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Audio absurdities
thesurfingalien
post Mar 26 2011, 05:25
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Hi All,

I have been active in the (high end) audio world for about 25 years. My main interest has always been loudspeakers and design. As such, together with a friend of mine, we have created some pretty decent loudspeakers. We did this just for fun.

Contrary of what you might expect, I have not invested in expensive equipment myself, mainly because there is only so much money I am willing (or able for that matter) to spend on it , and I like to listen to the music and not to the equipment.

However, during this time I have run into what I would like to call "Audio Absurdities". By that I mean things that people do (usually this involves spending a lot of money) to make their setup sound better.

One thing you should know of me is that over the years I have become a very skeptical person with regards to audio. But that does not mean I have lost my sense of humor. Hence this tread...

I would like to invite you to post your experience with this type of things. Be it for either generate a good laugh, or warn other readers for costly "audio improvements" that can be categorized being scams.

Have fun or be warned :-)



My first contribution: The Magic Woodblocks

About four years ago I heard from a to remain unnamed person that he had obtained little pieces of wood, about 2" square, varying in thickness depending on application, that should be placed under the equipment's feet. According to the vendor, the wood was from a rare species of trees only to be found in the Amazon. The audible results were claimed to be like "upgrading your equipment to a model twice the price". And that for only US$250 to US$375 per set of three...




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Andavari
post Mar 30 2011, 13:10
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CD rings/guards which were thin round rings either rubber or flexible plastic that went on the outside edge of a CD (personally I'd just call them CD rubbers) were in some audio-type magazines back in the 1990s.

They were marketed as "protecting and stabilizing to increase audio quality" for audio CDs during playback since they supposedly raised CDs an insignificant amount off the CD tray. But in reality they caused more problems, could get slightly baked onto the CD leaving residue behind on the outer ring of the disc, and if they broke off whilst inside a CD player it could become damaged.


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probedb
post Mar 30 2011, 13:44
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Mar 30 2011, 13:10) *
CD rings/guards which were thin round rings either rubber or flexible plastic that went on the outside edge of a CD (personally I'd just call them CD rubbers) were in some audio-type magazines back in the 1990s.

They were marketed as "protecting and stabilizing to increase audio quality" for audio CDs during playback since they supposedly raised CDs an insignificant amount off the CD tray. But in reality they caused more problems, could get slightly baked onto the CD leaving residue behind on the outer ring of the disc, and if they broke off whilst inside a CD player it could become damaged.


That's quite amusing considering the CDs don't sit on the tray during playback anyways wink.gif
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Porcus
post Apr 5 2011, 22:11
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QUOTE (probedb @ Mar 30 2011, 13:44) *
QUOTE (Andavari @ Mar 30 2011, 13:10) *
CD rings/guards which were thin round rings either rubber or flexible plastic that went on the outside edge of a CD (personally I'd just call them CD rubbers) were in some audio-type magazines back in the 1990s.

They were marketed as "protecting and stabilizing to increase audio quality" for audio CDs during playback since they supposedly raised CDs an insignificant amount off the CD tray. But in reality they caused more problems, could get slightly baked onto the CD leaving residue behind on the outer ring of the disc, and if they broke off whilst inside a CD player it could become damaged.


That's quite amusing considering the CDs don't sit on the tray during playback anyways wink.gif


On some Pioneer models, it would. The disc would be upside-down on a turning platter, meaning that you could not use those plastic disc clamps.

I actually heard a «disc clamp» kind of thing that made an audible difference. I mean, a «WTF?» level of difference. Never had the chance to check out the details, but I suspect there was some resonance rattling off in the player itself. (Hm ... if I had such a CD ring, I'd try the trick on my early DVD-player ...)



QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 13:36) *
I can not remember when, but at some time one could buy a black CD marker that one should apply to the outer edge of a CD, coloring it black, claiming improvement on sound. I can not recall the specifics, but it had something to do with canceling reflections.

