Maintaining an Even Keel.

I was recently emailing with one of our members (he's taking a break right now) and just wanted to share this bit of info (as a reminder) as most of us are already aware of it.

Anyway, the member had just taken the time to properly level his new SACD player (by placing the level on top of the player, not on the shelf itself) and immediately noticed improved performance (sound). When I set my gear up on a new rack and shelves (approx. six weeks ago) I had done the same, but out of curiosity I double checked the player and it was off. Maybe the rack and the shelves settled, maybe the bottom spikes going into a plaster sub floor did the same or the whole floor itself, but regardless, it was now far from level. I placed it back on an even keel last night and the system now sounds better than before. This had been a contributing factor to the gradual decline in sound quality that I have been experiencing lately, I am now certain of that. So, if you have not leveled your CD player or transport (give it a try) and if you already have done this, then double check to see that it is still true. The same goes for vinyl playback, of course, where the difference in sound is major Vs minor.
Dekay, make a lot of sense. I actually did this when I set up my transport. Can't say what the difference was since it turned out to be perfectly level. This process assumes, however, that the transport mechanism inside the case is level. Not a slam dunk. At least with my turntable, I can see everything.
Dekay, wood floors and joists actually expand and contract with the seasons. Thanks for reminding us to check our levels.
Yes Jim: I agree that we are relying on the internal drive being mounted properly, but could think of no way to test this without removing the chassis cover. The basic approach that I took did make a nice improvement though, so I got lucky with the old CAL. The adjustment removed some of the high frequency hash that I had thought was the power supply again. Live in CA, blame it on the power.
PS: The thanks should go to our member Whatjb, who seems to have a knack for getting back to the basics that we all learn and then forget about as we continue to absorb more complex knowledge on the hobby.
Thanks for the reminder David, I'll check my transport this afternoon. I imagine EARTHQUAKES could really raise hell with a system-- not so cheerful a thought. Craig
Craig, don't even mention earthquakes. The mere mention gives me *the fear*. My biggest worry with my system. But there's not a whole lot to be done. Oh, well. At least we've got good weather.
We just had a suggestion from Richard @ Vantage Audio (he is having difficulty posting to threads at this time) which is to extend (open) the tray on a front loader and then use a small level on it. Just be carefull that the tray does not sag when extended.
dekay: good thoughts. the "level", of course, should be measured by a round bubble level or similar omnidirectional device. BTW, if your cdp's tray "sags" when extended, i'd think about getting a new cdp. -kelly
Don't forget the speakers! My Thiels actually prefer a slight lean back, but they must have the same angle. The floor changes unevenly with the weather, and the image as well as my ears can suffer.
Dekay scores again. An excellent point and post. Tomorrow the level comes out, unless it's Monday, or Tuesday, or... Should the amp and pre be leveled too? Doesn't seem like it would make much difference, but, hey! What do I know? I only listen with imperfect ears. (But I like what I hear.)
Hi Dekay
I had the same thing happen here. When I first got the Neuance and Mana shelf, I set it up and was very careful with leveling. A few days latter I had to level it again. Probably had to settle. Thanks for the reminder.
Hey Dekay, What if your transport is on a shelf that is seperate from the rest of your rack? I have a older target rack with the top shelf on four points. The points screw in and I just adjusted them to where all the points are the same.(screwed all the way down) It may not be as accurate as a level, but with all the points at the same level there is some reference. Just the same a level sounds like the best way to go. Thanks
I know I'm just asking for trouble, but why would a CD transport care if it 's not perfectly level. A turntable I understand, but a transport?
Drubin: I felt the same way about it as we are talking about the very low mass of a CD, but it does make an audible difference (at least on my CAL Icon MKII and also on the new 9000ES than JIM "Whatjb" just set up). So from now on I will just check it from time to time and adjust the level when needed.
without disturbing the precious sound quality achieved thus far? Do we need specially treated peanut shells or what? Despite my tongue being lodged in my cheek, I am serious. What can be used to level components without degrading the sound?