Hifi folklore

I seem to remember some of the hi-fi mags used to recommend removed telephone handsets from the listening room on the premise that the (tiny) speakers within them could interact with the main system speakers :crazy_face:

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Wasn’t black blu tack supposed to sound better than blue under bookshelf speakers? Would it have sounded better still in Naim green, I wonder?



One of the other bizarre tweaks was to have all the screw heads in your wall sockets and light switches turned so that the groove ran from top to bottom (North / South) to help improve the sound!


swap the positive and negative on one channel output, and on the same channel’s input. The idea is that it should reduce the loading on the power supply, because as one channel’s voltage is going high, the other one’s going low.

I thought that the point was that the inactive speakers’ cones would react to the speakers that were working - IOW would absorb some of the music energy at certain frequencies. Which, in principle, sounds feasible.

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This actually sounds like it might work…

You may well be right, it was 35+ years ago.

The thing is, irrespective of the reason (magnets or cone absorption) if having multiple speakers in a room really is detrimental to SQ then practically every dem room I’ve ever been in has been compromised…

I have about 20 CD’s that still have their 1cm pen marks on their outer circumference ! Mine are purple - did I get it wrong ? :crazy_face:

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I had one of those. I think it did work on some cd’s but not all…I think…
I also froze some CD’s which worked sometimes…I think…

That is what I remember, the idea was that the other speaker would absorb and then replay some of the sound out of sync, and any speaker could do it, thus the phone handset. I sort of saw the logic, but never heard it make a difference.

You’re not wrong. There was also a green plastic ring you could slip over discs before playing them. We stocked it (I think it was a free sample from the distributor). No one was ever stupud enough to buy it though.

Freezing discs does work for borderline damaged discs. More of an IT hack to get a good read off a disc that is otherwise not readable. It’s useless over the length of time a CD is played back though.

People too cheap to buy proper CD repair kits used to swear by toothpaste. It could buff out some minor issues but honestly! Anyone who had a gritty toothpaste learned not to do that again.

Why not just put a thick throw/duvet type cover over other speakers when demoing?

I did hear once, or maybe read it somewhere, many years ago, that the listening experience was improved by sitting in the stereo seat with no clothes on!!!

Maybe that is where the duvet comes in…but not over the speakers!!

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Sitting with your back to the loudspeakers did the rounds for a bit too I recall reading.


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when i had my cdx2/ xps2, i was using the marigo labs cd mat. It was improving the sound for me.

Somebody in a mag proposed hanging panel speakers from the ceiling. I knew someone who tried it, not sure about the sound quality, but she ran Krells which gave off a lot of heat, so in summer she had the choice of near heat-exhaustion or opening her French doors and watching her Maggies sway in the breeze on their cabling. it didn’t last long.

A similar one was turning the speakers wound so that they faced the rear wall.

IIRC that was another Jimmy Hughes recommendation.

The apparent willingness of the hifi press to publish the his views as if gospel, similarly the views of cranks like Peter Belt, directly lost income for the publishers as people like me abandoned buying hifi mags after years of regular reading…!

Yes. They were interesting ideas and I tried some of the ones that didn’t cost anything more than a little time and effort, but can’t say that I found them to improve things.

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Are Jimmy Hughes’ ideas any more left field than a £5k Ethernet cable or mains lead?