I believe it was an audiophile magazine that analyzed the markers, and found out they were nothing more than regular permanent markers (the Edding brand if I recall correctly), sold at about 25 times the price of the original.


Obvious fraud. The ones that did deliver the sonic bliss, were the green ones. cool.gif


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probedb
post Apr 6 2011, 10:07
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 5 2011, 22:11) *
On some Pioneer models, it would. The disc would be upside-down on a turning platter, meaning that you could not use those plastic disc clamps.

I actually heard a «disc clamp» kind of thing that made an audible difference. I mean, a «WTF?» level of difference. Never had the chance to check out the details, but I suspect there was some resonance rattling off in the player itself. (Hm ... if I had such a CD ring, I'd try the trick on my early DVD-player ...)


I didn't realise that. Wouldn't you just have a continuous scraping sound as the disc rotated on the surface it was sitting on though? Plus all that friction wouldn't be good would it?
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BearcatSandor
post Apr 7 2011, 19:23
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QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 03:07) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 5 2011, 22:11) *
On some Pioneer models, it would. The disc would be upside-down on a turning platter, meaning that you could not use those plastic disc clamps.

I actually heard a «disc clamp» kind of thing that made an audible difference. I mean, a «WTF?» level of difference. Never had the chance to check out the details, but I suspect there was some resonance rattling off in the player itself. (Hm ... if I had such a CD ring, I'd try the trick on my early DVD-player ...)


I didn't realise that. Wouldn't you just have a continuous scraping sound as the disc rotated on the surface it was sitting on though? Plus all that friction wouldn't be good would it?


My first CD player (a radio shack deal back in 1986 or so) was so sensitive to vibrations that if you closed the door to my dorm room, the player would lose it's tracking (i opened it up once an found the insides of it mostly empty). I remember that those pioneer players that you had to lay the disk upside down in were early models too. That might have been their solution to that problem and i can see a disc clamp helping with that as well. Also, putting a CD in those things was kinda like placing a record on it's mat and might have eased the transition for people used to vinyl by making playing a CD feel similar.


