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Dear Get Better Sound & Through the Sound Barrier owners,


Welcome to the twenty-fourth issue of Quarter Notes, published on January 10, 2021. Quarter Notes is a free newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on both, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.

Best email address


If you’re reading this from an e-mail link, the e-mail address with which I sent this QNs must have worked. However, the only e-mail address I have is the one associated with your initial Get Better Sound or Through the Sound Barrier 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.

In this issue:


1. The Get Better Sound website has finally moved!


2. New GBS website features


3. Huge update to the RoomPlay Reference room:


a - What were the changes & why were they deemed necessary?

b - Acoustic wave-launch vs. electrons in cables & circuits. Changes due to this phenomenon.

c - Implications for the Through the Sound Barrier DVD, and its direct connection to unlocking your music.


4. Sheesh!!! I knew better...…


5. A different X-Factor


6. TTSB update

1. The Get Better Sound website has finally moved!


Although it was absolutely necessary, it has been way too involved (effort & time) & frankly, a real chore. My son Randall of Breaking Through Podcast fame, has helped me to make this changeover. Without his assistance, I don't see how it would ever have happened. THANK YOU, RANDALL!!!

2. New GBS website features


Now I can send QNs directly from the site. Podcasts can start again as well, since they can also be hosted directly from the site.

3. Huge update to the RoomPlay Reference room


Below is an image of the RPR room & system, before the big changes. Over the years, this set-up received "Best Sound" comments from about 80% of attendees, with the remaining 20% or so saying things like "In my Top Three", etc…

a. So what were the changes & why were they deemed necessary?


The entire point of the RoomPlay Reference room had been to give visitors a reference for what was possible especially from a musical involvement standpoint. The sessions always included a good bit of 'how to get there' information for the attendees.


Although I truly appreciated the positive comments & reactions from everyone, I began to worry that they held high expectations primarily due to the cost of the components in the system. Of course, this viewpoint is exactly the opposite of what I have always intended…


So, I sold off the speakers, amplification, power cables, and many of the ASC Tube Traps that I had on hand.


b. Acoustic wave-launch vs. electrons in cables & circuits, and changes due to this phenomenon.


The new system and room acoustics, whatever they would be, had to cost a fraction of the one that I had used for many years. Having visited a large number of RoomPlay clients who had great systems, but that were not initially set up to unlock their music, and having to show them the powerful musical involvement effects that come from properly achieving & receiving the best acoustic wave-launch into the room, the last thing I wanted to do here was have them think that if only they spent more money on their system & room, all would be good.


I should mention here that I am NOT against buying better components. Actually, I'm all for it whenever possible, but only after you have discovered how to achieve & receive the best acoustic wave-launch into the room. To do so without unlocking your music is largely a waste of your money, because the system & room are not set up well enough to truly appreciate what a better component can do.


Not to wear you out with this viewpoint, please let me conclude with this statement: Worrying about how electrons flow through circuits & cables can NEVER achieve the results that addressing the proper acoustical wave-launch into your room and receiving it properly at your listening area. IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS A SIMPLE & AFFORDABLE TECHNIQUE AVAILABLE TO ACHIEVE BOTH MUSICAL HARMONY & DOMESTIC HARMONY


Here is an image of the new RPR room & system, which is approx. 25% of the price of the previous system, but with the same - or perhaps a better - level of musical engagement:

Two more images:

In the images above, you can see more of what the new room offers in layout flexibility. The image just below is what I see in approximately 75% of the systems/rooms that I come to voice. The loss of presence & tone in such a set-up is massive, truly a sad event, especially if the system is relatively high-end.


Back when I was recording for NPR, there was NO WAY that I would allow a performer to be in the same location as the speakers are in the image below. If live sound is compromised in such a position, why do we think ANY loudspeakers will work there?

