Submit Your Tip of the Day

Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Always consider the source

when someone on the web says "this subwoofer is the best i've ever heard!"
follow up with the question "what were your other subs?"
Yoink! Gotta give credit where credit is due :)

Forums

Forums can be a fantastic tool for people who are new to home audio and looking for recommendations. However, with any advice you receive, it's important to consider the source. While most forum inhabitants are happy to help, realistically not everyone is well equipped to do so. Context is critical in ascertaining what is pertinent to your situation, and what isn't.

Preferences, experience, and usage all have significant impact upon how useful advice may be to your situation. It's usually a mistake to take speaker advice from someone who's experience is limited to one or two models. It's also probably wise to understand that someone who listens to jazz at moderate volumes in a small room is likely to have different priorities than someone who listens to heavy metal at high volumes in a large space. Further, it is a mistake to assume that everyone enjoys the same "sound": for example, some people enjoy a big bass boost with their music, whereas a purist would not.

In the end, someone new to the hobby is perhaps best advised to take raw opinions with a healthy dose of skepticism. That is to say, you probably shouldn't buy a speaker because a I happen to think it sounds good. What makes me smile may make you cringe. The best advice comes from people who take your preferences and situation into account, and if they can back up their recommendations with objective data, so much the better. Happy listening!

 
adwilk

adwilk

Audioholic Ninja
The Audio Sweet Spot

Every experienced listener knows exactly what I'm talking about. That one magical place in any listening room where sound waves meet to transform the lucky occupant to audio nirvana. Here are a few guidelines to consider when setting up you gear.

1. If the sweet spot will be on a couch or love seat, make sure it isn't between cushions.
2. If your significant other requests your company away from the sweet spot- this is allowed only if you haven't heard the material before.
3. Its not good etiquette to hog the sweet spot when showing off your system.
4. It is good etiquette to force your guests to sit there and pay careful attention- pointing out that there is no way they could audibly locate any of your 8 subwoofers.
5. The sweet spot should never be more than 23 steps away from a refrigerator containing your preferred adult beverage.
6. Ideally- your audio sweet spot would also be your wi-fi sweet spot.



What? :D
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Measurements And Specifications

Measurements and specifications are important tools in the decision making process for purchasing audio equipment. They can help those with the knowledge to interpret them identify potential performance issues; further, objective data is useful for making comparisons between items. Nonetheless, it is important not to get too wrapped up in graphs and specs: in the end, your ears are the final arbiter of sound quality, not your eyes.

It is perhaps important to reiterate one part of the above: specifications and measurements are useful to those with the knowledge to interpret them. For example, on the face of it, a sensitivity specification seems fairly straight forward: a speaker with a specified sensitivity of 93dB at 1 meter with a 2.83 volt input should have an advantage over a speaker with a specified sensitivity of 91dB at 1 meter with a 2.83 volt input. However, how sensitivity was rated, ie in room or anechoic, along with the impedance of the speaker, will have considerable impact upon what those numbers mean.

I would also warn that it is unwise to focus on one particular aspect of performance at the expense of all others: for example, if your focus is on-axis frequency response, you may miss issues with respect to distortion, compression, resonance, etc. In the end, what matters most is whether or not you are pleased with the sound eminating from your speakers. No speaker is perfect, so it's up to you to find the best balance of compromises for your ears, and while measurements can be helpful, they're not substitute for actually auditioning equipment. Happy listening!

 
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agarwalro

agarwalro

Audioholic Ninja
Don't get Shorty (short circuits kill amps)

A guaranteed cause of receiver or amplifier failure is the presence of a short circuit across the speaker level terminals. It could be as simple as a stray strand of wire which has come loose from the binding post (on either receiver/amp or speaker end) and touched the other terminal.

One can hope the receiver or amp's inbuilt short circuit protection circuit will do its job, but why take a chance. To prevent jeopardizing your device use good HT wiring protocols,

  1. Eliminate stray strands: Always use banana plugs or spade lugs to terminate your speaker wire. If your receiver/speaker has spring clip type terminals, tin the exposed bunch of strands with a soldering iron. Put some slack in the wires to prevent accidental disconnections.
  2. Verify before power up: Inspect your connections before powering up the system. All bindings should be firm and clear of hazards. If you have in-wall speaker cables, use a continuity tester to verify speaker wiring health.
  3. Safety first: If you need to make a change to the wiring (even for line/signal level connections), as a rule, power everything down and disconnect your receiver/amp from the main supply. This is the only 100% safe way to handle speaker level connection changes.

 
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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Power Off Equipment When Making Connections

When making connections to receivers and amplifiers (especially when working with speaker wires), make sure that the equipment is turned off first. It's not required, but it's a lot safer for you and the equipment in the event that you accidentally touch two speaker wires together. A couple of seconds to hit the power button can save hours of shopping for new equipment.

Congrats you're internet famous :)

Tip of the Day: Power Off Equipment When Making Connections — Reviews and News from Audioholics
 
agarwalro

agarwalro

Audioholic Ninja
Man I swear I didn't see Adam's tip before pouring my heart and soul into post#84 above.

