Hifi folklore

Myself first getting into hifi towards the late 90s, reading up on the hifi rags, there were still a few writers that in their own columns would express interest in the more esoteric nature of hifi.
Like putting cds in the freezer will make them sound better.
Putting two speakers facing each other with a blanket over them, to speed up break in.
I remember one writer mentioning that new Naim amps need to have the power button switched on and off repeatedly for several minutes to help burn in.

Bi-wiring and bi-amping is meant to be better.

Turning off tone controls
Turning off display

I read one time that playing an album on cd. After every track played , stop then press the next track number to play, it will sound better

Besides the usual wisdom of the fiddly nature of your Naim kit AND taking out cable burn in and snake oil I am interested in other cases where some had come across or read something about hifi that after experience has been dismissed or indeed proved right.
For those who are new to this hobby they might benefit from your wisdom.

Naim still recommend turning off the display for optimal sound.


The putting speakers together thing does not speed up anything. The trick is to place the speakers close together cone to cone, the important part is to reverse the connections (phase) on just one speaker, then you can run them at a higher volume but with little in room noise, cover with a blanket if you want it quieter.


I think it was Jimmy Hughes who ‘discovered’ that using the cheapest wire possible (bell wire or thin single core power cable) for speaker cables gave a significant uplift in SQ. IIRC I tried replacing my QED79 speaker cable at the time with the most pathetic twin single core cable it could find (because it costed almost nothing to try), stripped the ends back and wacked these in, unterminated.

I was not impressed!


Jimmy Hughes was a god back in the days or completely off his trolley.


To be fair some of the tweaks Jimmy came up with were quite good, others were plain bonkers.

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Wouldn’t it be funny if 6mm B&Q cooker wire used as speaker cable turned out to be better than Super Lumina.


When I was still listening to music from vinyl, I came across Peter Belt.

He recommended placing a piece of sellotape about 3cm long on the outer platter section of an LP12, projecting slightly out over the lip. Whether or not his explanation - disrupting the “magnetic field” set up by the spinning platter - was correct, I have to say it did sound to me like an improvement that delivered more detailed information.

I started to read up more of his ideas, but got off the express rabbit hole escalator when I learned that a picture (of a preferably black) labrador placed on the coffee table of the listening room could also improve things.



Err…no Andy, it wouldn’t. I have paid a bl**dy fortune for SuperLumina speaker cables!

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I think he also recommended a knot tied in a cable improved the sound and I also remember drawing a ring around the outer edge of a CD with black marker pen made it sound better.

Wasn’t it a green pen?



Yes, I remember a green marker. Something to do with reflecting or refracting the light from the CD laser. I believe they even put a green marker pen on the market for this very purpose. Please someone tell me I am wrong!


And then there is the musicworks G3 block upgrade…get mine on Friday, could go down in hifi folk lore…let u know soon.

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Wasn’t Peter Belt the guru of Hi-Fi tweakery-lore? Seem to remember his name being mentioned in relation to eccentric left field system changes, but can’t remember what they were!

I do remember one particular dealer I visited in the 90s who would not entertain the idea of more than one set of sparkers in the demo room, but again, can’t remember why!

I read his articles praising DNM single core wire (both interconnects and speaker). I liked them on the big Klipsch horns but less so on more inefficient DIY transmission lines with B139 drivers. The interconnects were not very durable, sensitive to bending etc.

Jean Hiraga had the opposite view. His articles recommended 512-strand lab cables for internal wiring - I rewired the Kaneda preamp I was using and it sounded really harsh so I had to spend another weekend backtracking to normal wiring.


Btw, abyone remember the old article in HFi-News by Jean Hiraga on having powered-off devices connected to the preamp. He presented measurements etc on how it increased distortion.

I dont remember iif it was any device but I think it was tape recorders.

I’m afraid you’re right and IIRC the green later changed to “special black”. Not that I bought one of course…what do you think I am, a sucker :disappointed_relieved::rofl::joy::rofl:

Back in the 80s the guy that ran The Stereo Shop on Norwich Road in Ipswich would never demo 2 sets of speakers in one room because he said the magnets could/would interfere with each other…

Mind you, I’ve just remembered that he also said one of the best SQ upgrades for an LP12 was to stand each foot on an empty plastic cassette case!!!

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@YetiZone and @John. That was the received wisdom at the Sound Organisation back in the 1980’s, and IIRC, more recently, Norman at UHES tried to persuade Linn that it was not necessary, not because of any detriment to SQ, but because in the real world it was too much to ask dealers to keep shifting speakers around.

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You won’t be disappointed @Gazza

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