and put it on his head....LOL
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    'Bout time Joe......;)

    One thing Joe left out, I also told him to take another ten sheets of foil and put it on his head....LOL

    Banishment aside, I always thought this was Carl's best tweak/improvement to our fine forum.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...=tin+foil+ears

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    Great, you can start competing with Machina Dynamica now; this sounds more promising than their Magic Pebbles.



















































    :D
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  7. #7
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    Lol!

  8. #8

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    maybe i should wrap my regular Pin/Blade cable up with a few layers of aluminum foil?
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
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    It All Started here: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath2

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    maybe i should wrap my regular Pin/Blade cable up with a few layers of aluminum foil?
    Na. The idea is the toroid is a bunch of coils that can pick up stray RF;) DK please correct me if I am wrong.
    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

  10. #10

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    The AI-1 is a conventional type transformer, unshielded, which obviously isn't the best thing to prevent RF and EMI from screwing with the noise floor as Raife has demonstrated.

    One additional tidbit, for those using the AI-1, either foil covered or not, and also running MIT speaker cables. Be sure to keep the AI-1 box away from the network boxes, period.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Twenty years ago, when the original AI-I first became became available, the environment wasn't saturated with RF energy. Now, we live in an ocean of RF energy from:

    1. Wireless networking gear in your own home.
    2. Wireless networking gear in your neighbor's homes.
    3. Microwave ovens.
    4. (Multiple) Cell phones-your own and your family members.
    4. Nearby cell phone antenna towers.
    5. Satellites and satellite dishes.
    7. A hundred television and radio stations in a 50 mile radius of your home (just a little exaggeration).
    8. A billion cell phones in a 50 mile radius of your home ( no exaggeration this time).
    9. Etc., etc.

    No wonder that poor little AI-1 transformer was overwhelmed.:(
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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  12. #12

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    Will lead sheets work better?
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
    With new Exotic wood, Sonicaps, Mills & RDO198's - Born on 4-24-1989 and Signed by Matthew Polk!!!!


    My Polk SDA SRS 1.2TL's http://www.LASAREATH.com/


    It All Started here: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath2

    Part Deux: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath3

    Car Stereo---->http://www.salsleaf.com/leaf_stereo/index.htm<---- NEW for 2013

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    Will lead sheets work better?
    They will keep those with X-Ray vision from looking into the box;)
    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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    How about steel or copper?
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    One additional tidbit, for those using the AI-1, either foil covered or not, and also running MIT speaker cables. Be sure to keep the AI-1 box away from the network boxes, period.
    I can only get my AI-1 about 6" away from the 750 network box due to the short cables. Any suggestions?

  16. #16

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    Joe, Looks Like I got the same issue due to space constraints. I am going to have to move some things around.

    Scott
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

  17. #17
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    Well I moved some things around and now have about 6 to 7" of space between the 750 network box (which by the way stands on end because of the height of the terminal plate on the back of the 1.2 TL) and the AI-1. I haven't noticed a change in sonics although I hadn't listened to my reference material to compare.


    Scott did you notice an improvement with the tweak?
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 11-21-2008 at 05:11 PM.

  18. #18

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    From a physics standpoint, I expect copper to work better than tin or lead.

    I think Bismuth would be the best material, but I'd have to look into it.

    Search diamagnetism and paramagnetism for more info.

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    Joe,

    It is hard to say. Raife is just churning out to many tweaks in the span of a week for me to notice individual differences. I did the aluminum shielding on Monday and the Mortite on Wednesday. I have not been able to sit down for a real listen. I have some more metal to implement into my Avel box tonight also.

    I am also building a house that is going to have a lot of 20 oz. copper flashing so I may use some of the scraps to do the shielding when I can get my hands on some.

    More to come.

    Scott
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerLiteScott View Post
    Joe,

    It is hard to say. Raife is just churning out to many tweaks in the span of a week for me to notice individual differences. I did the aluminum shielding on Monday and the Mortite on Wednesday. I have not been able to sit down for a real listen. I have some more metal to implement into my Avel box tonight also.

    I am also building a house that is going to have a lot of 20 oz. copper flashing so I may use some of the scraps to do the shielding when I can get my hands on some.

    More to come.

