NWR:Hi-Fi advice

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by David Pope, May 12, 2020.

  1. I'm after a little advice. Recently I moved out of my flat for a few weeks while it was refurbished. I returned to find that many of my possessions were missing. Among these were my speaker cables and the speaker isolation cones.

    I'm trying to replace these items and others that have been thrown out. I bought my hi-fi system 27 years ago from a specialist retailer. I've been looking at their website and to my disbelief, I find that the cheapest isolation cones are £75 for a pack of three. In my previous set-up, I had three cones per speaker on the retailer's advice.

    Are the cones really necessary? Will they make much difference? The speakers are Mission 760i and they stand on shelves.
  2. Three big lumps of blu tack will probably suffice.
    Leon Marks and Peter Sidebotham like this.
  3. First off, hi-fi aficionados are even more obsessive than your typical WP Forumite. As a subscriber to the Naim forum, I dare not approach some of the discussions especially in respect to “mere” cables or the various ways to help improve one’s listening experience. The one point that is generally agreed on (albeit reluctantly by some) is that the only “right” sound is the one that you hear. So, if your view of the sound from the Missions was that it could not be improved, then that should be your aim - ideally you want to replace like for like and hopefully your dealer can help with the isolation cones but am sure you can find cheaper ones to try. If your dealer can loan some to you then you can test out the sound. In respect to speaker cables, these have also gone off the scale in price and alleged performance. There is a perceptible difference though between a basic cable and audiophile standard. I had some spare NACA5 cables when I upgraded my system and replaced my relatively basic ones in the shed driving a pair of Neat Iotas. The uplift in quality was noticeable and welcome. Again, if your dealer can loan you some cables try them out to see what sounds best. If you are lucky the cheaper cables and cones may sound better. I was never that lucky.... Remember once you have a sound you like, you don’t have to keep replacing components, whereas wine racks have to be restocked. Hope you get there quickly.
    Stephen Pickles and Thom Blach like this.
  4. It’s long been my experience that hi-fi aficionados concentrate more on listening for the faults in the system than on listening to the music :):rolleyes:
  5. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Many, many, (many) years ago I discovered that changing the standard cables supplied with my first set of decent speakers for some expensive (at the time) cable recommended by a specialist hifi shop made a big difference, but still remember the eye-watering price of their top cables which cost more than the speakers themselves. I guess like all these things (buying Lafite rather than Pichon-Baron), once you are into the rarified end of things, the quality increment gets smaller as the price gets exponentially bigger. I'd maybe try the bluetack method first.

    How about investing in these too? :)
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  6. Thanks all for your advice.

    Tom - was there supposed to be an attachment?
  7. Click on "these" for the link in Tom's post.

    Have you considered speaker stands David? I have a pair of Mission 780i SE's which I think are similar to your 760s and use Target speaker stands filled with lead shot. They did make a difference, especially with the addition of the lead shot. However the biggest difference was when I upgraded the cable to Audioquest, and bi-wired the speakers (not sure if the 760s are bi-wireable? Subsequent bi-amping made a slight difference but not as much as biwiring with a single amp.
  8. Yeah, I chased the dragon for a while but realised I was starting to focus more on the hardware rather than the software.

    He won't thank me for saying it, but my mate changed what he listened to because it "sounded better through the system". Well, try explaining otherwise a sudden urgent interest in Dave Brubeck where previously all had been Mark E Smith. ;)

    At least with wine it's 97.5% software.
  9. As George suggests Blu Tak will isolate the speakers from the shelves though the size of the blobs will affect the damping and therefore tonal balance, start pea sized and work up, always odd numbers of blobs.
    Blu tak wrapped around lead shot like fish line weights can have a tuning effect.
    You may find the speaker has more rhythm if freed from the isolation feet anyway.
    If you can get speakers onto stands filled with shot and sand mix that will (most likely) improve things.
    Replace the speaker cable with something 42 strand or around that gauge.
    I always found 79 strand or thicker stifled bookshelf/ mid sized Speakers .
  10. Funnily enough I was listening to Brubeck myself only a couple of days ago. Can’t say I’ve ever wasted much time listening to Mark E Smith...
    Rob Lockwood likes this.
  11. Can one get audiophile grade fish line weights?

    An old friend of mine told me of how he spent a lot of time auditioning various setups when buying his first hifi. His test track was "The Only Living Boy in New York" and afterwards he said that he wasn't that pleased with his system in general, but it did a superb job with that one track!
  12. I guess there is some technical measurement that can tell you how different cables perform and that better cables = better signal (which may end up in better sound, depending on speakers etc etc...). Luckily no such science available for high end wine, otherwise we would have little to chunter on about, which wouldn't be a good thing!
    Tom Cannavan likes this.
  13. Ho! Ho! Ho! You'd have thought so, wouldn't you? Sadly(?) I think exactly the same applies as with wines..
    Raymond Tilney likes this.
  14. BTW, David, silly question but have you spoken to the refurbishers? Might they not have "tidied them away" somewhere?! Seems to be an odd thing to steal.
  15. Alex The refurbishers were employed by a contractor who was in turn employed by my partner. They threw out just about everything and I've had a litany of excuses. Among other items, they threw out my Skybox, DVD player, vinyl albums (some quite rare), cutlery, crockery, kitchen scales and mixer, towels, towel rail, clothes, shredder, some of my wine glasses and various personal papers including correspondence with banks and hospitals and my degree certificate. This is not an exhaustive list!
    They've also wrecked my alarms system. At least they didn't touch any of the wine, as far as I can tell - although I've broken two bottles since I arrived home.
  16. You first.
  17. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

  18. Can’t believe you beat me to this Alex.
  19. I keep dithering about whether to pay the extra £3 for the DeoxIT Gold Contact Enhancers.
    Tom Cannavan likes this.
  20. Actually, you first and only. I have active speakers so free not to worry ever again.

    Speaker cables. Who needs ‘em?
    Raymond Tilney likes this.
  21. Bulldog clips Bryan.
  22. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Well I'd need 6 metres, and I see the price has actually fallen slightly since yesterday - now only £23,170 when yesterday it was just over £24,000, so I will now add the Deoxit Gold Contact Enhancers to my order.
    Rob Lockwood likes this.
  23. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Did they think you had died? House clearance! :) Is there some way you can pursue this? I guess insurance doesn't cover such a weird situation.
  24. Tom It does feel like a house clearance rather than a refurbishment. I have been living here for 35 years and had accumulated a lot of junk, so perhaps a clear-out was justified - but surely not to this extent. I can't believe that they would throw out a skybox or DVD player. Things in cupboards were thrown out, such as an extension lead for electrical appliances. And my address book! Some of the items had belonged to my mother which is particularly painful.
    I may be able to replace some items via insurance and I'm looking into this. But some of these items are irreplaceable.
  25. That is horrendous, David

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