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Wednesday, 07 July 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-O-Files: Volume 4
Yet again, I've combed the internet and recruited my most neurotic audiophile acquaintances to bring you some of the most interesting, unusual, and frankly, questionable high end audio tweaks. As always, I note when I have had first hand experience with a particular tweak.  You can read parts 1, 2 and 3 by clicking the numbers.Quietrock:Quietrock drywall maybe more than a tweak, it may be the foundation of your listening room. It is sound proof sheet rock that will help to isolate your dedicated listening room from outside noise, and conversely, will allow other to live in peace during your concert level listening sessions. I had it installed in my listening room to great results. Pricing varies. Link: http://www.quietrock.com/ Soundsoak Acoustical Wall Panels:Soundsoak, made by Armstrong, is a lightweight, easy to install acoustic panel that claims to offer up to ...
Friday, 25 June 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Thiel CS2.4 Loudspeaker Review
I reviewed the stand mounted MCS-1 a while back (link) and it was my first experience with a Thiel loudspeaker. I found out why Thiel had built a reputation of building superb sounding, neutral, and coherent speakers for 30 years. Their products are designed and built in Lexington Kentucky and all are all based on the cutting edge designs of the late, great Jim Thiel, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 62.I was so impressed with the MCS-1, which was a large monitor, that I was very interested in hearing one of their floor standers. I was offered the CS2.4, second from the top of the line CS3.7, which sells for roughly $12,000. The CS2.4 retails for $4900, but varies depending on finish. My review sample arrived in a beautiful Black Ash. The CS2.4 was first ...
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 3
Rockler Benchcookies:Just by accident, I found out about Bench Cookies (patent pending) sold by Rockler, the wood working chain store. The Bench Cookies are used to stabilize a piece of wood or any item on a work area while you sand, saw, or nail. In that regard it works perfectly. If you place an object on the Cookies, and try to move it, it will not budge. They are sold in a set of four. They look amazingly like high end resonance control devices. I decided to buy two sets and use them under components in a "what the hell" moment. First, I removed my Symposium Rollerblocks and placed one Bench Cookie near each of the four feet of my preamp.  I was impressed. The sound was smooth, detailed, and imaging was excellent. The other big benefit is that your ...
Thursday, 06 May 2010 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Like vampire novels or a seasonal sandwich at your local deli, harking to the famed Nietzsche/Peter Pan/Battlestar Galactica quote “all of this has happened before, and will happen again”, 3D technology seems to crawl back into the pop culture spotlight once every ten or so years.  And why not? It’s fun to go to the movie theater, strap on the glasses, and watch as a barrage of things fly in your direction.  The entire concept behind three-dimensional usage swings on the immersion experienced by the people planted in those seats, something that has, naturally, improved as technology has improved – with the likes of IMAX 3D consistently cutting the tech’s teeth through somewhat under-the-radar exhibitions.  However, a few pieces have been put in motion that threaten to bring the technology much more into the mainstream, such as a few rather ...
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Tweak-o-Files: Volume 2
Welcome to the second installment of my column concerning perfectionist audio tweaks, that gray area where there often seems to be questionable ROI, but where carefully chosen and implemented, can absolutely allow a high end audio system to perform at its very best. As before, here are some tweaks and system improvements that I have first hand experience with, and some that I don't, but were recommended by reliable sources or seem interesting enough to take note of. As always, Caveat Emptor!Auric Illuminater:The Auric Illuminator is a compact disc cleansing and treating product made by Audience LLC. Audience is a very highly respected maker of high end cables, capacitors, and now speakers and electronics. I have been using it for three years now. No crazy snake oil here. The kit consists of a clear gel that Audience says does a ...
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