    Scott

    LOL!!!! I've been in that position many times where I've done too many tweaks close together and couldn't tell which did what.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 11-21-2008 at 05:43 PM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    Will lead sheets work better?
    Quote Originally Posted by MillerLiteScott View Post
    How about steel or copper?
    For RF shielding, you want a metal that is a good electrical conductor. Copper would be excellent as a lining material. Lead is bad because it is a poor conductor. The electrical conductivity of lead is only 7% that of copper. Although lead is a relatively poor electical conductor, it is used in solder because of it's low melting point and high resistance to corrosion. Alloying lead with other metals raises its conductivity to an "acceptable" level. The electrical conductivity of steel ranges from 3% to 15% of copper's. The conductivity of steel depends on the carbon content. In addition to diminishing the electrical conductivity, the carbon in steel also contributes to an elevated noise characteristic. Plus, iron is not a good electrical conductor to begin with. It only has 17% of the conductivity of copper.

    The top four electrical conductors are:

    1. Silver (5% more conductive than copper).
    2. Copper.
    3. Gold (70% of the conductivity of copper).
    4. Aluminum (61% of the conductivity of copper).

    After aluminum, electrical conductivity in metals drops precipitously. Fifth on the list above would be zinc, which has only 27% the conductivity of copper.

    In terms of conductivity, silver would be the best RF shielding material. Of course, when you start making audio equipment enclosures out of silver sheet stock, you drastically limit your customer base. Copper sheet is too soft. Gold sheet is more expensive than silver and is also too soft to make enclosures with. For audio equipment enclosures, aluminum provides high conductivity, high RF shielding, high strength, and low cost.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    The electrical conductivity of lead is only 7% that of copper.

    1. Silver (5% more conductive than copper).
    2. Copper.
    3. Gold (70% of the conductivity of copper).
    4. Aluminum (61% of the conductivity of copper).
    Wow. I did not know that lead was so poor, and now I know why those fancy copper speaker terminals are so expensive!
    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.
    Thanks
    Ben

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    Thanks for all the info Raife.

    When I get my hands on some of the copper scraps and install it in my Avel box I will report on my findings. It should make for a pretty cool looking enclosure.

    Scott
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

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    Default Chemistry Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

    The top four electrical conductors are:

    1. Silver (5% more conductive than copper).
    2. Copper.
    3. Gold (70% of the conductivity of copper).
    4. Aluminum (61% of the conductivity of copper).

    After aluminum, electrical conductivity in metals drops precipitously. Fifth on the list above would be zinc, which has only 27% the conductivity of copper.
    It occurred to me that some clarification might be in order regarding zinc's conductivity ranking. Some readers might be confused after looking at an electrical conductivity chart. If you look at a chart ranking the electrical conductivity of all elements, you will find the top four are:

    1. Silver (5% more conductive than copper).
    2. Copper.
    3. Gold (70% of the conductivity of copper).
    4. Aluminum (61% of the conductivity of copper).

    The next ten elements in order of electrical conductivity are:

    5. Beryllium (53% of the conductivity of copper).
    6. Calcium (50% of the conductivity of copper).
    7. Magnesium (38% of the conductivity of copper).
    8. Rhodium (35% of the conductivity of copper).
    9. Sodium (35% of the conductivity of copper).
    10. Iridium (33% of the conductivity of copper).
    11. Tungsten (32% of the conductivity of copper).
    12. Molybdenum (31% of the conductivity of copper).
    13. Cobalt (29% of the conductivity of copper).
    14. Zinc (27% of the conductivity of copper).

    The economic, chemical, and mechanical properties of the elements between aluminum and zinc make them impractical for general applications as conductors in electrical circuits. They are not suited for drawing into wire, fabrication of circuit board traces, making connectors, etc.

    For example, beryllium, molybdenum, iridium and tungsten are very hard and brittle and are better suited as steel hardeners. Beryllium and molybdenum are also toxic. Rhodium is suitable as a plating material, but is too hard to be drawn into wire. It is also very rare and is 8X more expensive than gold. Iridium is so rare that only a few tons are produced annually.

    Magnesium is highly flammable. Sodium is as soft as butter and immediately oxidizes upon exposure to air. It also explodes on contact with water. Calcium is as soft as a thick steak and immediately oxidizes upon exposure to air. Cobalt is ferromagnetic, toxic, and too hard to be easily machined or drawn into wire.

    Zinc is easily machined and drawn into wire and has good strength properties, but it has relatively low conductivity.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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