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Vibration Isolation Cones and Audiophile Gear

June 8, 2009 Leave a comment

As many of my readers know, I was lucky enough to have been given a then ¥450,000 Denon DVD-5910 <<link to specs here>> by Denon for my part in troubleshooting some serious playback quality issues in the DVD-A1 (5800), their previous top of the range player.

So I guess I can claim to know a bit about this kind of thing and don’t want to suddenly come off sounding ignorant. Well, here goes then…

<takes a deep breath>

Well, considering that the 5910 had been designed like a Sherman Tank, used practically the finest components known to mankind and then tweaked to eek the very last drops of detail from the disks (or so readers of this forum will gladly tell us) could you explain how a few little cones help to the extent that they cause a humanly audible difference? And if they do, why Denon didn’t incorporate a similar feature into its design, considering the 5910 was long the flagship, no holds barred player of choice for the discerning video-AND-audiophile.

I’m extremely curious as to how a little vibration management can “really enhance the already stellar performance” of a $4000 player that is to all intents and purposes, considering its construction, unlikely to suffer unduly from day to day vibrations of any kind besides those caused by a warped or damaged disc or a disc with a label stuck to one edge, or a small earthquake.

Of course, if one lives by a motorway, vibrations might be enough to affect one’s player… in which case the sound of the cars would all but drown out anything below 24 db or so in any case, making such an investment all but pointless.

I’m really sorry to sound sceptical, but I had friends who used to spray antistatic wax on their cables and made similar “really enhances XYZ” or the classic “tightens the bass/focus/pants” line.

One day, fed up with their constant “tweking”, when they were out, I cleaned the wax off the cables with some rubbing alcohol, but of course they continued to boast about the improvements when their mates came round. Not only that, but I had reversed the polarity of one of the back corner surround speakers, just for a laugh. And until the day I left, it stayed wired that way, unnoticed.

Obviously, in the days of valves, when the filaments could be excited by external vibrations, any isolation was bound to help, even more so with a turntable (which I demonstrated once by placing the needle on the receiver of a phone during a conversation and having a muffled version of the conversation relayed through speakers.

But come on, seriously, modern electronics being affected by vibrations to the point where the vibrations affect the device audibly more than the vibrations raise the sound floor of the room itself?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a man who understands the value of floor to ceiling curtains, a thick carpet and a rather uncool, but audiophile tiled ceiling.

I also understand the importance of solid speaker stands, relative speaker distance and especially, of course, sub woofer placement.

I can also vouch for the efficacy of the auto calibration of a number of highish end amps.

But I don’t ever want to see a monster TOSLINK cable, or for that matter a 25% silver digital interconnect costing $1000 connected to a modern digital buffer with full ECC. I don’t want the smell of cable-antistatic spray in my room… And I do not ever, ever want to see another green rimmed CD in my freezer ever, ever again, Paul, do you hear me 😉 !

sorry… I’ll… erm… I guess I’ll be going then…

<<grabs his coat and shuffles out of the building quietly by the back door>>

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DVD-A1XV Kicks Some Serious Arse

November 23, 2005 Leave a comment

Denon DVD A1XV

So, I’ve got my new Denon DVD-A1XV DVD player set up. I can’t believe that this thing has a list price of $4500. All that money, and it doesn’t even record.

It may be playback only, but, wow! What playback. I’ve got it running using a long “D-tanshi” component video cable which is running through the skirtingboards and out to the projector. and although the projector is high definition (HD), the current signal from this player is limited to standard definition in order to satisfy the strict rules and regulations (anti piracy rules) dictating video transmission.

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