Some Things You Can Do to Make Your System Sound Better... Without A Trip to Natural Sound
Make the Most of Your Home Audio Performance
While we are under the Stay At Home Order, some of us are finding more time to take our minds off the serious and scary events unfolding around us by listening to music, watching movies or TV shows, or reading. This little blog will not help the readers! For them, I suggest a cozy lounger with good light, and maybe some lens wipes...
For the music and video crowd, this sudden increase in usage may reveal shortcomings in the quality of the experience...ones that might in ordinary times prompt a trip to your favorite Hi-Fi & Home Theater specialist in the Boston, MA area (we hope that's us!) to seek assistance, possibly an on-site sound system installation. Presently, that is impractical. So as a service to any who are in this condition, I'd like to share some pro tips on how you can get the best from your sound system without appreciably changing anything. These tips may help even if you don't discern anything wrong...until you try them and discover what's been missing. Once the Stay At Home Order is lifted, we welcome you to come to Natural Sound and resume checking out (and hopefully purchasing!) our awesome gear...these tips will help make sure you hear the difference!
Tip #1: Re-do Speaker Connections
- •If your speaker wires are “bare” where they hook up to the speaker terminals, remove them, and if there's enough slack, snip off the ends, carefully strip away just enough insulation to remake the connection...usually 3/8” to 1/2”. Carefully twist the strands so they all enter the terminal and tighten securely. Take note of polarity indicators, stick to one system (like
“stripe to positive”) and repeat at all connection points. This assures your speakers are “in phase” with each other. If you have either spade or banana terminals on your wires, you can just check the polarity and make sure all is tightly attached.
Tip #2: Clean RCA Connector Contacts
- •Unplug all your analog RCA plugs, and use a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol to clean the pins (+). When done, pull off enough cotton to allow the cardboard stick to fit between the pin and the inside of the ground connections (-), and twirl to wipe corrosion away.
Repeat on all connections, and then do the same to the RCA jacks on your amplifier. PRECAUTION: Unplug the power before you do this!
Tip #3: Reposition Your Speakers
- •This one has huge upside potential. The proper relationship between your listening position, your speakers, and the adjacent room boundaries has a profound effect on the sound quality your system provides. And while we all must sometimes accept compromises, if you want to hear the best capabilities, now might be a good time to experiment with different choices.
lTry to have your speakers and your listening seat close to equidistant from each other
lTry to have the speakers' tweeters near to ear level
lExperiment with “toeing in” the speakers to face your position...setting the crossing point in front of you or behind you. Less toe-in will broaden the sound image; more will focus it. Find the balance that suits your taste.
lExperiment with distance from the wall behind the speakers to achieve the best combination of image depth and bass reinforcement.
lTry to avoid having one speaker near a corner and the other not near one.
Next time, I'll share a few more ideas for the Home Theater and Vinyl enthusiasts out there. Give our team a call or fill out our online contact form here to learn more about elevating your home’s sound system. From all of us at Natural Sound, stay well, stay sane, and we'll see you on the other side of this.