Submit Your Tip of the Day

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,791 25 9
#1
Friends;

We are trying to get quick daily tips on our site for the average reader's benefit.

Submit your Tip of the Day in this thread and if we like it, we will feature it on our homepage giving you credit! Become internet famous while helping your fellow Audioholics!

Some Guidelines:
  • The Tip of the day needs to have a related image
  • It should be 5-7 sentences max
  • It should be written concisely so the average reader can follow it
  • you are free to promote a specific product as a relevant example

Here is an example we just posted:
Tip of the Day: Corner Loading a Sub — Reviews and News from Audioholics

Thanks and good luck!
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,355
#2
Give your speakers plenty of space to breathe around and in front. Things like TVs, Shelves, Other Speakers, Coffee Tables and Walls create secondary sound sources that smear the presentation through early reflection and diffraction. Let the speaker be the only thing sending early cues to your ears.

That said, side walls can have definite presentation benefits - especially if you can give the secondary sound roughly about 15 milliseconds to travel - or a rough distance of 5 meters from speaker-to-reflecting-wall-to-ear.

 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,791 25 9
#3
Give your speakers plenty of space to breathe around and in front. Things like TVs, Shelves, Other Speakers, Coffee Tables and Walls create secondary sound sources that smear the presentation through early reflection and diffraction. Let the speaker be the only thing sending early cues to your ears.

That said, side walls can have definite presentation benefits - especially if you can give the secondary sound roughly about 15 milliseconds to travel - or a rough distance of 5 meters from speaker-to-reflecting-wall-to-ear.

I like it but it's a little too technical for this type of post. Bring it down to earth man :)
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
12,205 49
#6
Owners Manuals

A lot of manufacturers offer electronic copies of owners manuals on their websites to help you in case you lost yours or want to do some research. Often in PDF form, they make searching for key words easier than flipping through the manual that came with your new product. Doing a web search (such as Google) will generally find them quickly. Manuals for relatively recent products are often linked on the individual product pages, but some manufacturers also offer central sites to search for manuals (such as these pages for Denon, Pioneer, Marantz, Onkyo, and Yamaha). You can sometimes find free manuals for older products, too, using a web search.

 
Last edited:
monkish54

monkish54

Audioholic General
Ratings
748
#7
My Tip of the Day:

Do not buy any Bose products, or a HTIB.

If you already did, well...





Ok, I'm done. :D (Well, unless I can think of more witty stuff to post. Odds of that are pretty slim. :D)
 
monkish54

monkish54

Audioholic General
Ratings
748
#8
Owners Manuals

A lot of manufacturers offer electronic copies of owners manuals on their websites to help you in case you lost yours or want to do some research. Often in PDF form, they make searching for key words easier than flipping through the manual that came with your new product. Doing a web search (such as Google) will generally find them quickly. Manuals for relatively recent products are often linked on the individual product pages, but some manufacturers also offer central sites to search for manuals (such as these pages for Denon, Pioneer, Marantz, Onkyo, and Yamaha). You can sometimes find free manuals for older products, too, using a web search.

Very nice!! :D
 
JohnA

JohnA

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
50
#9
Overall audio is a very subjective thing, yes we have measurements and tests to give a good base line of information. In the end all that matters is what sounds good to you.

There is no silver bullet of "What is the best ____ ". A speaker (specifically) may sound great in my room, but may sound horrible in yours. Before spending money on cables or new speakers, etc... trying to improve your sound, make sure you have proper speaker placement and you have acoustically treated your room first. To put it in automotive terms, all the fancy modifications to boost HP are worthless if you have a broken engine block.
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,008 18 1
#10
The Tripod

Whether you're calibrating your surround sound system or taking a photograph, a tripod can make a big difference in the results you get. The tripod will lift the microphone to your ear level and reduce the potential for interference and noise that would be present if you physically held the microphone in place. A good quality tripod can be inexpensive and are they readily available at a variety of retailers.

For other handy tips to maximize the potential of an auto-calibration system, particularly Audyssey MultEQ products:
How to MultEQ | Audyssey
 
monkish54

monkish54

Audioholic General
Ratings
748
#11
A speaker (specifically) may sound great in my room, but may sound horrible in yours.
Agreed.