Although it's only a small improvement, the first – worthwhile - step is to place a fabric cover over the flat TV screen when listening to your music…

The next step is to bring the speakers forward of the cabinet a bit, not shown here, but will be shown on the TTBS DVD. This can easily be accomplished when the owner wants a more immersive listening experience, a greater dose of musical engagement. Of course it needs to be easy to return to the original position when necessary.


c. Implications for the Through the Sound Barrier DVD, and its direct connection to unlocking your music.


The good news is that the new RPR demos really make the TTSB Book Two & DVD come alive in a powerful manner

4. Sheesh!!! I knew better…


For most of my career in retail audio, one of the things that I tried to require of my sales staffs was that only the pair of speakers that the client wanted to hear would be in the room. All others HAD to be removed.


Why? Whenever other – unattached – loudspeakers are in the room, they ALWAYS detract from the sound of the ones that you want to hear.


I am always disappointed when I visit a high-end dealer or see photos that show multiple speakers in the room.


Furthermore, back when I was a LucasFilm-Certified Home Theater Consultant, whenever a HT owner indicated that there were times when he or she wanted to listen to music through the left & right speakers only, they were nearly always skeptical at first when I suggested that they leave the center & surround amplifiers on, but turned down all of the way.


Why would that make a difference? With the center & surround speakers under the control of their associated electronics, while it might not be as good as removing the speakers completely, it was still substantially better, as the other speakers' drivers were not nearly as free to move around in response to the left & right pair playing at a standard listening volume level. Over the years, I probably helped over 300 system owners with this issue, some with extra unused speakers in the room, and some when using their home-theater system as a stereo music playback system.


So you would think that what happened to me a couple of days ago was simply a huge brain fart. I was finishing up on fine-tuning (Fyne tuning?) the Fyne Audio 703s as an alternative to the Joseph Audio Graphene 2s.


Woah! Somehow the bass wasn't nearly as deep, nor powerful, nor as articulate as I had experienced just a couple of hours previously, before I had to handle some e-mails & book shipping. Or maybe I was wrong when I thought it was spot on???


Then I noticed that I had brought the Josephs into the sound room to clear a space for moving some equipment around in the hallway. When I moved the Josephs (it could really have been any speaker, it just happened to be the Josephs), back out of the room, and replayed my RoomPlay test tracks – Voila! Everything was back as it was.


I should have immediately known better, but I simply got sidetracked…


So here's some advice that came directly from my mental mistake a few days ago:


Do remove any unused loudspeakers from your listening room, and if you are using a Home Theater system in the same room, remember to turn on the amplifier/amplifiers connected to the surround speakers & a center channel speaker if you have it. Simply turn down any volume controls, muting the volume if possible. Having the HT amplifier(s) exert control over the loudspeakers isn't as good as removing them, but it's much better than allowing their drivers to flop around, subtracting from your musical involvement.


If the home theater is entirely separate, make sure that ALL of the HT speakers are connected to their associated amplifier/amplifiers and that the amps are powered up. But please make sure that they are without any signal, and/or the HT volume control is turned down all of the way.


Please don't misunderstand - it's not just the bass, it's all of the sound that is compromised by having an extra loudspeaker or more in your listening room.


FWIW – there is another solution to having to keep unused loudspeakers in your listening room. E-mail me at js@getbettersound.com.


5. A different X-Factor


We've probably all heard or used the term X-factor. And many of you have probably seen some X-Factor tv shows.


But this version is totally different.


When I think of X, it's always related to multiplication. Such as 2 X 3 = 6.


I hear these x-factors all the time from RoomPlay and Roomplay Reference clients. As such, it seems appropriate to explain the x-factor value as they see it.


Essentially, they say things like "Wow! That session was worth x-times what I have ever spent on any component!


And you know what – I agree! Not because of ego (at least I hope not), but because these sessions contain the key to powerfully unlock your music at a level that you most likely haven't experienced when listening to your audio system…


Addressing how electrons flow through wires, tubes or transistors, etc. – assessing virtually ANY audio component – doesn't begin to compare with addressing the system's acoustic wave-launch into your room, and receiving it properly at your listening seat.


