Happy Holidays and Your Favorite Tips?

Yes, I'm being inclusive. 

What's your favorite tip to audiophiles?  Here is mine:


If you are using a subwoofer with ported main speakers, consider plugging the ports and raising the sub crossover.  Even if you don't have a subwoofer, sometimes plugging one or the other can really reduce bloat.  It's worth listening to it since it's cheap and non destructive (assuming you don't lose your sock in the port).


Just wanted to chime in regarding the sock in the port trick... the reason this works and why it's worth trying is that a ported speaker is going to have a higher Q factor compared to a sealed speaker. Typically this translates to a low end bass bump followed by a steep roll-off of 24db/octave or more. Most subs have an 18db/octave low pass filter. Plugging the port in your speaker with a sock or foam plug or whatever will reduce the Q factor of the speaker... less bass bump and shallower bass roll-off. Generally speaking this makes it much easier to integrate a subwoofer with it.

Most subs have an 18db/octave low pass filter.

That’s news to me, I thought the THX standard was 24?

But generally, yes. Regardless of Q, having a main speaker that has a hump, and then having the sub take over below that hump can be challenging. It can also just be challenging for the room. So, this is, broadly speaking, a tone control.

However, I do think that many speakers, sealed or ported, have a bass hump. The ability to raise or lower the Q isn’t limited to ported speakers.

Raising the cut-off frequency AND sealing the box greatly reduces woofer distortion by controlling excursion, another benefit.  Of course, at the end of the day what matters is whether the listener likes it or not.


Re: preference for short posts. Small ideas will fit in them. Nuance, detail, complexity—not so much.

Re: to plug or not to plug (one's ports). Room acoustics are largely mysterious; even experts often get this very wrong. I've posted about that before (long posts...). So try it both ways, and let your ears be the judge.

Re: Sir Richard Burton. Also a fan. One of my treasures is a copy of his translation of the "Thousand Nights and a Night" in seventeen hardcover volumes issued in just 1,000 numbered sets to subscribers of the Burton Club in the 1880s (mine is set #239). An amazing character: adventurer, scholar, linguist, prolific writer. His mastery of languages (not quite 50, more like 27, but who's counting?) enabled a "translation" so full of multi-lingual neologisms that it is virtually in its own new language.