Before spending money on cables or new speakers, etc... trying to improve your sound, make sure you have proper speaker placement
Agreed

you have acoustically treated your room first
I don't agree with this. I don't think "Treat your room before you buy new speakers" is good advice. It might be in a specific case, but this "article" is much too general to recommend room treatments to everyone. :D

Room treatments are a more case-by-case suggestion. :D
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,008 18 1
#12
Protect your hearing

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, or in this case, their hearing. Even a modest sound system is capable of delivering sufficiently high SPLs to cause significant damage to your hearing over time. Investing in an SPL meter can be useful for things like system setup, but it is also an important tool to let you know whether you are indeed getting too much of a good thing. Have fun, but be careful!

For more information:
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/noise.aspx

 
psbfan9

psbfan9

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,837 7 24
#13
A pen type laser pointer can help with directing the tweeter to the sweet spot.

Change the angle of the speaker (toe in) to also help with directing the sound toward the listening position.
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,008 18 1
#14
Keeping Cool

As most people are probably aware, the lifespan of electronics can be greatly improved by keeping temperature under control. Unfortunately, many of us are content to place a receiver where it is convenient as opposed to where it can receive adequate ventilation, at least until it fails. Assuming you want your receiver in a cabinet, ensure that air flow is sufficient. While many so called home theater cabinets make little or no provision for ventilation, there are some models that take this factor into account. If you already own a cabinet that lacks proper ventilation and are concerned about heat buildup, a drill can come in quite handy; an inexpensive but good quality 120mm fan or two set to low speed can also improve air flow without adding significantly to background noise.

 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,008 18 1
#15
Keep it down man

No, not your sound system, the background noise. You've got an SPL meter, right??? If not, get one! Now measure the noise floor of your room at a dead quiet. If you're lucky and you've got a dedicated listening room, maybe you can get into the 20s range, but the odds are it will be higher. Now turn on your HVAC system and see what happens. Suffice it to say, before you go spend money on amplifiers with a 120dB SNR rating, it might be a wise idea to mitigate background noise first. A humming refrigerator or a HVAC pumping air into your room is going to be a far greater issue than a equipment with a higher than ideal noise floor.

 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,395 9 26
#16
Your receiver is not smarter than you are

Just because your new-fangled receiver has automatic calibration does not mean it is going to properly place your speakers in your room for you. Sure the calibration can be beneficial, but it certainly is only going to help by getting things sounding good even before you run the calibration. I frequently read posts that say something to the effect of "My receiver set my speakers to +10dB and my sub to -10dB and set my mains to large" This is a good indicator that you probably need to do some tweaking to the positions, and in the case of the sub the manual adjustments, of these speakers first.

There are guidelines out there to give you a good starting point. Every room is not the same nor are they all ideal for sound, so you may have to get creative and even ask on forums like this for some ideas in rooms that create odd situations for placement. While it may not be easy to get things perfect every time, there's always a way to squeeze great sound out of just about any room.
 
gmichael

gmichael

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,724 1
#17
Audition twice. Buy once.
Make sure that you audition anything you plan to buy a couple times before you pull the trigger. Buyers remorse runs ramped.
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Ratings
3,008 18 1
#18
Goals

With most endeavors in life, it helps to have an achievable and readily definable goal in mind. Building a sound system is no different; while there are subjective aspects to be sure, a lot of it comes down to selecting the right tool for the right job. For example: the speaker needs to be capable of delivering the sound quality and output levels that you want; the receiver/amplifier needs to be capable of adequately driving the aforementioned speaker to the requisite volumes in your room; the speaker wire needs to be of adequate gauge for the length of the run and the impedance of the speaker. Having a good idea of what you're trying to achieve means you're less likely to over or underspend, and is thus key to achieving good value.

 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
12,205 49
#19
Acoustic Rocks

Some people sell rocks and pebbles to improve the sound quality of your equipment. If you get some and don't notice any difference, it's not because you placed them incorrectly or didn't properly align them to the galactic center. It's because you're using the wrong kind. After years of research, the only rocks proven to improve your enjoyment of music are the ones keeping your favorite liquor cold. :)

 

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