In other words, spending money on a "better" component cannot come close to the results from actually spending less money while getting far greater results from one of the RP or RPR sessions.


Now, I am not against buying better components when possible. In fact, I endorse it highly. But why not hear the real differences between components, so that the money you spend on them is not wasted? Plus, your musical involvement will be greatly increased.


And that's my X-Factor explained. Of course, an explanation is one thing, experience is quite another… ♬ ☺



6. A Through the Sound Barrier update…


I am working on the DVD set-up just now. It required a major change in the set-up of the RoomPlay Reference room, but that is finally complete. We hope to be filming the DVD/video soon.


Having said this before, I can only say that I am still learning a lot about my ability to meet TTSB deadlines. Yes, the project has grown a lot in complexity and size – in fact, it's about three times the size that I had originally planned. As such, I am afraid to give an ETA, as I have so badly underestimated the size & complexity of this project. Workdays continue to begin before sunup and end a bit after sundown.


I have also asked this question before, but time has slipped by and there have been some changes in many audiophile/music lovers' habits around the world – at least from the relevant e-mails that I receive. Do you still watch DVDs and play CDs?


Please reply by e-mail. However, please note that my e-mail address has changed from jim@getbettersound.com to js@getbettersound.com.


Although it should have been a fairly straightforward move, we had some issues with the previous web host, including the unexpected necessity to change e-mail addresses. We selected the new host in anticipation of being able to send out newsletters again, host podcasts, and to be ready for the coming fulfillment of the TTSB Kickstarter project.


If you are a backer with an additional pledge, such as RoomPlay, RoomPlay Reference, or StraightTalk, we have already fulfilled these pledges to over half of the backers. If you backed at one of these levels, please contact me so that we can fulfill your pledge requirement. Again, contact me at js@getbettersound.com


In anticipation of the TTSB DVD/video, the RPR system & room have been completely redone. We hope to be filming it soon.


There is a powerful new benefit that has been added to the TTSB project. It has been completed, and I will announce it when TTSB is ready.


Referring again to changes in listening habits & styles, I am investigating streaming as a possible alternative for CDs for some folks. Please e-mail me at js@getbettersound.com if you have any comments/observations. We welcome your input!


I do continue to think that probably the only positive thing about the Covid-19 mess here has been that I am no longer voicing as many systems in clients' homes who live out of reach when driving; or doing many RoomPlay Reference sessions here, hence I have more time to devote to TTSB.


Therefore, not as many distractions…


My wife Pam can readily attest to the long hours of each day - from before daybreak until after sunset - as I try to complete two books, a system logbook, three CDs, and the DVD/video, plus another highly valuable surprise item, as mentioned above.


AFAIK, I am still at the top of my game re sound system set-up & unlocking the music, but producing such a massive project is obviously not in my highest skill set. Even so, we are definitely making progress…

That's all, folks!


Best wishes,


Jim Smith


Dear Get Better Sound & Through the Sound Barrier owners,

Welcome to the twenty-third issue of Quarter Notes, published on December 10, 2018. Quarter Notes is a free newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on both, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.



Best email address

Since you’re reading this, the e-mail address with which I sent this QNs must have worked. However, the only e-mail address I have is the one associated with your initial Get Better Sound or Through the Sound Barrier 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.



Time doesn't wait for anyone

Wow! It's been about 10 months(!) since the last Quarter Notes newsletter. Most of my health issues are handled at this point, and we are underway again!


This issue features several items:

  1. A to-date-not-too-well-known isolation system - compared to most of the audiophile products in this category, significantly less expensive - and at least as good...

  2. Computer audio updates

  3. An affordable product that can help you to make major inroads in your system's level of musical involvement. This same product is related and will be connected to the pending Through the Sound Barrier project.

