Free air, tighter bass - snake oil or cheap tweaks?

Usually when we talk about snake oil it's because some one is out to make a buck on the gullible.  In the case of these tweaks I want to recommend I'm not going to make any money, and you may not spend any either, but I find them useful.

Cover your Speakers

I don't know why a modest change in your acoustics can make such a difference but I usually find that covering my speakers adds a lot of air and room ambiance.  I like to use some thick curtains that I've had from a house a long time ago.  Works really well.

Weigh Your Speakers

I don't mean put them on a scale, but put a weight on top.  Of course, this doesn't apply to those with behemoths.  I find this especially useful with lightweight speakers that are on stands or very small footprints.  Think 2-ways, both bookshelf and floor standers.  I think the additional weight resists the tendency of the woofer to move the box back and forth, creating a kind of Doppler distortion in the bass. In some cases I find this tweak can really make a speaker sound tighter and clearer from the mid-bass downwards.

Clean up the Floor

We often pay attention to the walls, but not the floor, especially behind speakers.  I find that room treatment, cushions and blankets here can really cut out hash I didn't know I had. 


I often cover bass cabinets of my Aerial 10t with furniture blanket. Bass control this way is simply INCREDIBLE My speakers are loaded with lead shot on the bottom. I also use solid platform so they don't stand on carpet floor. 

Another cheap tweak:

Check and/or tighten up screws on your speaker drivers every once in a while.


Erik, I thought you were making a joke, but I soon realized you didn't mean covering the front of the speakers, and the drivers.

Damping small speakers with a weight , a tuned one, is very important...

I do it...