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Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 8
Follow-ups From Previous Articles
Article by Bill Gaw


  Hello, fellow Audiolics,  Welcome to another meeting of Audiolics Anonymous,† our support group for the insatiably TWEAKED.† This month, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I have done very little tweaking. I have been so happy with results from previous monthsí work that I have actually been sitting and listening and watching without touching. And I have to tell you, I have been happy, and so has my wife. I havenít had to holler at her to leave me alone to my fun and misery in at least three weeks, which has even made for more marital bliss. Just think, Iíve been satisfied with my stereo, video and marriage for three weeks. INCROYABLE!!!  Iíve even sat and listened for several hours to records, and, even with the marked improvements in the digital over the past few months, including listening to 24/96 DVDís from Chesky and Classics Records, I have to say that analog still beats digital when both are at their best. Too bad analog takes so much more work to set up and listen to compared to just placing a CD in the machine and hitting the play button (after cleaning the play side with OPTRIX, spraying the label side with ECO and spinning the disc on the BEDINI CLARIFIER.) Gee, maybe analog isnít much more time consuming.† I havenít heard SACD or DVD-A yet, so weíll see if they can do better. I wish now I hadnít sold off my second generation RCA Columbia, etc. master tapes, as they were superior to the records, but the DAT copies I made of them also still sound better than all of the best CDís that I have. So tell me, how can 30 to 40 year old master tapes transferred to 16/48 DAT let me relax and enjoy the music, while the best CDís sound great for a while, then lose their grip on the music and my consciousness? Beats me.

Actually, the lack of tweaking isnít my fault and wasnít planned. I have several projects waiting, but none have come to fruition. AND ITíS VERY FRUSTRATING!!!. So forget the last paragraph, I have been frustrated and bored with not being able to tweak. Improvements are being made, just none are ready for full discussion. And next month may be even more frustrating, as Iíll be going on vacation to the Caribbean for two weeks. Just think, no work, no snow, and no MUSIC! ARGHH!!

The newest edition to my system is the CIRCLE SURROUND SMART CS-3X JR. THX-EX ENHANCER.www.AVScience.com or www.smartdev.com/CS-3XJR.htm.

This unit uses CIRCLE SURROUND technology to add a center back channel , derived from the two back channels from normal †DOLBY DIGITAL or DTS stereo surround information,† balancing the front center channel. It also derives the center channel from the new THX-EX 6.1 movies. I was hoping to be able to review it in this issue, but I am still waiting for the new speaker I have ordered from Bruce Edgar for the rear center channel. Hopefully, Iíll have the thing up and running by next month. On listening with just the back two channels running through the enhancer, I have not heard any degradation in the image with the present setup, so weíll see how it is for its primary job.

As above, I am adding a sixth EDGAR HORN to my system for the back center channel, using my original EDGAR RECTANGULAR Mid-tweeter for 400-20KHz, and a newly built EDGAR 100Hz bass horn for 100-400 Hz. Again, Iíll hopefully be able to let you know the outcome next month.

I was also hoping to report on the new VAIC 2A3 MESH PLATE tubes, which can be purchased from www.vaic-audio.info,† but I only received them last week and they havenít had enough time to break† in. One thing I have found about 2A3ís is that they do take a while to settle down, and one cannot tell how they will sound after break in. When I first started using the VAIC and KRON 2A3ís, they sounded harsh and even a little sibilant, but after about 100 hours, got that lush clear 2A3 sound, with variations. So again, weíll have to wait for next monthís column.

I am also waiting for some new bass amps that I am having built by Alan Wright of Munich Germany, www.vacuumstate.com, using his new FORCED BALANCED CIRCUIT using VAIC VV-32 tube in push-pull. He claims they have all of the positive attributes of single ended amps, with the bass control of push-pull. Again, weíll see. He supposedly will be showing them at the nyNoise show (editors note: The nyNoise show will be covered virtually live as it happens on our Web site  :-{)  ).



This unit is still doing a great job at cleaning up the harshness of CDís. The 45 seconds it takes to do its thing is well worth the wait, especially if you give a squirt of †ECO †static inhibitor by NORDOST of Framingham, MA. Sibilance drops considerably, and the edge to the music disappears. Both are well worth the money.



This machine is actually a mini- lathe. It consists of† a variable speed motor connected by a thick round rubber belt to a platform on which one places a CD label side down. One then uses a slightly smaller clamp on top to hold the disk while spinning. A 30 degree cut is then made around the outer edge of the CD. This basically trues up the CD, giving it the proper balance, and much like a tire thatís been balanced, it cuts down tremendously on vibration. The result is the feeling that the soundstage has opened up and bits have been added. The company recommends painting the edge of the CD with black ink or magic marker, but THE TWEAKER OF ALL TWEAKS, Clark Johnsen, has found that the painting just muddies the sound a little. If youíve already been using the unit, and have a bunch of CDs with the ink in place, a little isopropyl alcohol on a tissue will wash it away.

This can also be done on DVDís to great effect. With the above three treatments, CDís begin to sound like 24/96 DVDís and DVDís sound wonderful. While a dumb name, even in German, the unit does the trick. More information can be found at www.fatbrain.com, or 1-800-724-3305, or through Clark at 1-617-423-4590.



I have just been informed by our FEARLESS LEADER, Steve Rochlin, that Clark Johnsen will now begin to write for this rag (can one call a web zine a rag?) (editor's note: YES, please call this a rag. Please also feel free to secure your tray tables and have your seats in their upright position as we are on our final descent. Sorry, airplane humor as i am 10,000 feet above the ground as i edit your article). This is great news for all of you tweakers out there, as Clark is truly THE TWEAKER OF ALL TWEAKS. Until now he has been the owner of THE LISTENING STUDIO† in Boston, MA., and has been writing a regular column in Positive Feedback magazine. While a great friend, Clark is the reason I havenít been able to retire yet. I first met him at his studio in 1983, when I went looking for a pair of VMPS speakers. Up to that point I had been fairly happy with the sound I had achieved, but under his tutelage, I learned that the best achieved is never good enough. Thus I have been striving for THE HOLY GRAIL of live sound from my system ever since. Some day Iíll spend 20 or 30 paragraphs describing the equipment and time Iíve used to try to obtain the goal.

Needless to say, Clark has become the center of information for tweaks, with people calling him from all over the world with new discoveries for sound enhancement. In addition, he has written in his column in Positive Feedback, in Stereophile Magazine, and the Absolute Sound, and his book, called The Wood Effect, extensively on the effects of absolute polarity on the quality of sound reproduction, and proper system setup. I guarantee youíll love his column every month. Welcome on board Clark.

Well, thatís it again for this month. Hopefully, some of the above experiments will be completed by next issue, so Iíll have something of value to write. GOOD LISTENING.












































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