Listening to some nice music is only part of our Hi-Fi Hobby. Although that should be the main thing of course. It is also the fine-tuning of our lovely systems. Putting those ‘oh-so-important’ dots on the i. A little sharper focus, a little tighter and more beautiful bass. More balance… Does that cost a lot of money? No, it certainly does not! We have both free and paid tweaks for you! Tweaks we often apply ourselves!
Power is everything. At least that is the opinion of your editor (Jaap Veenstra). If the power supply is not right, everything collapses. In short: make sure the power is right. And that does not mean that you immediately have to buy expensive filters and install seperate power groups…
It all starts with connecting everything in the right way. Put everything neatly in phase. There are a few ways to do that. The fastest way is with this tool from Kemp: the Ultimate Polarity Checker. We bought one because we simply have to check the phase with every change. With this tool… it is done super fast.
Another option is to buy a screw driver with a ‘light’ (don’t know the exact name in English (phase checker?), sorry). Such a device only costs a few euros. You use the detector to find the phase in the wall socket. Then unscrew your device to see where the phase wire is (brown wire). Now put a sticker on the device (outside) near the right pin on the device. Then next time you will know where the phase is.
Now you can use that handy screw driver to check the phase of the mains cable (on the female side), and align it with the phase on the device. If you do this for all devices, you will notice that there really is more detail and calmness in the reproduction. Free and effective!
In line with energy… Another thing that always works well is cleaning the contacts. Both for interlinks and speaker cables as well as other plugs. Think power cables. Although it works best with interlinks (your editor’s experience). Personally, your editor cleans the contacts once a year during the ‘big cleaning’. Then everything is loosened, the ‘jar’ with alcohol (70%) is brought out and the contacts are cleaned. Costs nothing, gives a lot of satisfaction! Last time all contacts were treated with a Nano Enhancer. It is not free and it does not make a world of difference; it does give a little more looseness in the presentation. A small extra dot on the ‘i’.
Also almost for free… small cubes / blocks of wood under the equipment. You can saw them yourself. You can put three or four blocks under each component. Saw a block of, for example, 3 x 4 x 2 cm (w x l x h) and put it underneath. In some cases you will experience a little bit of extra bass-definition and looseness across the board. Does it do nothing? Oh well… a little wood and time is all you have lost :-).