  4. Special thanks & recognition

  5. TTSB update



QNs #23 features

1

I only recently discovered the Equipment Vibration Protectors (EVPs) from AV Room Service. Honestly speaking, on first glance they resemble some other "component isolators" that are not too effective, IMO. So I didn't pay much attention, until I saw Tom Gibbs' review in Positive Feedback, and Bob Katz's testimonial, both edited for brevity:

The overall effect of the EVPs in the listening room is an audiophile’s dream: deeper, blacker backgrounds; a less congested midrange; and more tuneful and well-defined bass. Here’s the part I wasn’t expecting: not only have the EVPs totally transformed the listening experience inside my room, but the EVPs underneath the subwoofers also have helped reduce the amount of vibrational noise transmitted to the main level of the house. I can now listen to most everything I normally listen to at my preferred volume level, without creating complete chaos elsewhere in the house. I’m blown away by the EVPs; the difference isn’t subtle, and the time I’ve spent listening over the past couple of weeks has been in amazement at the improvement wrought by these relatively unobtrusive devices. Very highly recommended! -- Tom Gibbs - Positive Feedback 9/1/18
When AV RoomService’s specially-designed and constructed EVP isolators arrived, I replaced the wood blocks and the difference was 'night and day': The sound not only tightened up, but it became quieter. -- Bob Katz, Mastering Engineer & 3-time Grammy winner

So I contacted Norman Varney at AV Room Service, and he sent me some EVP 4s to try out. They are far more thoroughly designed than I originally thought when I first saw pictures of them.


A bit of the reams of info from the AV Room Solutions website:

The EVP core is a matrix of precisely compressed high density molded glass fibers, which allows controlled air movement through the fibers. This action provides viscous damping, reducing physical motion, while widening the frequency bandwidth of attenuation. As sound energy moves fibers against fibers, the friction transfers sound energy to heat energy. The annealed fiberglass is produced by a multiple flame attenuation process which generates fibers having modulus of elasticity of 10.5 million PSI (738,223 kg/sq. cm) and nominal fiber diameters of less than .00027 inches (6.8 microns). The matrix of the glass leaf springs is bonded at all fiber intersections with a low VOC water-resistant binder during the molding process under controlled heat and pressure. The material is then stabilized by multiple precompression cycles to many times the maximum published load capacity for the specific density of the media. The cold-rolled steel plates on the top and bottom of the pad function to evenly deflect the weight across the whole surface for even weight distribution. They also allow cone or spikes to be used without damaging or compromising the performance of the pad. Our own RoomDamp 2 constrained-layer damping compound is used to bond the steel plates to the fiberglass core, and the rubber to the steel plates. This damping further improves the EVP absorption properties by lowering the Q-factor, which broadens the bandwidth, reduces ringing, etc. RoomDamp 2 is a viscoelastic paste that remains pliable and never hardens. The paint applied to the fiberglass pad is a very special formula that allows flexing. This elasticity means the pad can be compressed without the paint cracking or flaking. The formula contains low VOCs and is UV protected. The flexible paint does cause slow shape-return after pad compression. Unlike other elastomeric materials, EVPs are resistant to water, mold, sunlight, humidity, age and extreme temperatures. EVP materials, manufacturing and assembly is U.S.A. Made. They are not sexy, but they are very functional and affordable.

So how did they work? I was frankly amazed - especially at the huge improvement from my REL 212 SE subs. Countless audiophiles had said that the bass here was the best, most natural they had heard. But now, the bass is at an entirely different level. Not wanting to miss any benefits, I ended up using them under all of my components.


The things that impressed me most were the increased Dynamic contrast, the enhanced sense of Presence from the performers and their instruments, as well as the overall more pure sound, which meant more musically involving Tone.


Rather than go on & on, below is a link to the AV Room Service section re the EVPs. Pricing and more is there, as well as all that you need for determining which model best meets your needs. Best of all, Norman allows a full return if you are not satisfied!

