Snake oil and tweaks that work!

This is in no way intended to bring out argument but discussion of tweaks people have tried and have found success with. I know there are at least 50% of you out there that think everything in audio is snake oil, and you are initialed to those opinions. Please don't make this your battle field! If you want to start an opposing thread calling us nuts and getting in arguments please do, it might be fun to have both going. I want this one to be an informational for people who want to try things. I for one have tried a lot of the recommendations in Stereophile each month, most don't work for me, but I have found a few things that do work. #1 tweak: Speaker location. Even a 1/16" can make all the difference. I try to play with this about every six months. A dedicated circuit from the panel with 10ga. wire had a very noticeable improvement. Cables and wires matter, some have been good for my system, some real bad. We have plenty of threads covering this so lets no go there. The "Bedini Ultra Clarifier" works amazingly well for me, I know it's crazy but it works! The Cardas caps I got for X-mas really worked, they produced a more quite background, go figure. Black Diamond Racing "the Puck and the Shelf " have been great improvements, all the different cones I've tried change the sound, I haven't found one I would recommend. The Audio Prism Quiteline filters work great, but power conditioners and RFI/EMI ferrets did nothing. The last thing that has helped me is furniture location, I find if I move something only an inch it can help or hurt. I look forward to hearing others experiences.
Another tweak that works   :   
312 posts
12-10-2017 5:13pm
There is a relatively new product called Anti Vibration Magic, which works. The painters tape mimics the same effect. A buddy of mine uses black electrical tape ( which comes in many colors ). AVM is quite expensive ( imo ), and is used by a few high end audio manufacturers, and is very popular in the diy community. A long, long time ago, I was one of the 1st ( that I knew of ) that used mortite, under the platters of direct drive tts. At that time, I had a friend who was an engineer with Nakamichi, who told me about a simple and easy tweak, that I have been doing for years ( similar to AVM ). This tweak was to use a non glue, waterproof, silicon sealant, available at your Lowes or HD ( even Walmart ), and with a tooth pick ( or something like it ), apply to areas within a component. Wiring, capacitors, circuit boards and the chassis. Caveat : MUST LET IT DRY. It is all removable, and, can be quite messy. But, incredible improvement. This can be for the same purpose as adding a piece Dynamat ( or similar product ) to the underside of a component lid, to dampen vibrations. Anyone who feels I am looney ( kosst ), I do not care. Never knock it until you try it. MrD
mrdecibel312 posts12-10-2017 5:29pmIf anyone wants to try it, I use Dynaflex 230, window and door sealant, by DAP. It is available in a squeeze tube, but I purchase it in the 10.1 ounce tubes. If you purchase it in these larger tubes, you need a caulk gun, and, need to puncture a seal at the bottom of the tip ( after cutting off the tip itself ). The color does not matter, but I use clear. It comes out white, but becomes clear after it dries. I finished up a Monster Cable power thingy, and, unbelievable ( not my first conditioner ). Another thing. i DO NOT DO THIS ON ANY EQUIPMENT UNDER A MANUFACTURES WARRANY, as it would likely void it. I only dabble in the used market anyway, and, I do it to products I intend to keep.mrdecibel312 posts12-10-2017 5:40pmOne last thing. There are many parts within a component that are temperature sensitive, in other words, get hot ( transistors, resistors, transformers, tubes ), that I encourage caution. I do not apply on these, but if given room and with proper heat dissipation, certainly around them. For tubes, I recommend dampers, and not caulk ( or AVM ).mrdecibel312 posts12-10-2017 5:45pmLast thing. Certain parts within a component chassis are very heat sensitive, and require dissipation of that heat ( transistors, resistors, transformers, and some others ). Proceed with caution. I leave these components alone, but will apply around them if given the room for proper heat dissipation. Tubes, I recommend dampers, nothing more.geoffkait
Geoffkait recommended I post here, as I posted this on an incorrect thread. MrD.
The resurrected thread!

Since this has been brought back to life, I'll add something for those ending up here after an internet search: the partially inflated inner tube idea can be bettered by placing compression springs under the component instead of an inner tube. I find the inner tube muddied the sound, while springs brought all the benefits of isolation without the muddying effects of rubber.

You can buy springs cheaply online at Grainger, for instance. Calculate the load you'll need by dividing the weight of what you're trying to isolate by the number of springs you want to use. Less is better, so use 3 or 4. Then look up springs wth  that load. Purchase compression springs with a diameter of at least 1/2" so they are stable. Also, it's better to have a slightly longer spring with a lower spring rate than a shorter sprong with a higher rate 
For those of you using springs or spring based devices, or thinking of it, here’s a heads up! You can get better isolation, at least on paper, by mass loading the springs as much as possible. Springs can be loaded to the point where the coils almost start to touch. This usually means compressing the springs about half their uncompressed height. On the other hand, depending how soft the springs are and how tall, you might need to observe center of gravity issues. So, keep additional mass COG as low as possible.

Since resonant frequency is a function of the square root of MASS if you can double the mass you can lower the resonant frequency by about 30%. Remember that the total spring rate in the equation for Fr is the number of springs x spring rate per spring. For springs, as a general rule, the way things work out is the best you can do is about 2 Hz. Even when you minimize the number of springs and maximize the mass. Which is actually very good, indeed. But you won’t be able to get down to 1 Hz without resorting to more uh, severe methods. Since a lot of seismic energy is in the region 0-2 Hz, the lower the better rule applies.

Of course how the component is interfaced to the top plate and how the top plate is interfaced to the floor or rack is something worth pursuing. And damping the top plate is another area for investigation.

Pop quiz - Anybody ever construct a double layer mass on spring platform?
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