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Posts in this topic
- thesurfingalien   Audio absurdities   Mar 26 2011, 05:25
- - hlloyge   http://www.shunmook.com/text1.htm QUOTE The Mping...   Mar 26 2011, 09:47
- - thesurfingalien   Hi All, To make sure everybody understands correc...   Mar 26 2011, 14:14
- - thesurfingalien   Second contribution... I was informed of a produc...   Mar 26 2011, 14:39
- - SpiderJon   Anything by Peter Belt. The free ideas are stagge...   Mar 26 2011, 20:25
- - dv1989   Two words: Brilliant Pebbles. Insert anti-marketin...   Mar 26 2011, 21:38
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (dv1989 @ Mar 26 2011, 17:38) Two w...   Mar 27 2011, 01:20
|- - SpiderJon   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 00...   Mar 27 2011, 01:28
- - Wombat   With digital audio coming to streaming devices lik...   Mar 26 2011, 22:23
- - dv1989   No, but my friend Google would! Alright, it...   Mar 27 2011, 01:30
- - thesurfingalien   @dv1989 I thought I missed something language wis...   Mar 27 2011, 02:02
- - dv1989   QUOTE language wiseWell, I read earlier that Engli...   Mar 27 2011, 02:07
- - thesurfingalien   @dv1989: Thanks for your compliment! @All -...   Mar 27 2011, 23:21
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 15...   Mar 29 2011, 10:48
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (WonderSlug @ Mar 29 2011, 05:48) Q...   Mar 30 2011, 01:27
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Mar 29 2011, 17...   Mar 30 2011, 04:20
- - thesurfingalien   And yet another one: I can not recall when I hear...   Mar 28 2011, 23:35
- - thesurfingalien   And another... After I got my Naim setup, I decid...   Mar 29 2011, 00:30
- - thesurfingalien   @WonderSlug: I did a Google "http://www.goog...   Mar 29 2011, 12:46
- - thesurfingalien   While this is probably funny for most people, it i...   Mar 29 2011, 22:42
|- - DonP   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 29 2011, 16...   Apr 7 2011, 21:32
- - pdq   At 300 million meters per second, that is just 3.3...   Mar 30 2011, 12:37
- - thesurfingalien   About the cable speed... If I understand correctl...   Mar 30 2011, 12:54
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 07...   Mar 30 2011, 13:46
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 09:46) If diffe...   Mar 30 2011, 14:56
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 09...   Mar 30 2011, 15:33
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 11:33) A pulse ...   Mar 30 2011, 16:00
- - Andavari   CD rings/guards which were thin round rings either...   Mar 30 2011, 13:10
|- - probedb   QUOTE (Andavari @ Mar 30 2011, 13:10) CD ...   Mar 30 2011, 13:44
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (probedb @ Mar 30 2011, 13:44) QUOT...   Apr 5 2011, 22:11
|- - probedb   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 5 2011, 22:11) On som...   Apr 6 2011, 10:07
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 03:07) QUOTE...   Apr 7 2011, 19:23
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 10:07) QUOTE...   Apr 8 2011, 07:59
|- - tropicalfish   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 04:07) QUOTE...   Apr 9 2011, 05:58
- - thesurfingalien   I can not remember when, but at some time one coul...   Mar 30 2011, 13:36
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 05...   Mar 30 2011, 16:50
- - thesurfingalien   This is hear-say, and I have some serious doubts i...   Mar 30 2011, 14:29
- - pdq   I hope this won't be considered too far off-to...   Mar 30 2011, 16:20
- - Roseval   QUOTE The Blackbody is a high-tech audio accessory...   Mar 30 2011, 16:55
|- - ron mexico   QUOTE (Roseval @ Mar 30 2011, 16:55) QUOT...   Mar 30 2011, 23:25
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (Roseval @ Mar 30 2011, 09:55) QUOT...   Apr 7 2011, 19:10
|- - antz   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Apr 7 2011, 18:10)...   Apr 7 2011, 20:07
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (antz @ Apr 7 2011, 13:07) QUOTE (B...   Apr 7 2011, 21:53
- - pdq   Years ago a friend of mine was working at Radio Sh...   Mar 30 2011, 17:01
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 13:01) Years ag...   Mar 30 2011, 17:08
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 12...   Mar 30 2011, 17:31
- - thesurfingalien   @pdg: That is a very clear explanation... Thanks...   Mar 30 2011, 17:05
- - thesurfingalien   In Holland there is a pretty "famous" lo...   Mar 30 2011, 18:14
- - PoisonDan   This is a nice site, collecting all kinds of audio...   Mar 30 2011, 20:41
- - DVDdoug   "Audio Absurdities" would be a great tit...   Mar 31 2011, 00:25
- - Speedskater   "The Audio Critic" magazine when it was ...   Mar 31 2011, 15:30
- - BearcatSandor   Um.... magic dots which can be covered by white pa...   Mar 31 2011, 17:21
- - Speedskater   I was just reminded of this one on another forum: ...   Mar 31 2011, 17:45
- - antz   Please close this thread before I die laughing. I ...   Apr 5 2011, 14:27
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (antz @ Apr 5 2011, 10:27) Please c...   Apr 5 2011, 22:09
- - andy o   "Quantum" is one of the words up there w...   Apr 5 2011, 17:56
- - flaminio   No thread of this sort would be complete without t...   Apr 5 2011, 20:27
- - BearcatSandor   That's not quite a Cat-5 is it? If you look t...   Apr 5 2011, 21:12
- - Cavaille   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 8 2011, 07:59) QUOTE ...   Apr 8 2011, 13:03
- - Porcus   QUOTE (Cavaille @ Apr 8 2011, 13:03) The ...   Apr 9 2011, 08:47


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