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System Just Isn’t Sounding Right?

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  • Mike Lavigne
    replied
    as the question was 'can't figure out what's wrong', what to do?

    .......you are not asking how to diagnose the problem, you are saying if you tried everything but still can't figure it out........what to do.

    answer; get away, go for a walk, watch a movie, talk to your family. do yard work, wash the car, clean the garage.

    if you are asking the question it seems everyone is answering; how do you diagnose a system problem? thats different.

    start basic; look for disconnected grounds, other knobs not set right, blown drivers, bad tube, loose connections. footers in place? someone move the speakers or your listening chair? move any acoustic treatments? add furniture or other obstructions? window or door open? next play a few reference tracks. how do they sound?

    if the problem is limited to your vinyl or tape; there are almost an endless list of things to check. although localizing it is not that difficult most of the time. besides the most obvious things i don't need to list, checking VTF and alignment are the best things to start with.

    for me i have lots of different sources to switch to, to eliminate the front end and try to localize the issue. in some systems you can bypass one item at a time or change inputs. is the problem on one channel? that makes diagnosis quite easy.

    then the mental side; are you in too critical a mood? tired? sick? dehydrated? need sleep? play some guilty pleasures and see if that loosens you up. read a book while listening and allow the music to come to you while you are distracted. then just follow your senses.

    lastly; go buy more music or new gear. or visit a friend and listen to their system.

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  • Alrainbow
    replied
    Here is a very good reason. I have been diagnosed with possible ocular migraines. At times I can’t play music it just sounds annoying. It’s not that is sounds bad it’s more about I’m already overwhelmed in stimulation.
    meds like Advil help. It gets so bad it effects my vision with many clouds passing in front of my eyes. And no not floaters. So if it’s not good it’s not the best time to start trying to fix things.
    just saying lol.

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  • cpp
    replied
    Myles go on vacation for a week. Everything will be better when you get back.

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  • Kingrex
    replied
    Not trying to plug gear. I get nothing for it. The $450 in ADD-Power stuf i installed transformed my system. I suddenly have soul and am very happy with the playback.

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  • david k
    replied
    It's nonsense but it happens Myles, everything is in the right place but the system loses it's appeal as if it's missing it's soul. IME if you haven't replace a unit it comes down to the electricity. It could be anything from the actual current from the power company to a stupid thing like a remote switch you added for a lamp or something your neighbors did. Unfortunately the system losing it's soul is the hardest thing to figure out, just see what you introduced in your life in the past few months. Anything with a power supply could be affecting things.

    david

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  • cpp
    replied
    Its all in the mood man ! , all in the mood .

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  • kcin
    commented on 's reply
    That would be aggressive cleaning - you have be reasonable in every thing you do.

  • kcin
    commented on 's reply
    Certainly, pressure is important. At mV signal levels that we talk about , for example on phono, cleanliness metal to metal contact is very important.

    The diode effect can easily take place with these signals and we end up with RF that we may not hear but is superimposed and is sensed like distortion.

  • Alrainbow
    replied
    Keep in mind the more you clean the more you remove the the needed surface on the contact pins or sockets
    by doing so you expose yourself to faster oxidation and more dismaler metal interaction. Just saying not trying to be a must do as I say guy

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  • Kingrex
    replied
    Well Myles. Is it back to normal yet. Any revelations .

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  • Kingrex
    commented on 's reply
    Is that from the pins. Had you deoxed the pins prior and that is some residue.

  • Alrainbow
    replied
    In all electrical connections there are two needs
    one is metal interaction. How they act is why they oxidize and the speed of it. Electrolysis is paramount and needs to be addressed
    second and more important in the short term is pressure of the connection.
    min high current it's extremely important a small area can conduct 1000,s of amps and be fine providing the entire prong is suitable.
    look at our 20 amp 125 volt blade plugs of the entire Blade only a tiny spot is used on the receptacle part
    it's just pressure that allows this.

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  • kcin
    replied
    Mental state is important as is temperature and of course power- generally time of day for most of us.

    Regarding cleaning, I am a big proponent and do this several times a year and include all connectors , tube sockets and ac blades

    I have ritual of activities for each connector type and materials that I use. A fiberglass pencil and polishing cloth among some cleaners as well.

    This nice tungsol round plate was done in the spring. The cleaning makes a profound improvement in the sound IMO

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    Click image for larger version

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  • Nscohen17
    replied
    I generally agree with the mood swing POV, but taking that out of the equation, assuming you haven’t moved anything that caused a change, and in addition to the other sound advice above, when is the last time you went around and cleaned up and checked your connections (esp. Power cables)? Tightened the drivers on your speakers? Changed/cleaned the belt on your tt, or oiled the motor or the bearing? Those are the kinds of ordinary maintenance things I do to help right the ship when the sound just doesn’t seem quite right but I can’t put my finger on why.

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  • jcmusic
    replied
    I have had this same feeling happen to me a long time ago, turns out it was me not the system. So my true listening times are limited to one day a week for about 3-4 hours, this cured the problem that I thought was my system. Now one day a week I listen with much satisfaction and joy...

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