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magiccarpetride
2011-02-07, 15:55
I've conducted a failed experiment over the weekend (basically, spent most of the day moving my audio system from one part of the house to another part of the house). Once I made the move, realized that the new room acoustics were dismal, and was forced to take everything back to the old room.

At the end of the day (and after a lot of swearing and such), I sat down to listen to my system in my usual position. Lo and behold, it sounded so much better! But how's that possible? I haven't changed even the tiniest bit, and my 'expectation bias' was honestly non-existent at that point.

Someone told me that, every now and then, it helps if you 'reboot' your audio. Turn everything off, unplug everything, disconnect all the interconnects, disconnect the speaker wires, take components out of their dusty place on the shelf, dust them off, take them out for a walk/airing. Then, once you put everything back together, the plugs will be rejuvenated etc., and voila! -- you'll get a better sounding system.

Any truth to this old wife's tale?

garym
2011-02-07, 15:58
Any truth to this old wife's tale?

I don't know about the stereo system reboot wife's tale, but the dusting off and taking out for a walk/airing works wonders for my wife herself. ;-)

magiccarpetride
2011-02-07, 17:06
I don't know about the stereo system reboot wife's tale, but the dusting off and taking out for a walk/airing works wonders for my wife herself. ;-)

Wonderful!

gizek
2011-02-07, 17:41
Believe or not, I "reboot" my system at leas twice a year and I could swear it sounds better then. Dusting and resetting components, cleaning connectors, taking apart those rat nests of wires, properly rerouting them, and probably ten other things you can do, makes my system sound better and "cleaner", at least in my brain...:-)

guidof
2011-02-07, 18:48
Cleaning interconnects will do it every time!

Guido F.

mlsstl
2011-02-07, 20:54
RE: Expectation Bias

It is a common misconception that any subjective influence we experience only involves what we expect or want.

Our brains aren't quite that simple minded. Psychological studies show that while we are often easily influenced by subjective factors, they are often subliminal and do not necessarily give results that correlate to anything anticipated.

A very interesting general book on the subject is "A Mind Of Its Own" by Cordelia Fine. It has nothing to do with audio per se, but we don't quit being human just because our stereos are involved.

Others have pointed out that the improvement may have been the result of clean connections from unplugging & replugging cables. But it may have also been the culmination of various unconscious influences that day. Some you might be able to understand (getting your "good sound" back was a great relief) but other things might be more difficult to spot and sort.

guidof
2011-02-08, 10:00
Others have pointed out that the improvement may have been the result of clean connections from unplugging & replugging cables. But it may have also been the culmination of various unconscious influences that day. Some you might be able to understand (getting your "good sound" back was a great relief) but other things might be more difficult to spot and sort.

+1.

I've noticed that my equipment sounds better when I get back to listening to it after a few days of no-stereo.

A "theoretical impossibility?"

Only if one's theory does not take the effects of familiarity into account.

Guido F.

magiccarpetride
2011-02-08, 11:18
RE: Expectation Bias

It is a common misconception that any subjective influence we experience only involves what we expect or want.

Our brains aren't quite that simple minded. Psychological studies show that while we are often easily influenced by subjective factors, they are often subliminal and do not necessarily give results that correlate to anything anticipated.

A very interesting general book on the subject is "A Mind Of Its Own" by Cordelia Fine. It has nothing to do with audio per se, but we don't quit being human just because our stereos are involved.

Others have pointed out that the improvement may have been the result of clean connections from unplugging & replugging cables. But it may have also been the culmination of various unconscious influences that day. Some you might be able to understand (getting your "good sound" back was a great relief) but other things might be more difficult to spot and sort.

Thanks for this thoughtful reply. You are obviously a very intelligent person who'll never stoop to the level of personality obsessions and ad hominem attacks that some of the more deranged and delusional patients around here suffer from.

I completely agree with you on this. The thing that continues to puzzle me is that even a day later, after the initial changes took place, I still hear definitive improvements in resolution, the clarity and the firmness and all-roundedness of sound. In other words, my findings appear to be consistent and coherent. This is telling me that, because the impressions are getting confirmed even after the first episode, there must be some more enduring factors at play here.

The positive changes were not a side effect of a mere fluke that may have happened that day, they got carried over and forward.

magiccarpetride
2011-02-08, 11:19
Cleaning interconnects will do it every time!

Guido F.

Hi Guido,

How do you go about cleaning your interconnects?

Thanks.

Phil Leigh
2011-02-08, 11:29
de-oxit and de-oxit gold works for me

http://www.caig.com/

magiccarpetride
2011-02-08, 11:42
de-oxit and de-oxit gold works for me

http://www.caig.com/

Thanks Phil!

guidof
2011-02-08, 12:01
Hi Guido,

How do you go about cleaning your interconnects?

Thanks.

Goo gone (Home Depot) and, like Phil Leigh, De-ox-it (Radio Shack).

Guido F.

magiccarpetride
2011-02-08, 12:21
Goo gone (Home Depot) and, like Phil Leigh, De-ox-it (Radio Shack).

Guido F.

Great, I'll be making a trip to these fine establishments later today. Thanks guys!

tedfroop
2011-02-08, 14:49
Pink pencil eraser works wonders for cleaning. Works very well for card edge connectors etc in your computer as well and there are no chemicals involved either.

Phil Leigh
2011-02-08, 14:52
Pink pencil eraser works wonders for cleaning. Works very well for card edge connectors etc in your computer as well and there are no chemicals involved either.

True, but it won't shift certain types of oxidation an dyou can't get it in between (and thus onto) the contacts on certain types of connector.

gizek
2011-02-08, 19:28
Others have pointed out that the improvement may have been the result of clean connections from unplugging & replugging cables. But it may have also been the culmination of various unconscious influences that day. Some you might be able to understand (getting your "good sound" back was a great relief) but other things might be more difficult to spot and sort.


Very true indeed. Sometimes we need to reboot our audio systems, other times it is our brain which needs resetting.
In my, over a quarter of the century long history of being audiophool, I very often found myself improving audio system only to wake up the next morning and set everything back to the original state. I try to keep the idea of the music as fresh as possible, regularly visiting local symphony and concerts. Yet, still it's very hard to obtain the same, satisfying results in my listening room. It is never ending game with countless number of changing rules. Making things worse, there is some irony here, through all of those years of "ear training", I've discover that my wive and my cat are much better listener than me in the sense of being able to formulate better, objective judgments(reactions) whether my system is capable of reproducing natural sound or not.