Gene, As this thread gets longer, redundant entries will increase. Is it possible to insert a post at the #2 slot, to list topics already published?
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Man I swear I didn't see Adam's tip before pouring my heart and soul into post#84 above.

Gene, As this thread gets longer, redundant entries will increase. Is it possible to insert a post at the #2 slot, to list topics already published?
Sure if majorloser is willing to keep track of it. Dave you watching this??? :rolleyes:
 
Steve81

Steve81

Audioholics Five-0
Backups

For the paranoid IT administrators among us, this one may seem like a no-brainer: what's the first thing you should do after ripping a CD or downloading a tune? Give it a listen of course! But after you've heard your new tune, it's time to get down to business, break out an external drive, and back that baby up.

Thanks to the wonders of the modern digital age, we have the ability to store our collections in such a way that we can potentially realize the original promise of the CD: perfect sound forever. Further, doing so can be eminently affordable: a 3TB hard drive costs just a bit over $100 as of the writing of this tip and provides enough space to hold thousands of uncompressed CDs. If you want to take it a step further, investing in a good quality fire and water resistant chest can provide and additional layer of protection, both for your music collection and important documents around the house.

This tip should also be a wake up call for those that refuse to take the leap into digital music and cling to their CDs. Just remember: CDs can be scratched, burnt, or otherwise damaged. Properly backed up, a digital file can be practically immune to such problems. Happy listening!

 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Do I need an amp? AKA: a silk purse from a sow's ear. (Not sure what a good header would be for this one, open to suggestions, article will need to be pared down)


This gets brought up often regarding using an external amp. "So-and-so said an amp would really 'open up' my speakers", yet often that statement isn't even entirely understood nor is the comment usually explained by the person making the recommendation.

It is true one needs enough power to get the job done, but this tip deals more with the reasoning behind separate amplification more than how to figure out how much power one truly needs (that sort of thing is already out there). Starting with the speakers, some speakers can demand a lot of power to drive. Combine that with high listening levels and you have a recipe for needing a lot of power. The fact is, most of the time, the system is likely cruising along at just a few watts per speaker. Those demands can go up very quickly though: think very complex music passages or big, explosive scenes in an action movie. There are other important considerations as well, such as how big of a room you are trying to fill with a given speaker, how the system is setup in the room both physically and the configuration of the system, the types of things in the room (furniture, carpet, drapes, etc...), and even what you are listening to at the time. Those demands can easily require 10 times the power of “normal” listening without reaching unacceptable distortion levels.

With that in mind, using the example of a relatively difficult to drive speaker capable of plenty of output and a large room, we can consider why an amp might be desired. When I read the terms “open up” or “for them to really shine…” or “transformed them…” one would be lead to think that the amp was solely responsible for completely changing how the speakers sound. How exactly do we qualify that, and is it actually the case? At normal listening levels there may be enough power in an average mid-level receiver (AVR) to do this on a regular basis without issue since the amplifier in the receiver may not be pushed to its limits. If someone was after higher levels and found that the receiver wasn’t providing enough power to do this, then an amp could definitely be the answer. In the example given, an amp would certainly help because there was a limitation before that may have caused the sound to be inaccurate or distorted and the situation was solved by a more powerful amp. While an amp can have an influence on the sound of the system, it isn’t going to make the speakers sound completely different or like they are something they are not and in the end they will only be as good as they were originally capable of. An amp might help get the most out of speakers in a case like this, but it is not going to perform a “miracle” on them.
 
M

MidnightSensi2

Audioholic Chief
Backups

For the paranoid IT administrators among us, this one may seem like a no-brainer: what's the first thing you should do after ripping a CD or downloading a tune? Give it a listen of course! But after you've heard your new tune, it's time to get down to business, break out an external drive, and back that baby up.

Thanks to the wonders of the modern digital age, we have the ability to store our collections in such a way that we can potentially realize the original promise of the CD: perfect sound forever. Further, doing so can be eminently affordable: a 3TB hard drive costs just a bit over $100 as of the writing of this tip and provides enough space to hold thousands of uncompressed CDs. If you want to take it a step further, investing in a good quality fire and water resistant chest can provide and additional layer of protection, both for your music collection and important documents around the house.

This tip should also be a wake up call for those that refuse to take the leap into digital music and cling to their CDs. Just remember: CDs can be scratched, burnt, or otherwise damaged. Properly backed up, a digital file can be practically immune to such problems. Happy listening!

This is good one. I have two daisy chained thunderbolt drives, then also backup to a server (in case of fire). I've gotten rid of a lot of physical media. DVDs, CDs, etc. I copied most my vinyl, but I still like the vinyl. Nevertheless, keeps quality good, easier to find stuff, and fits in tiny drives!
 
C

chronos56

Audioholic Intern
Fast speaker identification

Replacing a receiver or installing a system that has bunch of unidentified wires coming out of the wall and you have no idea what wire goes to what speaker?

Grab a AA battery and hold one wire on the negitive and drag the other wire accross the tip. You can hear the crackle in the speaker and make a quick ID.

Not pretty, but a great time saver.

