Quarter Notes #13 (Volume 4, Issue 1)

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Dear Get Better Sound owners,

Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Quarter Notes!

Quarter Notes is a newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on the Get Better Sound manual & DVD set, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.

Best e-mail address

Since you’re reading this, the e-mail address that I used to notify you must have worked.  However, the only e-mail address I have is the one associated with your initial Get Better Sound order.

If you have an e-mail address that you’d prefer to use to receive Quarter Notes notifications, send it to js@getbettersound.com. Be sure to include the e-mail address I used originally, along with the one that you want to use to replace it.

Our FIFTH Anniversary!

Dear Reader,

It’s been a great ride.  Frankly speaking, it’s hard for me to believe that it was five (!)  years ago that Get Better Sound was first released.

Since then, tens of thousands of audiophiles have made significant improvements in their systems. How do I know?  It’s all the wonderful e-mails and calls that I get every day from satisfied owners wishing to share their experiences.

I just want to say THANK YOU and to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working with everyone over the past five years!

Internet message boards and a continuing invitation

After writing a particularly critical piece about Internet audio message boards, my wife Pam advised me – in a positive way – not to be so negative.  :)

So I’ve removed all of that.  Except…

I often get e-mails inquiring about one thing or another that a reader has seen on one of the message boards.  By all means, please continue to inquire when the info you see is confusing.  Due to my e-mail & call volume, I can no longer reply as fully or as quickly as I once did.  But I still try to return calls & e-mails within 24 hours.  The replies may be a bit more pithy, however.  :)

System priorities

These are questions that I get a lot of the time. “What is the ratio of importance of various components?”  “What should I do next?”  “After I get xyz component, shouldn’t I get abc?” You get the idea.

Or I’ll be asked to list them in order of importance, say from 1-10.  Such as speakers – 3, source – 3, preamp – 2, amp 2, cables 1.  Oops, that’s 11, and I haven’t even mentioned the most important component!

That would be your room.  I don’t care if it’s the bedroom, the living room, or a dedicated listening room.  The listening environment is your most important component.  Then, making your system “play the room” is second.  I can make almost any decent system outperform systems with even more costly and potentially higher performance components by simply being sure that the system plays nice with the room.  And you can too.  It’s not rocket science – hey if I can do it, so can you!

Select the components that you want.  Use some common sense about matching (for example amp power vs. speaker sensitivity).  But then, don’t worry about some magic ratio. Spend a little time and enjoy the fruits of you efforts for years to come - WITHOUT succumbing to the urge to buy the next big thing.

One more thing – you may not have spent a fortune on your system.  But that doesn’t mean that you cannot have much more satisfying sound if you simply follow the basics in the GBS book, say from tips #59-89.

Organic EQ vs electronic EQ

Some of you will remember my interest in DEQX.  Although I wanted it to work, I’ve still not heard a system that was musically satisfying when overall equalization – digital or analog – was employed with 2-channel music.  In general, they can sound very correct, but not especially involving.  It reminds me a bit of the time that I managed to get the bass in my system almost ruler-flat in response.  I couldn’t wait to hear it.  Then, after hearing it, I couldn’t wait to get it back to where it had been…

That’s not to say that such digital EQ cannot possibly be musically compelling.  All I can say is that I’ve yet to hear such a system that wasn’t more precise than profound.  So I still don’t know for certain if it can be done.

I’ve come to think of physical adjustments that you can do in your room as Organic EQ. When voicing systems, I have called it RoomPlay.  Whatever the name, you can dramatically improve your sound without having to resort to electronic manipulation.