Click here --> http://avroomservice.com/evp-2/

Below is a photo that I took to more easily compare the size of the EVP 4s. The EVP 2s (not shown) are about one-fourth the width & length of the 4s. The two different finishes depend on the surface to which they will be mounted. They operate the same:

EVP 4 HDs under my REL 212 SEs. These (in this case, they are mounted on carpet) have the foam grid as shown above on the left. The plate between the RELs and the floor is not about acoustics -- it helped me to get the RELs (mine are mass weighted to 225 lbs.) mounted on the EVPs. FWIW - the little copper wire is used to ground a nearby component, unrelated to the RELs. :)

EVP 4 HDs under my ASR Emitter II amplifier:

EVP 4 HDs under my Tannoy Canterbury loudspeakers:




2

For those of you who use a computer as a source for digital files to go to a server or DAC, I recently ran into some issues that could affect the overall sound quality of such a set-up. Some of you probably know all about this, but I confess it was larger than I had considered, so I thought it might prove worthwhile to some QN subscribers...

I think it was way back in QNs #2 that I mentioned that some CD players sounded significantly better if - after beginning the playback of a CD - you put them in pause for 30 seconds or so, then restarted the playback. Not all CD players exhibited this behavior, but more than a few did.

Recently, with one of my laptop computers, I noticed a similar phenomenon. Somehow, the track pre-load function (I assume this was the culprit) was not working so well, as I noticed that if I restarted a track after 5-10 seconds, it sounded better -- not a subtle difference at all.

I also noticed a lesser quality sound if I hadn't restarted my computer before using it, in order to clear out all of the unneeded memory info that had collected from the latest use.

On some computer music programs such as Audirvana, you have the option to adjust the track preload capability, in conjunction with the size of your computer's ram storage. IME, it takes a bit of listening to find the optimum settings. If you choose 'play' and then restart after 5-10 seconds, and the sound is better, you probably have some investigating and adjusting work ahead of you.



3

One thing has become very apparent in the last couple of years, and I regret not having discussed it adequately.

The reaction to the RoomPlay Reference sessions here has been overwhelmingly positive - in fact, 100%. The idea is to give audiophiles a reference for what is possible, and to show them how they can achieve it, without spending more money on equipment. I am NOT saying don't buy more equipment. I AM saying that getting your system to 'play the room' will literally SWAMP the effects of any new audio gadget, no matter how highly reviewed.

Additionally, many of my RoomPlay & RoomPlay Reference playlist tracks are licensed for TTSB. A RPR session literally makes the TTSB project come alive. Honestly speaking, I no longer have the time to perform as many RoomPlay sessions as I once did. The RoomPlay Reference session is intended to assist you in learning how to do it yourself. No amount of money spent on the latest & greatest electronics, cables, & other tweaks can remotely compare to the value of RPR.

The new issue of Stereophile - that comes out in January - has this ad:


Get the keys to unlock your music...


Fabulous electronics and cables, as well as the latest and greatest tweaks, in a system not fully integrated with the room, will most certainly NOT sound as fabulous as they could have.

Having observed this event occur constantly, Get Better Sound author and RoomPlay system set-up guy Jim Smith wanted to offer audiophiles a rewarding way out of the “I just need to buy the (“latest & greatest)” morass. He calls it RoomPlay Reference.


RoomPlay Reference

Designed to help audiophiles establish a true reference standard for their systems’ sound, and—more importantly—to learn how to achieve it with their own systems, RoomPlay Reference has achieved a 100% success rate for its participants, with everyone indicating the extraordinary value of the session.


During your session, you’ll be hearing and learning about the importance of addressing Dynamics, Presence, and Tone to unlock previously unattained musical involvement from your system. All of the common audiophile aspects are improved, but your focus will be on the music.


Getting your system optimized to work with your room—rather than against it—will not only mean vastly increased musical enjoyment and involvement, it also will mean that when you do try out a new audio device, you will actually be able to fully evaluate its performance in your system.


Details

A RoomPlay Reference session (about 3-4 hours) is $370, including the listening session, the Q & A, the training, and 90-days access via phone or e-mail.


Additionally, should you wish to engage Jim's services for a RoomPlay session, the $370 is fully credited against the RoomPlay session.


Much more detail can be found on the Get Better Sound website. Jim encourages those that are interested to contact him with their questions. See contact info below.