Jim
 
V

VicDamoan03

Audiophyte
Sound Isolation
Sound Isolation is a combination of techniques, designed to limit the sound that leaves the theater and limit the sound that enters the theater. And both sides of that equation are important, by the way…
Often people mention to me that they do not care if sound is heard outside the theater, but keep in mind that if sound can easily leave the theater, then sound can easily enter the theater. All home theater owners should take sound isolation into consideration, during their design process.
So your sound isolation system combines four key techniques, and together they limit the sound vibrations from transmitting through the walls and through the ceiling of your home theater (and if you take it to the next level, yes also through the floor of your theater).
These four sound isolation techniques are Mass, Absorption, Decoupling, and Damping.
1.0 Mass – If you make your walls heavier, it is harder for that wall to move, which means it is harder for that wall to transmit sound through to the other side.
2.0 Absorption – When you beat on a hollow drum it will make more sound than when you beat on a drum what was filled with sand. The same principle applies to your theater walls. When you fill those walls with insulation it cuts down some on the sound that is transmitted through to the other side.
3.0 Decoupling – If you can create a ‘gap’ between two surfaces, it makes it harder for the sound to ‘jump’ from one surface to another, which decreases the amount of sound that can be transmitted from one surface through to the other side.
4.0 Damping – If you are able to use some material to minimize the amount of vibration, in the wall, to start with, then you will have a much more successful overall sound isolation system. One great product (and one that we are fans of here) is called Green Glue. This damping material makes it so the wall itself vibrates less, which makes it harder for sound to be transmitted through to the other side.
So all four of these techniques are used together in your sound isolation system, and you will notice that none of them are designed to address the actual sound that is inside your home theater, that is where acoustics comes into play.
Great tip!!!
 
P

Poultrygeist

Junior Audioholic
A common problem with cleaning noisy controls is that the contact cleaner's spray tube is too large to fit in the weep hole.

Solution: a small insulin syringe can be used to inject the contact cleaner/deoxit into the weep hole
 
P

Poultrygeist

Junior Audioholic
Ever wish you could use banana plugs with screw terminals on old amps and speakers?

You can with these.

 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
Place your Sub within the Triangle zone if possible for best smooth Bass response and away from the walls, i.e side , rear walls.

Like your Speakers , even Sub need space to breathe.
Also adjust the sub at 0 db until desired level, and shoudn't sound boomy nor should be faint. A balance sound is what you desire at the most.

And remember to set the Distance of your Sub to the listener's position if calibrating manually. Its always good to measure the Sub from the centre of the sub to the listening position for best effects.
 
Seth=L

Seth=L

Audioholic Overlord
Fast speaker identification

Replacing a receiver or installing a system that has bunch of unidentified wires coming out of the wall and you have no idea what wire goes to what speaker?

Grab a AA battery and hold one wire on the negitive and drag the other wire accross the tip. You can hear the crackle in the speaker and make a quick ID.

Not pretty, but a great time saver.

Jim
I thought batteries were bad for speakers.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic General
Place your Sub within the Triangle zone if possible for best smooth Bass response and away from the walls, i.e side , rear walls.

Like your Speakers , even Sub need space to breathe.
Also adjust the sub at 0 db until desired level, and shoudn't sound boomy nor should be faint. A balance sound is what you desire at the most.

And remember to set the Distance of your Sub to the listener's position if calibrating manually. Its always good to measure the Sub from the centre of the sub to the listening position for best effects.
Do you run any Auto Calibration? I ask because auto calibration complicated sub levels setting. If you set two or more subs at 0 (on the sub-woofers volume) your A/V receiver or Pre/Pro will typically lower the levels way down in the AVR, so much so you might feel the need to run the sub(s) 2-3 hot, which may result in boomy bass.
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
Do you run any Auto Calibration? I ask because auto calibration complicated sub levels setting. If you set two or more subs at 0 (on the sub-woofers volume) your A/V receiver or Pre/Pro will typically lower the levels way down in the AVR, so much so you might feel the need to run the sub(s) 2-3 hot, which may result in boomy bass.
No i don't have Auto calibration on my AVR because its the entry level AVR (DENON AVR -X500).
I have only 1 sub which is Boston acoustics ASW 250 (12 inch) plenty for a medium sized room.
From my above post i meant to say that u should adjust the Dial of your subwoofer rather than adjusting it from the AVR.

AVRs have the ability to control the Sub and speakers Level (db) , so i would rather adjust it with the dial behind the sub woofer so that i don't mess up the sub settings.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic General
No i don't have Auto calibration on my AVR because its the entry level AVR (DENON AVR -X500).
I have only 1 sub which is Boston acoustics ASW 250 (12 inch) plenty for a medium sized room.
From my above post i meant to say that u should adjust the Dial of your subwoofer rather than adjusting it from the AVR.

AVRs have the ability to control the Sub and speakers Level (db) , so i would rather adjust it with the dial behind the sub woofer so that i don't mess up the sub settings.
Understood.
 
S

Sime

Enthusiast
If things aren't sounding good for the day (bad mood, unwell etc) turn off the system and do something else. Nothing worse than being annoyed at a system your not liking that day when it's not it's fault lol.
 

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