Wacky tweaks that actually work

I have ZU Audio Soul Supreme speakers that I’m completely happy with. They are designed with strange finger ports under the cabinets—no they are not reflex ports. The speakers need an air gap beneath them to work as designed, the typical gap being 1/4". Sean Casey, the designer says they’re there to let the speaker “see the impedance of the room”. uhh, ok.
While noodling around on his site, I discovered his discussion of varying the gap height and here’s the crazy thing: One can vary the depth and quality (timbre) of the bass with 2, 3 or 4 sheets of paper placed under the speakers between the feet, not so as to raise the speaker but to vary the gap distance.
Listening to Paul Chambers’ “Bass On Top” and the difference is hysterical. Sheets of paper! Go figure.

You’ll get even more response if you go to an art store and buy the most expensive heavy bond drawing stock they have. :wink:

[sarcasm, kidding, just a joke, not for real (though it might work)]

Tomorrow I’m going to try some Smythson writing paper. I predict it will be analog to zip cord vs Iconoclast.

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Hand made artisanal paper would most certainly give the sound a more organic feel … yes indeed … groan.:stuck_out_tongue:

In that vein, several months ago we were in Staples buying a stapler of all things and I mentioned I’d like to have a nice sketch book that could live on the front table and I could draw, whatever.

I’ve never drawn before besides sketches of technical diagrams, mostly layer 3 networks, numerous WAN connections and all sorts of security systems…anyway…

My birthday was a couple weeks ago and my mother-in-law got me a very nice leather bound book of nice, thick, textured drawing paper and a set of woodless graphite pencils.

So far all I’ve drawn are a few technical sketches and geometry objects. :wink:

Highly recommended for a non-distracting companion to listening.

If air impedance is 409.4 ohms, then why isn’t air conducting? 409.4 Ohms isn’t the impedance of air, it is the "characteristic impedance* (rather, intrinsic impedance) when you consider air as a transmission line medium rather than a standalone material. The thing about characteristic impedance is that it is not a physical impedance, but as a result of the distributed elements that make up the transmission line.


An amusing bit of information. What triggered this?

Having zero ability to draw (I’m only good at a drafting table with tools) I was unaware of woodless pencils until shown some by a portrait artist. They are very cool, semi-magical somehow in their buttery application of graphite to paper.

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I believe we all have abilities untapped, practice is all that is required.

OP stated “Sean Casey, the designer says they’re there to let the speaker “see the impedance of the room”. uhh, ok.”

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I think it’s very cool that we can experience things we no very little about or hope to ever fully understand even with a lifetime of study; and that’s OK.

If one thinks of the definition of impedance as the resistance to flow it’s much easier to visualize how the speaker ‘sees the impedance of the air’ and a few sheets of paper will alter this interaction.

Alas, the fancier paper made no difference that I could hear. Next, I’ll try the Sunday comics.


I find an egg salad sandwich one hour before listening makes a big difference and is great for Sinatra (has to do with the digestion of proteins).
A double espresso one hour before listening makes Metalica the real deal.
Listening with my mouth open totally changes spacial perceptions as sound is allowed to enter my ear via the estachian tubes crating a nice time delay and therefore more ambiance.

Bruce in Philly

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You don’t listen to Metallica, do you?

Yeah, the open mouth/Eustachian tubes/ spatial thingees, but please oh please be sure the egg salad is all gone first

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