RoomPlay Reference comments (addressed to Jim, edited for brevity)

Jim has received a huge number of satisfied comments. Here are a few of the briefest ones:


I’ve been pursuing this hobby for about 35 years. The improvements I’ve gotten with equipment upgrades through the years have all been good, but just incrementally better. Yesterday really gives me hope of taking things to a whole new level. —W. T., Alabama
…I learned a lot! It’s certainly clear to me that there is so much more contained in my CD collection that I’ve never heard before.... I was blown away by the session in your room… I have ‘seen the light’ (or heard it as the case may be.) —S. K., Rhode Island
…Monday’s RoomPlay Reference session was one of the top three audio experiences of my life. (the other two were intimate live concerts.) I had three goals, going in. #1 was to better understand what I should be listening for. #2, I wanted an opportunity to hear 'what great sounds like,' truly benchmarking my reference. And #3, I wanted to pick up some insights into a roadmap I’m building for a new ground-up system. You absolutely hit all three goals right out of the park! I think a RoomPlay Reference session is one of the very best values in hifi. I could not recommend it more highly. —M. O., Georgia

Take Action

Visit www.getbettersound.com for info on RoomPlay Reference, as well as Get Better Sound. For additional info, contact Jim at js@getbettersound.com, or call 770-777-2095.


Doesn’t it make sense to hear all of what you purchased? More musical involvement and less money wasted—what’s not to like?


Get Better Sound: Reference Set-up Manual, DVDs, Quarter Notes, StraightTalk, and RoomPlay™ System/Room Voicing Internet: www.getbettersound.com • Phone: 770-777-2095 • E-mail: js@getbettersound.com



4

I want to shout out a special thanks to the AudioShark audio message board - www.audioshark.org. So many boards devolve into a meaner-than-I-want-to-read style. Not AudioShark. The owner, Mike Bovaird, has kept it fun & informative. I highly recommend it.


I also want to thank Mike for allowing/making numerous posts about my work. Here is a recent thread:

https://www.audioshark.org/general-audio-discussion-15/jim-smith-come-town-15555.html


Also, Mike is involved in bringing a high-end audio show to Florida this coming February. The list of exhibitors to a totally new — untested — event is impressive. If you can get there, it should be a good one!



5

Finally, a Through The Sound Barrier update. I just replied to a backer in New Zealand, so it's easier if I simply repeat most of what I said to him:


Hi Xxxx,

Thanks for your note.

Some updates:

I have largely recovered from the unexpected (& expensive) health issues I had for the past nine-ten months.

Due to the ridiculously long delays, for which I am deeply embarrassed and so sorry, I have felt that I needed to add to the value of the project.

The good news is the project has expanded even more in its capabilities for the owner, so that I don’t know of anything else like it.

Here is the relevant info/update:

  • Book One is completed.

  • Book Two is a bit over ¾ completed. As this is being written, I am working on the description/application of each music track (of 45) from my RoomPlay playlist. I'm at the most complex part - slow going. That’s the bad news.

  • The System Log is underway.

  • All 22 (not just 10 as was planned) (also at my originally unplanned & considerable extra expense) of the CD tracks from my RoomPlay voicing playlist (CDs 2 & 3) have FINALLY been fully licensed, and are at the mastering facility, as well as CD #1 (5 mechanical tracks with one requiring approval and which is now fully licensed as well).

  • The DVD will be produced when Book Two is completed. It has very helpful info that I’ve not seen elsewhere. It should go fairly quickly.

  • The System Log booklet can be produced relatively quickly, at any time when the design and copy is completed.

There are a couple more items that will be included (not small in time nor expense) - but I plan to announce them when all is ready.

Given that info, I would say that TTSB is still several months out.

Hope to get a QNs out soon as well (within the next week or so).


a) Last QNs issue's question re the DVD content - best as is, online, or other options - requesting your feedback concerning the video format question. I was quite surprised to receive only about two dozen replies that requested an online version, rather than the DVD. So it will remain as a DVD.


b) For those of you that pledged at the RoomPlay, RoomPlay Reference, or Barrier Talk (StraightTalk) level, you can use your pledge at any time. No need to wait for TTSB to finally arrive. Fully half of all backers at those pledge levels have already done so. Contact Jim - js@getbettersound.com - to discuss scheduling your session.



That's all, folks.

Keep on listening!


Questions or comments?

E-mail me: js@getbettersound.com


Dear Get Better Sound & Through the Sound Barrier owners,

Welcome to the twenty-second issue of Quarter Notes, published on February 10, 2018. Quarter Notes is a free newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on both, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.



Delay since last issue

It's been about 9 months(!) since the last Quarter Notes newsletter. I had planned to do another in August or so, but then some new developments with Through the Sound Barrier arose, and I had to push the QNs newsletter - as well as other commitments such as the Copper e-mag articles and a number of RoomPlay system/room voicing sessions - back a bit. This is discussed in the latest (brief) Breaking Though podcast (link below).


Also, you will notice that this IS the Quarter Notes newsletter - no link to a page on the GBS website. I will get that done later - not able to take the time just now.



Re: mass loading from last issue

The mass loading topic from the last QNs newsletter received a lot of comments and questions. It didn't end there for me, either. As time passed, I tried even less mass loading, even back to none at all. What I found was interesting & informative.


While there is a noticeable improvement with some type of loading, it seems that there is definitely an optimum weight, and the only way to arrive at it is to listen. In other words, what works for another system may not work as well for yours. I ended up reducing the weight by another third or so to ultimately arrive at the optimum performance. The sound is even more dynamic, effortless & pure. More importantly, the musical engagement factor has gone up noticeably.


I also found that the speaker-to-mass-loading weight ratio of my Tannoy Canterburys was different than my REL 212 SE subs. In my specific case, the RELs seemed to prefer a higher percentage of damping as compared to the Tannoys.



Uptone Audio ISO REGEN

Some time back, I wrote about the positive benefits of the affordable-but-high-performance Uptone Audio REGEN when employing a USB cable in between my computer and my DAC. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on various audio forums about the new ISO REGEN. It interested me, so I contacted Alex Crespi (great guy that I have known for sometime - a true man of integrity) at Uptone about trying it out, as well as their LPS-1 power supply.


Since there has been so much written about these products, all I will say is that I bought them and cannot imagine being without them. A nice increase in performance for a relatively small price. What's not to like?



PS Audio Direct Stream DAC & Memory Player

PS audio's Bill Leebens (another top class audio guy), recently sent me the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC & Memory Player to audition. Hey Bill, finders keepers!!! :)


Having heard and worked with some of the top digital gear out there - including rigs that sell in the six figure price range - over 10 times the PS Audio's price(!) - the PS Audio combo easily holds its own. Honestly speaking, the performance difference between the PSA and many other much higher priced set-ups is not that great, and in some cases, the PSA is better, IMO.


Then, add in the FREE updates - that you can easily do yourself - and it's a relative no-brainer.


And did I say that it is imminently involving musically?



No Copper articles for a while – until TTSB is completed.

As mentioned above - and in the accompanying Breaking Through Podcast - I have abstained from further contributions to Copper e-mag until the TTSB project is completed. This is a great—and free—bi-weekly magazine about audio, music, and much more. The 50th issue is available now.


http://www.psaudio.com/issue/issue-50/



Breaking Through podcasts

In addition to the free Quarter Notes newsletters, you also receive the free Breaking Through podcasts. The twelfth installment of the Breaking Through podcast is brief (about 16 minutes), but well worth the listen, if we do say so ourselves. This time Randall and I focus exclusively on Through the Sound Barrier updates, and I have a couple of important announcements to make. I also need and request your feedback concerning a video format question.


http://breakingthrough.libsyn.com/episode-twelve-through-the-license-barrier

That's all, folks.

Keep on listening!


Questions or comments?

E-mail me: js@getbettersound.com


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